Reactionaries Against America’s Heartland

Politico forecasts an “electoral bloodbath” in Joe Biden’s favor. The Financial Times anticipates a “blowout victory” for Biden. Mona Charen, writing at The Bulwark, refers to a “Coming Biden Landslide.” 

Sure, they’re all Biden supporters. But they’re not alone in predicting a Biden tsunami. The other day, citing polls that show Biden with a double-digit lead, one Trump fan of my acquaintance despaired: “We are witnessing the end of America.”

Of course, some supporters of the president, arguing that the polls mean no more than they did in 2016, remain confident that Trump will not only win but win big. But if they’re wrong, it means, indeed, the end of America—or, at least, the beginning of the end of a free, strong, and prosperous America that still bears a resemblance to the country that was founded in Philadelphia in 1776 and governed under the Constitution of 1789. 

How did we get here? 

We got here because, half a century or so ago, “civics” was replaced by “social studies.” We got here because peace and prosperity bred generations of Americans who took their good fortune for granted. We got here because patriotic but inattentive parents allowed their children to be brainwashed in the schoolroom by enemies of freedom. We got here because the news media, in recent decades, have become tools of the Left, increasingly subordinating fact to ideology. 

Reagan’s Successors

A third of a century ago we had an eloquent, visionary president who warned us that freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. He was succeeded by a one-term technocrat who, in his own words, lacked the “vision thing.” He, in turn, was followed by eight years of a smooth-tongued charmer who lowered the Oval Office to new levels of corruption. 

The era of conflict ushered in by 9/11 required a Churchill; instead, we had two terms of a genial mediocrity who didn’t understand the first thing about Islam and then two terms of a malign and treasonous incompetent whose favorite sound was the Muslim call to prayer and who actively connived to bring the whole American edifice down. 

Some of us had once dreamed of America having its first black president. Not because we were obsessed with identity labels, but precisely because we figured that when America elected such a person, it would amount to definitive proof that we’d moved beyond identity labels. 

The election of Obama did indeed signify that America had come a long way since Jim Crow. A century and a half after the Civil War, we’d overcome our divisions. People familiar with the rest of the world testified that the United States was the least racist country on earth. 

But Obama was intent on dragging us back—on fanning the few remaining embers of race prejudice into flames. 

America had become exceptional by thinking of itself as exceptional. Obama was determined to stamp that out. 

Hillary vs. Donald

On Election Day 2016, we faced a stark choice. One candidate was the corrupt wife of our most corrupt ex-president. Ever since his presidency, the two of them had been active and shameless grifters, enriching themselves to a grotesque degree by means of a staggering range of slimy schemes. Their flagrant criminality was an open secret. 

The candidate herself was despised by many, but she also enjoyed wide support, mostly because she was a woman and because her speeches, however phony and uninspiring, consisted of the usual Democratic Party boilerplate. 

The other candidate was a newcomer to politics. Unlike his opponent, he was already mega-rich, having earned his billions as one of the canniest figures in the American business world. He had a dream life, with sumptuous residences in New York and Palm Beach, his own Boeing 757, and a chain of luxury hotels and golf courses around the world. The last thing he needed was to run for high office. 

Why, then, was he doing so? The answer was to be found in decades of TV interviews, which showed that he’d been concerned for a long time about the direction America was taking and the decisions its presidents were making. 

For decades, friends had urged him to run for president. He’d chosen not to: he didn’t burn for the power or attention; if he were to run, it would only be because he felt his services were urgently needed, and in his estimation, the need, in previous election years, had not yet been urgent. But now it was. And so he was running, for one reason and one reason only: because he sincerely wanted to help America. 

He, too, was hated. The Washington political establishment—which was far larger and more entrenched than the founders had ever imagined, and accustomed to parlaying its power into wealth in ways that would have made the Founders puke—recognized him as a threat. But millions of middle Americans who’d been ignored by that establishment saw him as a potential champion. 

And indeed, in the greatest upset in U.S. political history, he won. And he proved to be everything he promised to be, and more—a master administrator with a lion’s stamina and the spirit of a true American patriot. 

