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.
The government cannot tell from your credit/debit card transactions alone what you bought. They can see:
Essentially this is what you see on your credit card statement. This is often done through a warrantless "hotwatch" program that can be done in real time without your permission or knowledge. It is often done to track criminal or terrorist suspects. A court order (subpoena) is required and it is not just an automatic thing like running a license plate.
Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) do identify what kind of business you've patronized. For instance, if you bought a gun the credit card company will see MCC 5941 Sporting Goods Stores. From here they can draw few inferences that you may have bought guns or ammo.
Knowing where you shopped means that investigators can obtain any internal records from the business, such as your purchase history. This could be tracked by your Amazon order history, a shopper's club card (they use your purchase data in exchange for 'discounts'), or a membership card purchase history. In this case, they don't even need a credit card as long as they know where you shopped.
There is no way that I'm aware of that purchases can be tracked and identified in real time. A lot of legwork is required and it's impossible to do for everybody. Although technology is changing rapidly and so will tracking in the future.
I stopped using my club card, phone number, or email at sporting goods stores. So if you want to truly remain unknown, pay cash, use no phone number or card, and buy at a store far away from home where no one knows you.
Update: The MCCs are only part of the story. "Level 3 line item data" may be be voluntarily sent by retailers in Level 3 data because it lowers their processing rates. IE if we know what your customers buy, you get a discount. Probably many retailers have this on by default and don't even know it.
"Level 3 processing and sending line item detail is an advanced method of processing commercial, purchasing, fleet and government credit cards. It involves sending additional fields of data through the processing network. This is up to 12 fields of additional information, much like you would find on an invoice. With the additional data a business can monitor what kind of purchases are made on a company card, where, how much etc. It can also include restrictions, limiting the types of businesses an employee can make purchases. Visa and MasterCard created special rates to support Level 3 data by reducing the transaction cost when level 3 processing data is included with the transaction. This often lowers the transaction cost by up to 40%."
In Suburban Defense, I define without the rule of law (WROL) as: the absence of government authority and a reversion to an uncivilized world. This is a situation where police and courts are non-existent; a total collapse of law and order. Criminals will not be arrested and prosecuted. It is the law of the jungle; kill or be killed; only the fittest survive. This situation is essentially lawless and resembles war more than a disaster.
We are not there yet. While some groups can get away with criminal activity due to social and political pressures, the law abiding cannot yet resort to measures that the law does not frown upon. Take for instance Antifa vandalizing businesses or a home of someone that offended the woke mob. You can’t just shoot them or even use civilian-available riot control agents. In most jurisdictions if you act in anything other than immediate self-defense, you will be prosecuted. We saw Kyle Rittenhouse, who was in actual mortal danger, prosecuted and persecuted by a woke DA.
Store owners facing organized snatch-and-grab operations or flash looting mobs can’t shoot the criminals. Yet police don’t arrive in time and might only catch a fraction of suspects. Prosecutors in some sick “restorative justice” scheme may not even press charges, reduce the charges, or offer weak plea bargains.
We live in a society where we’ve determined that using lethal force or certain methods are inappropriate for defending property alone. None of us want to see shoplifter’s hands chopped off, as effective as it might be. Being civilized gives us the advantage of not taking drastic measures against criminals. We revere the justice system, where a dumb kid can get a book thrown at him instead of lead. A lot of adult criminals eventually get it together after some time in jail, even though it might take a couple of trips to Graybar University before they shape up. Old England’s “everything’s a felony” where the death penalty was possible for something like 200 crimes is what this country moved away from.
This “soft” approach to crime requires a civilized society where police are expected to enforce the law, catch criminals, and the criminal justice system actually prosecute and punish crooks. Until this century, our country did a pretty good job of this. The three strikes law really did cut down on crime, but we’ve forgotten all the lessons we learned in two hundred years and threw them out in favor of squishiness.
Squishy police, courts, and laws have brought us to where we are. Poor masses are antagonized into this behavior by those with a political agenda. It is us, the law abiding, who suffer for it. We must standby and be victims. We are told the courts will handle it, but they don’t. If we attempt to deal with it ourselves, we risk legal persecution and being turned into a pariah by the Jacobian media and political elements.
Some call this condition without the rule of law because equal application of the law is being deprived namely to the law abiding. I disagree with this assertion. What we are seeing is the early stages of the rule of law breaking down, not living in WROL scenario. I wouldn’t even say criminals are living WROL because they have always operated outside the law; for most of them legal consequences are a cost of doing business and jail inconvenience no greater than being broken is to the rest of us.
While effective punishment might be off the table, police still provide enough of dissuading force to discourage the worst excesses. People will do what they feel they can get away with and habitual criminals will offend anyway. Until police go away, crime is somewhat restrained. When the restraining influence of police is gone, then we will see the violence and breadth of crime escalate.
A time is coming when police will desert because they aren’t getting paid and conditions are too dangerous, physically or legally, for them to do their job. The police are the enforcement arm for the criminal justice system. Until they are off the job, there isn’t a WROL scenario. The law abiding citizen will then feel free to respond to crime as he sees fit (there will be excesses). When both sides no longer have any restraint and the criminal justice system is functionally, not just morally, ineffective, then we are WROL.
A lot of this is nitpicking in conversation. The rule of law is breaking down; we are not without it. This in between stage, which will get worse, is the hardest part. Law abiding citizens will be subjected to terror and loss with little recourse, either by their own hands or under the law. But in every revolt, revolution, or collapse, a point comes when the law can neither restrain the criminal nor the citizen. That day will be a terrible one. Unfortunately, we must learn hard lessons through experience before we can return to peaceful times.
"And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
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.