Watching the Democratic Party's national convention, it is readily apparent that those backing Joe Biden's candidacy are hoping that Americans are suffering from collective amnesia. Instead of presenting a substantive program for addressing the crises facing the nation, the speeches were scripted around the theme that the majority of Americans are like lost children, who desperately need a hug from the President, to assure them that everything will be alright, and that the election can be won by eliciting a wave of nostalgia for the "good old days" of the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration. Though not as nasty as Hillary Clinton's enraged quip in 2016 describing Donald Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables," the tone nevertheless betrays a haughty condescension, which typifies the party establishment's attitude toward voters.
Biden was hailed as a "uniter", who will serve as the nation's protector and comforter-in-chief, in contrast to the incumbent, who was repeatedly denounced as lacking "empathy." Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, were described in warm fuzzy tones, as dedicated to decency, caring, empathy and fairness. This message was aimed at securing the votes of women, which comes from polling done to determine how to use "identity politics", honing messages which appeal to sectors of voters, rather than uniting people around a common national mission.
This was the message of Biden's speech accepting the nomination, calling for people to unite behind him, "to overcome this season of darkness."
TRASHING PRESIDENT TRUMP
Speeches were crafted to play upon the apprehension of voters, who are facing a confluence of crises, including the devastation wrought by the COVID19 pandemic, and record unemployment related to the COVID19 lock-down. Millions are losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, they cannot pay rent—but what did Biden offer as an alternative? Cutting through the feel-good rhetoric was one message, delivered especially by Michelle and Barack Obama: Trump is no good, It's all his fault! Even their cheerleaders in the media admitted they dare not present their pro-war, anti-growth agenda, as there is little support for their plans to further degrade America's industrial and agricultural capabilities, tear-up and burn down the cities, and destroy the police forces defending the cities and their citizens.
In the absence of solutions, they are attempting to make the election about "character." Keep in mind, the Democrats have spent most of the last three-and-a-half years smearing Trump as "Putin's puppet", who they claim was elected by Russian meddling; is a bully and a racist; is a liar; and is using the presidency for his personal benefit. That these allegations have been refuted has not stopped them from being repeated obsessively, reinforced by the mainstream media!
The bombastic flatulence had a second intention: to cover up the positive accomplishments of the Trump administration, which have occurred largely through his personal courageous efforts, in combating the criminals opposing him, including the corrupt legions entrenched in the government's "permanent bureaucracy" (i.e., the SWAMP), the bankers and financial swindlers of the City of London and Wall Street, the War Hawks dominant in both parties in the Congress, and the lying propagandists in the mass media.
Michelle Obama, the featured speaker on the opening night, declared that Trump is "unfit to lead the country," decrying his "lack of empathy." This theme was amplified by her husband two nights later, who accused Trump of having "no sense of obligation to the interests" of Americans, and of lacking "reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care." Insisting that Trump "hasn't grown into the job because he can't", Obama accused him of being a danger to "our democracy." He claimed that 170,000 Americans have died because of the "consequences" of Trump's failure to address the pandemic properly, and millions have lost their jobs "while those at the top take in more than ever." He repeated his wife's charge, that Trump lacks "empathy," treating the power of his office as "one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves."
What hypocrisy! Where was Obama's empathy when he met on Tuesdays with his corrupt CIA Director John Brennan to plan drone strikes in the southwest Asia wars they escalated, targeting innocent civilians at weddings, then striking the next day the funerals to bury those they killed the day before? Where was the empathy for the millions of families who lost their homes in the Crash of 2008, when Obama continued George W. Bush's policy of bailing out the speculators, with no aid for the victims of the predatory lending policies of the big banks and their shadow banking collaborators? As for the jobs Obama claims he created, the majority were low-wage, part-time and temporary, meaning that millions of families whose jobs were lost due to the outsourcing of manufacturing done by the Obama administration—continuing the "free trade" policies of G.W. Bush—were plunged into poverty, forced to live precariously from paycheck-to-paycheck, while Obama's billionaire buddies from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Davos increased their fortunes many times over.
As for blaming Trump for the deaths from the Corona pandemic, what of Obama's role in tearing down the public health sector through austerity and privatization? According to figures cited in an Atlantic magazine article, "How the Pandemic Defeated America" (September 2020), more than 55,000 jobs in public health were terminated beginning in 2009 under Obama, whose much-hyped Obamacare plan was a boondoggle for the insurance companies, Big Pharma and for-profit private hospitals, while providing inadequate coverage for the majority forced to purchase it, including imposing deductibles which were too costly for those with serious illness to seek medical help. These layoffs, the closings of hospitals and reduction of hospital beds, and the failure to replenish emergency supplies—all of which accelerated during Obama's presidency—bear much responsibility for the deaths and suffering from the Coronavirus.
