Joe Biden’s campaigns have rested on the most rancid racial politics. In 2020, he routinely accused his opponent of racism and support for white supremacism, drawing on nothing but his own libelous twisting of Trump’s words after the rioting in Charlottesville. In 2012, Biden had accused Republicans of planning to put blacks “back in chains.” His venom came out also on non-racial matters. He once called opponents of gay marriage the “dregs of society.” In the Senate, he habitually hurled dirty charges, becoming the father of Borking.
But now Biden’s thoughts turn to civility. He promises to lead us out of a “grim era of demonization.” Biden is not the first Democrat to peddle this claptrap. Indeed, it is a standard hypocrisy of Democrats: out of power, they extol incivility; once they regain power, they denounce it. Recall the Clinton era’s ludicrous “civility” commission, which the Democrats set up after Rush Limbaugh and company foiled their agenda.
In times of political exile, Democrats countenance all manner of incivility. They cheered as John Lewis and company boycotted Trump’s inauguration. They defended a play in Central Park that depicted a Trumpian figure stabbed to death. They laughed as comedienne Kathy Griffin held up a mock-severed head of Trump. More recently, they found nothing to condemn in the monstrously uncivil rhetoric of Black Lives Matter.
They only turn pacific after they feel safely ensconced in positions of power, and then “civility” becomes a means to defang opponents. Michelle Obama, whose instincts are those of a low Chicago ward boss, didn’t turn her thoughts to going “high” until reaching the White House. But after leaving it, she quickly returned to gutter politics, egging John Lewis and company on in their uncivil behavior.
In power, Barack was also liable to muse on the importance of civility. On his rise to power, however, he kept company with the shaggiest and most uncivil Alinskyites. He launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers. He attended the services of Jeremiah Wright, whose most famous pronouncement was “God damn America.” He promoted the work of Saul Alinsky, who placed ends-justifies-the-means incivility at the center of his program of agitation.
In the pantheon of liberal heroes, figures of incivility and violence — from Fidel Castro to Che Guevera to the Black Panthers to the leaders of Black Lives Matter — hold high rank. This reflects the morally relativistic core of liberalism, its willingness to ignore objective standards of right and wrong in the pursuit of power. All of the ideologies that inform modern liberalism scoff at a natural moral law, which in the end is the only real guarantor and measure of civility.
Far from ending the “grim era of demonization,” Biden intends to give its left-wing proponents new perches of power from which to push it. Look at all the talk emanating from Democratic circles about the need to draw up enemies lists and the like. These are the thugs who will run his administration.
During the campaign, he told the ruthless acolytes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that they would all find jobs in his White House. His campaign was run by Anita Dunn, who is on the record saying that her favorite political philosopher was the mass murderer Chairman Mao.
“Civility” to the Left is simply a tool of propaganda with which to secure docility from the people. But liberals have never felt the slightest need to practice it themselves, much less adhere to any moral system that would require it. Biden used to mock proponents of the natural moral law, casting that thinking as hopelessly passé. Recall his browbeating of Clarence Thomas on the subject. So it is a little late for Biden to adopt the posture of the high-minded philosopher.
Under the moral relativism Biden has long espoused, politics is not about goodness but power. All of the Left’s babbling about “norms” ill-befits a movement that obliterated them in the name of subjectivism. The violent infantilism of the Left — on display across the country in Democrat-run cities — flows from that contempt for any principles grounded in reality.
The de-Christianization of the country, which Biden has championed, also makes any new era of civility impossible. Biden has no kinder, gentler view of America; his vision is rooted in the nihilism of Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter. He ran with a San Francisco radical whose idea of charity is to spring rioters chanting for the death of cops from jail.
Biden seeks not unity but submission, not civility but unchallenged power. The “grim era of demonization” will not close but enter a new and even uglier chapter.