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Even Biden is sick of our country’s infantilization

By Matt Delaney

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

Joe Biden is finally proving to be a president that we, the people, can relate to by standing up to our nation’s common enemy — helicopter moms. 

Ok, let’s not single out helicopter moms. The nanny-ish tic has turned men into helicopter dads, the elderly into helicopter grandparents, or more often, the childless into helicopter teens, 20- and 30-somethings. But Biden is quickly realizing that he’s confined to a presidential playpen, and he’s starting to throw a tantrum about it behind the scenes.  

NBC reports that Old Joe feels kneecapped by his staff when they regularly walk back comments they perceive as verbal diarrhea.  

So far, that has included advocating for regime change in Russia (“he” didn’t actually mean that); siding with the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse case (“he” released a statement a few hours later that said he was angry with the verdict); saying “his” administration planned for “every eventuality” in the Afghanistan withdrawal (including, apparently, a suicide bomber that killed 13 Americans just a week before that address); and his stated desire to defend Taiwan militarily if China were to attack (a day later, “he” returned to the strategic ambiguity policy of old, I’m guessing after a firm talking-to). 

All of this turnabout has left Biden frustrated with his staff for countering his word. According to NBC, he feels it “undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise.” 

Uh… “rise?” By that do we mean the entire Democratic party propping him up to prevent Bernie Sanders from losing to the then-most unpopular president in history? The Atlantic literally wrote an article in 2020 saying that all Biden needed to be was a corporeal presence — a.k.a someone with a pulse. The only authenticity about Biden’s “rise” is that his campaign consisted of him hanging out in his favorite chair in the basement and that he was only available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day.  

But Biden’s brain hasn’t turned into pudding just yet. According to separate reports, news coverage of mothers not being able to feed their kids was not taken well by working class Joe. Now, this big-boy-in-chief is going on a nationwide tour to get out the word and the positive things he’s done in 18 months (what those are, I couldn’t tell you). 

Although he doesn’t need to romp around the country to find out our greatest problem is not rampant inflation, but rampant infantilization. 

We cannot for the life of us determine when adulthood begins in this country.  

You’re not old enough to have your own health insurance until you’re 26. There’s a growing train of thought that you’re also too young to buy a gun until you’re 21. That is, unless you want to join the military and fight in some foreign war no one knows about. Or, better yet, support gun control, in which case the voting age should be lowered to help make that possible. If you decide you’re no longer a man or woman, then you’re mature enough to change your body’s hormones as young as 10. 

All the while we’re awash in mid-career adults who treat pets like they’re kids and endorse glorified tattling (otherwise known as cancel culture). 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Covid-19 has been the great revealer for a lot of societal problems. Infantilization may be the most pressing one.  

For want of a president that was going to do something about the virus, we elected the man who didn’t even notice he was a marionette for two years. That serves us right for deciding our response to Covid shouldn’t be to do what’s best for ourselves and trust others to do the same, but rather shuck responsibility onto an inept political class. 

We’re just now acknowledging that giving up more autonomy in our lives may not be in our best interest. All it took to wake people up were parents being labeled domestic terrorists and mandate-induced job losses threatening 80 million people. But the bigger problem is one that Biden notices as well — who exactly should we direct our angst at? 

The “parents” of our child-like culture take many forms. There are journalists like Taylor Lorenz complaining about people having “unfettered conversations.” There are censors shadow-banning certain Twitter users and banning others for ambiguous “offenses.” And there are government agencies, like the now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, that wanted to add context to our various discussions online because we, the simple people, couldn’t agree to the educated consensus our elites wanted.     

The relentless mocking of Nina Jankowicz, head of that governance board, led to its implosion and reminded our aristocratic guardians the lesson they learned with Anthony Fauci and Andrew Cuomo before her: it’s better to govern by proxy than to put forward one person who captures our attention. That’s why politically compromised journalists, academics, tech workers, public health officials, and members of the intelligence community each play a part in maintaining the sheltered existence we all “enjoy” so much. 

Ultimately, we allowed ourselves to become their children. The world was too complex, and we wanted help sorting it out. The gradual softening produced by this bargain gave way to a widening power imbalance — and not to mention condescension — that has made us more like medieval serfs than the sovereign citizens at the heart of this nation.  

If there’s one good thing that can come from Biden’s presidency, it’s showing us that we all desperately need to grow up. Otherwise, our elite handlers will be sure to find harsher ways to ground us.   

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Matthew Delaney


Matthew Delaney is a local journalist based in Washington, D.C. When he’s not questioning why he joined the media, he’s doing his part to restore some of its credibility with quality work

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