We know from interminable experience that the overwhelming majority of men who go into politics are utterly vile. The professional politician – and these days, for all practical purposes there is no other kind – is the lowest sort of man allowed to walk the streets today. Persons we wouldn’t be willing to have at our dinner table infest the halls of power so thickly that men of character are unable to endure the stench. Note in this connection that the “J6” protestors didn’t need to be expelled from the Capitol Building by force. They lingered there briefly. When they’d had all they could stand of the place, they left of their own wills.
But this is the dynamic of politics. In The Road To Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek included a chapter titled “Why the Worst Get On Top,” in which he laid out the dynamic in the starkest possible terms. I’ve written about it sufficiently often that I see no need to explain it afresh.
But if “the worst get on top,” that implies that should we seek to find the very worst, we must look at the very top. And so we must. Today, the worst man in public life occupies the White House: habitual liar, peculator, and fondler of children Joseph Robinette Biden.
Biden’s dementia is on public display these days. While many commentators see that as his biggest demerit, I’ve begun to think that his handlers will soon use it for his exculpation from the worst of his gaffes and misdeeds. What else could they put into service to excuse these two incidents?
Can you think of any rationalization that would serve a man claimed to be in full possession of his mental faculties?
I’m powerfully tempted to call Biden soulless, but the teaching of the Church is that we are our souls, each and all. (Anyway, my pastor would pout at me.) If one cannot excise one’s soul, it might be possible to ignore it, or silence its voice. That voice is called the conscience. In a mentally and emotionally healthy person, it speaks of right and wrong. It poses questions whenever one ponders a course of action:
- Is it righteous?
- Is it prudent?
- Is it possible?
(C. S. Lewis had some harsh things to say about our propensity for evading those questions, but his thoughts concern the mental state of a fully aware, rational human being. That excludes the subject of this tirade.)
Joe Biden dismisses those questions. It’s possible he’s no longer sufficiently aware to do so, but my money’s on his never having regarded them seriously.
If he were sufficiently aware to be fully answerable for his deeds, I’d call him a sociopath.
The distinguishing characteristic of the sociopath is his inability to see others as moral agents with rights of their own. To him, others are merely pieces to be moved about the gameboard of life. A few moments’ thought will suffice to see how that characteristic dovetails with the mindset of the contemporary politician.
He who is willing to manipulate others for his own benefit without regard for their rights or priorities may nevertheless not be able to do so. The top-tier politician must possess an array of skills in the deceptive and manipulative arts. He must also be adroit at evading the negative consequences of his actions, for there will certainly be some. However, evasion won’t always be possible; the prime movers in some villainies are impossible to conceal. What he cannot evade, he must deflect.
Biden has exhibited those skills, though not at the highest levels. He’s needed a lot of help to escape being called to account for his trail of lies. As a Democrat, he’s had the assistance of the media. Yet they are not all-powerful. Biden’s inner guard of handlers and enforcers have had a lot to do these past few decades.
Biden’s record is now too long. There is no possibility of evasion, and deflection, always a problem for the man at the top, has become implausible. How can you blame others for what it’s perfectly plain that you and only you have done? The past three years have provided conclusive evidence; the public won’t accept any more exculpations.
So Biden’s handlers, who are probably all but unanimous that he cannot be permitted another term in the Oval Office, face a stark choice: dementia or sociopathy. Athwart that choice and its implications stands another figure they know cannot serve their interests adequately: Kamala Harris. Biden must continue as president in nomine until January 20, 2025, or the walls of their stolen edifice will come tumbling down on them.
They deserve no sympathy. As for Biden: after what’s been done to us by him and through his purloined powers of office, what sympathy does he deserve?