Democracy Dies in Drivel | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Democracy Dies in Drivel
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Joe Biden gives his inaugural address, January 20, 2021 (YouTube screenshot)

In recent days the Democrats have turned very pious about the “traditions of American democracy.” Never mind that they spent much of the last year cheering on mobs of anti-American iconoclasts. Some Democrats, including Kamala Harris and members of Joe Biden’s staff, urged people to spring statue-toppling rioters from jail. But all of that is conveniently forgotten, thanks to a propagandistic media that serves as an arm of the Democratic Party.

The gushing over Biden from supposedly skeptical journalists is beyond satire. CNN’s “White House Correspondent” John Harwood sent out the following tweet Wednesday amidst the inaugural festivities:

Biden’s inauguration received the kind of starry-eyed coverage one would expect from a media composed of liberal activists like Harwood. CNN’s Dana Bash informed us that decency pulsates through every pore of Biden’s being. Jake Tapper only paused in his praise to remind viewers that they shouldn’t forget the perfidy of Mike Pence.

Biden is uniquely qualified to “unite” the nation, purred the press, ignoring that his first act was to sign a raft of executive orders that will immediately divide the nation. No sooner had he finished a speech larded with pieties and platitudes about America’s founding than he trotted off to sign an executive order ending the “1776 Commission” and restoring critical race theory in federal training.

Where the founders saw the federal government as limited, Biden sees it as unlimited and promises to be the most “progressive” president ever.

Biden said in his speech, “We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.” Such rhetoric is a little hard to take from Democrats who seek to pack the courts with activist judges determined to wrest democracy away from the people. Biden speaks for a party that has never been less committed to robust democracy, a party of speech codes, purges, and calls for “deprogramming” half the country. The tentacles of his party are totalitarian, not democratic.

“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days,” he said. Yes, it is, especially under a race-baiting demagogue who once told blacks that Republicans were going to put them “back in chains.”

Hints of that demagoguery appeared in the speech. “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart,” he said. In other words, liberalism is the “American ideal” and anything opposed to it is un-American. For Biden, the “American ideal” means the fundamentally transformed country that Obama began creating and he seeks to complete. Rooted in that vision is a contempt for America’s founding principles. Where the founders saw the federal government as limited, Biden sees it as unlimited and promises to be the most “progressive” president ever. Where the founders saw government as below religion, Biden pushes one above it.

For all of his quasi-religious prattle, Biden adheres to a secularism that seeks to drive Christianity out of the public square. In light of that, his inaugural day started on a grimly ironic note: he trotted off to Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, an odd beginning to an administration that will resume the Obama-era harassment of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Compounding the contradiction even more Biden later invoked St. Augustine, the doctor of the Church who wrote about the “city of God,” in his inaugural address: “Many centuries ago, St. Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.”

Biden’s vision is as far from St. Augustine’s as one could possibly imagine. St. Augustine denounced the “city of man” that Biden seeks to build, one in which citizens are compelled to love abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism, and the like. Everything that St. Augustine regarded as decadent and destructive of human nature, Biden considers enlightened. It was St. Augustine who wrote about the fall of the Roman empire, which, he noted, collapsed not from Christianity (as its propagandists claimed) but from its own irrationality and vice. If Biden gets his way, America will resemble the crumbling city of man St. Augustine decried and that the founding fathers had no intention of building.

Talk of America’s rich “traditions,” on abundant display Wednesday, rings very hollow from members of a ruling class that seek to tear them up. In Biden, they have found their man, whose administration will usher in not a renewal of American democracy but a shocking erosion of it under an increasingly tyrannical liberalism.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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