Vice President Joe Biden is good business for television comedians, because they—like millions of Americans—mistakenly think of Biden as prone to gaffes and blunders. Through this lens, Biden is seen as that funny, put-your-foot-in-your-mouth uncle who is really a pretty even-keeled fellow, but can’t seem to get out of his own way and stay out of his own way.
From a psychological perspective, however, and without having had the opportunity to examine the vice president, personally (although I would welcome it), I can tell you there is more to Joe Biden than random discharges emanating from his cortex or random words emanating from his mouth. We show how ready we are to deny the truth when we candy-coat Biden’s words and actions for him.
Joe Biden isn't having a senior moment when speaks with contempt about white, wealthier Americans. He's having a moment of truth.
Joe Biden believes what he says about entrepreneurs and bankers and Republicans wanting to turn black Americans and lower income Americans into their slaves. He doesn’t believe that businesspeople create entities that not only generate profits, but also result, happily, in employing other people, in a fair way. He believes that entrepreneurs and those who become employers are no different than plantation owners who pay their workers what they must by law, but would probably pay nothing, and hold them hostage, if they could get away with it. In fact, he may well believe that a man making $1 million a year who thinks up a winning idea, and employs twenty people making $100,000 a year, and another thirty making $60,000 a year, and another seventy making $40,000 a year, is a self-serving scoundrel. Why not be “fair” and take just a little more than others—say, $125,000? Why be a pig at the trough of a collective society?
This mindset—that having the ingenuity, creativity, intellect and courage to start a venture does not mean that you ought profit financially and individually—is the same mindset of President Barack Obama, and that symmetry is the reason he is Barack Obama’s vice president.
The two men share that perspective at the core of their beings. It defines them. They are not faking or fibbing or misspeaking.
When the president tells us that if you are the founder of a business you did not create it, and the vice president tells us that entrepreneurs intend to put workers in shackles, in order to achieve their reprehensible goals of personal enrichment, they are speaking the same language, and it is their native tongue, from childhood.
Why would Biden have such contempt for financial success? For one thing, his father was rich before Biden was born, but lost everything and struggled financially for most of Biden’s life, before becoming a used car salesman and managed to keep the family afloat.
It is a handy psychological trick for Biden to imagine that his father’s plight was a fluke, having nothing to do with poor judgment or lack of skill, making him no different than businessmen who succeed—except, perhaps, that those entrepreneurs are willing to climb over other people and hold them down and chain them to desks or an assembly line. Biden’s dad was too good for that, he can reason, instead—hurt by a system that rewards people who enslave others.
That’s why Biden is happy to serve with a man named Barack Obama who tells Americans that, even if they did start companies, it doesn’t mean that they’re smart, because they didn’t really start those companies, anyhow. Everyone else let them use the roads and the tax structure and the rest of our society to put their businesses together—which kind of makes American businesspeople out to be Pharaohs building pyramids using (now, please really listen here . . .) slave labor.
Biden is also hostile to the notion that individuals can have, well, real individual gifts, because he lives at a distance from his own truth—whatever that may be, which he does not know. That’s what fuels his contempt for those who act with authenticity to create their destinies.
Remember, this vice president lied about having three undergraduate degrees, when he only has one. He lied about going to law school on a full merit-based scholarship, when he went on a half-scholarship based mostly on financial need. He lied about graduating in the top of his law school class when he graduated near the bottom. He admitted to plagiarism during law school and plagiarized a speech while running for president in 1987.
An imposter in life, without a true, authentic, core self based on reality, cannot honor and applaud and support the genuine gifts, ingenuity or entrepreneurship of others, especially if part of the lie he lives is the belief his father was laid low by capitalism.
No, it is not an accident that Barack Obama chose to run with Joe Biden. They both have a profound contempt for those arrogant oppressors who think they are exercising real gifts, unique to them (which, by the way, they must express through honesty and character, which are not in great supply in this White House). It is to such people that Barack Obama and Joe Biden assign the blame for the most painful, devastating events in their lives.
Oh, and one other thing: When a man like Biden who has plagiarized the work of others for decades, and lied about the level of his scholarship, also has a hair transplant meant to fool others into thinking he has not lost his hair, when he has, and misses the fact that no one is really taken in by the ruse, he tells us as much as we’ll ever need to know about him.
What I have written above is, I promise you, the truth. And check out my photograph online: That’s my real hair.
Keith Ablow, MD is a psychiatrist, and was host of the nationally-syndicated "Dr. Keith Ablow Show." He is a former member of the Fox News Medical A Team.