Truer Words Were Never Said

JOE BIDEN is a nice guy, no question about that. He’d probably be a great next door neighbor. But he has lost two bids for the Presidency. Perhaps he’s trying to tie William Jennings Bryan and Daniel Webster, both of whom were nominated by their parties (Democrat and Whig, respectively) and lost their bids for the Presidency three times.

He can’t beat Trump. No question about that. Nor about the fact that Joe Biden is vastly more competent and qualified than Trump to be President. Of course, that’s not saying much. The only thing Donald Trump is qualified to be is an EGOTIST on the scale of Red-baiting Commie-hunter Joe McCarthy, populist demagogue Hughie Long, and unconscious solipsist Donald Rumsfeld. Trump’s minor qualifications are: compulsive liar, racist, closet fascist, sexual predator, and . . . yellow-bellied sidewinder.

America’s problem goes way beyond Trump: he’s just the “snap, crackle, and pop” in Know-Nothingism’s ideological Rice Krispies. The fact is: as a nation, we gave up on local community political life at the end of the Civil War, when we collectively decided that scientific technology would usher in a Paradise, solving all human problems. As Ted Nace has chronicled in Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy, the founding fathers—Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Washington—all feared and despised concentrated corporate power and kept it on a tight leash through strict and politically controlled state charters, which could be revoked at any time in case the corporation overstepped its bounds. Our founders knew the danger first hand from the British East Indies Company, the forerunner and prototype of modern multinational corporations. The regulatory sanctions they created remained firmly in place until about 1850. (By 1851 America’s wealth was already centered in corporations, not land.) Gangs of America traces the whole sordid history of modern capitalism’s strategic program of consolidating corporate power in America, from lobbyist Tom Scott’s bribing the state legislature to let the Pennsylvania Railroad buy stock in other corporations (forbidden by charters) and his invention of the holding company to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

Profit-maximization, the exclusive driver of ideological Global Capitalism, is the efficient cause of Global Warming and Catastrophic Weather Events. This environmental reality will not be interrupted or altered by the pitiful antics of economically-captured professional bureaucrats, no matter how organized, right-thinking and well-intentioned they might be as individuals. Regardless of Elizabeth Warren’s accurate assessments and Bernie Sanders’s devotion to populist causes, there will be no meaningful progress to dismantle the status quo, slow or halt Global Warming, or restructure our economic institutions until we adopt a universal system of exchange from which the profit motive has been detached by design.

But despite his lengthy resumé, former Senator and Vice-President Joseph Biden is magnificently out of touch with the realities we face today. Biden effectively announced his retirement with his polite escape from Senator Harris in the recent debate when he uttered the words: “My time is up.”

Though certainly not what he intended, truer words were never said.

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