Biden is gaslighting Americans about his failed presidency
The Biden Administration will be known to history for many things: an open border and its deadly consequences, the abandonment of Afghanistan, weakness that led to catastrophe in Europe, skyrocketing inflation, and the use of federal law enforcement to target political opponents.
The catalog of infamy goes on.
Above all, though, this administration may be remembered for its duplicity — its continual, shameless “gaslighting” of the American people. Biden, his team, and his sycophantic media supporters repeatedly tell us that “all is well” where it manifestly is not. No matter how bad things become in the nation, no matter how many people suffer, reality has no purchase on the ideological bubble of this White House.
That is why, in these midterm elections, the American people must deliver to Joe Biden an unequivocal message: that they refuse to be gaslit, that they are not buying what he is selling.
Biden and his staff spin not simply to be optimistic. They do so to cover up the often deadly consequences of their policy decisions.
This is certainly the case as regards Biden’s open border. The president’s reversal of Trump-era border enforcement, and his effective encouragement of illegal border crossings, has led to widespread human suffering. Migrants have been dying in record numbers as they make their journeys, often under the control of coyotes and human smugglers. Americans are dying, too, as toxic fentanyl pours into the nation.
What do Biden and his aides have to say about all this?
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted that the Biden border disaster was not a “crisis,” but rather a “challenge.” Vice President Kamala Harris has gone further, stating that “the border is secure.”
As Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal policy went into effect, and as the Taliban reconquered that country, the American people were treated to a veritable buffet of gaslit falsehood. The president assured us, despite the evidence, that Taliban victory was “highly unlikely.” Psaki confidently declared that Afghan forces “have what they need.” Spin of this sort did nothing to stop the Taliban, to prevent the deaths of 13 American service members, or to save the lives of Afghan civilians.
It did nothing, either, to discourage the aggression of Vladimir Putin. America under Biden was weak, Putin reasoned, and thus the time was right for Russia to invade Ukraine.
Given Biden’s record, midterm voters must resist the election-time duplicity of Democratic candidates. Democrats who claim to be “independent” of the national party, or who hedge their support for Biden, should be challenged. For example, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly claims to have been critical of Biden’s border policy. But, as his opponent Blake Masters noted, Kelly in fact “voted for more IRS agents, not more Border Patrol agents” when given the chance.
Then there is New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s recent crime-focused campaign ad. Hochul, the ad proclaims, wants “a safer New York.” But in her recent debate with Republican Lee Zeldin — a candidate committed to ending New York’s cashless bail and other soft-on-crime Democratic policies — Hochul slipped and shared her real thoughts, wondering aloud why the issue was “so important” to her opponent.
In Pennsylvania, where debate continues over Democrat John Fetterman’s health and fitness for office, one thing remains certain: Fetterman will double-deal on the issues most important to voters. After all, he was against fracking before he was for it. And he is “for” it now only because there is an election on the line. As for suggestions that his opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz himself flip-flopped on fracking, Oz strongly denies the charge. More importantly, voters recognize the difference between a novice politician moving towards his party’s consensus on a key issue, and a career politician conveniently shifting away from his own party’s stance. It is not difficult to guess how each man would vote should he reach the Senate.
Any Democrat claiming divergence from the national platform — on the border, crime, fracking, or any other issue — is allowed to do so only for electoral advantage, and usually only during election season. When the crucial moments arrive, when the votes are most needed for the Biden agenda, they will finally be there.
For evidence, look no further than the most “independent” Democrat in Washington, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. After opposing Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill, Manchin nonetheless caved to the president’s extravagant spending with his vote for the “Inflation Reduction Act” — a law that will reduce nothing other than the solvency of the nation.
In 2022, the notion of “voting for the person, not the party” is a luxury voters can no longer afford. A vote to send a Democrat to Congress, or to send a Democrat to a governor’s mansion or, for that matter, to state houses and state courts, is almost surely a vote for this president and his agenda.
For America to begin changing course, midterm voters must see beyond the spin, listen beyond the gaslighting, and reject this president along with the candidates who support him.
Augustus Howard is a columnist focusing on national politics and foreign policy.