Who’s Actually Running This Thing?
We have achieved what Buckley greatly feared: Not government by the first 2000 names in the Boston phonebook, but government by the faculty of Harvard. This is what an oligarchy looks like.
By Dan Gelernter March 23, 2021
We’ve seen the headlines: Biden holding migrant children in cages. Biden crafts plan to raise taxes. Biden does this, Biden does that. But who is actually doing it?
No one believes that Biden is actually president. Forget for a moment the questions about the election itself, and focus on the man: Biden can’t speak coherently, can’t remember the names of his cabinet members, can’t be trusted to give a live press conference. He says he’s willing to take questions and they turn his feed off. So he’s not in charge. He’s not running the show. He’s not president. Who is?
The American press corps would like to think that it is they; which is why they’re willing to go along with the cover-up. They think they’re the ones running the country. And what exactly would be the difference between the current situation and an official government of the mainstream media? This administration promises to enact, as if by media direction, every single woke prescription and pipe dream. They couldn’t possibly do better if the New York Times editorial board were living in the White House.
An oligarchy is an anti-liberal concept, when you use “liberal” in its classical sense as a philosophy of civil and economic liberty. But oligarchy is also the fondest dream of the modern Left—the social justice, cancel-culture, woke-crusading, anti-liberal Left. These people have never been pleased with the idea of individuals running their own lives. They don’t believe an average person has, frankly, the intelligence to choose his own doctor or take care of his neighbors or pick a school for his children or decide how to spend his own money. They certainly don’t believe the average person is intelligent enough to run the government. And by extension they don’t believe the average person is qualified to choose a national leader.
An oligarchy of unelected officials and ideologues—people who aren’t even politicians and who don’t need to be—gets to wield the real power. The oligarchy gets to wield it just as long as it can maintain the fiction of the Biden Administration. It gets to craft the agenda, the legislation, the words Biden will say. It tells him the words not to say. And if Biden appears too eager to make up his own lines, it can shut off his feed. Biden, essentially, is a prisoner of his own feeble desire to hold the office. He is a man who prefers the form to the substance of power. A prisoner of the people around him: People like his wife, Fake Doctor Biden, who should care about him but who turns out to care rather more about her own access to power.
If anyone in Washington right now does approximate, in substance, the president of the United States, it is not Biden, nor is it even Kamala Harris. It is whoever is in charge of Biden’s agenda. We don’t know this person’s name, of course, but we know he exists—the anonymous figure choosing who Biden sees and to whom he talks, and who controls where Biden goes. This person, whoever he may be, is our president. Hollywood used to make movies about this sort of thing, back when the idea of a government not actually of the people was supposed to be frightening.
And the elites—the nation’s wealthiest, most influential, most self-satisfied and superior people—get to be the proxy cabinet. They are going to show us just how smart they are by doing everything they’ve ever wanted to do. They’ll raise taxes and stop Keystone XL and let men compete on women’s sports teams and invite China to build our wireless infrastructure. They’ll make sure pregnant women can fly fighter jets. They’ll make you register your guns so it will be easier to confiscate them during the second Biden Administration. It’s going to be great.
Read more at AMERICAN GREATNESS