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The Democrats’ biggest lie What if Biden is more dangerous than Trump?

'His instincts, and those of his closest advisor, Lady Macbeth — I mean Dr Lady Macbeth, his wife — were unerring' (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'His instincts, and those of his closest advisor, Lady Macbeth — I mean Dr Lady Macbeth, his wife — were unerring' (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


July 2, 2024   6 mins

A couple of weeks ago, an unlikely figure took the podium to deliver the commencement speech at my son’s high school graduation. I say unlikely because in a New York suburb — Montclair, New Jersey — almost entirely in the grip of progressive pieties, the speaker was not black, or female, or LGBTQ, or a climate-change activist. He was a 69-year-old cis white male working as the co-host of a programme called Power Lunch on CNBC. That is to say, he was the living antithesis of every self-righteous nostrum that the progressive elite who run the town pretend to live by. And here he was, standing at the podium after being presented with a lengthy and fawning introduction that he smugly boasted, upon grasping the microphone, he had “written myself”.

My joy at seeing my son matriculate curdled into chagrin. Over the past several years, he had often come home confused, stunned and once or twice on the verge of tears at being told — by white teachers — that, because he was white, he was “inherently racist”. This stung him with extra force because his favourite book was Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, most of his friends were black, and the people he was closest to in school were the black administrators who instinctively grasped his status as an outsider and nourished and protected him. Meanwhile, our — I mean my wife’s and my — daughter, then in middle school, was arriving home from school asking if it was “okay” that she did not want to be a boy.

That early evening at the graduation ceremony, as the sun slowly set on America and the afternoon’s wilting heat began to ease, you could cut the irony, as they say, with a knife. Not only was the graduation speaker the very emblem of white-male hegemony, but his values seemed way out of sync with the town’s purported moral framework.

Just about every commencement speech has a story illustrating a moral precept to live by at its centre. Here was his: years ago, he knew a woman in California who was making only $40,000 a year as a teacher. By Power Lunch standards, she was a loser. But then truth poured from the heavens and opened her eyes. She took up painting and mastered, not her art, but the art of marketing her art, and she began to sell her canvases, the speaker said, for $350,000. This was the moral of the story the graduates needed to absorb. If you “invest in yourself”, the speaker explained, you will be a success. You will, in other words, stop being a loser-teacher and you will become a winner who knows how to game the marketplace and other people. The speaker finished his inspiring peroration by declaring that a college degree was of little importance in a world where personal initiative could make one a fortune, and with a flurry of references to certain celebrities who live in town, the implication being that he knew these gigantic exemplars of American success personally.

By high school, most of Montclair’s wealthy liberal elites have sent their children to private school, so though there was still a meaningful group of rich people in the audience, most of the people in attendance were on some level of the American middle-class, with at least a third of the audience belonging to the black lower middle-class or working class, or the working poor. I can only imagine what effect the speech had on those black families for whom their child’s high-school degree was an occasion of joyful coming-through, and the possibility of college something like a miracle, let alone how the speech struck the many teachers who were there. No one, however, protested. The speaker left the podium to weak applause and a bewildered silence.

My thoughts turned to that graduation ceremony as I listened to Biden implode during last Thursday’s presidential debate. The chagrin returned. Here, after nearly eight years of progressive hectoring about systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and general condemnation of anyone who dares question any component of the super-accelerated revolution in mores that American liberals have wrought — here was an 81-year-old straight white male leading the country into chaos. And not just any white male. A mentally deteriorating white male who, until that moment, had the full support of the rainbow coalition of Excluded Others who had staked their credibility and authority on their opposition to straight white-male dominance.

