The Perfect Democratic President?

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, May 06, 2023 - 02:20 AM

Authored by Paul Gottfried via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Daniel Henninger, writing in the Wall Street Journal on April 26, properly describes Joe Biden as “the perfect Democratic president.”

President Joe Biden speaks about "building on the small business boom" during National Small Business Week in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on May 1, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

According to Henninger, Biden’s “non-compos” condition should give the “left wing of his party free rein” during his second presidential term, which is exactly what his party wants. A cognitively impaired, not particularly principled figurehead fits the needs of his handlers; and Biden obviously has no interest in doing anything to upset them. He will dutifully get behind his party’s latest woke project and ritualistically attack its Republican opponents as white nationalists, sexists, and homophobes.

Equally significant, Biden is the perfect front figure for an administrative state in which the chief executive provides little more than an ornament: “A beside-the-point president is the best thing that has ever happened to the progressive centralization project. That is why Washington’s Democrats would embrace a Kamala Harris succession.”

What I discern in Henninger’s compelling description of a second Biden term is the outline of my thesis in “After Liberalism” (Princeton, 1999), which is subtitled “Mass Democracy in the Administrative State.” In this work I argue that modern Western regimes are not really about “democracy, that is, meaningful self-rule, of the kind that existed historically in Swiss cantons or in Thomas Jefferson’s concept of popular government. The modern version of democracy is about public administration, in which citizens are called on periodically to give their rulers a stamp of approval through elections (which are now conducted in much of this country without voters having to identify themselves or even appearing in person at a voting precinct).

“Liberal democracies” have also ceased to be “liberal” in any real sense since that term now refers to the actions and policies of governments run by public administrators and their media backers. It’s now considered “liberal” for the state to approve of the sexual mutilation of children, even without parental permission, or to close down opposition speech, if our administrators decide that’s the “liberal” course of action.

There’s also a secular state religion that reigns in most Western countries, and that too dispenses “liberal” teachings. When I wrote “After Liberalism,” that state religion featured a more modest form of diversity than the one that’s now in place. In its more recent form, as taught by the media and academic priesthood, postliberal liberalism has turned woke and now urges discrimination against white people, particularly against heterosexual white males. It also discriminates against devout Christians of all races, in the name of transgendered identity, which represents the newest distillation of liberal orthodoxy.

Political labels are therefore in freefall, and often mean no more than what those who control our lives and consciousness want those terms to signify. Values and rights are also part of the common moral vocabulary, which is shaped through an exercise of will on the part of our “liberal democratic” leaders. Henninger may be actually understating this situation when he observes about policy wonks and social engineers running the Deep State that “their control of the bureaucratic levers today is unprecedented.” Even more ominously, we may now be at a loss trying to figure out how we can reverse this situation. With “passive presidents” like Biden technically at the helm and fronting for woke administrative elites, there’s no real chance of this ever happening. The bureaucratic control that Henninger bewails, unless upended, will likely reach further unprecedented levels.    

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