Joe Biden: “I’m Running the World”

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There was one moment in President Biden’s desperate interview with George Stephanopoulos on July 5 that nobody but me seems to have noticed. I had to go back and look at it, to make sure I’d noted it right. Check the transcript yourself. Here’s the moment:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you be willing to undergo an independent medical evaluation that included neurological and cognit— cognitive tests and release the results to the American people?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Look. I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Not— and that’s not hi— sounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world.

Can you think of a more grossly hubristic statement than “I’m running the world”? And no, it’s not hi— hyperbole. He really thinks that. He believes that a man of medium to low intelligence, a man of no intellectual acquisitions or exceptional moral stature, a man who has nevertheless spent his whole life angrily trying to prove that he is better than everyone else, a man who has waged that hopeless fight by means of countless, ridiculous, shameless lies, is actually running the world — and having the right and duty to do so.

Worse. To a significant degree, he’s right: he is running the world. It is people like him who everywhere, openly or in the dim recesses of bureaucracies, are making decisions on which the happiness or misery of billions of smarter and better people depend. It is a miracle that, so far, they have not succeeded in destroying the world.

This is not a complaint about human folly. The Bidens of this world were as apparent to the writers of the Old Testament as they were to Jane Austen and H.L. Mencken. Fools we have always with us. I’m complaining not about fools but about the power we give them.

It is a miracle that, so far, they have not succeeded in destroying the world.


The founding documents of America tried to limit power. Their authors knew that people like Biden were bound to come along; such is the nature of human life. (On this see Madison’s tenth Federalist paper, a virtually complete education in political philosophy.) The solution was a stringent limitation of anybody’s power.

That solution is now ignored. No one, even the president’s opponents, notices that he regards himself as running the world. The debate is only about who else should be running the world.

Something bad has happened. Very bad.

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