Was it all for naught then? The enormous effort to adapt to a world where you had to tolerate and endure mediocrity, incompetence and sometimes outright malevolence and venality all because the person embodying such qualities belonged to a protected group? Was the onslaught, begun in the universities in the Nineties, against any aspect of culture or society that bore the imprint of a dead-white male hand actually the greatest instance of collective gaslighting since Pravda? In fact, after a while, I had jovially gone along with the riotous shift in paradigm since, to be honest, many of the people I dislike most in the world happen to be unqualified, untalented, unintelligent, overbearingly powerful and super-privileged white males. And here, after all that, was the inadequate, grotesquely over-rewarded white male par excellence, right there on CNN, leading the country, including the officially excluded, straight to hell.

Following the debate, the liberal media turned, en masse, on a dime against Biden, after years of gingerly acknowledging Biden’s visible mental decline and then delicately refuting it: “Mr. Biden has been a wise and steady presence” (The New York Times, 29 February 2024). A recent “insider-access” (read: sycophantic) book about Biden, Franklin Foer’s The Last Politician, published just 10 months ago, noted the President’s mental stumbles only to dismiss them by celebrating his “weathered instincts and robust self-confidence”, his “calming presence and his strategic clarity”, and “the advantages of having an older president”.

An authoritarian regime that constructs an alternate universe of peace and harmony with which to hide its monstrous subversions of the human spirit creates an atmosphere of almost universal irony. The ironies in American life are proliferating as fast as America is declining. For eight years we have heard, again and again from liberal mandarins, that Trump poses an “existential threat” to democracy. But a president who cannot mentally function is a greater one. And even amid all the sudden liberal calls for Biden to step aside, there is the same reliance on Trump to justify Biden. Trump lied again and again at the debate, we are told, and he indeed lied, again and again, shamelessly. But, aside from Biden’s own lies — Obama built cages for illegal immigrants, not Trump, who happily made use of them; Trump never vowed to cut Social Security and Medicare — the Democrat lie that the President is in control of his faculties when he has been, for years, descending into dementia is far more destructive than Trump’s lies about his “achievements” — lies that are, after all, merely campaign and debate boilerplate.

It would be productive if, before the liberal establishment answers the question of what to do if and when Biden steps aside, it asked itself why it promulgated the Big Lie of Biden’s Mental Health in the first place. Obviously, jobs depend on Biden remaining in the White House; a change in president is a change in career, income and status for many people. Beyond that, though, it seems plausible to consider another reason. A victory for Trump is a victory for liberal culture. The worse, the better, as the Trotskyists used to say.

In America, you can buy something called an E-Z pass, a plastic sensor that you stick on the windshield of your car in order to drive through a toll without having to stop. Since 2016, Trump has provided a moral E-Z pass for the American liberal establishment. You stick the Trump E-Z pass on your conscience, as it were, and you can betray your obligations as a journalist, artist, teacher, politician or just about any position that requires you to approach a situation without bias, or the baggage of an ideological presumption. Since the advent of Trump, fiction, poetry, the theatre, film, even music have all been reduced to exercises in social justice. Yet, in the eyes of the liberal mandarinate, work remains to be done. Some among them still brood over oppressive hegemonies like the “moral imagination” and “critical thinking”. A victory by Trump in 2024 would embolden the reduction of all cultural expression to social issues as never before.

“Since 2016, Trump has provided a moral E-Z pass for the American liberal establishment.”

As the liberals conceive of it, let the Right have the political institutions anyway. Generations of post-structuralist thinkers have shown how impoverished they are — the “deep state” is a Left-wing construction. Culture and civil society are what matter. Behind the cover of anti-Trump defiance, they are yours for the taking. After all, Biden didn’t decide to run in 2020 because he was horrified by the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, as he said he did. Having lost his bid for president twice before, he ran because the revulsion against Trump after Charlottesville was so striking he felt he couldn’t, at long last, lose. In that moment, his instincts, and those of his closest advisor, Lady Macbeth — I mean Dr Lady Macbeth, his wife — were unerring.

