“Nothing would fundamentally change” if he got elected, Joe Biden told a group of billionaires at a fundraising event during the 2020 presidential campaign. Like the saying goes, when someone tells you who they are, believe them.
As I stood up to tell my own history with Joe Biden, his multi-million-dollar public relations machine pushed back hard. The playbook used on every single survivor that tries to come forward about a powerful person rarely varies.
Silence, attack the character, terrorize the supporters, dehumanize and repeat. These tactics are also used on foreign countries and leaders we want to attack and demonize.
Last week however, it backfired quite gloriously.
You see, our political machine needs to be seen as justified when it attacks someone, be it a dissident at home or a foreign leader we don’t like. And what better way to justify it, to manufacture consent, than to dehumanize, demonize, simplify, take all complexity away, until the target du jour is seen as little more than a comic-book villain to be smacked down with a resounding KA-POW?
Use simple words. ‘Killer’, ‘bully’, ‘strongman’, ‘tyrant’, ‘thug’. Paint your opponent in the simplest, darkest colors possible. Then, you can be the superhero figure… provided you can put together a coherent phrase.
When you have to be led up to even the simplest of name-calling, and your opponent responds with calm, saturnine wit, even the most steadfast media support can’t save your façade from cracking.
After Joe Biden’s “Putin is a killer” (though what he actually said technically was “uh-huh”) interview many Americans chose to side with Putin, refusing to fall for the villainization anymore. The exchange put the two presidents in stark contrast – and made it impossible to see Putin as a simple, dumb ‘strongman’ next to Biden with his inane “uh-huh”.
The comic-book juxtaposition starts to flake when the ‘supervillian’ is so obviously more coherent and more in control than the ‘superhero’. And Biden and his administration are obviously aware – feeling too insecure about Putin to agree to a live debate. A live discussion would be an unmitigated disaster for Biden. That said, ordinary Americans want to hear from Russians and know their views. But balance of ideas is not high on the Democratic agenda. The likes of Rachel Maddow will keep raking in thousands of dollars daily to eviscerate everything Russian – even as fewer and fewer people believe them.
For a day or so after my recent on-air interview with RT, my social media feed filled up with blue-check Democrats like Edward Isaac Dovere from the Atlantic, posting all my past pro-Russia blogs and trotting out the old Russian-asset narrative. Last time that came up was 2019 when I first came forward about Joe Biden. Back then, Dovere’s online attacks resulted in death threats from strangers.
This time was different. No death threats and little harassment. I had positive feedback, with some people admitting they shared my affinity for Putin. In fact, I made the executive decision to answer all my trolls with President Putin quotes. That seems to quiet them down. One problem with American culture is the cult of personality. It is not emotionally healthy to hero-worship or demonize leaders. They are humans and to elevate them to superhuman status does not serve the greater good.
There are clear signals that Americans are craving balance in the media. The public shift may be because the Democratic Party has devolved with obvious, smug hypocrisy. An example of this is the boorish lineup planned for Kamala Harris’s World Summit discussion on Girl & Women’s Empowerment with none other than Bill Clinton.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
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