Fortune rules the fates of men far more than we, in our arrogance, would care to admit. Herodotus reminds us of this when he describes the fate of Polycrates, the ruler of Samos in the later sixth century BC:
Now Amasis, as may be supposed, did not fail to perceive that Polycrates was very fortunate, and it concerned him that much more good fortune yet continued to come to Polycrates. He wrote upon a paper these words and sent them to Samos: “Amasis to Polycrates thus – it is a pleasant thing indeed to hear that one who is a friend and guest is faring well; yet to me your great fortune is not pleasing, since I know that the Divinity is jealous; and I think that I desire, both for myself and for those about whom I care, that in some of our affairs we should be prosperous and in others should fail, and thus go through life alternately faring well and ill, rather than that we should be prosperous in all things: for never yet did I hear tell of any one who was prosperous in all things and did not come to an utterly evil end at the last. Now therefore follow my counsel and act as I shall say with respect to your prosperous fortunes. Take thought and consider, and that which you find most valued, and for the loss of which you will be most vexed in your soul, that take and cast away in such a manner that it shall never again come to the sight of men; and if in future from that time forward good fortune does not befall you in alternation with calamities, apply remedies in the manner by me suggested. (III.40)
In other words, Amasis, the Egyptian Pharaoh aligned with Polycrates, warned him that no man can have unending good fortune. Cosmic forces will always correct this imbalance. Better then, for Polycrates to pay the bill himself, on his own terms.
Polycrates considered this to be good counsel. He took off his most valuable signet ring and threw it in the sea. About a week later, some fishermen caught the fish that had swallowed the ring, and when they found it, they presented it to Polycrates. When Amasis heard this, he knew Polycrates was doomed, and ended the alliance between them. Sure enough, Polycrates was assassinated in gruesome fashion after accepting an invitation into Persian territory by the Satrap of Sardis, Oroetes.
Herodotus loved to tell a good story, but recent events have proven his overall vision of history as the correct one.
Consider the case of Donald Trump. In February 2020, at his last State of the Union, he looked like a triumphant king, conqueror of all his enemies. The Russian collusion hoaxers? The impeachers? The media? All failed. The predictions of certain doom if he were elected? None came true. The country was prosperous and increasingly peaceful. He had gotten to the presidency with the good fortune of facing the worst candidate in decades and looked set to face another sap, as his opposition offered no good alternative to him.
In his earlier life, he had the good fortune of being born into a wealthy family and, though faced with hard times in the past, he’d always found a way out.
Then the coronavirus scare happened, through no fault of Donald Trump’s own. His character (ego-driven, attention-seeking, self-aggrandizing, a tendency to listen to terrible advisors) proved a toxic mixture with this misfortune and he was not able to weather the catastrophe. Last March, I noted that Donald Trump had the quality of luck on his side, but the crisis, aided by his unsuitable character for it, simply overwhelmed him.
But fortune does not have a partisan lean. Joe Biden has had a similar relationship with fortune and it is about to turn on him just as it turned on Donald Trump. In other words, the Biden Bubble is about to pop.
Biden: Four-Time Lottery Winner
Joe Biden has certainly faced his fair share of tragedies. He suffered the death of his first wife and his son. Politically, however, Joe Biden has always been fortunate. He was able to survive his plagiarism self-immolation from 1988 and went on to win the political lottery four times:
- 1. He was chosen as Barack Obama’s Vice President after going nowhere in the Democratic primaries in 2008.
- 2. After again going nowhere in the early 2020 primaries, he befitted from a backroom deal from party leaders, because the 2020 field was so pathetic.
- 3. Immediately afterward, the coronavirus scare hit, and because Donald Trump failed so badly on the messaging, he grew in the cracks, riding it high to election.
- 4. He came into office just as the coronavirus vaccines rolled out.
All of this happened independently of him, as he ceased to be a viable national political figure on his own terms in 1988. It is an extraordinary string of good luck for his political career. Alas! It should remind us of Amasis’ warning to Polycrates. His insight into Solon’s warning to Croesus, as explored in chapter 7 of Lives of the Luminaries, is also valuable when we look at Joe Biden’s case.
The Divinity is jealous. The Deity is apt to disturb our lot. Joe Biden’s is about to be disturbed in a big way. A storm brews and there are no good options for him from here on out.
The Biden Bubble
In January, I noted that Joe Biden had already failed. In May 2020, those predictions are manifest. I said he could not “unite the country” and indeed, he has not even tried. This is somewhat reflected in his approval rating. In his first 100 days, it was the lowest of any president aside from the ultra-polarizing Donald Trump.
Richard Baris, one of the most accurate pollsters in the country, who came within the sampling error of every battleground state last year and understood what the popular vote would be last August, noted:
Joe Biden's approval is slightly above water, but it is flimsy. The intensity index is negative and his support is soft, meaning more strongly disapprove than strongly approve, and much of his approval is "somewhat".
— Rich "The People's Pundit" Baris (@Peoples_Pundit) April 5, 2021
Baris’ last poll as of this date had Biden’s approval at 54%, but most of his approval was lukewarm, and based only on Covid-19. On every other major issue, he is underwater:
Thus far, Biden's handling of Covid-19 overall remains pretty high and that's without a doubt the reason for his overall rating being above water.