Beyond Biden fumbling his golf handicap — first six, he said, then eight — not many people made much of the two ghostly cognitions sparring over their 18-hole capacity. But it was the most depressing moment of the evening. The question of who was the better golfer made both men more animated and engaged than they had been for the entire debate. At that moment, they were not bitter political adversaries. They were avid sports competitors, and they were closer to each other than either man has ever been to the people they are so madly driven to represent. Let the American people eat super-accelerated changes in the most intimate public and private dimensions of their lives. The power lunch stays the same, always, and no “$40,000” human, in any part of America or the world, is invited.


Lee Siegel is an American writer and cultural critic. In 2002, he received a National Magazine Award. His most recent book is Why Argument Matters


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Saul D
Saul D
20 days ago

The great lie of the ‘progressive’ left is that everyone, except them, is stupid. Brexit? If only you’d been smart like us you would have voted to remain. Trump? If only you weren’t so deplorable you would have voted for Hillary. The only way they can imagine that someone has a different opinion to them is some mental aberration – racism, islamophobia, transphobia, deniers, cultists. From this viewpoint, the building wave of anti-progressive-ism means more and more people are declaring themselves to be stupid, and the volume of political ‘stupidity’ keeps going up.
Perhaps, with a little bit of introspection, they might consider that if they are so smart, how come they didn’t even notice when they were being lied to and manipulated from media hoax to media hoax?

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
19 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

Gruel tastes like steak in the gulags. There is just not enough of them.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
19 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

No – the “stupid” slur is focused on one individual or demographic (e.g. MAGA). The Left makes everyone associated with that individual or demographic to be evil by association. They create such a disgust for the hated class, that they no longer even try to say why. It’s a classic Marxist strategy that was written into Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and is the all-time successful playbook of revolutionaries. MAGA isn’t just misguided, it’s “evil”; it will “destroy democracy”, and vile insults of bigotry against MAGA is quite acceptable because the Left projects its own bigotry onto the enemy. That’s the strategy. A Sun Tsu strategy. It’s not accidental, it’s cynical and deliberate and it is evil because it is based on seizing and keeping power by any means necessary.

Jim M
Jim M
15 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Always accuse your opponent of what you yourself are doing.

Damon Hager
Damon Hager
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim M

“I could ‘plain, and yet be in the guilt;
Else, often time, had I been spilt.”

Chaucer’s Wife of Bath was an early Democrat too.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
19 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

Ad hominem has become not so much a logical offence as a positive way of life. An opponent is not someone with whom one might disagree honestly, but instead an enemy (whether knave, or villain; someone inadequate mentally, or morally, or both). But this is the default mode everywhere, not merely limited to the progressive left.  The right sneers: “brainwashed cretin!” (mental) or “godless secular humanist!” (moral). The progressives sneer: “inbred mouth-breather!” (mental) or “callous privileged greedy pig!” (moral).  As both groups of instances rest on a common assumption of total depravity, this takes on an evangelical flavor; unsurprising perhaps for the right but very curious for a left which styles itself the voice of even-handed secular calm.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
20 days ago

The existential threat to our democracy is the putrefaction of our media.
The rot set in when the so-called progressives decided that anything at all, the suspension of disbelief, dispensing with objective reality, outright lying, and the suppression of debate, was somehow worth it to ‘protect democracy’ from the Evil Trump, and other populists (=politicians offering policies that people actually want).

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
20 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

But that’s the point of the article. The “E-Z Pass” of the American liberals.
You can be dishonest, lie, distort, misrepresent,… all in the name of “fighting for the defense of democracy”.

D Walsh
D Walsh
20 days ago
Reply to  Aldo Maccione

They will even rig elections in defense of democracy

AC Harper
AC Harper
20 days ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

The ‘Noble Lie’ has a long history (ever since Plato) – a myth or a lie knowingly propagated by an elite to maintain social harmony. 
The only difference in today’s debate is that the ‘Noble’ element is amplified at the cost of minimising the ‘Lie’. But it is still a lie.

