Joe ‘Kinnock’ Biden is a rara avis among politicians: with him, what you see is precisely what you get. Zero.
However, it seems increasingly likely that Americans will let Covid elect their new president, a man who has lost much of his already puny eloquence to senility, but little of his intelligence: he had none to begin with.
Voting choices are these days mostly knee-jerk decisions based on the latest news headlines and the resultant ‘feel-good factor’. Thus, natural disasters have often hurt the incumbent.
Before the pandemic, the US economy was doing reasonably well, and President Trump had a winning hand. All he had to do was sit quietly and wait until his challengers folded.
Then Covid reshuffled the pack. The economy suffered a blow, and Trump found himself holding at best a low pair, rather than a flush. However, even a low pair beats no pair, but we aren’t talking poker here. We are talking elections, where emotions trump reason, as it were.
In a rare display of self-awareness, Trump has attributed his low approval ratings to his personality. He has a point: I for one find his personality repulsive. However, given the choice between Trump and Biden, I’d vote for Trump – even, turning the tables on the Democrats’ time-proven strategy, more than once.
The president ill-advisedly hitched his wagon to the Dow Jones index, which is a notoriously fickle horse. Even without Covid, shares could have suffered a downturn, taking Trump’s chances the same way.
But Covid not only devastated the US economy, but painted a bull’s eye on Trump’s chest that his detractors can’t miss: accusing him of not handling the pandemic properly is the easiest thing in the world.
I’m not qualified to judge the advisability of the anti-Covid measures taken by the US administration. However, whatever they are or could have been, the president was on a losing wicket.
No matter what he did, people would have died and the economy would have suffered. Had he chosen the economy over public health, he would have been portrayed as a heartless murderer. Had he gone the other way, he would have been pilloried for destroying the livelihoods of millions of American families.
The same goes for Trump’s response to the BLM movement. Too soft, and he would have undermined his reputation for commitment to law and order. Too hard, and he would have been damned with all the same epithets he did attract even for his halfhearted response: racist, fascist, polarising, insensitive, supremacist and so forth.
Both Covid and BLM were such godsends for Biden that one can be forgiven for suspecting that the latter was organised specifically for that purpose. Operating in that wretched subjunctive mood, a pretext for such a campaign could have been found even without the brutal death of that drug-addled criminal George Floyd.
One way or another, Joe Biden, easily the biggest nonentity in US history to be a frontrunner at this stage, is leading Trump by eight points in the omnibus polls of voting intentions. Amazingly, he’s even leading in Texas, a state that would be impoverished if Biden were in a position to act on even some of his plans.
Texas derives much of its income from hydrocarbons, and Biden’s plans in that area are dominated by his touting of the climate-change hoax. He is promising “no new fracking”, “100 per cent clean energy” and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
If realised, such plans would reduce my former home state to penury, but Texan voters don’t seem to mind, yet. Their state is hit hard by Covid, emotions are running high and reason dips to a new low.
Biden’s campaign for the Democratic nomination was off to a faltering start. But then his strategists made a startling discovery: the less their candidate appeared in public, and especially the less he spoke, they better he would do.
Every time such exposure couldn’t be avoided, Biden mouthed inanities at best and downright bloopers at worst. At one point, he urged the crowd to vote for him in the Senate race, and it took a timely intervention by one of his staffers to remind the poor man that he was actually standing for a different office.
This explains why Biden carried some states in which he didn’t even campaign, and where his flacks could portray him as a moderate, nerve-soothing establishment candidate with the best chance of unseating that boat-rocking upstart in the White House.
It says a lot about today’s Democratic Party that someone like Biden, who in just about any other previous election would have been considered dangerously left-wing, is now seen as a moderate.
He himself has publicly stated his ambition to “go down as one of the most progressive presidents in American history”. If your political jargon is rusty, ‘progressive’ means, among other things, promiscuously high-spending.
In that sense, Biden is right: his announced plan to provide a further $150 billion to boost the black community will take the projected total spending to four trillion, and few people can even imagine that numeral. Tax increases are bound to follow, which prospect doesn’t seem to scare voters as much as it used to.
Biden’s campaign heavily depends on blacks voting for him as a bloc. By itself, this is nothing new: since 1968 no Republican presidential candidate has polled more than 13 per cent of the black vote, and most have received less.
That makes black voters the most significant swathe of the Democratic electorate, which is just a fact of life. But, in light of the BLM movement, this fact becomes sinister.
For, as the black activist Angela Davis explained, “[This election] will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured into allowing more space for the evolving anti-racist movement… Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously.”
So far Biden has resisted the most extreme of such demands, those for defunding the police, closing down all prisons and legalising marijuana. The last demand is especially amusing because this is one area where libertarians and left-wing subversives agree.
The former support legalisation out of their fanatical commitment to free personal choice; the latter, because that would reduce the number of blacks going to prison. This concept of law and order makes up in logic what it lacks in sanity.
Indeed, the best way of reducing the numbers convicted of any crime would be to decriminalise it. Britain shows how, by effectively decriminalising burglary. A friend of mine, who often acts as a court expert, has calculated that an average burglary is punished by about three-day’s imprisonment – our shining example that America, for once, can follow.
On balance, I have no doubt that Miss Davis is right – trained by the Frankfurt School, she has perfectly honed instincts for Marxist subversion. A senile, vacillating, intellectually inadequate president with ‘progressive’ aspirations will indeed be putty in the evil hands of those who wish America ill.
Say what you will about Trump, and I do say many things about him, but I’d support him for precisely the same reasons Davis supports Biden: he’d be able to keep her ilk at bay for a while longer.
As to Biden, the only arguments about him are revolving around which black woman he’ll choose as his running mate. That chap wouldn’t dream of considering a candidate of a less fortunate race and sex – regardless of any other qualifications.