Has there ever been such a profound and jarring disconnect between a new American president’s words and actions on his very first day in office?
In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden hymned unity. America, he said, must “stop the shouting, and lower the temperature”. It must put behind it “anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness” and reaffirm “history, faith and reason”.
Yet within hours of that speech, Biden signed a slew of executive orders to set America on a path of anger, resentment, hatred, division, lawlessness and joblessness and which undermine history, faith and reason.
And — excuse me — executive orders? When President Donald Trump used them, the Democrats howled that this showed he was a proto-fascist hell-bent on circumventing constitutional procedures and proper democratic scrutiny When Biden signs a whole bunch of them on his first afternoon in office, however, this is apparently “getting back to normal”.
But to call these measures “normal” would surely have made Lenin blush. Biden’s immigration orders, giving citizenship to some 11 million illegal immigrants, halting construction of the Mexican border wall and imposing a moratorium on deportations for 100 days, trash the rule of law and spell administrative and policing chaos. More than that, they undermine the very concept of a nation, which depends for its continued existence upon its borders being secure; and they take a wrecking ball to the concept of citizenship: the bargain of duties and rights that exists only between a government and its country’s citizens.
The implications are so dire that Texas instantly launched a lawsuit against the new administration. Its Attorney-General, Ken Paxton, said:
“In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed DHS to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law. Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation. Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.”
In another order, Biden undermined American security by reversing the ban on travel from terrorist hotspots, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia in addition to North Korea, Chad and Venezuela. This ban was not, as was so falsely and slanderously characterised by the Democrats, a “ ban on Muslims”. It was introduced in 2017 against certain countries whose governments could not provide proper documentation, vetting or identification information for citizens travelling to the US. It was a ban on countries whose record of Islamist or other anti-western extremism and violence meant that prudence dictated its inhabitants should be presumed to be a potential danger to America. By ending it, Biden has made America unsafe. It is an unreasonable act, motivated entirely by the Democrats’ ideologically twisted misrepresentation of any action aimed to protect citizens against Islamic extremism ( as anti-Muslim bigotry.
Next, Biden revoked the order limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors and other institutions to hold diversity and inclusion training. This is part of what his transition team described as the new administration’s “whole-of-government initiative to advance racial equity”.
But “racial equity” is emphatically not the same as treating every person as of equal value regardless of their ethnicity. It does not mean, in the words of Martin Luther King (who must surely be turning in his grave, not least by being given a shout-out in that Biden speech) judging someone by the content of their character rather than by the colour of their skin. It is the precise opposite. It is a doctrine which holds that white people are intrinsically racist; that the west is therefore intrinsically racist; and that therefore black people in the west should be privileged over white.
So this so called “racial equity” actually institutionalises anti-white hatred and discrimination. And this deeply illiberal, racist doctrine is now to be enforced throughout American public life. Biden has appointed Susan Rice as his administration’s Robespierre, requiring all federal agencies to make “rooting out systemic racism” central to their work. In the Orwellian language of the left, this means imposing anti-white racism; and so “diversity and inclusion training” is a euphemism for subjecting employees to anti-white propaganda.
As Heather MacDonald has written for City Journal, there is already a sickening proposal to discriminate against white people in Covid-19 vaccinations. She writes:
The “systemic racism” conceit means that every American institution is illegitimate and needs to be reconstructed. Biden’s cabinet nominees, whether in health, finance, environmental policy, or education, have declared that eradicating systemic racism is their top priority. How this agenda will play out has already been adumbrated in the CDC’s initial priority list for Covid vaccinations: hold off on vaccinating the elderly, despite their higher risk levels, because the elderly are disproportionately white.
Racial quotas will become even more the order of the day than now. The diversity obsessives in the federal science bureaucracies waited out Donald Trump’s presidency. They will now redouble their efforts to treat a researcher’s race and sex as scientific qualifications in the awarding of federal research grants. Expect to see any mention of merit or excellence denounced as a form of bigotry, a response that the University of California and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as an army of corporate diversity trainers, have already perfected.
The next four years will likely be one long anti-white-privilege struggle session. Any real effort to close racial achievement gaps, such as fighting the “acting white” ethic that prevents many inner-city children from trying hard in school, will be deferred and discredited.