J Bryant
J Bryant
20 days ago

Since 2016, Trump has provided a moral E-Z pass for the American liberal establishment.
Brilliant.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
20 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

This is the best part of the piece for sure. I have to admit the rest of it didn’t seem to have a coherent point.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Hypocrites both in the US and the UK have taken over the ostensibly left wing parties and used their perfect orthodoxy on cultural issues in order to defame those who would enact any policy which might actually address the concerns of voters in their respective countries.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
19 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Alas, perhaps the problem is so much worse than Siegel lets on. Why do they so want their E-Z pass in the first place? Is it because (as James Carville says of the Democratic power structure): “There are actually people who don’t mind losing elections because it makes them feel better and superior”? The Democrats could have decided they want to win. Now it seems clear they are going to lose, so they might start bracing for impact or develop some ways to counteract the Republicans’ very elaborate 2025 plan. (During the first Trump term, the Republicans were so surprised to have won that they foundered at first — though at last they managed their big achievement, destroying Roe v Wade. During the second Trump term, they will not make the same initial mistake. They are actively planning to impound Congressionally allocated funds, to expand the pool of Federal employees who are deemed at-will [political] hires rather than career civil service, etc.) I don’t think any Democrats are trying to counter-maneuver, and if not this may well be because their entire game is that E-Z moral pass.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
20 days ago

Trump broke them because there had to be some other explanation for why the American public would go with a boorish loud jerk from New York over their sophisticated and credentialed butts. I mean if it wasn’t the Russians then it would mean that the public had decided that they just sucked that much.

michael harris
michael harris
20 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

For ‘credentialed’ read ‘upper caste’. Caste, as opposed to class, is all about what you are NOT – in this case a loud TV reality show celeb. The rest is caste hatred, known as TDS.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
19 days ago
Reply to  michael harris

Yes, I feel sorry for the author, who apparently was living in an alternative reality for the last 8 years.

Michael Quincey O'Neill
Michael Quincey O'Neill
20 days ago

?

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
20 days ago

In the pantomime that is now American politics both the Ugly Sisters are inveterate liars and Cinderella has vanished.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
15 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Cinderella is now a “they”

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
20 days ago

All of this is self-evident within the sphere of foreign policy alone before the Democrats’ Maoist cultural policy once again comes into belief. Simply that on the evidence of the last four years, the world will not survive another terms of the Democrats in the White House. Trump is there because the Americans feared a neocon RINO just as much.

Graeme Archer
Graeme Archer
20 days ago

This is a great article. And this line
Was it all for naught then? The enormous effort to adapt to a world where you had to tolerate and endure mediocrity, incompetence and sometimes outright malevolence and venality all because the person embodying such qualities belonged to a protected group
may be the best description of What Life Is Like, Now, Everywhere I am yet to read.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
15 days ago
Reply to  Graeme Archer

Are females a protected group? It doesn’t seem like it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
20 days ago

I just can’t watch it any more. As a non-American, I don’t have any skin in the game and, after having just been through all the Brexit vitriol where I’ve watched people who claim to be the great and the good and the intellectual and the democratic turn out to be anything but. I can’t take anymore of the delusion.
The situation in the States has become completely unmoored from anything that I recognise as reality, it’s like some sort of mass psychosis.
Bitterly ironic that I’m reading John Ferling’s “A Leap Into The Dark – The Struggle To Create The American Republic” when we’re literally watching the struggle to destroy it.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
19 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Unless you believe that a World War III won’t impact you, you have skin in this game.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
19 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

If there is a WW3 , no one will have any skin left anyways. So who cares. She is right, there is mass psychosis.

Jim M
Jim M
15 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Enjoy the muslim takeover of your society. Europeans killed God and they will suffer greatly for it.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago

Let’s be positive. America’s problems can be fixed with some fairly simple reforms.

The first, and most obvious, is to make it possible to get elected to every kind of office without the help of George Soros or Larry Fink. Ban campaign advertising – or at least place strict limits on the amount that can be spent.

Q: Why did Obama, despite all his promises, do nothing about the malfeasance of the bankers in the wake of the 2008 crash? A: because they put him in the White House.

