If Joe Biden loses the presidential election tomorrow, he will not have any shortage of people to blame.
The first culprit will be himself. Why did he do it? Why did he run? There are some vigorous 78-year-olds. Joe Biden is not among them. Physically, he’s ready for a nice cup of Ovaltine, not the Oval Office. In the matter of stamina, it is unfair to measure most people against Donald Trump. The man is a machine. As Ann Althouse pointed out, the President visited five states yesterday, covering about 3,000 miles. Joe traveled to two quiet events in one state some 30 miles from his home. William Blake was on to something when he observed that ‘Energy is eternal delight.’ Joe Biden is a faltering battery, a flaccid string. Donald Trump is a dynamo.
Then there is the cognitive side of things. As I have often observed in these pages and elsewhere, allowing Joe Biden to run for president is a form of elder abuse. He is not up to it physically. And he really not up to it mentally. The man can barely get a coherent sentence out. He is often confused and disoriented. Look at his eyes. That look of haunted vacancy is not going away. It will, alas, only deepen and darken.
The second culprit in Joe’s loss tomorrow will be Donald Trump. His high-octane campaign rang rings around the shuffling, slipper-shod performance of Joe Biden. For weeks now, the President has been jetting around the country to address wildly enthusiastic crowds of 20,000, 30,000 supporters, sometimes more. According to some estimates 57,000 people showed up for a rally at the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport on Saturday.
Nor is Trump’s electoral potency matter of style alone. The enthusiasm gap between Trump and Biden is vast, it is true, and it spans two separate distances: the enthusiasm and energy of the men themselves, and the enthusiasm and energy of their supporters. Trump’s supporters cheer and dance and applaud their candidate. Biden’s supporters boo and hiss and disrupt their candidate’s opponent, toppling statutes, threatening to burn and pillage if they do not get their way.
But the more telling difference in potency is a matter of substance. Donald Trump is essentially an affirmative candidate. He is tireless about telling us what he will do, and then he is tireless about actually doing it. He is running on peace, economic prosperity, expanded opportunity to historically marginalized groups, and everything that can be aggregated under the phrase America First. Joe Biden is running on the assertion that Donald Trump is a terrible man and the coronavirus. Where would the Democrats be in this election without the coronavirus?
The third culprit in Joe’s loss tomorrow is his running mate, Kamala Harris. I believe that we do not yet know the full story of how Harris, the spectacularly unpopular senator from California, was tapped to be Biden’s VP. Perhaps we never will. The whole process by which Biden emerged as his party’s front man is shrouded in mystery, and the mystery includes the behind-the-scenes machinations that resulted in Harris’s elevation. I believe, though I have no proof, that the ticket resulted from the ascension of the hectoring, radical-left flank of the party. They chose Biden as a convenient empty vessel into which they planned to instill the angry socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and others via the instrumentality of Harris.
Be that as it may, I cite Harris as the third culprit in Biden’s loss because she has impatiently let her mask slip. The Biden-Harris ticket was sold under the banner of ‘moderation’. It was always a lie. There is nothing moderate about either one of them, but the word contrasted nicely with Trump’s supposed ‘extremism’, a media confection, to be sure, but one that has been so assiduously repeated and amplified by a compliant press that it has become one of those undislodgeable bits of folklore, untrue but somehow ‘known’ by everyone.
But yesterday, Harris shattered what remained of the meme of moderation with a video posted to her Twitter feed explicitly promoting socialism and explaining that true equality means that ‘we all end up in the same place’. Equality of outcome, that is to say, not just equal opportunity. Karl Marx couldn’t have put it more succinctly.
There’s a big difference between equality and equity. pic.twitter.com/n3XfQyjLNe
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 1, 2020
Contrast that ambition with what James Madison said in Federalist 10. Differences among men are ineradicable, Madison pointed out, and stand as ‘an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests’. It is, he argued, the ‘first object of government’ to protect those differences, which means also to protect the ‘different and unequal faculties of acquiring property’. Schemes for equalizing property are so many preludes to tyranny.
America, the richest, mightiest, most equitable country in world history, was built on that Madisonian affirmation of private property and an unimpeded metabolism of self-interest. Most Americans implicitly understand and cherish that arrangement even if they are unacquainted with the particulars of The Federalist Papers.
Harris and the left flank of the Democratic party would cashier Madison for Marx, replacing the free market engine of prosperity with a top-down leveling of aspiration and achievement. Most Americans reject that stifling ambition. They see that the equality it promises yields an equality of poverty and dispossession, not widely shared prosperity.
A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris, which is a vote for near universal immiseration. I say ‘near universal’, because socialist regimes always make provision for a privileged nomenklatura exempt from the the strictures they enforce upon rest us. Most Americans understand that, too, which is another reason they will vote against Biden-Harris tomorrow and reelect Donald Trump.