Joe Biden’s shameful performance at the White House Easter egg roll Sunday was another strong visual indicator that he is not really governing this country. And he’s not the only sham authority in this country — our nation is replete with them.
The term “Potemkin village” arose in Russia to describe empty buildings set up as propaganda, to give a false impression of industry and life. The fake villages were intended to hide the regime’s mass mismanagement and infliction of suffering upon its own people.
In 1949, The New York Times described Moscow as a “Potemkin village” because its apparent vitality and strength, artificially boosted to both provide the corrupt elites a comfortable place to live and foreign visitors a misleading portrayal of the nation, was “unrepresentative” of the typical Russian’s everyday life under Joseph Stalin.
The phrase was allegedly named after Grigori Potëmkin, an imperial Russian military official who reportedly first deployed the tactic. (Soviet “history” is untrustworthy, especially when it appears to blame-shift evil deeds onto monarchs and capitalists instead of national socialists.) According to CIA archives, the Soviet Communists widely deployed the deceptive tactic, of course.
The glorious Oxford English Dictionary gives examples of the term being used to describe everything from political situations to personal libraries. It dates the origin of the term to 1787, and today defines Potemkin as: “Sham, insubstantial; consisting of little or nothing behind an impressive facade.”
That is precisely what the U.S. federal government has been now for many years.
Political historians such as Christopher Caldwell, Ronald Pestritto, and Thomas G. West have explained the causes and details of American government becoming less American and less government. This is not the place to reprise those studied arguments. It is, however, the place to note that the U.S. federal government has clearly and openly become a total farce.
This is not just in the symbolic farce of regime actions such as placing a man who claims to be a woman in charge of what is supposed to be a health agency, and installing into the presidency a man whose incompetence is so dangerous to national security and international order he is prevented from speaking publicly by a fierce Easter bunny.
It is also in the utter farce of governmental authority at all, as seen in almost every major public issue, big and small. Consider the fact that the great United States appears unable to run a trustworthy election, nor even to broadly fix major election insecurities even after they are widely visible. My Republican-run state, for example, grants an entire month of early voting, with no excuses required, which tampers with the electorate’s knowledge about candidates, preferences incumbents, and allows for vote trafficking based on which homes have voted early and which have not by election day.
Here’s another one: The utter ridiculousness of our ruling class deliberately destroying our social fabric and the economic activity people need to stay alive in a wild overreaction to a Chinese flu that doesn’t target working- and school-age people. Then that same ruling class lavishing government workers — who worked the least during the unconstitutional mass criminalization of economic and social activity — with “bonuses“!
About the only thing Congress can do right now is further inflate prices for working people by endlessly greasing politicians’ corrupt cronies. Oh, they can also elevate to final oversight of the people’s Constitution a woman who believes our natural human rights must be destroyed. That’s a Potemkin Supreme Court justice, and if we get one more like her, or one of the current ones goes softer, it will be an entirely Potemkin Supreme Court.
Both parties have been complicit in such behavior such that no other conclusion can be drawn but that leading elements of the Republican Party are simply a controlled opposition.
In other words, another Potemkin mirage. How can someone go on stage and tell voters he loves the Constitution, then let members of his caucus vote to confirm to the Supreme Court someone who avowedly hates the Constitution with precisely zero effective sanction? One can only conclude these people are lying liars who lie — obscenely, for pay and prestige.
Yes, these people, the very ones who spent four years ranting to The New York Times and Politico about “norms,” are the very ones complicit in a Congress that has failed to pass a regular budget, let alone legitimately pay for its own spending or adhere to the Constitution as they swear to do, for the past 20 years. These are very people saying nothing while administrators unilaterally and indefinitely suspend any law they like, using Covid as a fig leaf.
These people are also taking precisely zero action while the United States’s sovereignty, safety, and national security are deliberately sabotaged by a United Nations-assisted stampede over our border that will result in even more social strife and strain on our chronically ineffective and soon-bankrupt safety nets, not to mention likely terrorist attacks. If they do anything, it’s prattle mindlessly on TV about how immigrants are “part of the fabric of America” when our public schools and other institutions can’t even assimilate native-born Americans and haven’t been able to do so for decades, all while these same people and their friends have ostensibly held power.
This is what you call a Potemkin Congress. We have a Potemkin president, a Potemkin Congress, and a partially Potemkin Supreme Court. And it’s leading to an entirely Potemkin government and a partially Potemkin people.
Can you think of any domain in which the federal government has been successful in the past, say, 20 years? Have we won any wars? Is our military even ready should China make a move? Is our nation in good economic health? Is our infrastructure strong, clean, and advanced? Are our education systems and families producing a majority of citizens who are competent and productive? Are our streets clean, lively, and safe?
Or do we have record numbers of homeless people, record numbers of unparented children, record numbers of people on street and pharmaceutical drugs, record numbers of people failing to create or sustain families, and record numbers of barren, hysterical harpies and neurotic, emasculated men, with most being subsidized somehow by a shrinking number of people who work at legitimately productive and joyous vocations? Does our nation look thriving, vigorous, and advancing to you, or like essentially a people that has lost its will to live?
At the same time, does any person in the federal government appear to have any of this under control, or even possess a plan for leading us out of any of these fiascos? To ask that question is to provoke a bitter laugh. At best, these people wildly jerk their skin suits onscreen to project to the rest of us whatever Potemkin propaganda they hope will keep us believing in their false projections of power.
Joe Biden is a symbol of the entire federal government: Its dangerous incompetence, corruption, and utter disrespect for the American people and the rule of law.