Are the intelligentsia attempting to make “empathy” a detestable word? Our collectively superficial obsession with the emotional intelligence of politicians did not begin when Joe Biden commenced his third presidential campaign, but it is in his persona that the propagandists find the manifestation of the empathic virtue. They write interminably of his “empathy”, which is usually synonymized with his “compassion”, a term itself used interchangeably with “decency”, to which they occasionally refer as “presidential behavior”. Professionalism, diplomacy, decorum—all of these words mean the same thing and all of them are equally meaningless, but certainly they are not purposeless. The purpose of this muddled, monochromatic language is to conceal the absence of substance, both in the ethereal requirement and in the man who supposedly meets it. There isn’t a question of what the man is, but only of the manner in which he appears.
If there is anything more commonplace than this phenomenon in the current culture, then it must be the observation thereof. Persons more learned than I have already written on this subject, and I suppose I must have dabbled in it more than once myself. Might we continue to tell ourselves these things because we know of no other means of preserving our sanity? If one reads the press without any discriminating filters at all, then it is only a matter of time before one adopts the publications’ vacuous values as one’s own. Such is precisely the objective of propaganda, and we can expect its fusillade to continue as the Biden Administration inevitably fails to satisfy the creatures who feed on this fodder.
Yesterday’s batch furnished a provocative example. Hunter Biden, that profligate Earnest, appears to be publishing a memoir, a significant portion of which is believed to be dedicated to his ongoing struggle with substance abuse. While I have never taken an interest in the man’s salacious personal life, as many of the more desperate neoconservative populists did in advance of the election, I have been intrigued by the intermittent effort that the establishment media has put forth to depict Hunter (as we shall refer to him hereafter) as a sympathetic figure, possibly even as a tragic hero. When President Trump denounced Hunter as a lowly drug addict, Joe Biden defended his son for “having a problem”. It was difficult, if not effectively impossible, to condone Trump’s demeaning gesture.
Conversely, it became even more of a challenge to condemn Joe Biden’s domestic drug policy. As the election approached, Biden repeatedly confirmed his own cultural incompatibility, of which his support for the criminalization of recreational drug use was perhaps not the most worrisome example, but which was almost certainly the most surreal. In the year 2020, the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, supposedly the liberal vanguard of American politics, did not believe in the legalization of anything currently prohibited, including marijuana—and neither did his running mate. It was a staggering demonstration of the failure of representative government in several senses of the word, for Biden couldn’t even represent his own family.
The propagandists of the mainstream press are forbidden to consider such a contradiction, although it is likely inaccessible to them, anyway. Instead of questioning Biden’s intentions, they are writing in unencumbered praise of his moral sincerity. They are taking the new president at his word, and they stop listening and thinking at the moment he stops speaking. They work for his benefit, and if his son is publishing a book that depicts him in a positive light, then they have an informal obligation to promote it, even if they don’t read it—and especially if the masses never read it. The purpose is not to compel actual interaction with the propagandizing material, as what once might have been the case with Mein Kampf, but to develop a symbol that the masses can identify easily in the future.
The symbol in question is the empathic Biden, the exudence of whose empathy pervades that with which he comes into contact. One needn’t even be certain which Biden is believed to be empathic: it can be Joe, or Hunter, or Jill, or someone else completely. It can even be the vice-president who serves under [President Joe] Biden, or another official whom [President Joe] Biden appointed. All that matters is that the individual received the approval of [the] Biden, and we can believe in that person’s empathy, or compassion, or decency . . .