by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 6, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1441)
Under ordinary circumstances, any party that nominated an oily, corrupt mediocrity like Joe Biden as its presidential candidate would be committing political suicide. But these are no ordinary circumstances. Biden’s opponent, incumbent president Donald Trump, is not only intellectually sub-par, but also has character flaws big enough to drive an oil tanker through.
Indeed, the term “character flaws” may be euphemism for outright mental illness. Since 2017 the psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee has mobilized thousands of mental health professionals urgently demanding that Trump undergo a thorough mental health examination focusing on the likelihood that the president is suffering from pathological narcissism and antisocial personality disorder.
But Biden, too, may need to have his head examined. The former vice-president has stated that 150 million Americans have died from guns and 120 million from COVID-19. When quoting the Declaration of Independence, he couldn’t remember the word God: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: All men and women created by the [pause, consternation, hands waving] go, you know, you know, the thing.” No wonder Biden said on June 30 that he had been “tested, and am being constantly tested” for cognitive decline. He has subsequently been unable or unwilling to recall any details about that “constant” testing.
Trump responded by bragging that he had “aced” the MOCA cognitive test by correctly identifying a picture of an elephant, drawing hands on a clock to show “eleven o’clock,” and so on: “I proved I was all there. I aced it! I aced the test! And he (Biden) should take the very same test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors. And they were very surprised. They said ‘that’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.’”
The spectacle of two such unattractive, unimpressive, creepily narcissistic characters vying for the USA’s highest office perfectly symbolizes the decadence and decline of American empire. Obviously neither a Trump nor a Biden presidency will stem that decline. But are the policy orientations of the two men, and the advisors surrounding them, markedly different? Will the US and the world be a different place depending on who wins the election? Will the decline of the American empire happen in a kinder and gentler way if one or the other party governs?
Internally, the United States is suffering from ever-increasing inequality compounded by racial, ethnic, and ideological strife. Trump won the presidency by harping on two key contributors to rising inequality: The export of American manufacturing jobs, and immigration driving wages down. He appealed to working-class whites who remember the “good old days” when a high-school dropout father could easily support a large family, and maintain a middleclass standard of living, by working in a factory or driving a truck. Trump blamed immigrants, Hispanics, China, globalization, Muslims, and other handy scapegoats for the decline of working-class wages, and vowed to “make America great again” by walling off immigration and waging trade war on China.
Though Trump slowed immigration marginally and exacted minor trade concessions from China, he didn’t succeed in stemming the inequality epidemic. On the contrary, he made it worse thanks to lavish giveaways to the rich. Even so, Trump might have easily won re-election had the economy remained strong. Unfortunately for Trump, the ballooning debt bubble was popped by COVID-19, resulting in unprecedented economic devastation.
Trump’s erratic, barely-coherent foreign policy has been marked by relative moderation in the US conflict with Russia, accelerating hostility to China and Iran, and abject submission to the extremist lunacy of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Zionist Entity. Meanwhile, US imperial authority is waning worldwide, thanks in part to Trump’s personal defects, which have shocked and alienated much of the world.
How much would any of this change under a Biden regime?
Though most Democratic voters support the inequality-busting policy proposals of Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden represents the party’s billionaire wing which fears and loathes those proposals. If elected, Biden will probably preside over the continuing transfer of wealth to the rich while the average American’s living standards continue to decline. Unlike Trump, Biden will not blame domestic minorities. But he may try to channel the rising anger of frustrated Americans toward hostilities with Russia and China. And unlike Trump and Obama, Biden would be unlikely to offer even token resistance to the malevolent advice of warmongering Deep State advisors.
Would Biden break with the ultra-Zionism of the Trump regime? Not really. Outrageously, Biden has said he will not move the US Embassy out of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. A long-time self-proclaimed Zionist and recipient of huge Israel lobby donations, Biden would undoubtedly resist pressure from the left wing of the Democratic Party to move in a more pro-Palestinian direction. Rather than reversing Trump’s policies, a Biden regime would consolidate the Zionists’ gains, just as Barack Obama consolidated the Zionists’ gains from their 9/11 coup d’état and subsequent wars for Israel.
And though Biden says he will return to the JCPOA (aka the Iran nuclear deal), his language is hostile: “Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal. If it does so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.” In other words, Biden falsely blames Iran, rather than Trump, for reneging on the deal, while promising to “push back” against Iran more “effectively” than Trump has!
Ultimately, both Trump and Biden represent slightly different wings of the same imperial Establishment. Neither evinces any interest in challenging the corrupt interests that rule America: Wall Street and the international bankers, the military-industrial-intelligence complex, and Zionist-linked organized crime. Neither promises to seriously address America’s and the world’s existential problems: the transfer of wealth to the rich, the drift towards world war, ecological crises and the Sixth Great Extinction, the decline in manners and morals accompanying the loss of religion, and the rise of dystopian technologies.
So instead of a serious debate on critically important issues, Americans will be treated to a personality contest between two creepy geriatric narcissists. Those who find Biden more repulsive will pull the lever for Trump, while those who find Trump more repulsive will pull the lever for Biden. For the second presidential election in a row, most Americans will vote against someone they hate, rather than for someone they like.
In 2016, Trump promised that if elected he would send Hillary Clinton to prison. He led huge crowds chanting “lock her up!” In 2020, Democrats, for their part, hope that by voting for Biden they will help ensure that Trump goes straight from the White House to a federal cell block.
Both the “lock her up” Republicans and the “lock him up” Democrats are right. Trump, both Clintons, and Biden, along with most of the rest of America’s ruling establishment, should spend the rest of their lives in prison. (All four of those politicians are war criminals, and all are complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s Israeli Military Intelligence blackmail activities, among other things; while they and the rest of America’s ruling Establishment are complicit in the 9/11 cover-up and much more.) So, if Americans want a modicum of justice, and solutions to the seemingly insurmountable problems they face, they should stop pulling voting machine levers and instead take to the streets chanting “lock them all up!”