Joe Biden’s woke Left-wing agenda is a catastrophe for the free world
He was meant to be a new Bill Clinton, a centrist Democrat who would restore the sullied American republic to a semblance of its former glory after the Trump interregnum. There would be a shift to the Left under Joe Biden, of course, but his election would be no revolutionary moment, merely a return to normality.
Biden would govern with decorum, embrace decarbonisation, spend more on America’s decrepit infrastructure and take on Russia. His would be a technocratic, Davos-friendly agenda, his allies told gullible centre-Right commentators: crucially, he wouldn’t allow the socialist-nihilist wing of the Democratic Party anywhere near the levers of power. In some areas, Biden the bridge-builder would continue Trump’s policies, albeit more competently. Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, has rightly described China’s persecution of the Uighurs as “an effort to commit genocide”. The US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was first announced by Donald Trump.
But while some of Biden’s decisions have been sensible, most haven’t. Three months after his inauguration, his administration is shaping up to be the most Left-wing since Franklin D Roosevelt. Out of weakness or lack of focus, Biden has allowed his party’s radicals too much sway. The consequences will be disastrous not just for America but also for Britain.
We live in a globalised world where politics has become an international fashion statement. Ideological tribes cross borders, at least when it comes to virtue-signalling, over-educated graduates desperate to latch on to the latest feel-good trend. Ideas that begin in Washington make their way to our own Parliament, offices and streets. We too will pay the price for Biden’s mistakes; and America’s struggles will become our battles, even if they shouldn’t be. Biden’s first blunder has been to give free rein to the woke revolutionaries. Their ideology is a fusion of post-modernism, Marxism, Freudianism, critical race theory, gender studies, intersectionality and much else besides, and the brew is toxic, explosive and potentially fatal to Western democracy and capitalism. It detests rationality, the rule of law and even the presumption of innocence. It is obsessed with race and gender, assumes extreme amounts of never-ending exploitation, posits that progress is impossible and rejects the liberal, meritocratic, colour-blind approach that has done so much to improve society and combat racism since the Fifties. It claims to believe in “social justice” but rejects the very concept of a functioning polity and the possibility of objective, enlightenment-style justice. It considers free speech to be a form of violence, and assumes that anybody who disagrees is guilty of false consciousness and, as such, deserves to be cancelled as a dangerous heretic.
It is already destroying American universities, and now threatens to debilitate American business. Its next target are US cities, where idiotic mayors are allowing crime to run riot. The proper approach to the disgraceful racism and violence that characterises so much of US law-enforcement is to reform forces and stamp out hateful practices; yet the woke lobby prefers to demand the police’s abolition, an absurd, utopian approach advocated by the likes of Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez, a prominent Congresswoman.
Biden is no fan of AOC, but he is failing to confront the woke insurgency, and in some cases is even fuelling it. His decision to set up a committee to consider expanding the size of the Supreme Court – and thus to eliminate its conservative majority – is a scandalous concession. It would be tantamount to a constitutional coup, as would another increasingly popular Democratic proposal, granting statehood to Washington DC and Puerto Rico to gerrymander the Senate with more Democrats.
This reflects the woke idea that conservative majorities are illegitimate, and that rigging democracy to eliminate them is acceptable. In this respect, Biden’s attitude is just as bad as Trump’s own despicable rejection of democracy last year. Any assault on the Supreme Court or Senate would poison American politics for decades. And why would China or Russia embrace democracy when they see far-Left activists make a mockery of the US constitution? We are fortunate that Boris Johnson’s government is the most anti-woke in the English-speaking world. But America’s behaviour will encourage our cultural institutions, universities and big businesses to further defy the Government.
Biden is also veering sharp Left on the economy, increasing corporate and personal taxes. His Democratic allies at local and state level are doing the same. The compound effect threatens to turn into a major supply-side shock. New York and California are being hammered, with companies and wealthy individuals fleeing to Texas and Florida. This nonsense has already contaminated the rest of the world. The huge, destructive increase in Britain’s corporation tax announced at the Budget was justified on the basis of what America is doing.
We will also feel the heat from Biden’s increase in spending. Much of it isn’t really on infrastructure, but it will push up aggregate demand just as the economy bounces back after Covid. US inflation and interest rates might go up, with a knock-on effect on our own cost of borrowing: bad news for Rishi Sunak.
Iran is another disastrous blind spot for Biden. He has made reviving President Obama’s ill-fated nuclear deal one of his priorities, at best risking another nuclear arms race and at worst a horrific conflagration. It cannot make sense to trust a manipulative Iranian regime that, when it isn’t persecuting its religious or sexual minorities, women, youth or dissidents, specialises in enabling terrorism, funding wars against its Arab neighbours and openly threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation. Iran has already notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it wants to start 60 per cent uranium enrichment. Why is Biden so blasé about the risk of nuclear proliferation? Again, this will have an impact on all of our politics: Biden’s hopeless appeasement of Iran will delight the Foreign Office and the EU.
Most British Tories welcomed Biden. But now that it is clear that his flagship policies are bad for Britain, they need to stop being so starry-eyed, and learn to ignore the tidal wave of madness emanating from America.