Full speech transcript here (use reader mode to get around the paywall)
First, let’s look at the imagery and the symbolism. Someone with a psychology or marketing background probably thought it was a great idea but is literally too deranged to see the resemblance to past dictators and totalitarian regimes. To wit, I refer you to the thousands of memes comparing Biden last night to Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Satan, etc. It was not a good look and was a major own goal to anyone with a brain.
Objectively, the stark contrast and coloring was almost hypnotizing. This works well with the repetition of ideas and phrases throughout the speech. The red and darkness intended to convey a sense of fear, foreboding, and emergency. The presence of Marines in the background presented a symbol of “safeguarding” democracy but also, perhaps unintentionally or as a side benefit, as a reminder of the power of the state.
Less ominously, speaking in Philadelphia and at Constitutional Hall to draw a false connection back to the founding of this country and our principals. This works well if you drink the Kool-Aid and think that President Poopy Pants is the antidote to Drumpf. Supposedly, he’s talking about democracy, although we’re a republic, so if it’s democracy he wanted he should have been on Capitol Hill.
The speech itself, aside from the inflammatory comments, was uninspired but not bad. If Biden were actually a moderate and this speech was conciliatory there were a lot of sentences that would have appealed to reconciliation. However, this is a sick imitation of such a speech, intended to set a narrative against the Right and indoctrinate the Left. All the Left hears is a warning about the dangers of “MAGA Republicans” and that Biden is the good guy, trying to bring both sides together and save democracy.
The Right and other sensible voters who saw right through this were not the audience. For them, this speech was a warning. “You are the enemy and we will work to subvert you to our will.” To the unhinged people on the left, this speech was also probably intended to incite violence. The Left is foaming at the mouth hoping some Trump supporter commits a mass shooting, assassination, or other act of terrorism. If Biden’s speech could push one of them over the edge I’m sure that the leftists would love it.
Let’s look at the language used and how Joe went about demonizing and marginalizing half the country, while setting the stage for a civil war, and readying the narrative of election fraud in case of a Red Wave.
Painting Trump, conservatives, and traditional Americans as the enemy
"Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic."
Calls to action
"...battle of the soul of this nation."
“Battle,” “defended,” “secure;” all words that have a militaristic vibe. These are action words. As some of the leftist pundits have called it, this is a wartime speech except the war is on half of America and our traditional values. Biden already named the enemy, now he is naming the conflict. I’m skipping around with my quotes but he does move on to a clearer call to action. In the minds of Antifa and the left, this is intended to get them to think of this as a war, their call to war, and moral authorization to fight.
"I will not stand by and watch..."
The repetition here is like a dog whistle to the loonies and militants on the left to literally not “stand by and watch.” How many times have you seen phrases like this used repetitively in insightful rhetoric by a charismatic leader? It’s literally brainwashing like some sort of cultish chant (more on that later).
"We’re all called by duty and conscience to confront extremists who put their own pursuit of power above all else."
This is the clearest example of his language being a plausibly deniable way of asking people to take violent action against a Democratic election loss. Pay attention to: “duty,” “conscience,” “confront,” “extremists;” he’s making it a moral imperative to “do something” to his political opponents. And “their own pursuit of power above all else?” Pot calling the kettle black.
Delegitimizing any Democratic election loss
"I will not stand by and watch..." x3
Biden is like a hypnotist or cult leader planting ideas in the heads of his zombies.
The elections are free, the elections are fair. I surrender to Joe as of this date.
Examine the phrasing, repetitions, and how the same idea is reiterated throughout the speech. On Watcher’s stream last night someone said “This doesn’t sound like something you’d say if you expected to win in 2020.”
All of these statements are intended to set the narrative that there will be election fraud in the midterms and in 2024 and that “MAGA Republicans” are to blame. Biden’s speech is the greenlight for the media to run with it and repetitive indoctrination for leftists. If they lose, he can say Republicans did and point fingers as a prophet. If they win, he can claim it as a victory over “election fraud.”
Gaslighting is a term for creating and presenting a false narrative or reality to people in order for an abuser to manipulate a victim to his will. It comes from a movie called Gaslight where a husband tricks his wife into thinking she’s insane. The Left operates this method like children arguing:
Victim: “Hey, you stole the election!”
Bully: “No, you stole the election.”
Victim: “No I didn’t! You’re lying. You stole it!”
Bully: [starts to cry] “Mommy! He stole the election! I saw him do it! He’s a liar!”
Gaslighting is not effective on people who know the truth but it does work to convince the stupid in the middle and serves are agitprop for the true believers who need this kind of stuff like fuel. It doesn't work if you're stupid, but it sure is obnoxious to the rest of us and can wear weak people down.
