Opinion

Joe Biden and his supporters want us to live in perpetual crisis

Biden's ideology is one of perpetual crisis, and progressives have been prepping us to live in a permanent state of crisis for some time.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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A new article in The Atlantic claims that the left will be so messed up and confused if Trump wins that we should vote for Biden just so they don’t freak out. The argument is that the Democrats are fully expecting to win, just like they were last time, and that if they don’t win this time they could really lose their cool.

As a result of their petulant attitude, we should vote for Biden otherwise the Dems might have a massive temper tantrum, says author and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Shadi Hamid. The article posits that the left will be so befuddled when it turns out that the other half of the country doesn’t share their world view that they will suffer a mental collapse and maybe even make things a whole heck of a lot worse.

Hamid compares the two parties, and finds that the fear the Dems have of a Trump win is way worse than any fear the right could or should have with regard to a Joe Biden victory. His reasons is that "Biden is at least marginally more acceptable, ideologically and certainly temperamentally, to Republican voters than Trump is to Democratic voters."

"Trump represents the nativist wing of an already nativist Republican Party," Hamid writes, "so it is understandable that Democrats of any stripe would fear him more. Biden, on the other hand, is a conventional Democrat, representing the center of the Democratic Party. If Biden, of all people, is beyond the pale, then so is half the country."

Putting aside for a moment the concerns that the right has about Biden—he's looking at bit dotty, he doesn't appear to be the one driving his campaign, his party seems so disunified that even if he told people to chill and stop marching around yelling at people they wouldn't—Biden’s ideology is one to fear.

Hamid points it out the terrifying part of that ideology quite clearly. Biden's ideology is one of perpetual crisis, and progressives have been prepping us to live in a permanent state of crisis for some time. When the pandemic swept through the US and inspired Americans to willingly give up their rights in favour of a greater good, they did so with the idea that it would be temporary, that the crisis would pass.

But the crisis drags on—and to prep us for the end of that crisis, the Democrats are feeding us more crises to take COVID-19's place. After George Floyd died in police custody on May 25, the concept that "racism is a public health crisis" entered mainstream consciousness.

Agree with that sentiment or not, the fact of the matter is that once something is a classed as a crisis a different set of expected behaviours come into play. When the house is on fire, for example, it’s okay to kick the door down. When an emergency is at hand, the only thing that's important is survival—that's the rule of a crisis.

We had just learned, as a result of all the contagion-prevention crisis, that a crisis meant closing churches, schools, businesses, telling people they needed to stay inside, depriving people of human touch. We learned from the public health crisis of racism that all those measures enacted to deal with the first crisis were not as important as expressing public, uproarious anger due to the second crisis.

Biden has one more crisis up his sleeve—the climate crisis, and he’s been working to quell that calamity since the 1980s. This crisis seemed to be on the back burner for a little while. Sure, Biden talked about it on his basement broadcast podcast, but we haven’t heard from Greta Thunberg in a while, and it seemed like we had more pressing concerns than giving tax incentives to renewable energy companies.

Now that we have the crisis of massive wildfires burning up the west coast, for which the climate crisis has been blamed, there will surely be a discussion as to restrictive, self-flagellating measures that should be undertaken to mitigate the effects of that crisis, or at least appease it for a little bit while we figure out how to ban plastic straws.

The perpetual crisis cycle, wherein we think that somehow crisis and calamity are the aberration and not the norm, will only lead to the further erosion of civil rights. Civilization is always in crisis. It is how we live with it, how we make a civilization that doesn't crumble everytime we are hit with calamity, and not how we try to hurry up and get back to some utopian normal, that matters most.

Biden, and a left that would be unable to mentally accept an opposition victory, are existing entirely in crisis mode. So long as they believe the house is on fire, they will kick the door down—even if the flames are only in their imagination.

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