A Mister Rogers for the White House? Oh, Please

The Democrats managed to launch the pantomime horse of their nominees into the election campaign after a strained farce of a virtual convention. It is an ambitious exercise. An election platform, no major components of which could possibly receive the support of a majority of Americans, is fronted by an apparently inoffensive presidential candidate and an ostensibly presentable running mate. And the sleight-of-hand of making these two the standard-bearers of a radical socialist and authoritarian program was covered by a diversionary crescendo of Trump-hate. 

Examined carefully, none of it is remotely acceptable to a majority of Americans. The Democrats’ presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is 77. And after 48 years of Washington retreading, he pledged to shut down the country again unless the coronavirus is eliminated. He signed on to confiscatory tax increases, the suppression of the oil and gas and coal industries as well as other ambitious elements of the Green Terror, free healthcare, free and universal university for all families making less than $150,000 a year, obligatory seizure of most firearms, reconfiguring and repurposing of the country’s 700,000 police, the resurrection of Iran’s right to deploy nuclear weapons in five years, open borders and unlimited admission of foreign migrants with the imposition of no standards at all and free healthcare, education, and other services to them. (This would ultimately result in the arrival of the entire under-developed world of perhaps 2 billion people.)

This is the Democratic Party platform and the country agrees with none of it. The evident plan of action is to continue to terrorize the country with absurdly exaggerated notions of the COVID-19 danger and to taint the judgment of the voters by the most frenzied assault on the character and abilities of the president in American history. 

To this end, since there is nothing in his long public career to justify his elevation to the Oval Office, Biden is presented as Mr. Nice Guy, a Mister Rogers for the White House. The Trump-hating media, most of whom would in normal circumstances find the Democratic program excessive and in many places insane, have looked the other way and continued to facilitate a demented juvenile demonization of the president. 

Platitudinous Hate-Filled Tracts

Hollywood presenters were unbecomingly partisan or silly: Julia-Louis Dreyfus, descended of a great French family, and who sometimes appears to have some acting talent, engaged in ludicrous parodies of the name of the vice president. There was a kindergarten aspect to the whole proceeding.

The addresses of the active politicians or the involuntarily retired ones such as the Clintons were platitudinous hate-filled tracts denouncing the president like Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s Emmanuel Goldstein. 

Every few minutes the time to hate arrived and all together, the Democrats hated. Trump supported the Nazis at Charlottesville (he denounced them in vehement terms). Trump “coddled” terrorists (he led the destruction of Isis which was created by the negligence of Obama and Biden). And so forth: an endless procession of shameless lies at all levels. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is complicit in the needless deaths of many thousands of elderly New Yorkers, and who praised Trump for his assistance at the worst of the pandemic, blamed everything on Trump. John Kerry blamed Trump for tearing up the guarantee against Iranian nuclear weapons that he claimed to have negotiated. I described here last week the speech of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and to some extent that of Michelle Obama which I credited for the envelopment of the convention in what Tennessee Williams called “the stench of mendacity.” It was inexorable and unending.

While the evening’s speakers confined themselves to a saccharine chorus of the nominee’s niceness as the leitmotif in their acidulous deluge upon the president, the sessions of the various policy committees of the Democratic National Committee were live-streamed to the public. Here, the racism and Marxism that has rotted the innards of the Democratic Party were plain for all to see. 

Indeed, there are expositors visibly delighted in affronting the sensibilities of the moderates whom it is Biden’s task to recruit to vote for the Democrats’ program, sensible cattle voting to go to the socialist slaughterhouse. The words “under God” were omitted from the pledge of allegiance. Various workshops highlighted “systemic racism” that does not, in fact, exist but that increasing numbers of Americans have been badgered into reproaching themselves for. Capitalism, militarism, colonization, and the various distasteful conditions hovering on the very edge of white privilege, were all battered like piñatas. The only one who spoke well and tastefully was Jill Biden. 

Obama the Scold and Myth-Maker

To be fair, Joe Biden was much less offensive than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, or either of the Obamas. To hear President Obama, you would imagine that he had not been the author of the flatlined “new normal” of no growth in purchasing power for the working or middle classes, had not presided over large increases in poverty, food stamp enrollment, and violent crime, had not been the author of vanishing redlines, had not lied about everyone being able to retain their own doctor and existing plan under his healthcare reform, and further that the Paris climate accord and Iran nuclear agreements had not been two of the most catastrophic arrangements the United States has ever made with foreign powers. 

Normally a fluent and facile if easily forgettable speaker, Obama was an obnoxious, pompous, scold and myth-maker. None of the speakers mentioned the threat from China, and none of the speakers mentioned the urban violence that in Portland in particular continued right through the convention.    

Obviously, this rickety aircraft bound together by duct tape and sealing wax will come apart in the air between now and the election. Joe managed to read his acceptance speech adequately well though hardly with the uplifting eloquence credited to him by the media cheering section. But he will not withstand three debates with Donald Trump. 

The attempt to bill vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris as a superstar was a prodigious fiasco; her speech was workmanlike and neither nominee did anything to make us forget that they were both spectacular failures in the pre-nomination process, who benefited from the resurrective mercy of the anti-Sanders party establishment. 

The candidates will have to take a stance on urban violence and they will have to make it clear that they do not subscribe to the terrorist wing of Black Lives Matter. And the fact that their electoral possibilities are largely in the hands of the rotten, gangrenous Democratic city machines who inflict upon us Bill de Blasio (New York), Lori Lightfoot (Chicago), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), Muriel Bowser (Washington D.C.), Jacob Frey (Minneapolis), Ted Wheeler (Portland), and Jenny Durkan (Seattle), will be an onerous encumbrance as the campaign proceeds. 

It is almost certain that Trump will run a more successful and believable campaign, and with the ability to stand upon a record of some success. The only question is the degree to which the Trump-hating media, in what should be the last stand of the abusive monopoly of the national political press corps, can mitigate the imbalance between the merits of the two campaigns.      

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About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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