By Martin Sieff
The presidential inauguration of Joe Biden passed over peacefully: But then it wasn’t a presidential inauguration at all.
The dark genius vision of Philip K. Dick, America’s Kafka, greatest and therefore most widely feared and ignored of US writers proved unerringly true again. The Reality of Things is far too difficult, far too disturbing to even attempt any more. Just hang a handwritten tiny note on any piece of junk and 330 million Americans will happily believe that it is more real than reality. Though in reality, not even that.
The official viewing figures of the Biden inauguration on January 20 are now in, and they have even been published. They have predictably been presented as more proof of the restored triumph of American “democracy.” Yet the simple figures took an extraordinarily different story.
The later Nielsen figures say an apparently impressive 33.3 million peopel viewed the Inaugural, putting the figures safely higher than Donald Trump’s 30 million and only behind Ronald Reagan’s 41 million and Barack Obama’s 37 million.
It should of course be remembered that the US population is considerably larger than it was in 1980. Yet even if 81 million people voted for Biden, less than half of them bothered actually watching him being sworn in. The total figure was still only one tenth, 10 percent, of a national population of one third of a billion. And that is even assuming we can believe those numbers: There is no independent confirmation so far of what Nielsen said.
Yet 81 million people we are told – more Americans than ever before in the nation’s 232 year constitutional history – voted for Biden against that Threat to All That is Holy and Decent Donald Trump.
In other words, well under half of those who were reported as having voted for Biden bothered to actually watch him being sworn in, according to the media establishment’s own official figures and admissions.
So at least 48 million people who supposedly voted for Biden never bothered paying any attention to this great ceremony of national renewal. How could that be?
The population of the United States on March 4, 1933 was 125 million – more than 200 million less than it is today. Yet Roosevelt’s 1,885 word, 20-minute first inaugural speech is routinely described by historians as being listened to by “tens of millions” of people. (Exact figures are curiously hard to find: It is as if US academic historians simply did not think it was important to find them.)
However, the great narrative historian William Manchester, who as a boy lived through those years, captured the extraordinary national impact in his classic work “The Glory and the Dream.”
“The radio networks carried his great voice out across the suffering land, over the sweatshops and the flophouses, the Hoovervilles and hobo jungles, the rocky soil tilled by tenant farmers, the ragged men shivering in the iron cold outside factory gates … in the three decker tenements with radios the hungry children looked up; in county courthouses the embattled farmers looked up; housewives patching threadbare clothes looked up; there was a kind of magic in the air.”
The intellectuals always sneered and looked down their long pointed noses at Franklin Roosevelt, so did his exceptionally stupid though now of course deified wife Eleanor who confessed she was frightened by the speech. (She was frightened by a lot of things). But the American people, Manchester notes, knew better. Over the next week 450,000 of them wrote directly to the president to express their thanks.
President Biden’s inauguration, we can now confirm, did not inspire any such response.
Because of the thuggish and inept Capitol riot on January 6 – already now distilled into convenient, simplistic narratives of fake provocation for the Fake Right and Evil Assault on All that is Holy for the Liberal Fake – and because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the streets of Washington and Northern Virginia were deserted. No one felt like celebrating. There was more ceremony and genuine celebration for FDR at the height of the Great Depression in 1933.
Biden, to his credit, did not indulge in any witless or ridiculous expressions of Sunny Optimism in the now required tradition since Ronald Reagan. He quietly and with dignity acknowledged the stark divisions in the country and the enormous problems it faced. His short speech in fact was a welcome antidote to the empty, bankrupt, infantile soaring relentless optimism with which every recent president has lied his way through taking the Oath of Office.
But within 24 hours, Biden’s decent, dignified tone of reconciliation and outreach in his inauguration was belied by his actions.
He announced the United States would rejoin the Paris Climate Accords – which in practice means that the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton war on oil, natural gas and the industrial rescue of continental America will be raging all out again.
He gutted by Executive Order the Trump administration vigorous and highly successful war on murderers, violent criminals and rapists who genuinely flooded the country under the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
And with Biden’s full approval, Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives and new Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Senate made clear they were determined to push ahead with an unprecedented, unparalleled second impeachment trial of Donald Trump – the first ever for any president who had already left office.
One should not, therefore, be surprised that none of the 74 million Republicans who voted for Trump – and, as even Fox News acknowledged, against Biden – the largest number of Americans ever to vote against a presidential candidate in history – did not express any participation or enthusiasm whatsoever at the inauguration. But where were Biden’s supposed 81 million supporters?
Most of the supposed inaugural celebrations were taped in advance. It was another “virtual” – which is to say nonexistent – event, just as, I noted at the time, the Democratic National Convention that “nominated” Biden was in August 2020.
The heart of the multi-million dollar media consultants busily concocting their Bright, Shining Lies was not even in their work. Any North Korean leader would have blushed with embarrassment at the endless short displays of hapless black, yellow, polka-dotted, gay and transgender (but almost never white and male) kids performing gymnastics and or poorly executed cheerleading displays, not in their hundreds or thousands, but never more than a dozen or so, in one endless video clip after another. Had the performances all been recorded this week? Or four years ago for the anticipated Imperial Triumph of Empress Hillary Clinton? There was no was no way of knowing.
Aldous Huxley in his brilliant sinister dystopian novel “Brave New World” published in 1932 clearly foresaw modern America and the West – an elitist, carefully regimented society in which any dissent or the slightest hint of existential independence or private taste was “compassionately” snuffed out by drugs and repression.
Huxley lived to become a significant architect of this same world in Post World War II America. But even he did not foresee the satanically comprehensive system’s most fatal flaw – It’s propaganda was so convincing that the people who most fell for it were its own beneficiaries.
The rulers and participants in the oppressive system have now come to fully believe their own absurd lies. And this blinds them to the colossal tidal waves of frustration, alienation and rage slowly yet remorselessly building up against them across the land.
The real lesson of the Inauguration that not that only one tenth of the population at the very most watched and there is no indication as to what most of them were really thinking, or if they even cared.
Inauguration Day never happened. The media fantasies of a New President eagerly supported by 81 million people and Reaching Our Compassionately to 74 million are just phantasms. They are a handful of words scribbled on a paper note pasted with sticky tape on the Washington Monument. They are a Philip K. Dick dream. They aren’t real. They never were. They never will be.
America’s Collapse of Government and Crisis of Legitimacy hasn’t gone away. Denial and repression never work. The Worst is Yet to Come
BIO: During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues. This article was originally published on Strategic Culture Foundation.
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