Tonight Joe Biden will deliver a speech on the state of America’s soul, or something like that. I take it that the networks will make a campaign contribution to the Democratic Party by televising it. Needless to say, I won’t watch it, and I am sure to have plenty of company. I will hazard a guess that in this nation of 320 million, there is not a single person who looks to Joe Biden for advice on matters of the soul. Not even Hunter and Ashley.
So what is going on here? The most epic gaslighting in American history. We are witnessing a symphonic climax of a narrative the Democrats have been building for years: Republicans as traitorous extremists. It began long ago, with Hillary Clinton’s successful scheme to link Donald Trump to the Russians. It continued with the Democrats’ absurd over-promotion of the mostly peaceful demonstrations on January 6, which were, in the Democrats’ telling, an armed insurrection orchestrated by Trump. It was history’s only armed insurrection to which not a single person remembered to bring a weapon.
The narrative has been fed by DOJ and the FBI, among others, who have repeatedly emphasized the theme that domestic terrorism is our number one security threat, with “domestic terrorists” defined as conservatives. Or parents unhappy with the public schools. That DOJ and the FBI have participated in these fabrications will bring them everlasting shame.
Most recently we saw the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, part of the Democrats’ effort to paint Donald Trump as a dangerous extremist with possible links to foreign powers. Why else would he have “top secret” documents in his basement? It seems inevitable that this element of the Democrats’ plan will culminate in the indictment of President Trump on grounds relating to alleged mishandling of his own documents. And don’t laugh–the case, if it is brought, will be tried in the District of Columbia to a jury of Trump-haters. He might very well be convicted.
Tonight’s speech will try to advance those narratives. “MAGA Republicans,” a group that seems to include all of us except Liz Cheney, are a threat to “our democracy,” i.e., a threat to the Democrats’ control of Washington.
Of course, beyond the Democrats’ grandiose scheme there are immediate objects in view–namely, the midterm elections. Rarely has a party approached an election season so entirely out of ammunition. Voters are angry at the cost of living, especially gasoline and groceries, and most seem to intuit that their sudden inability to pay their bills has something to do with the Biden administration’s hemorrhaging of borrowed money. Most voters think that we are already in a recession, and the rest worry that we soon will be.
In most areas of the country, voters are worried about crime, and again, it isn’t hard to connect burgeoning violent crime rates to the pro-crime attitudes manifested by Democrats in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Americans have lost faith in the public schools–thank goodness!–and most parents understand that Democrat-ordered shutdowns devastated their children. And the Democrats’ obsession with race, and their even more bizarre obsession with performing genital surgery on children, alienate many millions.
So what to do? Step one: gaslight. The price of gas is coming down! We Democrats are pro-law enforcement! (Defund the police? We were just kidding.) We are on the side of the oppressed, like Harvard Law School graduates! We forgave their student debts. (Tough luck, plumbers.) We are the true patriots, while our opponents are insurrectionists!
Step two: distract. Democrats can’t run on the issues, so they need to divert voters’ attention elsewhere. The Dobbs decision was a godsend, and Democrats are going berserk over abortion regardless of whether abortion is actually an issue in a particular state. But more importantly, this is where the “MAGA Republican” theme comes in. The Democrats want to make the 2022 elections a referendum on Donald Trump.
They figure that is an election they can win, as they did two years ago. Hence the Mar-a-Lago raid, hence the endless yammering about January 6, hence the probable upcoming indictment of Trump. And, of course, Trump is cooperating. He seems to be delighted to be back in the spotlight. Does he understand the game the Democrats are playing? Perhaps, but it is not hard to convince Trump that he should be the center of attention, whether that benefits his party, or the candidates who are actually on the ballot, or not.
Will all of this work, regardless of whether Trump cooperates and no matter what a grand jury may do between now and November? I doubt it.
Most voters are not astute when it comes to abstract questions–thus the enduring popularity of price controls–but when it comes to their own lives, they are not stupid. Everyone buys gasoline and groceries, most people are concerned about recession, a great many are worried about violent crime, and virtually all parents want their children to get a good, non-ideological education. I doubt that the Democrats’ gaslighting and conspiracy theorizing can overcome those far more important concerns.
And I especially doubt that anything the feeble Joe Biden says tonight will move the needle in any direction.