Joe Biden and the Anatomy of a Failing State

Presidential debates are a quirky aspect of modern American politics. In theory, they are the closest thing to political combat, a rare opportunity for political leaders to publicly contrast differences in ideology and vision for the country. In reality, presidential debates have become something more akin to pop culture, with actors repeating lines they don’t believe in, achieving a desired reaction from various popular audiences.

A particular line is meant to earn the applause of a desired constituency; another is meant to appease a small group of donors who have a unique interest in the topic at hand.

Last night’s debate was different. While the substance offered by Joe Biden and Donald Trump was the same form of closely coached messaging carefully designed to compliment a calculated political strategy, the debate served to accomplish something rarely seen in American politics: it revealed a truth.

That truth is that Joe Biden is mentally incapable of leading any organization, much less the most powerful government in the world.

To many, this truth was already evident. With the decentralizing nature of social media, clips of America’s Commander and Chief making repeated gaffes, being repeatedly incapable of completing thoughts, wearing shoes designed for declining elderly individuals, and being delicately managed through public debates have made this obvious to those capable of critical thought.

Such skills, however, are beyond the abilities of a large swath of the American political class whose power has been claimed not by merit but by fealty to prevailing ideological missions. This includes elected officials, big-money donors, and large parts of the official pundit class.

The result was a public spectacle that resulted in a full-fledged meltdown. CNN, the debate host, immediately transitioned from closing remarks to post-debate analysis with a panel in full panic mode. Every commentator on stage began sharing real-time communications with Democrat strategists, elected officials, and donors, echoing the same message: this is a disaster, Biden can’t be the candidate.

The message was not confined to CNN. Every reliable regime media outlet, from MSNBC to the New York Times, emerged with the same story. The universal adoption of the new panic narrative from outlets that for months have been determined to attack anyone who dared question the president’s mental capacity was so swift and immediate that it appears to many to be coordinated. Was this all a deliberately crafted plan to usher out Biden and elevate a new candidate for the ruling party?

The veracity of that position will ultimately play itself out based on what comes next. If Joe Biden now becomes the first president since LBJ to voluntarily remove himself from re-election and be replaced by a younger, ambitious character like California Governor Gavin Newsom or a sinister political wart like Hillary Clinton, it will further fuel the notion that Biden’s public humiliation was part of a managed plan to bypass a traditional party primary in favor of elevating a pre-determined desired alternative.

This 4D chess narrative, however, should not be accepted as more likely than the alternative: that the promotion of Biden, despite his decrepit state, is simply the result of a decaying regime.

History is littered with examples of states led by absurdly inadequate individuals, surrounded by a guarded political class incapable of acknowledging that the emperor has no clothes. The incentives to ignore the obvious are great. A changing of the political guard immediately risks the status and power of those whose career placement derives entirely from the favor of the ruling order. Those most attracted to serving such administrations often lack the talent to achieve similar success elsewhere.

Attached is the willingness of compliant institutions who benefit directly from maintaining the regime’s line. For example, MSNBC’s Morning Joe established itself as President Biden’s favorite show, with the president lavishing attention and access to its two detestable hosts. In exchange for this favor, Joe Scarborough has proudly served as one of his great public champions, stating in March:

‘Start your tape right now because I’m about to tell you the truth. And f*** you if you can’t handle the truth. This version of Biden, intellectually, analytically, is the best Biden ever. Not a close second…If it weren’t the truth, I wouldn’t say it.’

The nationally broadcast display on Thursday night proved this to be such an indisputable lie that even Scarborough was forced to join the chorus of those actively discussing the need for Biden’s replacement.

It is not unusual for the American state to rule with deception. What makes this moment unique is that this farce has become so obvious that even its most craven and reliable propagandists can’t defend it.

Now, what does this mean for the future? Given that Donald Trump’s first term was marked more by deference to the political establishment than the promise of disruption that fueled his populist campaign, it likely means that a new term is unlikely to result in the sort of systemic draining the Washington swamp desperately needs.

The economic system is still designed to drain the public of its resources to fuel the welfarewarfare state, and an ideologically aligned group of subsidized oligarchs. Power is still consolidated in a toxic imperial city. Cultural destruction is still actively subsidized by the ill-gotten gains of federal demons.

But the greatest threat to the state is mass public awareness of the extent of the regime’s predation and shameless deception. To that end, President Joe Biden’s absurd spectacle perfectly illustrates a failing state.

Originally Posted at https://mises.org/

By Mises