Although some of his own cabinet members and most of his own party’s members of Congress weren’t in his corner, and although the deep state and the overwhelming majority of journalists, commentators, and academics were working against him, he managed to do a great deal to help ordinary Americans. Even after a months-long worldwide health crisis, he’s on track to do so again. Is it possible, coming in the wake of so many lousy two-term presidents, he won’t be given the chance to complete the job?

What Is at Stake

I keep thinking Biden is unelectable. He’s senile. Even before he was senile, he was a dim bulb. And he’s at least as corrupt as the Clintons. Does he really stand a chance of winning? Can Trump Derangement Syndrome be that virulent? 

And how can even a passionate Trump-hater not appreciate Trump’s record and recognize what a Biden victory would mean? How can a voter who really loves his country not see that this isn’t about Trump; it’s about America, the last best hope of civilization? It’s about the survival or extinction of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s about preventing the victory of a cynical, arrogant cabal of coastal elites who crave raw power and who have no regard for truth or justice or constitutional liberties or the lives of the mass of Americans. 

Simply put, it’s about freedom. For two and a half centuries, America showed the world how to be free. Our Constitution was the template for dozens of others. We fought wars to free the slaves and to save other free countries from fascism and Communism. But now self-identified socialists, many of whom should more properly be called Communists, have taken over the Democratic Party and may be poised to win the presidential election because the fabled “soccer moms,” now knowns as “suburban housewives,” don’t like Donald Trump’s personality. 

It’s like kicking Churchill out during World War II because he smoked cigars. 

If Biden wins, socialism will win. Which means the great American experiment, modern democracy, the individual freedom that is the cornerstone of Western civilization, will, at the very least, face an existential crisis. 

Living in Norway the past 20 years, I’ve spent much of my time writing about the ongoing Islamization of Europe and urging stateside readers not to let the same thing happen to America. Until recently I took it for granted that Islam represented the major threat to American freedom. Yet it’s clear now that while Islam is a part of the threat—in the form of people like Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and women’s march leader, Linda Sarsour—they’re only part of a larger movement, a “red-green” alliance between Islam and the far Left.  

Dreaming of a Biden Victory

It’s also clear that Biden is the frontman for that alliance. Hence I keep thinking that the only person who could vote for Biden would have to be either a low-information voter, a low-IQ voter, or an enemy of freedom who longs for America’s destruction. But then I read somebody like Andrew Sullivan, who is none of these things, but who nonetheless, to quote the title of one of his recent blog posts, is “Dreaming Of A Landslide.” Namely, a Biden landslide. This, he wrote, “is what this country so desperately needs.”

Sullivan supported this claim by making a series of statements that had no connection whatsoever to reality. Trump, he wrote, is “reality-defying,” while Biden would fix the economy. This about a president who has pursued real-world solutions that sent the economy soaring, and an opponent who’s signed on to socialist programs that would send us hurtling toward Venezuela territory. 

Trump, charged Sullivan, is “seriously sick and unstable.” In fact, Trump is hardy as a bull and crazy like a fox, while Biden is feeble in both body and mind. Sullivan speaks of “the Trump era” of nihilism, tribalism, and cruelty, when it’s the Democrats who support anarchic street riots, victim-group labeling, and vicious cancel culture; and he accuses Trump of “spiraling racial polarization,” which is, in fact, the fault of Sullivan’s hero, Barack Obama (who actively sought to exacerbate racial tensions) and of the media (which, as one non-P.C. broadcaster noted on Election Night 2016, “can’t stop pitting white people and black people against each other”). 

Finally, Sullivan says that a President Biden would be “a kind of Adenauer figure, a bridge from past to future rooted in a stable center.” This about a man who refuses to condemn Antifa and BLM, who won’t answer questions about court-packing, who endorsed the Green New Deal before furiously backpedaling in the first debate, who signed a pact with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and who picked as his running mate the furthest left member of the Senate. 

Meanwhile, what does Sullivan have to say about the millions that the Biden family has received from China and Ukraine? Or about Biden’s involvement in Obama and Hillary’s coup attempt? Nada. 

Hope?

Throughout the Obama era, Sullivan treated Obama as a god. For Sullivan, Obama transcended politics. Repeatedly, blog items about Obama ended with the words “Know hope.” Meaning what? Apparently, that readers should have faith that Obama, slings and arrows notwithstanding, would ultimately deliver them to the Promised Land. This wasn’t political commentary; it was preaching. 

