It has been said that once, the 18th-century German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt met an Indian while walking through an American desert. Humboldt asked the Indian with great interest about his recent baptism, and the Indian told him that he had even met the Archbishop of Quebec. But seeing that the naturalist was skeptical, the Indian decided to add a little more veracity to his statement: “Look, I knew him very well; I was one of the ones that ate him.” And this is all you need to know about the DNC’s attempt to portray the Biden–Harris tandem as a sugar-coated assortment of vegan politicians ready to lead the United States into a new era of peace and harmony. All that was missing was Harris dressed in white, playing the harp atop an apple tree. But people, in these difficult times, are much more like Humboldt than like Billie Eilish, who has enough on her plate figuring out where she is whenever she manages to open her eyes.
At the DNC, Biden promised to protect America from the coronavirus and, even though no one knows what it actually means to protect America, it sounds overly optimistic. Reality, that monster that always spoils the headlines the Left makes up, is lousy, so depressing that it would make Cioran jump for joy. Tough times are coming, as Saint Teresa of Jesus said in reference to those difficult moments when it is a good idea to become “strong friends of God.” The health crisis will be followed by the economic crisis, the economic crisis will be followed by the employment crisis, and the employment crisis will be followed by the political crisis, with the extreme polarization that the Left promotes as an electoral weapon. If there is any chance of things going well in the midst of this perfect storm, it will be from firm, courageous, and sincere leadership.
Hot times require cold leaders, but not so cold that they could be dead. When facing a health emergency with a brutal economic impact, those who govern will have to make painful and risky decisions. Cowards are disqualified. It is time for leaders who would put themselves on the line for their country, not for pretty words and empty speeches. Once again, it is time for truth, the great absentee in a DNC plagued by AliExpress sentimentality. Barack Obama, with his usual pompous and affected style, blamed Trump for the deaths of 170,000 Americans. Biden promised to fix everything. The Left is truly responsible for the smearing of the truth. It is baffling that Biden should base his leadership campaign on falsehoods, especially if we consider Mark Twain’s old observation: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
It is difficult to ignore that the origin of the pandemic is not sanitary but moral: It was the lies and concealment of the Chinese Communists that caused a small local outbreak to become a global pandemic. We should always keep this in mind. The least a leader can do now is tell his people the truth. People are dying, more will die, the situation is terrible, we still know almost nothing about the virus, we are not prepared for this situation and, in the end, my friends, all that remains is to unite, to help each other, and to fight. The Welfare State is over. No more social democracy. No more trying to cover up the ineptitude of our rulers with taxes. Taxes are not worth much when the majority has lost their jobs, and purchasing power plummets. In times of crisis, the socialist economy collapses: Not everyone can live subsidized . . . not when there’s no one who can pay for it. Remember the wisdom of P. J. O’Rourke: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” It’s a terrible thing to have to tell kids at progressive universities, but sometimes my role as a journalist comes down to giving people nightmares: There’s always someone paying for the party. Someone pays for climate-change policies, someone pays for sex-change operations, someone pays for the BLM destruction in the streets, and someone pays for the WHO’s attempts to whitewash the Chinese Communist regime.
If it’s a question of telling the truth, a good leader would warn the people that, even making the best decisions, only a miracle can save us from the abyss we’ve started falling down. And, as hard as Biden tried over the weekend to present himself as a saintly leader, it is highly unlikely he will be able to work that miracle, at least as long as he remains bound to the Lady of Planned Parenthood, Kamala, in some sort of baby blood pact. In any case, a leader should encourage people to pray, to pray hard, to go to the temple and kneel before God and pray for an end to the pandemic, while sitting as far away as possible from the Jesuit James Martin.
Yet the Left insists on presenting Biden as a man of dialogue, as if we had forgotten that his main contribution to national concord was to ask an uncomfortable television presenter if he had consumed cocaine. Even if his good nature were true (and we could forget that Kamala is the type of person who could have her freezer full of the tongues of any who spoke against her), we should be asking ourselves, very seriously: Why would we want a dialoguing leader now? Is he to organize a summit with the coronavirus? Is he going to sign a peace treaty with the virus? Is he going to talk the clouds into raining dollars?
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were not particularly talkative. Courage and values are what a leader requires at this time. Courage, almost authoritarian, to take the necessary steps even if they are unpopular. And values, because the crisis forces a society that has outlawed pain and suffering to make great sacrifices.
A few weeks ago, in Spain, the left-wing media went about scolding youngsters for putting having a good time, discos, and summer fun before the health emergency. In a gesture of utmost indignation, they accused them of the greatest sin of the progressive creed: “You are selfish!” So the same people who have conscientiously eliminated all moral notions from young people in school; the same people who have eliminated God, good, and evil from school; the same people who have vilified the traditional values of Christian education; now expect youngsters to sacrifice themselves for others. Of course. Maybe with some help from the Pachamama.
We find hope in history. Often, in difficult times, the leader we needed to get back on our feet has emerged. The rulers who will lead the recovery, along with all the above, will bet on freedom. The pandemic makes totalitarians angry. We are seeing it in Venezuela, where Maduro — Putin, do the world a favor and send him that vaccine, as he says he wants to be the first to try it — is taking advantage of the situation to tighten the noose around the neck of the Venezuelan people. Or in Spain, where the Social Communist government took advantage of the coronavirus to suspend democracy with a state of alarm that lasted months and was also used to make numerous totalitarian decisions unrelated to the health crisis. My country, Spain, is in fact proof that only with individual freedom and responsibility can the coronavirus be dealt with. The Spanish government has been the one that has most restricted citizens’ freedoms in dealing with the virus: total confinement, obligation to wear masks at all times, and extreme measures for businesses and bars. And today Spain, once again with the coronavirus out of control, is the country that most concerns Europe, and the world.
In the end, even the most authoritarian government cannot prevent contact between people at all times. That is why political leadership that believes in personal freedom and individual responsibility and is able to promote it among its own people is perhaps more useful than entrusting the whole fate of a country to the ultra-protective role of the state. In a way, G. K. Chesterton already wrote about this years ago: “We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.”
In the meantime, if anyone finds that brave, temperate, daring, sincere, freedom-loving leader, a promoter of individual responsibility, with values, please send him to me urgently in Spain. I’ll pay the shipping costs. I don’t need him to pass a PCR.
Translated by Joel Dalmau.