Brad Sealand
Brad Sealand
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

This is SO right. Since the Citizens United decision — thanks, Mitch! — both sides have become bottom feeders to their richest and most venal contributors. As one debate viewer put the choice Americans face, perfectly: It’s down to “Hell, no!” vs “Oh, no!”

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You appear to argue that the solution to a distorted information system, that is, a corrupt and dishonest press, is less information. Unless I’m failing to grasp that you are being sarcastic, how do you propose that leaving the public more ignorant of what is happening will improve results?

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Holmes

Really?! When was the last time you actually learned anything from a campaign ad?

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Disagree. The only way to correct wrong speech is more speech, not less. What is needed in the highly charged cauldron of political speech is a set of fair rules of free debate. Instead of moderators / regulators censoring “disinformation”, they should objectively censor (or flag) speech which breaks standard debating contest rules: No ad hominem attacks, No argument by credentialism, mis-definitions, strawman arguments, misquoting, mind-reading, etc etc. An AI could do the moderating.
Example: every time you type a slogan like “destroy democracy” you should have to defend your reasoning, or else your comment is rejected.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Hear, hear. There will not be “one person, one vote” so long as outlandish money remains such an enormous force multiplier. Campaign finance reform has to happen before we can ever figure out if parliamentary democracy can produce anything like distributive justice.

Will K
Will K
17 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

In my opinion, a major reform need to be made in the media. Too many articles represented as “news” are intentionally biassed, and inflame the polarisation of the people. I’d suggest a simple change, that preserves press freedom: require that every article be labelled as “Intentionally Biased”, unless it meets TBD standards of objectivity.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
20 days ago

“to be honest, many of the people I dislike most in the world happen to be unqualified, untalented, unintelligent, overbearingly powerful and super-privileged white males.”
So far as the author is concerned a case of kettle and pot I think

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
20 days ago

It was good the middle class parents and kids had cold water hit their faces in Montclair. It’s the asset – owner, stupid.

George Venning
George Venning
20 days ago

Yet another piece in which the Biden/Clinton wing of the Democratic party is inexplicably conflated with the “left”.
Biden is not of the left. Neither was Obama, nor Clinton. All of those figures used (and abused) the platitudes of the cultural left in order to provide cover for the absence of any leftism in their political programme.
The archetype of this in the US was Sanders’ campaign (well to the left of Clinton but still social democratic rather than socialist) being hammered by Clintonite talking heads for its dogged insistance on putting economic issues ahead of cultural ones.
Obama famously said that in most countries he’d be considered centre right.
The worst aspect of Trump’s immigration policies turned out to be essentially the continuation of (hitherto unreported) Obama-era policy.
Biden didn’t reverse the Trump era tax cuts.
Etc
Americans want sensibly priced healthcare. Obama and Trump at least had the decency to promise reform in order to get elected. But Obama-care was actually warmed over Romney-care rather than the public option that people wanted and Trump didn’t even bother to set out a model.
Biden, of course, has not offered any healthcare reform at all.

Richard C
Richard C
20 days ago

” You stick the Trump E-Z pass on your conscience, as it were, and you can betray your obligations as a journalist, artist, teacher, politician or just about any position that requires you to approach a situation without bias, or the baggage of an ideological presumption.”

Its ridiculous to blame the Trump for the loss of objectivity, honesty and integrity of journalists, artists, teachers, politicians and academics on Trump. This all started 30 years ago, not in 2016. Apparently, the author of this tortured piece just didn’t notice it.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
19 days ago

“Trump lied again and again at the debate, we are told, and he indeed lied, again and again, shamelessly”
Imprecise and even factually incorrect statements are not necessarily lies. Intent to deceive (allowing that almost every statement by any politician is an attempt to deceive at some level) is the key.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
19 days ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

That is why I would not vote for a serial adulterer such as Boris Johnson – I assume he is also a serial liar.
The main difference between Boris and Trump seems to be that Boris has no comb.

