THE COLUMN: Good-Bye to All That

Michael Walsh02 Oct, 2023 5 Min Read
Malaise on line one again, Mr. President.

Just in time for former president Jimmy Carter's 99th birthday -- only the good die young -- the United States is presently lost in a fog of malaise. Everybody hates the status quo but, like the weather until the arrival of full-throated but useless "climate" hysteria, nobody does anything about it.

The ongoing, post-electoral tussle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has cast a pall over all our politics since the fall of 2020, and shows no signs of abating. That the Biden presidency has been a disaster is beyond dispute: the economy, booming under Trump, is in a shambles, race relations are poisonous, civil order in large parts of the country (mostly in big blue cities such as ChicagoPhiladelphia and Seattle) has broken down, and the woke mind virus has infected whole swaths of the country, including the media, academe, and practically all of corporate America.

Thanks to the Covid hoax, "customer service" and indeed the concept of service itself has become a joke. Serious questions have been raised about the mNRA "vaccine," both concerning its effectiveness against the Wuhan flu (negligible) and its danger to the human body (considerable). Similarly, the man-made "climate change" hoax has driven a sizable portion of the populace insane with worry over a non-existent, indeed impossible, event.

And as far as the "Russian collusion" hoax is concerned, we now know that it was a) started by a vengeful loser, Hillary Clinton, b) was weaponized by a radicalized intelligence community that not only should have known better but in fact did know better, and c) was irresponsibly parroted by an Ivy-League dominated media establishment that has long since gleefully abandoned any pretense to objectivity and is now purely and unabashedly "progressively" partisan.

Carter's July 15, 1979 speech was widely ridiculed on both sides of the aisle, and immediately dubbed the "malaise" speech, although that word never appears in the half-hour address very effectively written by Hendrik Hertzberg. Personally, at the time I thought it was a good speech, and right on the money, even though I was never much of a Carter fan and eagerly voted for Ronald Reagan the following year. Today, 44 years later, it actually seems right on target, as Peggy Noonan noted in the Wall Street Journal back in February (link is free):

It was, in fact, a good speech—brave, original and pertinent to the moment. It failed because he was exactly the man who couldn’t give it, and he gave it at exactly the moment it couldn’t be heard. The backdrop was an air of crisis. Summer 1979: The oil crisis, inflation entering double digits, interest rates rising, unemployment too. There was widespread fear America had lost its economic mojo, perhaps forever.

He’d concluded America was suffering “a crisis of confidence,” and “all the legislation in the world” couldn’t resolve it. “We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.” We used to be a confident country; we breathed it in the air. That confidence “supported everything else—public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States.”

Watching in a radio studio as a young writer at CBS News, I thought: That is true. As I watched again this week I thought: That was prescient. Our worry is about hatred and polarization; he was describing the demoralization that preceded it.

And here we are. Despite the polls, which at this point only offer a choice between two superannuated, erratic geriatrics, the voting public understands that neither Trump nor Biden is the way forward. Both are running in large part on resentment of the other, and of the nearly -- nearly -- 50 percent of Americans who, at the moment, support them. But there is a near-zero chance that either man will be on the ballot in November of 2024 when the only poll that matters takes place. (Ask Hillary Clinton if she disagrees.) Biden is visibly crumbling before everybody's eyes, while Trump's King Lear imitation on his vanity social-media platform, Truth Social, has become a national embarrassment.

Further, the increasingly surly Biden's performance in office is the best argument against returning him to power, while Trump's disgraceful final year in office, which includes both turning the country over to the sinister Tony Fauci and summoning the demons of January 6 to challenge an election even his closet advisers later admitted under oath they knew was lost, disqualifies him from another turn in the Oval Office.

Time to change the channel.

But, as they used to say in Vietnam, embrace the suck. With neither octogenarian (Trump would be 82 at the close of a hypothetical second term) in the race, the way would be clear for a long-overdue changing of the Boomer and even pre-Boomer guard that has long dominated U.S. politics. A Trump- and Biden-free election opens up vast new vistas for a rapidly changing country, allowing frank if not always friendly discussion about today's particularly thorny problems, including the untrammeled invasion across the southern border, the rolling back of Critical Theory and all its unholy spawns, and returning the libertine genie of "non-binary" sexuality to its bottle and burying it at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

The removal of Trump and Biden from the lists would also immediately make clear the stark distinctions between the parties, unencumbered by their outsized, media-fueled personalities. On the left, the death of modern Liberalism, which began with the McGovern campaign of 1972, would be laid bare, and the "woke" minority exposed for the malignant civilization-killers they are. On the right, the post-presidential poison of Trumpism would dissipate into the atmosphere, to be replaced by a fair contest among Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence (representing some form of Trumpism minus Trump), and perhaps even Glenn Youngkin, currently lurking in plain sight.