In any case, those words are back. Sullivan’s post about a Biden landslide ends with the words “Know hope.” And under the circumstances, it sounds more absurd than ever. The other day, in the middle of a speech, Biden couldn’t remember the name of Mitt Romney, instead referring to him as “the senator who was a Mormon, the governor, OK?”

Know hope! 

On the same day, and not for the first time, Biden told an audience that he was running for the Senate. 

Know hope!

Keep in mind that the reason Sullivan had to restart his blog was that cancel culture robbed him of his lucrative weekly New York magazine gig. Though he still calls himself a conservative, he’s a liberal, but he wasn’t near woke enough for many of the staffers at New York. “They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media,” he wrote after his ouster, “that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space.” 

He’s right. Yet to dream of a Biden victory is to dream of an America increasingly under the thumb of these people. Surely Sullivan realizes this. 

For heaven’s sake, he’s originally from the U.K. and is certainly aware that the British Left has eroded freedom of speech to a point where thousands are detained annually, and hundreds imprisoned, simply for expressing the wrong opinions online. Sullivan has to know that under a Biden—and then Harris—Administration, America would head down the same road. Sullivan can’t possibly want that. 

What, then, is going on here? Not just with Sullivan, but with other reasonably smart, well-informed people who don’t love Antifa and BLM but who nonetheless support Biden over Trump?

Sullivan claims to love the United States; he’s made a career of pontificating about American politics. But he’s never understood, respected, or cared about America west of the Provincetown-New York-Washington corridor or east of West Hollywood and the Castro. This indifference—or worse—toward the people whom Hillary calls the “deplorables” (as manifested in, for example, his instant, visceral contempt for Sarah Palin) is something Sullivan shares with millions of Americans whose image of themselves as relatively well-educated, sophisticated types is intimately bound up with their support for the Democratic Party and their disdain for the red-cap brigade. 

The perverse strength of this political loyalty in the face of Biden’s feebleness and Trump’s accomplishments only goes to show just how central it is to these people’s identity. By voting for Biden, they’ll be selling out America’s freedom and America’s economy, but they’ll be keeping intact their images of themselves as—well, perhaps not the crème de la crème, but at least as folks who are a rung or two up the ladder from the rabble. 

In any event, that’s the closest I can come, two weeks before the most consequential election of our time, to comprehending the well-nigh incomprehensible. 

About Bruce Bawer

Bruce Bawer is the author of While Europe Slept, Surrender, and The Victims' Revolution. His novel The Alhambra was published in 2017.

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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13 responses to “Reactionaries Against America’s Heartland”

  1. Buck up Mr. Bawer. The Lord God of Israel set us here at this place in time and space for a reason. We’re American’s; no matter what happens on November 4, or the following weeks, we have the fight of our lives ahead of us and an opportunity to win for ourselves the vaunted title “American”. American’s go down fighting. No matter what happens, we stand and fight. In the end, our side wins no matter what. Either we win, lose and find ourselves in Heaven, or Jesus comes back with a sword to sever the sky and punish the wicked.

    • Jealous, lying generals to Lincoln: ‘Grant is drinking again.’ Lincoln: ‘He fights.’

      NO! We don’t lose to them under ANY circumstances. They’re scum- we win, they lose. And, yes, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will see to it. MAGA, Lord. Amen.

  2. Don’t they see all of Trump’s accomplishments?

    Of course they do. They hate them. They hate us. They hate the country.

    Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class
    By Michael Voslensky
    Reviewed By John C. Campbell
    Winter 1984/85

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1984-12-01/nomenklatura-soviet-ruling-class
    A clinical dissection of the Soviet system, in which a group of managers and bureaucrats (some 1.5 percent of the population) are engaged in ceaseless political maneuvering among themselves while maintaining total power, as a privileged class, over all the others. The author, who left the Soviet Union in 1977, follows his argument to its logical conclusion: the impossibility of basic change, either toward liberalization of the internal order or toward modification of an aggressive foreign policy.

  3. Simple answer. They don’t love America. They love socialism or tribalism.

  4. We got her because we didn’t wipe out the Leftist cancer in this country a century ago, and we have refused to confront its anti-American agenda head on for so long that it has become entrenched. Removing it will be far more difficult and bloodier if our ancestors had dealt with it when it was new.

