The “Fuck Biden” Chants And Signs Are Unethical And Destructive, But That’s The Legacy Of “The Resistance”

fuck-biden-flag

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the Twin Towers’ fall, President Biden was heckled by vocal members of a crowd, and “Fuck Biden” chants broke out at various football games across the nation. As an American and a scholar of the Presidency, I view this development with sadness and worry. As an ethicist, I look upon it as a confirmation of much of my analysis during the Trump administration, and what was tagged on Ethics Alarms as the 2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck. As a critic of what the nation’s progressives and the Democratic Party have devolved into, my reaction is anger tinged with satisfaction. This is what they did to the Presidency. I warned them, as did others with a lot more authority and influence than I, that the harm they were inflicting on the office, the nation and the government might be irreversible and ruinous. They didn’t listen, or, more likely, they didn’t care. All that mattered was their hatred for Donald Trump. Now their President is inheriting the inevitable results of the wreckage from their recklessness.

No, I won’t say “Good!,” but they deserve it.

The Founders planted a lot of the British Monarchy in the Presidency. The holder of the office was intended to be both the symbol of our democracy and our values and the practical embodiment of them. Researching the ethos of the American Presidency decades ago, I found that all authorities agreed on this point: every President, by virtue of holding office, was accorded the inherent respect and credibility accumulated by his predecessors. No matter how flawed the new White House occupant might be, he was instantly imbued with the aura created by Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Eisenhower and others, and in their most idealized form. This phenomenon allowed the office to work. It gave every President a level of intrinsic support that exceeded his popular vote totals, because he became, in effect, a living flag.

The effective (and smart) Presidents realized this, and guarded that aura diligently. When Jimmy Carter, a man elected because the country decided that, after the Watergate trauma, it didn’t want a real President for a while, began doing his common man shtick, sitting down with farmers and construction workers and asking how they would run the country after abandoning the pomp and ceremony of his inaugural parade and walking the route, I told anyone who would listen that he was a fool. “He’s stripping off all his armor,” I told one friend, a Carter admirer. “A President can’t be seen as just like everybody else; he has to act special, because the President has to seem special. Carter was saying, ‘I’m not like Washington and Lincoln!’ He will regret it. He will need that armor, and he’s throwing it away.”

In Donald Trump’s case, the aura, the armor, the respect and deference that the Presidency must have to work was stripped away, by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/mainstream media alliance that set out to undermine and neutralize his Presidency. The damage to the office done by Carter had been substantially repaired by 16 years of two Presidents who knew how to act Presidential (Reagan and Obama), 12 years of the Bushes, who held on to the office’s strengths for dear life, and one disgrace (Clinton), who was charismatic and canny enough to minimize the damage he inflicted on the Presidency. All of that was wiped away by the campaign of hate and debasement heaped on Trump, reaching such a pitch that the Speaker of the House ostentatiously tore up his State of the Union message on live television.

No, Trump didn’t do his part to preserve the dignity of the office, but I doubt it would have made any difference if he had. While the Left was trashing the human flag, the real flag was being showered with disrespect as well. So were the very men whose records of public service provided the Presidency with its symbolic legitimacy, the Founders. Did the vicious Left really believe that treating an elected President as dog-droppings on their metaphorical shoes for four years irrespective of events would not damage the institution of the Presidency for future occupants, including those who met with their favor? If so, their ignorance of our history and our institutions is frightening. If not, their ruthlessness and lack of responsibility is more frightening.

This is why college students saw no reason not to chant “Fuck Joe Biden” yesterday.

13 thoughts on “The “Fuck Biden” Chants And Signs Are Unethical And Destructive, But That’s The Legacy Of “The Resistance”

  1. When people cannot agree as to what values the American flag represents it stands to reason they will give little respect to a living flag.

    All the past deference to the human symbol of America and what it stands or stood for was lost when the electorate saw the presidency only as a means for financial rewards because their guy promised them increased funding.

  2. I saw flag just like that one, probably 15 feel across, being displayed by a nearby property owner as I left the NY air show at Orange airport. The owner and his friends had rigged it up in the back of a pickup truck, then parked the truck right in his yard that fronted the road we patrons had to exit onto. We had to exit single file in our cars, and there was not a car that didn’t see it. Some honked in support, some made a few rude gestures back, etc. The NY state troopers, Orange County sheriff’s deputies, and local cops who were directing traffic didn’t do boo. What were they going to do, tell the owner he couldn’t display his flag on his property? Even if they did, they knew that was a viral video and a lawsuit in the making. Some of them probably also agreed with the owner, since the Democratic Party has ginned up so much anti-police sentiment and forfeited whatever clout it once held with the PBA, FOP, etc. I decided to just turn onto the road and get going. I think Biden was a lousy choice, and those who voted for him made a lousy choice, but I’m not going so far that I’m going to display a vulgar flag with extremely foul language where there are going to be families with kids who either don’t know that kind of talk (yet) or know it but keep it to themselves. Those property owners should be ashamed of the poor example they were setting.