A true believer will see the kind of stuff we've been seeing and it reinforces their beliefs. The more you push the truth, the less likely they are to see it. I have come to believe that brainwashing is real.
My uncle was talking to his Democrat voting chiropractor about the election. The chiropractor said, "Well, now you know how we felt in 2016." Except Trump legitimate won, as per the Constitution, in 2016 and there are tons of unanswered allegations of election fraud from 2020 on top of the myriad rule changes. The chiropractor's belief that 2016 was an unfair loss and 2020 was a fair win is vindicated while all the 2020 doubters are the crazy ones.
“They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election, and they’re working right now as I speak in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.”
This tactic is called DARVO: "deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender.” Basically accuse your enemy of what you are guilty of. States changed voting procedures because of COVID, often in violation of statutes and the state constitutions. Democrats are the ones who “fortified” an election and combat things like voter ID. They are the ones that petitioned for state law change. In many of the counties with sketchy practices the night of the election, Democrats were in control.
Even if the election was fairly won, Democrats have done nothing to assuage the suspicions of the public and continue to lie, obfuscate, and call the ones with legitimate concerns crazy. These two lies are intended are a continuation of seeding the minds Democratic voters and sheep that the midterms and 2024 election, if won by the GOP, “was stolen.”
In light of the 2016 accusations over Trump’s victory (which was not contested on vote grounds but the perpetual Electoral College debate) this denunciation is particularly galling. It makes the Right look like sore losers when all they are doing is questioning fair practices.
And what about the will of the other 50% of the voters out there? Biden was portrayed as a moderate, a compromise, and he is not. He’s just carrying the water for the communists in his party. A 51% with an asterisk win is not a mandate by any means.
I’ve said many times lately that I fear we’re headed for an 1860 election. In 1860, it was a four-way vote. Many southern states were on the verge of secession. Democrats were split into north and south factions, each with a candidate. Lincoln wasn’t even on the ballot in several southern states. Now, even if it were a two-party election, Lincoln still would have won. The issue is that many southerners did not feel that the election was legitimate and therefore Lincoln was not legitimately the president.
“I hate Lincoln” arguments aside, there was none of the real questions about fraud in 1860 that we had in 2020. My point is that half of the country didn’t accept the outcome and the Civil War began a little over a month after the inauguration. Either way, in the next one or two elections we are going to see a similar situation where one side refuses to accept the outcome and does not see the Congress or President as legitimate.
In this atmosphere, it will breed violence. Instead of being an issue between a collection of independent states, this will be between a totalitarian government and those who support it and those who want to remain free Americans. It will be a social war at every level in every city and state. The rules of gentlemen that largely dictated 1861-1865 will not apply here. A hundred years from now a communist’s descendant won’t be trash talking and laughing over beers with a right-wing militia man’s son.
More lies and gaslighting
"We’ve seen election officials, poll workers, many of them volunteers of both parties, subject to intimidation and death threats."
"the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, brutally attacking law enforcement,"
"You saw law enforcement brutally attacked on January the 6th."
"MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution."
Remember, the January 6 gaslighting aside, the Right didn’t attempt to overthrow the government and accepted Congress following the Constitutional procedure to install Biden as president? Nor have they fabricated sketchy grounds to impeach Biden for political points, twice. Don’t forget that the Trump Administration didn’t collude with social media to get unfavorable news about a politician’s corrupt, drug addict son or their COVID lies removed and suppressed.
Biden as Hitler
"They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country."
"And yet, history tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy."
All of this is known in military terms as psychological preparation of the battle space. We are in what Mike Shelby of Forward Observer has popularized as “the gray zone.” These are the opening stages of a civil conflict when the government and part of the population is against the other, but one side is restrained. In short, the “other” can be repressed but the other cannot yet go weapons-free without major repercussions.
We are in the dangerous stage. The government is alienating people and inciting those it has maligned and insulted to violence. This "othering" process of dehumanizing is a precursor to genocide. Dubiously legal, illegal, and violent means of public/private coercion are coming down the pike at all Americans who do not toe the line.
We have seen the first stages of suppression and censorship. Political targets are being persecuted and jailed as dissidents. It's here and there right now but look for this to expand to higher profile targets that might seem "off limits" in order to shutdown the anti-authoritarian narrative and scare people into silence/compliance.
Be cool and don't do anything stupid. Don't say or do anything rash or violent to get yourself in trouble. Right now, lie low and don't play into the hands of the Left. Be safe and protect your family. Stay frosty and check your six.
Author Don Shift
Don Shift is a veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and avid fan of post-apocalyptic literature and film who has pushed a black and white for a mile or two. He is a student of disasters, history, and current events.