Joe Biden’s Orwellian “Good People on both Sides” Moment

“Thought crimes [in George Orwell’s novel 1984] are things that some ideology deems it wrong to think, …

                                                            “Thought Crime”, August 19, 2023

In 2017, in their continuing efforts to paint Trump as a racist, the Democrat “News”-media Colluders (hereafter the DNC) claimed that Trump praised white supremacists when, referring to a Charlottesville demonstration against taking down the statue of confederate Civil War general Robert E. Lee, Trump said that “there were very fine people on both sides.”   The storyline that the DNC put together was that Trump was thereby praising white supremacists.   In fact, of course, Trump was merely saying that there were people like Mr. and Mrs. Jones in attendance who were not white supremacists but who objected to tearing down statues.  Don’t we need to ask people before we send mobs in their neighbourhoods to tear down statues?  Or are people just expected to lay down and submit now?  In fact, that was precisely Trump’s point in making that statement, i.e., that despite the fact that there were some bad people on the one side there were also good people like Mr. and Mrs. Jones there as well.  The DNC deliberately misunderstood that in order to smear Trump and mislead voters.

More recently Joe Biden has had his “good people on both sides” moment.  Asked whether he condemned the anti-Semitism on university campuses, Biden replied,

I condemn the anti-Semitic protest … I also condemn those who don’t understand what is going on with the Palestinians. 

Many on the Right have pointed out that this is Biden’s “good people on both sides” moment.  There is considerable truth to this criticism.  Biden is, as usual, trying to position himself on both sides of the issue by attempting to construct a moral equivalence between the two sides.  This fake moral equivalence is then used by Biden, in order to further his 2024 electoral prospects, to give the impression to each side that he supports them equally.   This is, of course, a lack of leadership, that is, it is pandering.  But sometimes reality requires a true leader to choose one side of an issue.  In the case at hand, he is falsely trying to construct a moral equivalence between Jewish students being attacked and intimidated on US university campuses and Israel’s military operations in Gaza.  Apparently, Biden cannot grasp that, on the one hand, much of the anti-Semitism at issue is directed against US citizens here in the United States on university campuses and, on the other hand, military operations against Gazans on the other as the result of the horrific Oct. 7th 2023 terror attack in Israel.  There is no moral equivalence!  Biden can tell the difference between American Jews and Israelis … or maybe not?

There is, however, another point to make about Biden’s “Good People on both Sides” Moment that has not been made in the commentary.  Note first that the anti-Semitism against Jews on US campuses has taken the form of assaults and intimidation and threats.   A Jewish woman, Sahar Tartak, make a report to the Yale campus police that she was poked in the eye with a flagpole.  Naturally, the campus police told her they could not do anything.  At Columbia University a Rabbi told Jewish students to stay home because there are no longer safe on campus.  Didn’t those students pay tuition and fees to secure their safety on campus?  This kind of anti-Semitism has been going on for some time.  In 2023, a Cornell student was arrested after he made anti-Semitic threats against Jewish students on campus … and so on and so on and on

Note, however, the specific words Biden uses in order to construct his fake moral equivalence: “I also condemn those who don’t understand what is going on with the Palestinians.”  Biden condemns people who don’t “understand” something!  That is, where the anti-Semites are guilty of dangerous actions, Biden accuses people on the other side of not “understanding” things the way he does, that is, of thought crimes!

Biden apparently thinks there is a moral equivalence between the act of poking a Jewish woman in the eye with a flagpole and that Jewish victim’s failure to “understand” things the way her attacker (or Joe Biden in his large white mansion) require.

Several decades ago university students almost universally understood the error of the idea of “wrongthink,” that is, the idea that thinking in a way contrary to the reigning orthodoxy (in this case, the reigning Biden administration orthodoxy) is, by virtue of that fact, wrong.   Biden would appear to have forgotten that he is president of the United States, not Venezuela (or Oceania).  Unfortunately, the American Left, centred in the Democrat Party, is more and more coming to approve of the persecution, sometimes legal or even violent, of conservative “wrongthink”.  The Biden regime has had a Blaze investigative reporter arrested.  It supports spying on Americans.  It has failed to condemn the American Left’s attempts to bar Republican candidates from being able to run for office.  It has attempted to “outsource” (to social media) efforts to censor people who wish to express ideas that oppose regime views … and so on and on.

It is none of Joe Biden’s business how people “understand” things.  Does he remember what is in the US Constitution?  It is his business if a Jewish student pokes a Palestine supporter in the eye with a stick but that has not happened yet.   What has happened is that a Palestinian supporter has poked a female Jewish student in the eye with a flagpole, and others have driven Jewish students off campus, not that Joe Biden cares.   Biden’s sole concern now is winning the next election, not protecting the American people, that is, not by doing his job.  In this respect Biden is simply doing what he has been doing ever since he took office in 2021, namely, desperately trying to avoid making a principled moral decision in order to benefit himself. 

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Richard McDonough

Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi.

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Richard McDonough

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