Ryan: Joe Biden, born to Wing Ding

Photo by Sean Ryan

Along the walkway off the dancefloor of the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa men in funny little black hats waved signs that said "QUIET PLEASE." An order that nobody even tried to follow.

You know that feeling? When you're at a football game on a Friday night, and the entire county is dark except the stadium, because everyone for miles is there? Or when your favorite team wins the greatest honor they are able to win. Or when you walk through Times Square for the first time, and all the approaching pedestrians seems like salmon leaping upstream.

For reference, I was in Spain in 2010, when the Spanish men's soccer won the World Cup for the first time in the country's history. I have gotten caught on streets in Germany and Spain during riots. I have been to lots of concerts.

Yet I was puzzled by the energy inside the Surf Ballroom that Saturday night in early August, for the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.

The way people's faces grimaced or fists clenched or eyes bulged, and how they skipped around the outside of the dance floor like you would at a decent skating rink, and it was the first time in the campaign that I thought, "Now what in the hell is this about?"

*

The ballroom had the muffled feel of an old comedy club, the kind of setting built for music and dancing as practiced in the 1940s, or earlier. So everything, every sound, felt close. And warm, like a worn LP album through some giant old speakers. So far, it was the closest a Democratic rally had felt electric.

Chaos. Wild. Wild! The place erupted as Elizabeth Warren strutted offstage. At the bottom of the stairs, Joe Biden shifted from foot to foot, surrounded by a small entourage, all wearing "Biden 2020" t-shirts.

Nearly as wild and transfixing as a Trump rally. Which is maybe why everyone was so fired up. Like they were practicing a mean face in the mirror before they use it in a fight.

For this very reason, it felt more like a high school dance than a major rally featuring 20 of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, all in one place for the first time in who knows how long, as they vied for their chance to rule the world. Traditionally, that dream is ended in Iowa, by forfeit or defeat or preemptive removal.

Nonetheless, these were some powerful people. And one will become the Democratic candidate for President, then possibly President, for 2020-2024 — at least. Or the next one.

Any one of them could become President down the line. Or any number of indispensable positions. Five years is a long time in America, and nobody knows what's next.

But, for these candidates, future elections did not currently matter. What mattered were the media and the public. The locals.

Iowa is traditionally the Everyman State. Come to them with a solution that they can believe in, and they'll side with you.

Do they care about the middle parts of this country, all that land between the Oceans? How do they shape up as a person, as a potential boss? If they get the job, will they care about rural America? Can they shake a hand? Can they look you in the eyes? Can they leave the room and you feel their absence? How are the media reacting to them? Do they have a condescending tone? Are they putting on an act?

In Iowa, the candidates bring their answers directly to the voter, like door-to-door salespeople or traveling magicians.

Spectacle? you bet.

Pageantry? Big time.

In 2015, then-candidate Trump flew above the State Fair in a private helicopter, circling the stage as Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton gave her speech at the Political Soapbox. A lot of Iowans liked that. Many still do.

MSNBC:

A political Willy Wonka, Trump offered rides in his helicopter, which landed at a nearby baseball field, to randomly selected handfuls of Iowa children. 'Come here,' he said to the kids. 'Does anyone want to take a ride? It's nice, right? . . . Who wants to go first?'

Trump, they reported, "was out of his element here but undoubtedly in command."

*

Most of the audience had their candidate t-shirts on. There were candidate badges, too. And lawn signs. Banners. Bumper stickers.

A Springsteen song blasted through the speakers, a little too loud, almost clipping. The song riled Biden.

In his navy-blue suit he gripped the podium from each side. An American flag tassel hung limply over the top. Biden's eyes prowled for each person. A dual-frame mic stand held up two microphones. As backdrop, an American flag stretched two stories high and ran the length of the stage, nearly as big as the one at the Presidential Gun Sense forum.

Muscled and tattooed, men in bright yellow shirts that said "SECURITY" stood watch behind metal barriers. Can-lights shone down on the stage at various angles, held up by metal braces and elaborate rigging, a giant shining skeleton. At each side of the stage were six pole-mounted speakers in trapezoidal plywood cabinets.

The walls were a dark blue, like ocean at night, accented by the white pillars that divided the dancefloor from the walkways and the bars and the restrooms and the museum with so many signed guitars.