Will K
Will K
19 days ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

I also could not identify any “lies” that Mr Trump spoke.
All topics have arguments for and against. To be able to answer quickly, politicians must prepare a canned response: a simplified list of the best arguments that support their desired conclusion. These are necessarily incomplete and biased, but are not lies.

Søren Ferling
Søren Ferling
19 days ago

As the liberals conceive of it, let the Right have the political institutions anyway. Generations of post-structuralist thinkers have shown how impoverished they are — the “deep state” is a Left-wing construction. Culture and civil society are what matter. Behind the cover of anti-Trump defiance, they are yours for the taking.

This can be said about the fight against Trump, but it is a longer development that is described with the term: The long walk through the institutions – as it was formulated by the German Rudi Dutschke. The neo-Marxist tactic employing Trotskyist entrism. They started in ’68 by going after the teaching positions at the universities and from there neo-Marxism has seeped down through the education system to the smallest nursery school child.
Therefore, it makes sense for the left to increasingly see politics as irrelevant. It has been ensured that the population is already on track to realize the dismantling of culture, which is the goal of neo-Marxism/cultural Marxism/Freudo-Marxism.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
19 days ago

The one underrated moment of the debate was when Trump said, “Let’s not act like children.” Yes, THAT Trump, the one who used to have the hair-trigger Twitter account and a penchant for bestowing nicknames on people. Personalities aside, the most salient question the non-elites should ask themselves if, are you better off today than you were four years ago, followed up by asking the same question of the country.
If one can honestly answer “yes” in either case, then that is the only rationale for supporting Biden. Trump has been in the office before. None of the horrible that the left claimed would happen actually did. Some Dems are rightly worried that Trump might do to them what they’ve spent four years doing to him, but they caused that, not the orange man.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
19 days ago

Biden is a well-documented liar, but his handicap is 8?? I would bet every dime I have that he couldn’t shoot par getting 28, let alone 8.

George Venning
George Venning
19 days ago

This guy’s son was repeatedly told by his teachers that, “because he was white, he was “inherently racist”.” and our middle schooler “came home from school asking if it was “okay” that she did not want to be a boy.”
This seems a little… I don’t know… a little suspect as a foundation for the rest of it.
The author goes out of his way to say how integrated his son’s friendship group is so we’re clear that his son isn’t a racist (and I have no reason to disbelieve him) but that implies that white teachers in this guy’s kids’ schools are constantly lecturing all the kids about their latent racism and earnestly enquiring whether they’re quite sure they’ve got the right genitals.
Really?
I just sort of wonder whether there might be some context missing here.
It all seems a bit unlikely – like those Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep stories which, on closer examination, always turn out to be about some nursery somewhere wanting a few extra verses of nursery rhyme to sing before the rugrats start tearing the place up again.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
19 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

This depends a bit on the district, but it’s not unlikely. My son’s junior high class has 3 “non-binary” individuals in it, who were natal females. This was unheard of just a few years ago.
Friends of mine complain about their daughters having to share a restroom with transvestite natal males, leading meany of them to send their children to either private or religious (generally Roman Catholic) schools.
Insofar as racialism goes, this was our native city – we left ages ago, and didn’t attend the public (government-run) schools, but this is their current state today:

https://www.city-journal.org/article/failure-factory

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
19 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

I have no specific insight into the context either, but it is not hard to imagine someone spinning “his son isn’t a racist” like this: yeah he thinks he’s a White Saviour and THAT is just one more sort of racism. Nyah, nyah.