On immigration and China, he's underwater. On foreign policy, it's split in low 40s.
— Rich "The People's Pundit" Baris (@Peoples_Pundit) April 5, 2021
64% of parents want all schools open for in-person classes. A further 16.6% are unsure. Only 19.4% want schools closed.
And the latter number more or less represents the agenda Biden is predictably governing on. It strongly appeals to 20% of the country (composed mostly of white affluent postgraduates) but does little for anyone else.
Biden rode the covid bubble to the White House, but that bubble is about to pop. Well over 50% of American adults have now gotten at least one covid vaccine dose. The UK and Israel show us that shortly after that number is reached, “you get strong suppression of the infection,” in the words of Dr. Marty Makary.
The Israeli and UK experience show that once the population is 2-3 wks out after 50% of adults are vaccinated (something the U.S. hit this wknd), then you get strong suppression of the infection. https://t.co/vjX80o7IpY
— Marty Makary MD, MPH (@MartyMakary) April 18, 2021
By Memorial Day, and certainly by July 4th, the United States’ covid epidemic will be over. There are two options for Joe Biden (or more accurately, his handlers) from there. He can declare victory (bad) or continue the hysteria (worse). Either way, a reckoning is coming.
The Forever Covid Approach
Unfortunately, Joe Biden and his handlers are signaling they will go with the continued hysteria approach. Witness him contradicting his own CDC’s laughably timid guidelines by continuing to wear a mask outside. Witness how he did an interview spaced a football field away from another vaccinated performer and declared they would need to wear masks as “a patriotic duty” if they were closer, again in contradiction to his own CDC guidance. Witness the insinuation over the first weekend in May, 2021 that some schools might remain closed in the fall because the virus is “unpredictable.”
This would be in line with the CDC bucking “the science” under pressure from teacher’s unions, which lobbied for explicitly anti-science school opening guidelines in February, in something of a minor scandal.
Then there was that pseudo-State of the Union, where vaccinated members of Congress and other high officials sat miserably with masks and spaced far apart from each other.
None of this creates confidence that the Biden regime plans on pushing a return to normal in the near future. This makes sense when one looks at Biden’s relatively weak position. With covid the only real issue Biden enjoys broad support on, it’s natural that his camp would want to continue to elevate it in importance. Agenda Setting Theory tells us why this would be so – even with vaccinations ramping up, if they draw outsized attention to “bad news,” some people will continue to consider covid the most important issue, one they already approve of Biden on. In turn, those people will consider the other issues that Biden is underwater on as less important. We’ve already begun to see test runs at this. Witness The New York Times proclaim over the first days of May that America may never get to herd immunity.
The problem for Biden is that the covid-prioritizing audience is dwindling, even with the cognitive affects of Agenda Setting. Everyone over 16 who wants a vaccine can now access one. Covid hospitalizations are cratering. Many states have already removed all restrictions and are living like it’s 2019. According to Richard Baris, most people expect covid restrictions and masks to be gone this year.
The median voter has simply moved on from Covid-19. He no longer considers it a serious issue. This number will only increase over the coming months, as the media itself will be defanged by not having cases and deaths to report. To quote Dr. Makary, large outbreaks aren’t mathematically possible anymore. This is thanks to ~50% of Americans now having at least one vaccine dose, and half of unvaccinated Americans already being naturally immune.
People are behaving more and more as before. Travel is coming back. If covid culture continues into the fourth quarter, there will be a massive backlash, especially if kids are not back in school five days a week with no masks. Republicans will credibly say that Biden failed to uphold his central campaign promise of “shutting down the virus.” Why would we be living with restrictions otherwise?
Biden’s most loyal supporters (white postgraduates) will be fine with restrictions forever, it seems, but the large majority of Americans will not. No good can come from this approach. If it is not abandoned over the summer, it’s all downhill for Biden – fast.
The V-C-Day Approach
Alternatively, Biden can declare a “V-C” or “Victory over Covid Day” this summer. The most appropriate date would be July 4th. From then on, he would say that life should resume as it did before March, 2020. This is certainly the better approach, as it would allow his White House an off-ramp from the pandemic and credit for the victory. It would allow him to keep his central campaign promise. It would certainly stymie unnecessary losses in 2022 and 2024, as Republicans wouldn’t be able to blame him and his party for more school closures, lost jobs, and general misery.
The problem is that a V-C Day approach would take away his central and most popular point. The White House would then be left having to explain its unpopular stances on every other major issue. The news needs things to report. As a matter of course, the regime would need to focus more on issues like the border or Critical Race Theory in schools with covid out of the headlines.
The results in some local elections in Texas over the first weekend of May, 2021, provided further clarity. Democrats were shut out in the 6th District congressional jungle primary. Woke candidates for local school boards who supported Critical Race Theory lost by a 70-30 margin. This was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which narrowly went to Joe Biden.
You can see where the catch-22 comes from and why the White House is reluctant to let covid go.
No matter the approach he takes, Joe Biden is about to be exposed. The covid bubble is about to pop. What then?
Can Joe Biden Save Himself?
Find out by heading over to Patreon. The short version is yes – but the solution is completely out of his hands. Fortune will decide his fate.