Meanwhile, eco-nut Kennedy scion Bobby, Jr., -- having been forced out by the Stalinists in what remains of his father and uncle's party -- is likely to announce an independent candidacy, in large part based on his opposition to the "Covid vaccine" and his sharp criticism of Vladimir Zelensky and of U.S. involvement in the Ukraine, which he correctly views as an American proxy war against Russia.

Kennedy could hold the outcome of the '24 election in his hands, especially if he pairs up with someone like Tulsi Gabbard, who really should be on the short list for the GOP's veep nomination. "I'm seeing Americans live at a level of desperation, of depression, that I never thought I'd see in this country," Kennedy said at a recent appearance in Iowa. Shades of Jimmy Carter and the phenomenon of Strange New Respect that comes with age:

So imagine a world without Biden or Trump; it's easy if you try. Now go out there and make it happen. As Napoleon famously said (or maybe didn't, it doesn't really matter): On s'engage partout, et puis l'on voit. You could look it up.

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022, and of the forthcoming Against the Corporate Media. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis


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10 comments on “THE COLUMN: Good-Bye to All That”

  1. Kennedy has spent his adult life outside the sphere of electoral politics.
    He's very smart and doesn't demonize people who challenges his point of view. He's had extensive in-depth interviews with Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, and Tucker Carlson. See the YouTube comments for anyone of these interviews, and the reaction is overwhelmingly positive.
    He also has guts. His poll numbers qualify him for Secret Service protection. But "Biden" (i.e. Obama minions running the show) refuses to grant it to him despite an potential assassination
    Yes he is a granola eco-nut, but he spent 33 years cleaning up the Hudson River. So his life reflects his public convictions. If this was hard qualification for a federal job (elected or otherwise), D.C. would be a ghost town.

  2. Superannuated: "Retired or ineffective because of advanced age." You really want to describe Trump as such? With all the energy he is exhibiting and all the challenges he is fighting with our corrupt government and complicit media? Really, the differences between Trump and Biden far exceed any similarities. Intellectually lazy of you to maintain otherwise.

  3. Thank you for mentioning the Covid-19 vax-harm claims, Mr. Walsh. Few of our well-known conservative pundits have had the integrity to do so. Next, maybe interview one of the major vax-harm dissident experts, okay? Sincerely, Carl Eric Scott, PostModernConservative sbstck.

  4. Frankly, you're deeply corrupt. You have only the hope that a corrupt government jails Trump to keep him from the nomination. when that is your hope, you are as corrupt as they are.

  5. Sorry, but there is a near 100% chance Trump is on the ballot. We know you RINO GOPe NeverTrump stooges wish that weren't the case, but the lawfare war will fail, spectacularly.

  6. "the economy, booming under Trump, is in shambles" . . . and you put Trump and Biden in the same category as potential candidates in 2024??? "the voting public understands that neither Trump nor Biden is the way forward . . . " are you paying attention to the quiet groundswell of support for a return to a Trump administration (with a now learned understanding of cleaning house) . . . a movement of quiet, conservative Americans who understand that Trump IS a way, and the only way forward???

  7. "which at this point only offer a choice between two superannuated, erratic geriatrics, the voting public understands that neither Trump nor Biden is the way forward. " right ... Trump and Biden are BASICALLY the same ... its critical thinking like that which shows just how bad things are ... you have to pretend they are just alike don't you ... useless commentary ... but you did manage to shill for Kennedy ...

  8. I don’t recall there being a “national embarrassment” exception to Article II, Section I (and related amendments) powers, but setting that debate aside there seems to be way, way too much preoccupation with the race for POTUS than would be justified for those who claim to desire political power over, say, viewership ratings or national fund raising. The modern President has become something akin to a carnival barker. The President is chosen for his ability to effectively corral the people to buy a ticket to the “greatest show on Earth”—the uniquely American quadrennial political spectacle of presidential politics. The public knows all too well that the carnival games are fixed, but it’s all too enticing. So they line up to escape reality while their pockets are knowingly picked. And what is the reality from which they choose to escape? The reality that the true power of government is the power of the purse and the power of the purse has been granted to the otherwise dull, unglamorous, mid-season-baseball-boring House of Representatives comprising Congressmen whose names are generally unknown by their own constituents. Forget about the presidency! Control the House and you control the purse. Control the purse and you control government and all its agencies. Control the government and its agencies and you free the people! Our nostalgia for a King has led us, the common working-class people, to abdicate our House—the people’s House. When was the last time a President “shut down” the government for his refusal to sign an appropriations bill? It doesn’t happen and it never will with today’s bureaucracy-dominated federal government. That would be institutional suicide! The agencies that are funded by the purse ARE the essence of the executive branch. Sure, every office has political importance—just like the pieces on a chess board. But, all other things being equal, I’ll take institutional control of the House (expedited with the repeal of the 1929 Reapportionment Amendment and a commensurate increase in the number of districts) over the Oval Office any day. The New Deal Democrats understood that all too well as they constructed the modern welfare state over four decades of uninterrupted control of the House, regardless of who sat in the Oval Office. Can we see that the same long-term institutional control must be secured if we are to similarly deconstruct it?

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