Next week, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States. Fewer than 12 months ago, he finished a distant fifth in the New Hampshire primary, behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.
The story of how Biden went from being a much-mocked afterthought, liked by some but respected by nobody, to becoming the single most powerful man in the world at the age of 78 is a remarkable one. Someday, when the mania recedes and we can all agree to stop lying for a moment, it will be told.
But in the meantime, here's part of that story: Joe Biden didn't seem scary. That was not a small thing in a year when our core institutions appeared to be falling apart. Biden's PR team told voters that Donald Trump was a divisive figure, and even many of Trump's own voters had to admit there was some truth in that. So Biden pledged to be the opposite; America's gentle grandfather, gathering the nation around the hearth, soothing hurt feelings. Biden promised to unite the country and said so again and again, to the point where he almost seemed to mean it.
Biden, the thinking went, would emulate Ronald Reagan after his contentious campaign with Jimmy Carter 40 years ago. According to Reagan speechwriter Kenneth Khachigian, "[a]mong the first instructions Reagan gave ... was to be 'careful not to take a crack at the previous administration.'" That seemed like the kind of gentle, unifying approach that Joe Biden might take.
However, Biden was soon on TV comparing sitting U.S. senators to Nazis. As thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington and tens of millions more of them watched on television, Joe Biden made certain to remind every one of them that they voted for a disgusting man, probably because they're disgusting, too.
Not that Democrats mind, of course. They never had any interest in the conciliatory version of Joe Biden. Appeals to unity won't, in the end, make them more powerful. With Trump leaving, Democrats are going to need a new enemy to hate, because hate is what holds their party together. Unfortunately for you, they've now decided that enemy is the entire Republican Party and all of its voters, roughly half the country.
If you think we're overstating it, here's Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., suggesting on MSNBC Wednesday that Republican lawmakers are so evil and dangerous that it's possible one of them could smuggle a gun into Biden's inauguration and shoot the president-elect dead as he's taking the oath of office:
MALONEY: It's a sad reality that we find ourselves in a place where where the enemy is within and we cannot trust our own colleagues ... But now we can't be sure a member of Congress won't bring a gun to the inauguration. We can't be sure that a member of this body wouldn't be bringing people around the night before who the next day may have been participating in the murder of a Capitol police officer.
Apparently, that's why we need tens of thousands of federal troops -- more troops than we currently have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined -- in Washington. According to Sean Patrick Maloney, Republicans are a deadly insurgency within our borders. It's insane.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., however, agrees with this wholeheartedly, Swalwell, you may remember, is so committed to unity that he once suggested using nuclear weapons against American gun owners who refused to allow him to confiscate their firearms. He appeared on MSNBC Wednesday to accuse Republicans of effectively plotting a civil war:
SWALWELL: I hope we understand if there was an inside job, whether it was members or staff or anyone working at the Capitol who helped these attackers better navigate the Capitol, that is going to be investigated.
Yeah, the guy with the painted face and the Viking hat and the Chewbacca outfit was part of an inside job.
So what other forms of unity can we expect in a Biden administration? Well, you should ask John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. Fetterman isn't necessarily against the entire Bill of Rights, but he wants to be perfectly clear that going forward, the First Amendment does not apply to anything that offends him. That's why when Democrats claim the 2016 election was rigged by Russia and stolen by Vladimir Putin, that is protected speech, because John Fetterman believes it's true.
To review, free speech is any speech that low-IQ thugs like John Fetterman are OK with you expressing. Everything else is banned in the name of unity. By the way, everything else is also racist.
REP. CORI BUSH, D-MO., ON MSNBC TUESDAY: Let's be clear, this was a racist attempt to overturn an election. This was more about trying to disenfranchize the voices of the Black, brown, indigenous people's voices, trying to invalidate our vote ... So I'm speaking up. You are going to hear that we are not going to let this go because this is a racist attempt, we have to call it what it is, it's White supremacy at its finest.
So what you thought was a protest that became a mob that got out of control and became violent was, in fact, a specifically targeted effort to invalidate the votes of voters of color. That's Cori Bush's position. If you're wondering how someone like Bush could continue to live in a country teeming with White supremacists, don't wonder. In fact, shut your racist mouth right now. You're not allowed to talk.
That's another vital principle of unity: We can all live here together in perfect harmony as long as one side stays perfectly quiet and obeys. If they don't, we're going to have problems.
Thankfully, Joe Biden's brain trust is so committed to unity, they've been thinking about what to do next to bring about unity permanently and for all time. Here's their plan:
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: Southern states are not red states, they are supressed states, which means the only way that our country is going to heal is through the actual liberation of southern states.
Once again, the only way our country is going to heal is "the actual liberation of southern states."
Now, you might get in trouble if you suggest that what the Democrats really have in mind is a new version of Reconstruction. Look up Reconstruction if you're not familiar with that story. The details are worth knowing about, but you don't need to suggest that that's their plan because Sandy Cortez of New York just said it.
Now that's unity for you.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the Jan. 15, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."