WAR HAWKS ON PARADE
There was one area where the true nature of a Biden administration was presented, and that was an unapologetic embrace of the geopolitical doctrine which has kept the U.S. entrapped in unwinnable wars since September 11, 2001. Among the speakers were prominent War Hawks, including Republicans, such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose lies about Iraq's "Weapons of Mass Destruction" at the United Nations in 2003 preceded the destruction of that nation and the rise of ISIS. Biden was prominent among Democrats in the U.S. Senate who backed that war, ridiculing the few Democrats who opposed it.
Among Powell's reasons for supporting Biden is that he "will trust our intelligence community"! While this is a specific reference to President Trump saying he trusts Putin's denial of Russian meddling more than U.S. intelligence officials claims of Russian "hacking" and "interference," it shows that Powell's apology for his lies justifying the Iraq war is fake, and that he and the war hawks of the Bush administration will back Biden as a charter member of the war party.
This was reinforced by a video which featured Cindy McCain, wife of the late Republican Senator John McCain, praising Biden as a close friend and ally of her husband, who to his last day was pushing for more wars, including against Iran, Russia and China, and was a leader of the opposition to Trump's plans to end the permanent wars which McCain championed. Notable among Democratic war mongers was the Party's 2004 nominee, John Kerry, who brought up the New York Times allegation that Russia was paying a bounty to Taliban militants to kill Americans in Afghanistan, saying this shows Trump "won't defend our troops." Kerry's comment ignores the evidence which shows that this story is another example of Fake News, but is typical for Democrats, including the VP nominee Harris, who voted against President Trump's efforts to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Syria.
Trump was also attacked for his willingness to speak with President Putin and Xi, as if cooperation with Russia and China threatens U.S. national security!
WHERE WERE THE "PROGRESSIVES"?
A fake narrative regarding the Democrats is that, under the influence of the Bernie Sanders' campaign and the emergence of radicals such as Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, the Party is moving toward the "left", embracing "Socialism." In fact, at the convention, with the exception of Sanders, who embraced Biden with no mention of his support for "endless wars", nor of his long-time alliance with predatory Wall Street financial institutions which funded the takeover of the party by neoliberal dogmatists, the "leftists" were marginalized, except for the repeated reference to "social justice," by which they meant support for the violence and thuggery against American cities and police departments conducted under the cover of "Black Lives Matter." The anti-growth "Green New Deal", which is the core of Biden's economic and energy policy, was barely mentioned from the stage.
In 2016, two of the most effective issues raised by Trump against Hillary Clinton were her commitment to continue the regime change wars of the Obama-Biden administration, and her alliance with Wall Street in support of the casino economy. The damages inflicted on Americans by the endless wars and the neoliberal deindustrialization policies are at the heart of the discontent of citizens, and provide a huge, inviting target for President Trump over the next seventy-some days until the election.
Biden backed the war and regime change policies of Obama. This included being the point man for the Ukraine coup, in which Biden's efforts for regime change brought Nazi militia units, including the notorious Azov Battalion, into the post-coup government's security forces, and provoked the continuing crisis in eastern Ukraine and the push to extend NATO eastward, to the borders of Russia. Biden likewise collaborated in carrying out the policy of Obama, Hillary and John McCain, that the U.S. should arm and support "moderate rebels" in Syria, a policy which enabled the CIA and U.S. forces to aid the slaughter of civilians by Islamic jihadists there.
Is this an example of Biden's "empathy"?
Including as a speaker the former Republican Governor of Ohio and Congressman John Kasich, an unapologetic defender of austerity and "free market" policies which benefit the super-wealthy, the Biden team was sending a not-so-subtle signal to Wall Street looters that their swindles will be protected if he is elected. This is reinforced by the selection as Vice President of Kamala Harris, who refused to prosecute predatory lenders during her terms as District Attorney in San Francisco and California Attorney General, giving them the ability to continue those practices after the Crash of ´08.
The stage is thus set for the November election: more wars and bailouts, if Biden wins, or an opportunity, by re-electing Trump, for a decisive break with the policy consensus of the post-Cold War period, which has led to the danger of nuclear war, and the collapse of the economy into something worse than bankruptcy. No amount of lip-service about empathy can hide the fact that it is the outlook represented by Biden which poses the greatest threat to America, and the world.