Rows of booths flanked the back, on this occasion occupied by journalists, huddles of them, turning each booth into a copse of wire and plugs and paper and computers. In front of them, a pathway to the bar that was always busy, all of it was, everywhere, then a line of cameras divided by a green railing. And men in funny little hats expected people to listen?

"Presidents," Biden said, "the words they say matter."

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere were joined by Pat Gray to discuss "woke" Olympic athletes.

In this clip, the guys discussed how "bravely" some athletes are for threatening to protest the national anthem, for twerking on stage, and for showing off how woke they are.

Glenn reminded America of actual bravery at the Olympics when Jesse Owens won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. "He [Owens] was oppressed," Glenn said.

Watch the clip to hear Glenn tell the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Political commentator Bill O'Reilly joined the Glenn Beck radio program on Friday made an important prediction about President Joe Biden's chance of reelection in 2024.

O'Reilly told Glenn that former President Donald Trump was brought down because of COVID. "if COVID had not appeared, O'Reilly stated, "he [Trump] would have won reelection."

O'Reilly went on to predict that like Trump, President Joe Biden would lose reelection because of COVID. People saw a president who could not put out an intelligent fact-based message about COVID and people will remember that," he explained.

O'Reilly later added that "Trump and Biden are one-termers because of COVID."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Critical race theory: Marxism is a religion

Uttam Sheth/Flickr

Marx didn't actually tell his followers that the system needed to be destroyed. And it's not what Marx actually believed. Very few Marxists actually understand what Marx laid out.

Marxism isn't a list of demands and instructions. It's Marx's attempt to tell the future. Some of it he got right, most he got wrong. For example, he predicted the rise of automation.

Believe it or not, Marx was not an anti-capitalist. If anything, he revered it.

In a letter to Engels, he complained that too many people misunderstood his message, that his plan is to merge with capitalism. To make it new. He wanted to reify his brand of socialism, reify is a Marxist term, actually. It basically means to make an abstract idea concrete.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary. And he knew communism would never happen without the aid of capitalism.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary.

From there, he takes these ideas to some weird conclusions. Horrible conclusions. The main one being revolution.

What does the first phase of the Marxist revolution look like? How will we know if it has started? How can we tell if it's already begun? Marx's idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," where the working class would rise up in revolution and earn their freedom.

But what did Marx mean by freedom? Like so much of Marxism, it involves giving up your individuality, in service to the collective: "Only in community with others does each individual have the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible."

That's from his book The German Ideology, which he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels, the guy who paid all of his bills: "Free competition, which is based on the idea of individual freedom, simply amounts to the relation of capital to itself as another capital."

His idea here is that capital ruins any idea of freedom or individuality. And competition is what he uses as proof. In other words, Marx's definition of freedom has nothing to do with actual freedom, freedom as we know it.

He wrote, in Capital: "It is not individuals who are set free by free competition; it is, rather, capital which is set free."

He's saying that Capital manipulates our individual freedom and forces us to exploit ourselves. For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

Marxists have always argued that capitalism is a religion. That our debt to capital is no different than our debt to God. Critical Theorist Walter Benjamin wrote an entire book called Capitalism as Religion, and wrote that capitalism is "the first case of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement."

There were many strains of socialism before Marx. There were entire movements, named after socialist and anarchist philosophers. But Marx was the one who figured it out, with the help of a rotating cast of people paying for his sloth, of course.

Marx's influence on socialism was so profound that socialism was practically re-named in honor of Marx. Marx has been deified.

He created a utopian society. Very hypothetical. It requires a working class that is devoted to daily readings of The Communist Manifesto.

This assumes that people who work all day — at a real job, where they can't just sit on the couch all day as Marx did — even have the energy to read dense theory when they get home.

Marx made a religion.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

The Capitol riot was foolish and tragic, but Pelosi's Select Committee "investigation" on the January 6 "insurrection" has devolved into a show trial complete with bad tears and bad acting. But this is just a charade designed to distract us.

What's going on behind closed doors is truly nefarious. The Biden White House and the U.S. national security apparatus are seizing that event to redefine domestic terrorism and expand the powers of government to prevent it. There is an alarming blueprint for sweeping government action called the "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," put together by the National Security Council.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the collusion between the Biden administration and Big Tech to surveil, root out, and silence America's deplorables – all in the name of national security.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode below:

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