The greatest orator since…Ogabe?
While he was delivering his address, I was so focused on the question of the day—would he get through it without zoning out?—that I barely noticed how vapid and mendacious the speech itself was.
But it was both of those things, in spades—vapid and mendacious.
It was ironic to find oneself listening to such a piece of drivel after four years during which the media told us, repeatedly, that Donald Trump spoke at the level of a middle schooler—and spoke too roughly and bluntly, in a style that was scandalously “unpresidential.”
After the speech, Biden and Harris drove out to Arlington National Cemetery. Why wait till the last minute? I wondered whether she was bringing along a shovel.
But back to the speech. Reportedly composed in part by Jon Meacham, that slick operator, it was delivered by a wraithlike figure who may or may not have been fully aware of what he was saying as he read the words off his teleprompter. All in all, a dispiriting and rather creepy experience. But the media, after four years of depicting Trump as a semi-literate Satan, felt obliged to celebrate Biden as a silver-tongued saint.
Chris Wallace of Fox News called it “the best inaugural address I ever heard.” George Stephanopoulos of ABC said it was “powerful.” On CNN, Van Jones proclaimed that “there was not one part of that that wasn’t just medicine in the wound…Joe Biden is going to train us to see the world differently.”
Ridiculous, all of it, needless to say, although that last bit from Jones brushed up against a certain unsettling truth. First, note that Jones’ vision was right out of scripture: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelations 21:1). And don’t forget St. Paul: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). All of which fits neatly into the new practice of treating Biden as quasi-divine.
No, Biden can’t train us to see the world anew. But with enough power, he and his party, which now controls both houses of Congress, may well be able to compel a great many of us to pretend, at least, out of a sense of self-preservation, to see the world through a new set of eyes—in short, to parrot obediently the brave new gospel of critical race theory, white supremacy, gender fluidity, and so on. Lies, all of them, but refuse to subscribe to them and you’ll risk being branded an enemy of the truth.
The addle-pated Rapist In Thief won’t be “training” me to do a goddamned thing, neither jack nor shit, no matter how unctuously he urges his Brave New World on me. He is not my President, and his “America” is not my country. They can both burn in Hell for a thousand years for all me, and their miscellaneous and sundry brigades of orcs right along with ’em.