John T. Maloney
John T. Maloney
19 days ago

“Trump lied again and again at the debate.”
We’ve heard your fetishistic incantation and magical hymn over and over and over, ad nauseam. Yet, no one, not a single soul, can name one so-called “lie.” To paraphrase James Joyce in Ulysses, “For the love of Pete, tell us a lie!”
Recall hubris and hyperbole are not lies; they are hubris and hyperbole. They are the stock-in-trade of salesmanship. They are handy when selling $10m luxury apartments, Manhattan office space, or opulent country golf club memberships in Scotland and Ireland.
Remember, opinion and sentiment are not lies; they are opinion and sentiment! Western Civilization goes to great lengths to protect free opinion and sentiment as a core value. It is profoundly illegitimate to claim opinion and sentiment as a lie. At least since The Enlightenment, inquisitive opinion has been the very firmament of Western Values.
Now, what IS a disgusting lie is when Biden said, “No US soldiers died in his term.” He was coached to tell this objective lie about the savage terrorist attack Biden enabled at Abbey Gate at the Kabul Airport that killed 13 US service members.
Why don’t people crow about this disgraceful lie? Is it because you believe Biden is, “A sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
19 days ago

I wish I could upvote this more than once.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago

I’ve heard this statement too many times to count: Trump lied. It is never backed with what the “lie” was. Trump is dangerous. They never say how he is “dangerous”. These statements come from truly dishonest people.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago

Stuffing enough down someone’s throat will result in vomit.

My reason for switching party and voting for Trump.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
19 days ago

Lets get it slightly more accurate, ” Trump poses an existential threat” to the anti-America cabal of the Democrat Left. The Democrats will do anything to gain and retain power. Their mantra is “The end justifies the means”. Lie, cheat, steal, and worse. I can’t elaborate on the “worse” or my comment will be deleted.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
19 days ago

“the only Democrat who’s ever beaten Donald Trump is Joe Biden.” Well, not exactly. It was the “special” Democrat voting process that defeated President Trump. Remember the saying “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. Biden made history on several fronts in 2020. He got the infamous 81 million. The deciding ballots being counted for Biden in the early morning hours after the polls closed.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
19 days ago

“Following the debate, the liberal media turned, en masse, on a dime against Biden, after years of gingerly acknowledging Biden’s visible mental decline and then delicately refuting it: “ The Democrats are fine with Joe being mentally challenged as long as the cabal behind the curtain remains in power.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
19 days ago

American Democracy is like two people who stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children; the marriage (our democracy) is dead, but no one wants to tell the kiddies (us).

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
19 days ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

“has become” … not “is”. After 1994, when Clinton was President there was actually some working across the aisle. But then the success of Bush 2 in getting re-elected in 2004 triggered something on the Left so that Bush became a figure of extreme ridicule and hatred. Media mocked him mercilessly as a stupid monkey. That hadn’t happened before. Tempers flared. Then Obama told us that white America was inherently evil because it had never expunged itself of racism. “Hands up don’t shoot” was a lie. That lie has birthed all the others.

George Scialabba
George Scialabba
19 days ago

I’m astonished that someone as astute as Lee Siegel should glibly declare that “[Biden]he has been, for years, descending into dementia.” If so, how would Lee explain this: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/02/02/joe-biden-30-policy-things-you-might-have-missed-00139046 and this; https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2024-opinion-biden-accomplishment-data/? The fact is that, demented or not, Biden has been a more successful president than Carter, Clinton, or Obama.
How is that possible? It’s possible because, ever since the Radical Right took over the Republican Party in 1980, virtually any Democrat has been preferable in office to any Republican. The literature on the Republican Party’s ideological dementia is extensive; I’m sure Lee is familiar with it. Democrats may be awful, but Republicans are the Death Star.
By the way, the adjectival form of “Democrat” is “Democratic.”

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
19 days ago

By which you mean “socialism,” not “self rule.” Self rule requires an empowered middle class – a bourgeoise – which can only occur under free market capitalism.
Democrats always had a very radical left wing, from the Wobblies to the Weather Underground to Antifa, but this was balanced out somewhat by their liberal wing, who still believed in things like free speech, or private property.
Today’s Democrats are entirely driven by their “progressive” wing, who see both free markets and free speech as racist, sexist, and bad for the environment. They very much dislike the Bill of Rights – self defense, due process, equal protection, religious freedoms – which they feel gets in the way of their “multiracial democracy,” which is their nice word for authoritarian socialism.
“Free speech is a frippery that was burned away in the oven of Auschwitz” claims Antifa apologist and university professor Mark Bray.
Democrats like Biden are a bit more reticent. They call free speech “misinformation.”

