Edward J. O'Boyle

Whenever President Biden appears in public he is impeccably groomed. He never fails to be dressed to the nines. His trousers are perfectly pressed, his shoes are spotlessly shined. His shirt collar invariably stays in place inside his suit jacket; his tie is knotted with the utmost care and never strays to the side. The colors of his attire are meticulously selected to match. He is indeed the image of sartorial splendor.

While a crude man would raise his voice and pound the podium with his fists to emphasize a point, President Biden leans forward and whispers his message to underscore his meaning. He never resorts to the use of foul language in public, never viciously attacks his political adversaries. He is the very essence of a man with a truly gentlemanly manner.

His more than 40 years in Washington as an elected public official, which has culminated in his election to the presidency of the United States, attests to his greatness. It is that greatness complemented by his gentle manner which is his personal legacy. To top it all off, as with most Americans, he loves an ice cream cone.

Why then does such a man with every appearance of having the necessary presidential gravitas, make such bewildering and dangerous decisions. We center our attention on just two. First, his decision to open the southern border to anyone who is able and willing to get to and cross the border. Second, his decision to remove the American presence from Afghanistan on date certain.

Biden’s open-border policy decision abdicates any personal responsibility as to who and how many enter, leaving it largely in the hands of the migrants, refugees, and their handlers. Whether they are truly intent on becoming American citizens by learning the English language, adapting to our system of self-governance, and obeying our laws, or are expecting America to provide for their every need, are motivated to latch on to every opportunity for financial gain by illegal means whenever necessary, or are committed to attacking the U.S. and bringing down our government are of little apparent concern to President Biden.

His precipitous departure from Afghanistan has brought with it a whole host of negative consequences for thousands if not actually millions of human beings in that tribal country and elsewhere around the world. The many Americans who are not directly impacted by this decision find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of information from the airport at Kabul which often contradicts Biden’s very own words on the conditions there. Additionally, we are confused by the different messages coming from the State Department and the Defense Department, notably about the number of Americans still remaining in Afghanistan and any efforts to help them get through Taliban checkpoints to the airport for airlift to safety.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki and national security advisor Jake Sullivan have done a masterful job of defending the president’s decision-making and preserving his leadership image, but their clever rhetoric and deflection of damning questions are not enough to satisfy the concerned viewer. Proof of that is beginning to show up in his 62 percent disapproval rating on how he has been handling matters related to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

How do we begin to sort through and reconcile the differences we observe between the well-dressed and gentleman president and the content of his character? We offer three possible explanations. He is in cognitive decline. He is delusional. He is a tool.

Many observers have commented on Biden’s cognitive decline, even prior to last year’s presidential election. From time to time, he has difficulty in framing an answer to a question. Sometimes, he is caught searching for the right word but can’t seem to find it. He stumbles on occasion and the look on his face indicates that he knows all is not right. He seems articulate enough when reading from a script, but his handlers try to hurry him off stage so he doesn’t have to respond to questions. When he cannot avoid taking questions, he keeps a list of reporters to call on hoping or even knowing those persons will pitch the questions directly into his wheelhouse. Is his cognitive decline related to the two surgeries he had in 1988 for brain aneurysms?

Perhaps President Biden is delusional, meaning that he has fixed and false beliefs that conflict with reality and he cannot let go of those convictions. For example, he has stated in public that his son Hunter is the smartest man he knows. He often refers to his hard scrabble roots from Scranton which he left with his family to live in Delaware when he was in fourth grade. While serving as a lifeguard at a swimming pool in 1962 he confronted Corn Pop the head of a tough gang of blacks and successfully worked out an agreement satisfactory to both parties, proving he knows how to negotiate. He insists that he is a practicing Catholic but openly and repeatedly rejects one of the most important central teachings of the Church.

Finally, we must ask this question: Is the president a tool of silent partners who use his cognitive decline and his delusional nature to get his approval for truly radical proposals that threaten our constitutional republic? In this scenario the crisis on the southern border and the debacle in Afghanistan are intentional strategies to frighten Americans, divide America, and replace self-governance with authoritarian rule. Add huge sums to the public debt by increasing federal spending that is not paid for, thereby convincing people that their needs are best left not to a privately controlled market system but to a powerful central authority. Convince the American people that the science on climate change is settled which demands action immediately from the elitists in Washington who based on that science know exactly what to do.

Persuade Americans of color that their problems originate in white supremacy further dividing the nation and adding support for authoritarian rule. Blame the police for crime especially in major cities, making the case for defunding the police, which drives law-abiding, tax-paying residents to flee to the suburbs, forcing financially strapped cities to turn to an authoritarian central government for relief. That authoritarian government will, of course, tell the city’s governing body how best to run local affairs. Encourage greater control of what is taught in public schools by school boards and teacher unions because they know more about the needs of school-age children thereby separating children from their parents and undermining the family – the single most important institution supporting self-governance.

President Biden probably still believes in a self-governing America but he acts as if an authoritarian America is the superior form of government. All that is needed is (a) the right people to draw the plans required to fix the infrastructure, break our dependence of fossil fuels, create good-paying union jobs for everyone who wants to work, provide free health care for every man, woman, and child, introduce diversity, equity, and inclusion into every educational, military, and corporate institution across this nation, and (b) the right people to implement those plans.

Simply put, what’s wrong with America is there are too many individuals who are free to decide what works best for them and not enough recognition that authorities are better able to decide what is best for the masses. Thus the drive to replace self-governance with authoritarian rule. A delusional and cognitively challenged president is not able to defend and protect our freedom and constitutional republic from the authoritarians among us. A president who is a tool poses a direct threat to our freedom and republic.

Edward J. O’Boyle is a Senior Research Associate with Mayo Research Institute. He has offices in West Monroe, Lake Charles and New Orleans. He can be reached at 381-4002 or edoboyle737@gmail.com.

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