Why has Joe Biden embraced the agenda of his party's lunatic fringe after roundly beating them? Mass hypnosis.
Not kidding. I'm professionally recognized by the National Guild of Hypnotists as one of the top 100 nonclinical hypnotists in the world. I shall reveal all.
Hypnosis isn't kooky and spooky. That's just how Hollywood dramatizes it.
Per the late, great Ernest Hilgard, hypnosis is simply “believed-in imagination.”
The “progressive” left generates the prevailing narrative. They use it to get their comrades to believe-in an imaginary narrative. Pure hypnosis.
Doesn't work on most rank-and-file voters who live by common sense. Not fairy tales.
Unlike the “progressives,” the Democratic party's base is not into waging war on the middle class. The base aspires to join, not destroy, it.
Striving for economic security, we working people are not sold on fantasies like “fully automated luxury communism.” Addled fantasies are a luxury we can't afford.
So, a landslide of registered Democrats crushed the progressive candidates, believing Biden to be pro-worker and pro-capitalism.
As a senator, Biden voted for both major supply side tax rate cuts (dropping the top rate from 70% to 28%) quarterbacked by Republican Rep. Jack Kemp, run into the end zone by GOP President Ronald Reagan.
As a senator, Biden, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, voted for slashing the capital gains tax rate from 28% to 20%, propelling epic prosperity.
Yet now, in the Halloween season, Biden — slightly spookily — unconditionally surrendered to the left.
Karl Rove recently presented his explanation of why Biden stood another old political maxim on its head and went with if you can beat 'em, join 'em!
"[W]hat we saw last week was an unconditional surrender by President Joe Biden to the demands of his party's left wing. … Mr. Biden's capitulation was utterly unnecessary.
"… After nearly five decades in Washington, Mr. Biden must understand that a president can enact big changes only when he has substantial margins in Congress and at least some bipartisan support. Mr. Biden doesn't have either. So why does he persist?"
Rove speculates that the Democratic party regulars are out of ideas, energy and self-confidence, leaving the extremists in charge.
Another grand ol' conservative warhorse, George Will, writing in The Washington Post, has his own theory:
"[Biden] is a party man who goes where it goes.
"Biden probably chose to align with progressives last week because, preferring their agenda to any presidential preference for splitting differences, they gave him no choice. The Great American Songbook teaches that when an immovable object meets an irresistible force, something's gotta give."
But wait, by George (and Karl)!
Something more powerful is at work. Mass hypnosis!
Progressives spin a darn good yarn.
The far left's glorious narrative appealed to Biden's believed-in imagination in a way that pragmatism never could.
As another master political hypnotist, Napoleon Bonaparte, once observed, “Imagination rules the world.” And as Samuel P. Newman, in his classic 1827 work on persuasion, Systems of Rhetoric, observed, there are four ways to persuade.
Three are weak. The right is addicted to these: description, exposition, argument.
One mode is strong: narrative. The left excels at this.
(In passing, I, a hypnotic master, discovered another one, declaration, but it's beyond the scope of this column.)
The left simply came up with the better story. And offered to cast Biden as its epic hero.
Joe Biden craves more than a term or two of presidency.
He yearns to be historic. All presidents do.
Biden's capitulation isn't about him getting trapped by the irresistible force of the House Progressives. It's about his drive to crusade, even if quixotically, for a new New Deal, and, with it, glory.
Joe Biden would rather “dream the impossible dream” than risk going down as a 21st century Millard Fillmore … even if he ends up going out in a blaze of glory.
Also, politics is quirky. Biden just might prevail.
Stranger things have happened.
Cultural strategists Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning sum it up to perfection in their masterful Re:Imagining Change: How to use story-based strategy to win campaigns, build movements, and change the world:
“Lesson one in narrative power: myth is meaning. ... Myths are often mistakenly dismissed as folktales from long ago describing fantastical realities, but even today a sea of stories tell us who we are, what to believe, and toward what we should aspire.”
So. Progressives have hypnotized Joe Biden into believing in what George Will called “Rumpelstiltskin spin-straw-into-gold economics.”
Uh oh? But … wait! (Cue organ spike.)
Here's how I would hypnotize Biden:
When I snap my fingers you will awaken from your progressive trance, recalling nothing of it.
Then, gazing deep into my eyes, let's return you to the narrative by which you, and America, thrived: the glory of capitalism.
Mr. President? Champion capitalism!
It is the noble, and only, way to advance universal opulence and go on to glory!
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply-Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.
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