In similar vein, Biden signed an executive order to “remove discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation” — which, according to Abigail Shrier, places all girls’ sports and women’s safe spaces in its gender-bending crosshairs. In the Wall Street Journal, Shrier spells out the implications:
Any school that receives federal funding—including nearly every public high school—must either allow biological boys who self-identify as girls onto girls’ sports teams or face administrative action from the Education Department. If this policy were to be broadly adopted in anticipation of the regulations that are no doubt on the way, what would this mean for girls’ and women’s sports?
…“Finished. Done,” Olympic track-and-field coach Linda Blade told me. “The leadership skills, all the benefits society gets from letting girls have their protected category so that competition can be fair, all the advances of women’s rights—that’s going to be diminished.”
Biden’s action will thus institutionalise injustice and discrimination against women in sport. For regardless of whatever procedures individuals may have undergone in order to assume a different gender, if they were born as men they retain a clear advantage over women in sport through their difference in strength and physique. So at a stroke, Biden has struck a grievous blow against women, thus undermining any feminist credentials his administration may want to claim — and indeed, any claim to reason or moderation.
Gender is not the same as biological sex; but for telling this fundamental truth about what makes us all human, the Biden administration now clearly intends to punish anyone who dares do so. The people who will most find themselves in this particular firing line will be those with traditional religious beliefs. Thus the Biden administration has also signalled the end of religious freedom in pursuit of the project to remake nothing less than human identity itself.
He also displayed an instant contempt for the niceties of constitutional proprieties, let alone human decency. Within minutes of being sworn in, Biden told Peter Robb, general counsel of the National Labour Relations Board, to resign by 5 pm or be fired. Robb refused to resign; so he was promptly fired. The implications of this have been spelled out in the Wall Street Journal by Kimberley Strassel. She writes:
The general-counsel position is a Senate-confirmed four-year appointment at an independent agency; Mr. Robb had 10 months left in his term. No NLRB general counsel had ever been fired, and the Biden White House provided no cause for the action.
… Democrats rely on unions to get elected, and unions are therefore first in line to get rewarded. The most effective vehicle for that is the NLRB, which has sweeping power to enforce labor practices on companies across America. Mr. Obama used the NLRB to rig the rules so that unions could dominate workforces.
… It is also an early indicator of Mr. Biden’s governing philosophy, which is straight out of the Obama playbook. The last Democratic president was so intent on rewarding labor bosses, he proved willing to break almost anything (including the Constitution) to do it.
…The new president is under massive pressure from the progressive left, including many service unions, to act aggressively on climate. Yet his first-day executive action canceling the Keystone XL pipeline prompted a furious rebuke from blue-collar unions that are set to lose jobs… Control of the NLRB will allow Mr. Biden to soothe labour divisions by handing out sweeping rule changes that will benefit unions across the spectrum. Mr. Robb’s firing will likely be only the first of many exercises of raw power, many of which will likely make the Obama NLRB look tame.
When Biden speaks of unity, he means it in the same way that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un or China’s President Xi might mean it — unity on his terms, or else. Just as I wrote here, Biden will be a president for everyone who thinks like him. If you don’t, you’ll be purged. Biden’s “unity” excludes millions of white-skinned Americans — by implication, in fact, potentially every white-skinned American — whom he defamed in his speech by smearing them with “systemic racism”, “nativism” and rising “white supremacy”.
In short, the chilling extinction of reason, justice and freedom that has been taking place in our universities is now to be institutionalised as American government policy.
It is more than illiberal; it is totalitarian. It is based on coercion, intimidation and injustice; it will deprive untold numbers of people of the prospects of employment, throw many more out of their jobs and will forcibly disbar yet more; it will rewrite America’s history as a libel against itself, will aim to remake society and humanity, and will try to silence anyone who dares stand up for reason, justice and moral decency.
One has to wonder: what price the American constitution in this cultural revolutionary Terror? Presumably, there will be lawsuits against sending America’s basic principles to the guillotine. But is the US constitution itself safe from Senator Chuck Schumer’s chilling victory boast to “change America”? After all, the Democrats have already threatened to pack the Supreme Court by installing additional patsy Democrat justices to remove its current conservative majority.
Far from a return to normal, what the Biden administration calls irresistibly to mind is how the horrified 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke described the French Revolution — as “a monstrous tragicomic scene”.
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, broadcaster and author - you can follow her work on her website HERE.