    • As someone said “You can vote your way into socialism but you have to shoot your way out”

  5. “Sullivan says that a President Biden would be ‘a kind of Adenauer figure, a bridge from past to future rooted in a stable center.’ ” No. No. When Konrad Adenauer became Chancellor of West Germany he was only 73 while Biden will be 78 on January 20, 2021. The proper analogy is that of Paul von Hindenburg who was almost 78 when he became President of the Weimar Republic. And he was NOT a bridge to a “future rooted in a stable center”.

  6. *having earned his billions as one of the canniest figures in the American business world.”

    He inherited at least $400 billion dollars from his Dad. And he has consistently failed in business and squandered that family fortune. He’s considered a joke among real estate agents in NY. His one area of professional success was self promotion.

    “he didn’t burn for the power or attention”…. “because he sincerely wanted to help America.”

    You are completely divorced from reality. Attention is literally the very thing he burns for. It’s all he’s ever burned for. Can you really not see this when he speaks?

    Fyi, I’m not a liberal. Or a conservative. Which is why I’m capable of making an honest assessment of this man. You have to at least see that your judgement here is suspect because of your bias?

  7. Being a more conservative person who also happens to be gay, I had always found Bawer’s older writings on the contradictions of the gay far left to ring true (and they continue to ring true now). However, to see that Bawer has plummeted to lowest level of rationalizations to support the present incumbent gives me pause. To regard a person like Trump as “the last best hope for civilization” — a man who embraced crime all his life; and who flouted the law in any and every conceivable way for his own personal gain; and who embraced lying, deception and fraud as a legitimate way of life and of doing buisness — is nothing less than utterly psychotic (defined as a complete divorce from reality). Indeed, Trump made his position on the present COVID-19 crisis clear in the the debate this past week, that he is quite willing to see more American lives sacrificed for sake of restoring business. I am reminded of Christ’s words (cf. Gospel of John 8:44) where condemns the hypocrites of his day as having the devil as their father, “a murderer from the beginning … and the father of lies.” Sorry, Bruce, but your thinking represents conservatism gone berserk.

  8. Apparently “the last best hope of civilization” is a plutocracy that jails more people than China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

  9. Biden = No Hope.

    Whenever I start to doubt the election outcome, I remind myself of the tens of thousands standing in line to get into Trump rallies, and the hundreds and hundreds of spontaneous Trump parades – cars, trucks, boats, even Amish buggy parades – all across the country, attended by joyful throngs of flag-waving Trump supporters.

    And then I think of the sad, lackluster Biden “events” in empty parking lots and weedy backyards. Even Obama couldn’t gin up more than a handful of dispirited Democrats when he finally roused himself to appear on Biden’s behalf this week. He looked liked a washed-up street preacher, absurdly bellowing into a megaphone at a few dozen mask-wearing props.

    • Sotto, the reason for Biden’s “lackluster” events is the effort to maintain a relatively safe environment for those present, with social distancing. So naturally, this will result in a smaller number of people in a given space. This does not translate to poor support for Biden. Trump, on the other hand, shows disdain for people’s safety. True to his severe narcissism, Trump sees his constituents as utilitarian. For Trump, people are valuable to him, only to the extent that they are useful. When no longer useful, he dumps them. Hence, the shoulder-to-shoulder, tightly packed crowds at his rallies, most of whom were not using masks or other protection equipment, all to present the illusion that his campaign is flourishing. Trump doesn’t care if they get sick or die. Mark my words, if Trump loses this election, he’ll turn his back on anyone who supported him, blaming them for not working hard enough for him, or for being weak in their support, etc. He will never admit it was his errors, failings or fault. While I am not excited or enthusiastic about Biden, he does show respect and compassion for people, a respect and compassion that is sadly missing in the Repulican Party in its current incarnation.

  10. Whenever I start to doubt the election outcome, I think of the tens of thousands who have lined up to attend Trump rallies. And the hundreds and hundreds of spontaneous boat, truck, motorcycle and even Amish buggy parades eagerly attended by joyful throngs of Trump supporters.

    Contrast that to Biden’s lackluster “events” held in empty parking lots and weedy backyards, where campaign workers outnumber the attendees. Even Obama couldn’t raise a crowd when he finally roused him