    That said, I don’t see how anyone can say that and have it mean a thing after the last four years and especially last year. There was a time when folks who talked like this, i.e. Dan Savage, who couldn’t finish a sentence without dropping the f-bomb, were considered outliers. Now, political disagreement has become grounds for not just foul language but threats, destruction, and violence. If someone disagrees with you he might throw a Molotov cocktail through your window or come up behind you and try a field goal on your head. What’s more, he’ll feel justified in doing it. For a while Trump was the target, and many seemed to think he was sui generis, and when he was gone, all this crap would stop. Unfortunately, for every dedicated liberal person who was willing to stop, there were two more who just wanted to knock a few heads and at least one more who was a hard-core anarchist or America-hater. In the past these people had to keep a lid on it, or strike and duck, but now their approach is going mainstream, and they don’t WANT to stop. The goal wasn’t just putting a Democrat in the White House, or getting rid of Donald Trump, now they’re looking for other targets..

    I keep coming back to Ireland as the primary example of what happens when revolutionaries get out of control. Michael Collins wanted to sign a peace agreement with the British to end the bloodshed and forestall a full-on invasion. However, all he ultimately bought was his own assassination and the touching off of the Irish Civil War, which killed far more Irishmen than the Black and Tans ever did. There are other examples we can talk about, though: the Germans who’d smuggled Lenin and his minions and their political pestilence into Russia to destabilize it choked when he and his successors talked about Germany being their next target. The Khmers who accepted Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the hopes they would bring peace after a long civil war found themselves being worked to death in the rice paddies, to either be starved over time or clubbed to death with a pick or a hoe for the slightest infraction. Let’s not forget the Cubans who were happy to see Batista gone and took Castro at his word that he was only nationalizing a few key industries, who suddenly found themselves being told at gunpoint that “you work for us now.” Antifa et al are not going to stop now, in fact they want a seat at the governmental table. It won’t stop there, either. Heck, Ted Wheeler actually had the Portland Police do nothing as the Proud Boys and Antifa fought it out.

    Oh, and I forgot one other aspect of the Irish issue. Eventually the Irish Protestants got tired of being shot at, blown up, and worse, and started going after the IRA using the same tactics. I warned that might happen here. Well, looks like the first steps on that path are being taken now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, because I did. I warned what the result of electing this incompetent would be. Maybe America doesn’t want a real president again for a while. Unfortunately, this isn’t the not-as-bad times of the 1970s, when the craziness was retrenching and America was starting to get over the hangover that followed the 1960s. This is a time in which the government is becoming the enemy of a good portion of the people and using its power to crush those who disagree. Most Democratic presidents before this would have said “so far but no farther.” Biden’s handlers, and the objectively tyrannical cadre of Democratic governors and mayors, do not want to go “so far but no farther.” However, they may yet find out what Michael Collins found out the hard way – when you ally with hard-core violent people, they won’t stop wanting to be violent when you do.

    • Well stated.

      I would add the Left really wants to destroy the institutions that have preserved personal liberty. The mask mandate is not about controlling corona virus infections; It is about power and subjugation. The Left will declare (if it hasn’t already) those unvaccinated as untouchables and lesser citizens. There are people in the government who think unvaccinated citizens are not entitled to medical care. Yet, Biden just said this mandates don’t apply to illegal/undocumented/precitizens. How does that bring unity?

      Yesterday, the country memorialized the 20th anniversary of September 11th. Is it ironic that the same people targeted for ouster in Afghanistan are now running the place equipped with approximately $85 billion of our armaments? How does that honor the loss suffered by this nation 20 years ago and the blood, sweat, tears, and treasure sacrificed since then?

      jvb

      • Here is a comment on another blog that relates to this.

        http://reason.com/2021/09/10/cnn-leana-wen-unvaccinated-travel-outdoor-ban/#comment-9096057

        Why do you think no-shit right-wing regimes typically turn out to be like Franco, Suharto, or Pinochet? They know from first-hand experience that the only way to keep leftists from subverting your society is to brutally repress them so they don’t get any kind of foothold within a nation’s social or cultural institutions.

        What’s notable here is that these guys in particular weren’t couped out of office or overthrown in a revolution. Franco died while still charge, and the latter two resigned due to public pressure after several decades of relatively stable leadership.

        At some point, if an actual right-winger takes charge, they are going to be a ruthless dictator who cleans house, and I mean down to the cathedral level. Universities will either stop teaching Marcusian liberation theology or be dissolved, any professors teaching it will be liquidated, campus activists will be sent out to the hinterlands to pick crops and do hard labor, and school boards will be provided with a nationalist curriculum that celebrates the country while damning dialecticism as a subversive, destructive ideology; the music and movie industry will be taxed to the bone for the privilege of distributing here; the Soros open borders types will have their assets frozen and their members’ citizenship and green cards revoked on the premise that anyone who says a country shouldn’t have borders is a traitor looking to bring the country down; neocon pundits will get Epstein’d; Big Tech will be dissolved down to the cubicle level under anti-trust pretenses, using the material on their own servers to damn them; journalists repeating Democratic talking points will be thrown in jail for violating campaign finance laws; psychologists and medical practitioners pushing gender fluidity, especially on kids, will get smacked with human trafficking and federal child abuse violations; corporations will be told to stop pushing woke shit and to bring their manufacturing out of China, or their businesses will be liquidated; the military will be told to focus on war rather than catering to woke shibboleths; the bureaucrats will be told to do their jobs properly or get thrown in jail for sabotage and treason.

