In his farewell address, George Washington famously warned the American people to temper the passions of faction. Washington and the Founders had, against all odds, thrown off the yoke of tyranny and, through very difficult labor, constructed a government based on the principles of republican liberty. The Americans occupied a big, beautiful country, rich in natural advantages; with “slight shades of difference,” the American people had “the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles,” Washington wrote.
But Washington was vigilant about forces of disunion tearing the new republic apart. The spirit of faction is “inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind,” and in governments “of the popular form,” that is, democracies, “it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.”
“Rankness” is just the word to describe the quality of Biden’s speech on “democracy” near Valley Forge on Friday. (Of note, Washington did not use the word “democracy” once in his Farewell Address, nor does the phrase “our democracy” make an appearance.)
Commemorating January 6 with breathless bombast has become an annual tradition for the left, but Biden’s Valley Forge rant was his most aggressive and audacious performance yet.
The president who has unleashed a massive, hostile, utterly unsustainable invasion of the southern border, whose FBI has raided the homes of political opponents and opposition journalists, whose government has censored “disinformation” on the internet, whose party is, at this moment, trying to have Donald Trump jailed and removed from the ballot, portrayed himself as a champion of the Constitution, freedom, and “democracy.” And he did it by tying himself to one of this nation’s greatest heroes.
It was a dishonorable display of hatred, hypocrisy, and raw political ambition.
“We nearly lost it all,” Biden said, looking back on the Capitol “insurrection.”
How many Americans believe that we “nearly lost it all” on January 6? If it were obvious, Biden would not have to keep repeating it.
“We’re living in an era where a determined minority is doing everything in its power to destroy democracy for their own agenda,” Biden said.
Was Biden talking about Trump or the unelected bureaucrats trying to put their thumbs on the scale to stop him from winning the next election?
Trump doesn’t believe in civility, Biden said; he understands politics as an “all-out war.”
Was it Trump who created the present hostilities? Or was it the left that went insane in 2016 and weaponized U.S. intelligence against Trump with the “Russian collusion” conspiracy theory? What about the summer of political violence—the most destructive season of rioting in American history—that Biden and his allies stoked before January 6? Was that Trump’s doing also?
Trump calls his opponents vermin, Biden said, moments before lashing out at 1,200 Americans whom Biden described contemptuously as “insurrectionists.” Biden neglected to mention that the majority of them have been charged with non-violent offenses, but that didn’t stop him from bragging about the collective 840 years in prison they have received.
Washington was not, like Thomas Jefferson, some libertarian radical. But he would readily recognize Biden’s regime as a monstrous innovation, and he would have no trouble seeing in Biden a pretender and a demagogue—in other words, just the kind of ruler the carefully designed Constitution was meant to bar from power.
Washington is celebrated for his manly courage, his selfless patriotism, and his mild, benevolent mind. Biden, on the very day of his Valley Forge harangue, blasted the Supreme Court as illegitimate.
The Founders believed in checks and balances. They also feared standing armies as a force of despotism.
Biden regularly jokes about the superiority of the U.S. military against an armed citizenry, often quoting, mockingly, Jefferson’s famous saying on refreshing the tree of liberty with the “blood of patriots and tyrants.” The Founders, and Washington famously so, were skeptical of foreign entanglements. Biden bullies Americans to support “democracy” in Ukraine, a country Biden has personal financial ties with, while he leaves America’s own borders open to attack.
The so-called border crisis is not an accident but a perverse feature of Biden’s peculiar idea of “democracy.” Biden’s government is explicitly anti-white, guided by, above all, the principle of “equity,” which connotes racial revenge and redistribution of wealth. There is no need for a belabored discussion to show how far removed this is from the ideas of the Anglo-Saxon Founders, for whom the right to property was sacrosanct.
Biden’s “democracy” has no guilty conscience about replacing the people through mass immigration, or taking their wealth, or censoring their speech, or treating protesters like terrorists, or weaponizing the law against political opponents. For Biden, these are all legitimate means of advancing the cause of “freedom,” which is limited to things like abortion and pumping children with hormone blockers. Biden’s “liberty” is what the Founders called “licentiousness,” an intemperate, tyrannical passion.
By laying claim to Washington and Valley Forge, Biden is trying to justify his partisan lust for power as a continuation of the Founders’ noble struggle for independence. He is only half-right: democracy is on the ballot, but you won’t find it next to his name.