09/07/2024 lewrockwell.com  7min 🇬🇧 #252200

The Real Problem With Biden and Trump

By Tom Mullen
 Talks Freedom

July 9, 2024

Winds of uncertainty swirl inside the imperial beltway as prominent Democrats  continue to call on President Biden to abandon his campaign for the presidency due to his now acknowledged cognitive issues. The Atlantic last week went so far as to  call for Biden to resign as president, saying it would "give American democracy its best chance of surviving."

The Democratic Party and the media (but I repeat myself) would have you believe Biden's cognitive issues present America with two grave problems. One, that he is presently unable to fulfill his present duties as president; two, that he will be unable to defeat former President Donald Trump in November and "save democracy" from the candidate who could potentially get the most votes.

Trump supposedly presents a third problem, that being the "danger to democracy" he represents. This despite the fact that we've already lived through four years of Trump being president and "democracy,' at least the way the empire defines it, is alive and well.

None of this is true. The first clue to its falsity is the media saying it. Since Trump first entered politics and at least since 2020, the national media has served as a perfect contraindicator for the truth and the narratives related to the 2024 election are no exception. Biden's incompetence poses no danger to everyday Americans in the present. It will likely matter little for his chances to defeat Donald Trump in the November election, just as it mattered little in 2020.

And no, Donald Trump represents no danger to "democracy," whatever the power elite actually means by that, nor to the republican form of government created by and guaranteed to every state in the union by the U.S. Constitution.

Make no mistake, Biden and Trump are a problem, but not for Americans. They are a problem for the empire. Ultimately, they represent the same problem for the empire, although it would have you believe otherwise.

To understand this, one must put aside civic fairy tales and acknowledge how the American political system really works. The fairy tale says the American system is "a democracy," and the president is elected by a majority vote of the people and directs the federal apparatus according to the "will of the people."

The Congress is also elected by a majority vote of the people in the states and districts therein and writes the laws the president executes and must abide in fulfilling his duties.

That is certainly what the Constitution says, but it is not how the American political system works. Nor has it worked that way for close to a century.

In reality, that system of government was replaced during what Garet Garrett  called "The Revolution Was," referring to the New Deal. The revolution consisted of Congress creating myriad federal agencies to "regulate" the economy and then delegating its legislative power to the unelected bureaucrats comprising those agencies.

At first, the bureaucrats took their direction from the president, drawing praise from both Hitler and Mussolini due to the system's similarity to the fascism that had inspired it. But over time, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The bureaucrats began telling the president what they were going to do instead of the other way around.

Yes, the elected president may still make the final decision on this or that policy. But he makes that decision between two choices presented by the bureaucrats, their Choice A and their Choice B. This is why so little seems to change even when the incumbent party is swept out power in an electoral landslide. Thus, even after the Republican Revolution of 1996 or the election of supposed ubermonster Donald Trump in 2016, nothing really changed. The imperial machine kept grinding on as if there had been no election at all.

After WWII, foreign policy was reconstructed in similar fashion. A national security state was created wherein permanently employed bureaucrats in the State Department, Pentagon, and "intelligence community" assumed the power to direct foreign policy in the same way the administrative state runs domestic policy. Again, the president may make the final decision but it's usually after being presented with a binary choice between two options amenable to the bureaucracy.

"Mr. President, do you want to bomb Syria or merely impose economic sanctions?"

All of this begs an obvious question: if the permanent bureaucracy is really running things, how do either Biden or Trump pose a problem?

They don't pose a problem in terms of their actions. The problem is how they are perceived by the public. Because while voting may not matter all that much, public perception does. The political system must maintain the approval or at least acquiescence of the public. Americans must believe they are governing themselves. This is why the media works so hard to maintain that illusion.

Both Biden and Trump threaten that public perception, albeit for slightly different reasons.

In 2020, Biden worked fine for the empire. Hiding behind Covid restrictions from scrutiny of his already apparent cognitive decline, Biden could appear to the public as a moderate alternative to Trump, win the election, and make no trouble for the bureaucracy once inaugurated. That he was not capable of asserting much authority was a feature, not a bug.

The 2024 version of Biden is entirely different. With no Covid restrictions to hide behind and cognitive decline that has obviously advanced, it is no longer believable even to Democratic voters that he is capable of running the government. That cannot be allowed to stand. Once it is obvious to everyone that the person they elected isn't running things, the public will begin to ask who is? And that is a question the empire can't afford.

Trump also presents a public perception danger. Objectively, he didn't do all that much during his first term. He signed a big tax cut, resulting in more revenue for the federal government. He increased federal spending about twice as fast (even before Covid) as his Democratic predecessor. He used a phony state of emergency to impose tariffs without a vote by Congress. But for the entertaining tweets, his presidency wasn't substantively different from George W. Bush's or Ronald Reagan's.

But what he said and how the public perceived what he said was a different story. That's the real reason he must be destroyed.

The empire can't have a president musing aloud about leaving NATO and asking how average Americans benefit from the alliance. They might start asking themselves the same question. He can't delay funding to Ukraine and possibly interrupt the empire's decades-long proxy war against Russia. What if Americans begin questioning that?

Trump didn't follow through on any of his promises that threatened "the Swamp." He said he'd have troops home from Afghanistan by Christmas 2018. The Swamp yelled at him, and he sent more troops. He said Covid lockdowns would cause more harm than good. The Swamp yelled at him, and he went along, insisting his own name be on the trillions in welfare checks without which lockdowns would have been impossible.

In some cases, Trump stated his intention to do something beneficial to the public, but never got around to actually signing the order and thus allowed the bureaucrats to wiggle out of executing the policy.

Trump is a danger to the empire not because of what he did or is likely to do, but rather what he might make Americans think. And who knows? If reelected, he might actually follow through on something beneficial to Americans at the empire's expense.

This cannot be allowed.

Tom Mullen is the author of  It's the Fed, Stupid and  Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?