by Conrad Black
After 60 days of the new administration, American government has descended into surrealism. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, blandly assured the Sunday television news programs that “the border is closed,” and that unauthorized and inappropriate entry-seekers are normally turned away. This is clearly a monstrous falsehood and the docile Democratic-boot-licking media knows it to be false.
This ludicrous and tragic charade on the southern border is half of the current administration’s vast and pointless game of pretense, in which it denies the existence of one immense crisis, while grimly and tediously proclaiming the iron duration of another crisis that has in fact, largely passed. No screening process at all is being applied to large numbers of arriving, so-called migrants, and unskilled, penurious, largely illiterate—they are simply being admitted to the country because that is supposedly the humane thing to do with them.
An uncertain number are gang members and other undesirables, and thousands are children, 80 percent of whom are believed to have been sexually violated en route. The hardened criminal organizations in Mexico that conduct these progresses to and through the U.S. border profit to the tune of millions of dollars a day from their activities. The government of the United States is fully complicit in the criminal violence of these Mexican gangs, and yet its spokespeople, day after day, unctuously repeat pious lies about this unfolding outrage to the press corps that conducted the campaign for the almost comatose candidate who is now the president.
From Border Bungling to a COVID Clunker
At the same time, President Biden and his team will not let go of the coronavirus as a cause of permanent panic and mourning, and of explicit and dishonest fault-finding with the previous administration. It is now obvious that the entire Democratic media terror campaign last year to demand slavish obedience to the most alarmist scientists and shut down as much of the economy and normal life of the country as possible, in order to portray President Trump as the author of a public health disaster and bottomless economic depression, was, as many of us suggested, tactical. The scientists were divided, most of their advice was nonsense—and in any case, ephemeral. Dr. Anthony Fauci, in particular, was the perfect instrument of the Trump-hating media: articulate, very experienced, clearly highly intelligent and rather a telegenic and affable personality, and capable of possibly espousing a tortuous sequence of varying opinion on the same subject: masks, distancing, school openings, etc.
The Democratic campaign and its media hallelujah chorus went to demagogic lengths to conceal from the public the facts that the recovery rate amongst coronavirus sufferers in good health beneath the age of 65 was 99.997 percent, and that even among all others, with unlimited additional medical problems and up to any age, the survival rate was almost 95 percent. It was almost never mentioned that 80 percent of those who died with the coronavirus had other problems as well and that it was frequently impossible to allocate the relative responsibility amongst the different problems that contributed to their demise.
The whole campaign to “flatten the curve” was a chimera and a fiasco. The scientists knew that the curve would recover as soon as people went back to work, and that the only solution was swift development of a vaccine, isolation of the most vulnerable potential cases, and as close to life as usual for everyone else. We now know that as many as three quarters of those who have contracted the coronavirus have not been reported cases, that all those who have had it enjoy a considerable measure of subsequent immunity, and that the average age of coronavirus deaths was the national life expectancy—78.
All of these facts could have been put together quite quickly to produce a much more intelligent policy. Instead we had the probably criminal negligence of Democratic governors in New York and New Jersey, who sent coronavirus sufferers back to homes for the elderly where their presence generated precisely the death rates that Mr. Biden constantly invokes with his tediously morbid references to “the empty chair at the breakfast table,” and that was for a time noisily celebrated as, quoting the same source, “the gold standard” of coronavirus management. Eventually, it will be impossible to disguise the fact that President Trump’s leadership produced effective vaccines with extraordinary swiftness, and these were greeted with derisive snorts of skepticism from Biden and Kamala Harris and others who said that they “would not trust any vaccine developed by Donald Trump.”
All of the hysteria, the morbid fear-mongering that new strains of the virus would soon push up death rates, and the promise that only if Americans behaved with exquisite obedience to the geniuses of science who were guiding their inert president, would it be possible to enjoy a hot dog and a celebratory beverage on Independence Day with one’s neighbors: it was all bunk.
It is not clear what the administration imagines it is doing by trying to mislead the country as it does. The media are never more venomous than when they feel they have been used, and we cannot now be far from the date when that recognition will dawn upon the credulous ranks of the Trump-hating, Biden-touting, and thoroughly discredited White House press corps.
The Receipts Are Due
The Biden Administration cannot possibly have more than a few more weeks to announce that it has fulfilled its humanitarian promises, and can substantially reseal the border, having reformed the xenophobic and racist bigotry and cruelty of the Trump Administration (which is, in fact, the only administration that has enforced a sane immigration policy in over 30 years). Fact is, Trump killed the corrupt bipartisan regime by which the Democrats harvested the votes of these millions of unlawful residents and Republican employers exploited their legal vulnerability by chronically underpaying them. The Democrats now are in the business of reestablishing it.
The long-suffering public will not stand for continued shutdowns and the blackmail of the teachers’ unions much longer, either, so the administration will have to proceed rapidly to the front of cresting opinion. Laws of nature and of politics will sort out some of these issues, but the fact that the administration attempted to prolong both positive and negative fairy tales for no evident reason invites curiosity about who really is driving the government train, and in response to what motives.
This is a phantom administration: a laid-back and thoroughly unprepossessing president, a sharply divided governing party, a completely unfeasible legislative program, and still no organizing principle except orchestrated thanksgiving that Trump is gone. There is no reason to believe that this drifting flotsam of a government has any other idea of what to do with the responsibility it must soon start to discharge.
First published in American Greatness.