Strangely, the worst aspect of the current presidency is Biden’s deadly silence. I think President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) is making many of America’s problems worse with his silence.
Biden refuses to discuss many crises facing America. For example, I cannot recall a single Biden statement about the January Sixth Insurrection, the filibuster, voting rights, the housing crisis, Republican voter suppression efforts, the many allegations against former President Trump, or Stop the Steal. These issues are important, yet the president refuses to discuss them.
Why is Biden Silent?
Is the president unaware of these problems or has no opinions about them? I cannot believe that. Instead, I think Biden’s silence is a deliberate communications strategy.
To explain, I suspect Biden thinks he can avoid controversy and defuse conflict by ignoring some issues. For instance, Biden could believe he can defuse the anger around Trump and January 6 by refusing to discuss the former president and the Capitol Riot.
In that environment, it was possible to stop the spread of a conspiracy theory or anger by not discussing it. In 1981, if CBS did not cover something it was not news. Back in 1981, a lucky conspiracy theorist could reach a few hundred people by printing a mimeographed newsletter and mailing it out. To reach those people, the conspiracy theorist had to spend several hundred dollars on paper, printing, and stamps.
Is Biden Living in 1981?
Back in 1981, ignoring nuts and cranks was an excellent strategy. Moreover, ignoring controversial problems was an effective political strategy in 1981 because the big media collaborated. Since the big media was the only information source available to most Americans, silence worked.
Today, however, a conspiracy theorist can reach tens of millions of people with one Facebook post or Tweet. To reach those people all the conspiracy theorist needs is a smartphone and service. That costs between $30 and $60 a month, depending on which service you use.
Hence, silence no longer works as a media strategy because of the all the chatter. Silence does not work because people have many other voices to listen to.
I have to wonder if Biden is living the year 1981, mentally. This thinking helps Biden win some votes, but it makes the president incapable of governing in today’s world.
Is Biden Incapable of Governing?
I think Biden cannot govern or lead because he has no control of the narrative. Biden has no control over the narrative because of his silence.
By refusing to participate in the debate, Biden becomes its victim. For example, Democrats are incapable of stopping the fake vote fraud investigations some Republicans are conducting to justify voter suppression efforts without presidential help.
A prime example of the issues Biden makes worse with his silence is the “recount” of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County, Arizona. Republicans are using a questionable hand audit of the election results in Arizona’s largest county to justify voter suppression efforts.
Former President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) and others are using the Arizona audit to popularize voter suppress and undermine faith in the electoral process. By refusing to comment on the Arizona audit and voter suppression Biden helps the vote suppressors by hiding their activities.
To explain, Biden could use the White House’s bully pulpit to expose what is going on in Arizona. Many Americans, including many Republicans, do not know what is happening in Arizona. Worse, most Americans are unaware of voter suppression.
How Biden’s Silences Drives Voter Suppression
Biden’s silence allows Trump’s fake news about vote fraud to go unquestioned and voter suppression to go on unchecked. Instead, the only discussion of voter suppression is in partisan media only a minority pays attention to.
One easy way for Biden to thwart the Arizona nonsense is to order the Justice Department to investigate it. Such an investigation could include a federal grand jury and subpoenas demanding Republicans turn all their evidence over to federal investigators.
The fools in Arizona are alleging foreign election interference. The best way to shut them down is to call their bluff by ordering a federal investigation. If the allegations are true, authorities need to know the full picture to end the interference.
If the allegations are false, we need to know who is making the false allegations and why. If the Arizona audit is a scam to rip off gullible Republicans it needs to be exposed and those responsible need to be prosecuted. One of the best way to discredit voter suppression and stop the steal would be to expose their promoters as fraudsters.
Republican voter suppression only occurs because Democratic leaders such as Biden refuse to fight it. Similarly, Republicans only get away with voter suppression because most people are unaware of it.
I think many Republicans will stop voter suppression if they fear a public backlash. We’ve already seen that backlash in Georgia where state legislatures mitigated a voter suppression law.
By keeping silent Biden will allow enemies such as Russian bots to weaponize voter suppression against America. For example, Russian propagandists could send fake stories alleging that Biden himself is part of a white conspiracy to suppress black votes.
Silence leads to Violence
Another frightening aspect of voter suppression and other stories that only conspiracy theorists and pundits are talking about them. Hence, the conspiracy theorists drive the narrative, which is dangerous.
For example, the Trump coup conspiracy rumors that are spreading through the country. By failing to address these rumors Biden allows them to spread unchallenged. A small minority will believe the rumors and act on them as the Trump zealots acted on 6 January 2021.
What happens if an armed leftist mob comes to Washington to prevent the Trump coup? Or an armed mob of Trump supporters comes to celebrate their hero’s return to office. A truly frightening scenario is both the Trump supporters and violent leftists turning up and fight.
The Nation’s capitol could turn into a war zone. By allowing such rumors to spread unchecked we will breed more violence. Biden could prevent it by announcing that the rumors are false. The president could even make a joint statement with Trump saying that the coup rumors are false.
As President, Biden has the power to control the narrative. He needs to use that power, as limited as it is. This sets Biden apart from his predecessors Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) and Barack Obama (D-Illinois).
Obama and Trump are masters of controlling the narrative. Obama started a national discussion on race with a little political theater. Trump changed the dialogue about foreign trade. In contrast, Biden ignores the narrative and lets others control it.
President Biden’s fatal silence could do enormous harm to America.