I apologize to the ghost of Michael Crichton for appropriating the title of one of his best novels for this piece. Sorry, Mike, but it just fits our milieu too well to pass up.
The theme for a Liberty’s Torch piece often comes to me in the middle of reading something from another writer. In this case, the writer was Kurt Schlichter:
Look, no one’s excited about the 25th Amendment putting Kamala Harris in office. The woman is as dumb as a post, which is a vile calumny to useful and honorable posts everywhere. But we can’t have the shaky, skeletal finger of a vacuum-skulled ninny hovering over the big red button. Our press may studiously ignore it, but our enemies see it and they are acting. The Taliban – or, as that goofy clown says, the “Tally-ban” – realized he would not do anything to stop them and we saw what that led to. The Chi Coms are elbowing Taiwan, saying “Hey, there’s your savior – wanna do this the easy way or the hard way?” And that fat Korean guy is firing up the old reactor again.
There’s a lot of fear implicit in that paragraph. There’s also a question of overarching importance. Concerning the “presidency” of Joseph R. Biden, there are only two possibilities:
- He’s the one making the policy decisions for his Administration;
- He isn’t.
That covers the whole Venn diagram, doesn’t it? Now for the question of overarching importance:
The “big red button” image is a venerable, much-used one among those who seek to strike fear into the reader / listener / viewer. But there are other, more plausible things to be feared than a nuclear war. One high on my list is the possibility that the federal executive branch is no longer run, de facto, by the president. One higher still is that it’s no longer run by anyone.
The Twentieth Century taught us to fear dictators: men in command of a mighty engine of oppression and violence, whose minions would go forth to commit whatever infamy he might order. We had a bunch of them to study, each with his own proclivities and record of depredations and slaughters. There are still some with us today. None of the recent ones have yet equaled the horrors of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, or Idi Amin, but the century is young.
Such men and their lunacies are greatly to be feared, doubt it not. But there is something more fearful still, and it might already be upon us: a multitude of dictators operating concurrently, all of them nameless and faceless, none of them accountable to anyone.
That is what a federal executive branch run by no one, Congress indisposed to attempt to discipline it, would mean to Americans.
Of course, with many dictators operating at the same time, each would have only a modest sphere to which to dictate. Each might wield authority over some particular activity or condition. Why, one might dispatch and control the military, while another reigns over the schools. A third might rule on matters of health, while a fourth decides who may and may not fly, board a train, or take a bus. Then a fifth, possibly in collaboration with the others, might see to the suppression of dissidents.
That, plus even more numerous “sub-dictators” free to implement policy as they see fit and be damned to anyone’s conceptions of rights or Constitutional constraints, is what I fear most. For it guarantees endless, variegated oppressions, plus the chaos characteristic of civil war: Samuel Francis’s concept of anarcho-tyranny painted in the brightest colors.
Kurt Schlichter says “Biden must go.” I cannot argue the point. But what if Biden isn’t in charge? What if no one is? How could we know – and what could we do about it were we to discover it?
A single, isolable dictator can be targeted and destroyed far more easily than a diffuse engine of tyranny with thousands or millions of components, none of which can be confidently named. To those who have scoffed at the “deep state” we in the Right have decried: Take heed. For whatever your particular occupation, avocation, pastime, or personal pleasure, there’s a federal micro-dictator whose hegemony it is – and he’s far more likely to find you than you are to find him.
But do have a nice day.
Trump is an example of a very weak President who could not control his own White House staff. Bolton and Pompeo repeatedly vetoed Trump initiatives in Korea and Syria. LtC Vindman let the cat out of the bag when he testified that President’s do not have the authority to set foreign policy, that that authority was vested in the bureaucracy.
It is doubtful that any President since Eisenhower had been able to control the Executive Branch or the military and intelligence services. You don’t even have to appeal to malice. Those organizations have just become too big for anyone to know what the bureaucrats are doing.
Biden’s growing dementia just makes obvious was has been true for decades.
Your approach this morning seems much off your beaten path. Inspiring. You rarely address phantoms, but when the circumstance require them, what other abstraction fits?
Sadly, those you advise to pay heed long ago impressed me at how likely they are to end life still believing in the institutions that turned on them. (Cf. Solzhenitsyn’s accounting.)