        The same cultural messaging and economic/social control apparatus the left is employing right now will get turned on them, and at full-blast. They know this, too, which is why even a gentle, milquetoast Cicero type like Romney is called evil and worse than Hitler.

        There is plenty of good reasons why to oppose this.

        And yet, this reveals the mindset of those who would support “brutally repressing” their political opponents.

        If you give your leadership authority to brutally oppress your opponents, they or their successors may come after you if they perceive that you are a threat to their personal power and privilege.

        But if you believe (rightly or wrongly) that the opposition wants to brutally repress you, the risk that your allies would brutally repress you a few years from now is acceptable compared to the near-certainty that your opponents would brutally repress you this year.

        • Franco’s regime only isn’t sill in power in Spain because his chosen successor, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated in 1973, 2 years before he himself died, and when he knew his time was limited. To have the House of Bourbon retake the throne was a distant second choice. Of course, it also led to more than a few socialist idiots in power, including that America-hating bastard Zapatero, who took his oath of office on the constitution rather than the Bible to stick his finger in the church’s eye and appointed a pregnant woman minister of defense specifically as a great big middle finger to the institution of the military, which he couldn’t stand (she has since died at 46, by the way, #sorrynotsorry). Suharto and Pinochet were honest to goodness tyrants, especially Pinochet, however, the alternatives were no better, and there is a good argument to be made that Allende would have turned Chile into another Cuba.

          The fact is that those who seek power for its own sake, and there are a lot of those in the current Democratic party, not only can’t be trusted not to abuse power, but they seek it precisely so they CAN abuse it. Whether you think your motivations are good or not, it is wrong to repress personal freedom. It is wrong to weaponize crises so you can repress personal freedom. It is wrong to turn law enforcement into de facto political enforcement. It is wrong to manipulate immigration specifically to change the political makeup of key places to your advantage. It is wrong to partner with private industry with the understanding that they act as your proxies to limit free speech you can’t. It is wrong to use violent radicals as a militia. There is not a single leader in history who has sought power for its own sake who hasn’t become tyrannical, and there is not a single regime in history who has engaged in this kind of behavior who did not become tyrannical, and frequently democidal (that’s a government killing its own people indiscriminately as opposed to genocidal, which is targeting a specific race).

          I can tell you right now that a lot of these Democratic mayors would just as soon eliminate those who disagreed with them. Ted Wheeler would just as soon let Antifa kill those he disagreed with or run them out of town. Jenny Durkan showed that she would just as soon abandon the ordinary citizens of Seattle to a de facto self-appointed politburo. The mayor of Newark would just as soon arrest anyone who SAID a wrong thought and turn the City into a de facto East Berlin. The tyrannical mayors of today are the tyrannical governors and senators with crazy ideas of tomorrow (that’s how Bernie Sanders got his start), and the tyrannical governors and crazy senators of tomorrow are the Democratic presidential candidates of the day after tomorrow. You saw this last crop of presidential candidates. Was there a single pro-freedom candidate among them? Do you really want to see Ted Wheeler as governor of Oregon or Bill DeBlasio in the Senate? Do you want to see a Georgia governor Stacey Abrams mounting a serious presidential run in 2028? If not, you better do something.

  3. The President has the bare minimum responsibility currently, imo, to not add further fuel to the fire, but like his predecessor, he can’t seem to stop himself. He’s had quite a few blunders this last month, and, although I’m not a scholar on it, I believe he broke his oath to defend the constitution twice. Once with the housing furlough extension and once with the vaccine mandate. We’re not even 12 months in yet. “Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you say.”

    I don’t see a good outcome from any of this. I think Steve O might be right. The current state of affairs was referred to as a “cold civil war” on a podcast. Might be the best description yet.

  4. I just read an article saying that chanting f*ck joe Biden may be illegal…. This is why I say , f*ck joe Biden. Because he’s turned our country into what looks like China. So yes. Yes.. f*ck joe Biden. We have found something to bring unity back to our nation. The most divisive president deserves this.

    • Did you not read the post you’re commenting on, or just not understand it? Everything you just wrote is irrelevant to the point, and it’s an important one, the essay involved. Joe Biden may deserve such uncivil and inarticulately ugly rhetoric, but the Presidency does not, and treating any President this way harms the institution, the government, the system, and the nation—as the treatment of Donald Trump by “the resistance” demonstrated.

      I don’t know why I bother sometimes, I really don’t…

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