George Venning
George Venning
18 days ago

You think the modern Dems represent the triumph of the Wobblies? Of the Weather Underground?
So, if I read you correctly, you think that Biden is a syndicalist? And Nancy Pelosi’s core animating philosphy is her opposition to US imperialism and her unwavering support for movements of National Liberation?
Love the BTL on this site

George Scialabba
George Scialabba
19 days ago

“Socialism” is a large question, which we should postpone for now. None of the Biden accomplishments described in the two links I offered have anything to do with socialism. I cited them only to show that Democrats actually care about ordinary people, while Republicans like Trump care only about shoveling billions in tax cuts to the rich. (Pretty much Trump’s only accomplishment in his four years.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago

‘Pretty much’ is not a scientific statement, and pretty much sums up your entire “analysis”, George. Try again.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
17 days ago

Since Biden’s most memorable accomplishment has been the highest inflation in forty years, I think average people might be skeptical about his “caring.”

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago

I notice that your comment is entirely free of any backing for the position which you are making. By the way, the moon is made of green cheese, did you know?

George Venning
George Venning
18 days ago

Boy, that’s a weird list of “accomplishments”. I’m not denying that there is some real stuff in there, there is. The investment in infrastructure is important, as well as the work to bring microchip production back on-shore. And the time may come when the “cancer moonshot” looks like a big deal.
But, in a nation up to its eyeballs in unfunded military spending, “greenlighting a drone army to confront China” sounds (and is) positively dystopian.
And cancelling the “Trump-era paintjob for Air Force One” isn’t even an achievement is it? It’s surely more of a dicreet phone call to Boeing type of thing, isn’t it?
And this is only a list of “achievements”. No room therefore, to list the assaults on Free Speech waged by the internet censorship regime he has enabled. No word on the reckless assault on the neutrality of the law enforcement bureaucracy entailed in pursuing Donald Trump on any and all charges that can be put. No space, for Biden’s reckless antagonism of Russia and his unwavering support for genocide in Gaza. Etc
Joe Biden will be a consequential president all right but his legacy will be a complex brew.

william langdale
william langdale
19 days ago

 “The enormous effort to adapt to a world where you had to tolerate and endure mediocrity, incompetence and sometimes outright malevolence and venality all because the person embodying such qualities belonged to a protected group”.I am actually in awe of that statement.

Dave Canuck
Dave Canuck
19 days ago

The brain starts to shrink in the 30s and 40s, the rate of shrinkage increases at 60. After age 70 the shrinkage increases even further. So both Trump and Biden are in trouble. If Biden didn’t have the stuttering problem, it wouldn’t look nearly so bad. They are both suffering from cognitive decline, however Trump also suffers from serious personality disorders including extreme narcissism, delusional thinking and sociopathic tendencies, bordering on psychosis with his obsession with revenge and his admiration for dictators. His fits of rage will be very dangerous for Americans and the world. Expect total chaos where anything can happen.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
17 days ago
Reply to  Dave Canuck

You’re not a psychiatrist, by any chance? If yes, when did you conduct your thorough and in-person examination of both individuals you mention? For your diagnosis is filled with such richness of detail, it must spring from personal knowledge, yes? 😉

Will K
Will K
17 days ago

Mr Biden is definitely more dangerous than Mr Trump. The “loose cannon” nature of his impairment is an immediate serious danger to the World. And looking back, the many disastrous events in Mr Biden’s term may have been due to his impairment. It’s otherwise difficult to explain his awful decisions, such as spending $100B to increase death and devastation in Ukraine.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
15 days ago

Great article! Hope you will check out RFK Jr’s response to the debate that happened that evening

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
14 days ago

»(T)he “deep state” is a Left-wing construction«?
What about COINTELPRO, what about JFK and RFK, what about the Iran-Contra affair and its subsequent coverup? All left-wing constructions? hmm…