“But what if Biden isn’t in charge? What if no one is? How could we know – and what could we do about it were we to discover it?”
Which is why unless he’s dead – and dies in a public place – he will never go. Because once Cameltoe is installed… nothing will change. That is simply too obvious to the Normies on both sides of the aisle. Therefore, the show must go on at any cost.
We live under the pall of of the ghost of Wilson in his post-stroke days; but this time, rather than being propped up by one, our Wilson is propped up by hundreds.
Your insight is powerful. I have a gut-feel that the “sub-dictator” situation is closer to reality and explains a great deal.
I think the last administration that had any type of reasonably good control over the Federal Government was FDR in the 30’s but it began to dissipate once WWII started. Harry Truman saw it. “He’ll sit here,” Truman said of Eisenhower, “and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike — it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.”
Unlike the ruthless single strongman (Stalin, Mao, and the like) and their huge body-counts, the sub-dictators and their minions have weaknesses: an interdependence on each other and a singular lack of an inherent ability to directly impact the physical world.
That makes things more ‘sporting’ as then a divide-and-conquer strategy could start to open the flood-gates to take back our country. Information is the coin of the realm here. Control of which the Left has a strong position, but not overwhelming…yet. The ability to type a comment on this page and and provide modest support by purchasing your books and direct donations remains.
I would hazard a guess that control of information is even more important than control of the military, at least as far as domestic concerns go.
After thinking about it a bit, I don’t worry so much about a military dictatorship. The country is too big and too diverse. The American military was and is so powerful because it is backed by the American economy. Its overwhelming power is utterly dependent on a vast and deep supply chain which, in turn, is predominately made up of citizens who more than likely than not are our type of people.
That means the CIA, DIA and other Three-Letter Agencies hold the reins. No surprise there.
Fran, and you, may be right that there IS no one in charge at the top (which may have contributed to Trump’s failures – he was not used to a decentralized organization that actively opposed his directives, and could not be fired.
However, we CAN use several legal, but underhanded moves:
Make them live up to all of their petty little regulations – disability rights, environmental perfection, ‘hate crimes’, strictly ‘working to the rule’, constant complaints (in writing, with official grievances on official forms), and asking for clarification and to put things in writing. Object to any order, even if you intend to comply – eventually.
Take your kids out of their hands. Use a credential/curriculum that has already been tested (you don’t actually have to FOLLOW it, just do the minimum you have to, in order to get them off your back). You can supplement with what I would call a Freedom Curriculum – teaching your kids about their rights, founding documents, and other things that were meant to protect their status as a citizen, not a subject.
Engage in what Donald Segretti – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Segretti – called rat-f**king. Those would be the petty little acts of political sabotage that enrage these kind of tyrants. Spread rumors (orally, and not when you’re being recorded). Jane Marple explained how it is done (from A Caribbean Mystery):
““Who put the rumour about?”
“I’ve tried to find out—with no success—It’s been too cleverly done. A says ‘I think B told me’—B, asked, says ‘No, I didn’t say so but I do remember C mentioning it one day.’ C says ‘Several people talked about it—one of them, I think, was A.’ And there we are, back again.”
“Someone was clever?”
Long past time to defenestrate the Mandarin class.
I’ve been wondering the same thing lately. It was easy enough to attribute actions of the Democratic Party in the last decade or so to some cabal, but that fails the “who benefits?” test. Too much of what they’re doing, attempting, or raving out isn’t benefiting anyone I can identify, and a lot of it is the political equivalent of shooting themselves in the foot.
It could be masterful misdirection, but I’m beginning to think they really *are* dumb as rocks. And that might be even scarier than a cabal; at least a cabal would presumably have a purpose.
Follow up: At 8:30 of https://billwhittle.com/quarantine-college-fun-ban-vaccinate-lock-down-double-mask-stay-out-of-town/, Bill Whittle could easily have cribbed what you said, although heaping more ridicule of suddenly discovered hubris amongst the bureaucratic “nobility.” Enjoy.
I have to say, I think you’re right. Diffuse power held in one “ office”, ie., the executive, means that no one person is in control and therefore nobody can be held accountable. Nearly any of this executive branch “committee” could be replaced at any time and absolutely nothing would change.