Despair is in the air, but don’t give in

News & Politics

I’ve been staring at the blinking cursor for a while, sighing heavily and wandering away to brew more coffee. Then I come back to stare at the blinking cursor. Consider this my complete description of our current political landscape, but let’s try to do a little better.

If you watched a half-awake Joe Biden tell the world that he likes pasta and chicken, his face a mask and his eyes flattened into slits, you saw the absolute state of the American political class. He had notecards in his hand to talk to Ryan Seacrest about the holidays, and his wife had to remind him that he likes ice cream. Tell me you didn’t mutter to yourself some version of “we’re losing to this?” like I did.

We’re going to be pounded with fear messaging every day until November.

The takeaway: we’re up against a great deal of evil and a rising wave of manufactured crisis, but we’re also up against a bunch of nothing. Mediocrity and emptiness prevail.

The unnecessary decline of the American republic is the doing of people who can’t deliver their prepared lines without a support team and a coach to feed them the words. (Psst, you like ice cream. Say the line!) Negative selection, the system that chooses the weakest people for the highest positions, rules the day. We have a Potemkin leadership class, a painted façade propped up with sticks.

Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) just nailed the meaning of Claudine Gay’s resignation as the president of Harvard, describing her as “a representative of a system of education that rewards mediocrity.” Her thin record of real accomplishment, against a record of rapid institutional success and promotion, tells us about our public health leaders and our foreign policy establishment as much as it tells us about academia.

“Our entire elite is like this,” Vance wrote. “This is why you should mock the public health experts who want you to mask toddlers in their schools to stop the spread of a respiratory virus… This is why you should question the doctors who tell you to prescribe experimental pharmaceuticals to gender-confused children… The real story of Harvard is not Claudine Gay’s firing but this: You are ruled by thousands of people who are just as mediocre.”

But here’s where it gets tricky. In this case, a weak enemy will be more dangerous than a strong one because they feel their weakness and know they must compensate.

Most obviously, if they knew they could beat Donald Trump with a better candidate and a better argument, our dismal political class wouldn’t be pivoting to the staggeringly provocative choice of throwing him off the ballot. That move screams weakness and danger with equal clarity.

I emailed the office of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows last week after she ordered Trump off that state’s ballots with the obvious question — does she have more Republicans in mind who count as insurrectionists and should be removed from future ballots?

It wouldn’t be a surprise if she did. On social media, leftists offer a long list of what they consider to be Trump’s fellow travelers, demanding their arrest and their exclusion from politics. A sample message on what used to be Twitter: “A lot of high-ranking Rs are about to be indicted. Lindsey, Ted Cruz, Johnson, Perry — more are counting down to get that knock on their door.”

They’re not kidding.

I got no response from the secretary of state’s office in Maine, but George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley describes several current efforts to remove a range of Republicans from the ballot all over the country. The dangerousness of weak people illustrated. Trust us, we have to protect our democracy by transitioning to a single-party ballot.

Politicians who have no record to run on cook up fake horrors to scare people away from their opponents, and we’re going to be pounded with fear messaging every day until November. A commenter on my Substack called this maneuver “amygdala hijacking,” and I may put that phrase on T-shirts. Biden, his pathetic “red speech” having faded from memory, is planning to come back for yet another big speech on January 6 about how Republicans represent a threat to democracy. The demonization will become ubiquitous and shrill to the point of madness. What else do they have?

Finally, the summer of 2020 has been scheduled for a replay this year as Hamas supporters prepare to play the Black Lives Matter/Antifa game in American cities. They’ve already started.

Fear fear fear, disorder disorder disorder. That is your preview of 2024. It will all be desperate nonsense. Be steady, calm, and focused. Know your enemy is pathetic. Skip the January 6 speech and spend the day with family and friends. You’re OK, even if our political class isn’t.

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