by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There are a lot of ways to analyze an address like the one Joe Biden gave last week from the steps of Independence Hall. One can view it from the perspective of its insane optics (the weird lighting and blood-red background call to mind Dante’s “Inferno”) to its inherently contradictory language (calling for unity while also calling half the country a “threat … to the very soul” of America).
But there is another, more practical matter: How does Biden expect this to end? Does he really think that using the office of the president to re-christen an entire group of Americans as extremists whose existence “threatens the very foundations of our republic” will somehow compel them to see the light, as it were? To step out of their red-colored haze, and vote Democrat? To suddenly reconsider the Senate run of failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin or to pour one out for future MSNBC contributor Liz Cheney?
Or by summoning the same language used to justify suppressing the speech rights of Americans in World War I, is he laying the predicate for something much darker?
One of the features of our current political realignment is the retrenchment of the so-called “elite” class into an intractable monolith: The people who sit atop our political, cultural, corporate media, and educational institutions all share the same exact values. They almost uniformly vote Democrat, they engage in ritualistic and performative displays of wokeness, they believe words are violence, and that there is no bigger threat to Our Democracy™ than Donald Trump voters.
When viewed through this lens, Biden’s speech takes on a much more pointed aim: a not-so-subtle directive to the oligarchy and the Democratic courtier class that “MAGA Republicans” are not just the embarrassing, demented, idiot rubes they are forced to share a country with. They are now officially the out-group — a rogue, extremist danger to themselves and others — and should be treated as such.