Nothing surprises me anymore. We are in The Gaslight Era, where misrepresentation, misinformation, and misperception dictate reality. So, when I opened Politico Playbook this past Saturday and read this passage, I simply rolled my eyes, shook my head, and moved on to weekend chores.
“HOW HAS WASHINGTON CHANGED UNDER BIDEN? We asked this question on Wednesday morning, and most of the answers read like sighs of relief over less stress: slowing wrinkles and hairlines that are receding a bit less quickly…’Remember waking up every morning to learn what bats**t crazy tweet had come out of Trump? And what whoppers would be uttered in the White House briefing room? And who would get fired today?’ asks (a) reader.”
But as I chased dust bunnies out from under the bed the absurdity of this sentiment kept playing over and over in my head, like an earworm song from the 70s you can’t un-hear. The reader, Dave, is joined by approximately 50% of the country who allowed themselves to be manipulated into believing the 45th president was — in addition to being the devil incarnate — putting their wellbeing in danger by virtue of “bats**t crazy” tweets.
Let’s put this into perspective. As a media colleague, radio host Bryan Suits, often says during his weekly show about the state of affairs on planet Earth, the world is “melting down.” This is what should keep all of us up at night — in addition to being what we’re afraid to read about in the morning. During Trump, while the U.S. might not have had a reputation for being the most polite and charming guest at the party, the country and the president were known to be formidable and rightly self-interested.
It would seem to me that the global stage has become infinitely more unstable on Joe Biden’s watch. To wit: the national security fiasco at the Southern border. Last week Biden appeared to have a moment of lucidity, finally acknowledging the ‘crisis’ nature of his sui generis calamity. But Monday, the White House walked back the mea culpa.
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscle on Ukraine, reportedly sending 150,000 troops to the shared border. (For those keeping score, this would be an actual Russian interference story.)
Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, in his eternal quest to be Master of the Universe, is making long-predicted moves on Taiwan while warning the U.S. not to “play with fire.” The South China Sea is a resulting hot mess, too. On Sunday, France sent a nuclear sub to the disputed waters.
Meantime, Iran knows it too has a bargaining chip with a pushover president and a few select cabinet members who were part of an administration that seemed eager to please — and not so eager to protect Iran’s stated enemy of Israel. Against the backdrop of diplomatic talks intended to get Iran back into a ‘deal,’ the regime appears to be fast-tracking the development of weapons-grade uranium. As of this writing, they’re at 60%. Ninety percent is the goal; and while it’s an uphill climb, only months ago they were at 20%.
Honorable mentions to Chad, where the U.S. just yanked a bunch of diplomats, due to rebel unrest; and Somalia, where leaders appear to be biting the hands that feed them, by condemning allies’ criticism of a resolution that would extend the president’s term. By golly, it’s a wonder the Abraham Accords, a peace deal never imagined possible, are still in place.
What should keep every patriotic American — of every stripe, solid, or pattern — awake at night is the incessant assault on all of us as individuals and as a sovereign nation. The danger comes from the Chinese Communist Party, the corporatist profiteers, the globalist central planners, and the saturation of Marxist doctrine in every institution in this country. This is no conspiracy theory, as the extremists have made it perfectly clear that they hate individual liberty, free markets, and the peace and prosperity that can thrive only in a lower-case-c capitalist society.
I believe it’s more important to have peace in the form of an absence of war than it is for the easily-offended to have peace of mind. And I’ll leave you with this final thought. By virtue of posing this silly question to readers, I’d argue that Politico did a disservice to those very readers by portraying them as entitled, low on information, and high on maintenance. Perception is reality, and the “reality” these people are creating is bats**t crazy. The world is melting down, but hey, at least Trump isn’t tweeting.
Emily Barsh is a media consultant based in Los Angeles. She says you may troll her on Twitter and Instagram @EmilyTVProducer.