Joe Biden is no Henry Wallace—the 1948 Progressive Party candidate for president who many thought was the first actual communist (or close) to run for the U.S. presidency.
Indeed, Biden is pretty much of a political cipher, his views waffling back and forth with the political winds over his long career. His more-important-than-usual running mate, Kamala Harris, is much the same way, though of shorter duration.
Nevertheless, Election 2020 is going to be the first time in a long time, or possibly ever, that a U.S. presidential election is going to be about that ideological ultimatum—capitalism vs. socialism. (Wallace was, after all, a third-party candidate.)
The old saw about “the most important election ever” suddenly isn’t such a tired cliché.
This is due to the Biden–Harris duo being, in essence, held hostage by the growing socialist wing of the Democratic Party, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (officially an independent who is accepted as a member of the party’s Senate leadership) and “The Squad,” two of whose most extreme members—Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib—just won their primaries handily, despite determined competition. These far-left-wingers are far more popular with their constituency than the nominees are with any constituency.
Biden and Harris couldn’t win in November without these putatively democratic socialists, even if they wanted to—and it’s not faintly clear at this point that they want to.
In fact, indications are quite the opposite. Despite the efforts of The New York Times and others to mollify the electorate by characterizing Biden as a “moderate,” he’s made no attempt as yet to justify that.
No “Sister Soljah” moment appears to be on the horizon. He barely even discusses the violence in our streets. He hasn’t gone as far as the eye-rolling Jerry Nadler to say that Antifa is a myth, but he might as well have.
Part of the explanation for this is that Biden is a fearful, cautious person by nature. He was, it will be remembered, afraid to go after Bin Laden lest the attempt misfire. At this moment, he rarely comes out of his basement. Better to not screw up.
By remaining silent, he gives his assent to that violence in the streets that no doubt would increase under his administration, a new form of revolution based on race and gender rather than economics—tribalism really.
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson has opined there are timeshare salespeople more trustworthy than running mate Harris, a ruthless comment with an uncomfortable ring of truth.
A more polite way of looking at Harris might be to reference Groucho Marx when, as Rufus T. Firefly, president of Freedonia in the film “Duck Soup,” he opined, “These are my principles. And if you don’t like them, well … I’ve got others.”
Of course, Bernie and The Squad don’t have “others.” They know what their principles are—they’re very much sticking to them—and they aren’t the principles of a capitalist state.
I think it’s fair to say Biden and Harris don’t really have principles, less even than Groucho, not any that they deeply care about, anyway, which makes them easy prey for those who do.
Gradually, or perhaps immediately, the left would get their way in Biden and Harris’s administration, should they be elected. It’s hard to see another scenario. And then it will keep going further … and further … as such things do.
Which makes Election 2020 that “most important ever,” the last bastion of capitalism if you happen to think, as I do, that it’s vastly superior to socialism.
I won’t bore us all to death by pointing out the obvious, all the failures of socialism and communism, economic and otherwise, from Venezuela to the Great Leap Forward, how tens of millions have died for that particular cause.
Nor will I belabor, as Friedrich Hayek explained almost a century ago now, that socialism leads inexorably to totalitarian communism. We have had a world full of examples since then.
What it comes to is this: Whether we like him or not, whether we see him as ironic or heroic or both, Donald Trump is now the defender of Adam Smith over Karl Marx. He’s our last, best hope.
Sitting this one out or being a NeverTrumper, at this point, is a luxury none of us can afford.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning author, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJ Media, and now a columnist for The Epoch Times. Find him on Twitter and Parler @rogerlsimon. Buy his books on Amazon.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.