This week my column at Real Clear Politics let me combine my political commentary with an homage to my favorite author — Philip K. Dick, whose nightmare scenarios from the 1950s and ‘60s read like blueprints of our decaying technocratic society. Is Joe Biden the sum of all our fears?
Fake White House Is a Fitting Home for Fake President
By Frank Miele
News last month that President Biden makes electronic appearances from a pretend White House brought to mind another president whose image was carefully crafted to assuage the American people that all was well even when things were at their most dire.
No, I’m not referring to Franklin Roosevelt, although his facade of the strong, virile man was as much of an invention as Biden’s carefully crafted persona as a reasonable moderate who would unite our country.
Instead, to fully comprehend the essence of the invented Joe Biden, we must visit the paranoid fantasies of one of our greatest writers — Philip K. Dick, whose 1964 novel “The Penultimate Truth”imagined a future where the leader of the Western world was in fact nothing but a simulacrum programmed to reassure the masses that their sacrifice of toiling underground for decades was noble when in fact it was the equivalent of the turkey’s sacrifice on Thanksgiving. Given a choice, the turkey would have politely declined.
I’m hardly the first columnist to suggest that Biden is parroting lines written for him in an effort to convince the American public of their need to sacrifice for the general good, but his banal bromides have an unmistakable Orwellian feel: “Lockdowns are freedom,” “inflation is wealth,” “moms and dads are domestic terrorists.” But when it was revealed that Biden got his COVID vaccine booster shot in a fake White House, it became easy to picture his presidency as some political variant of “The Truman Show,” or as I propose, a Philip K. Dick novel.
Dick was the mid-20th century’s answer to Kafka — an author in search of the ultimate truth who taught us that the truth mostly consisted of disappointment and deception. So too might we conclude about the puppet presidency of Joseph R. Biden. Even the majority of those who accept the legitimacy of his presidency can have a hard time believing in the legitimacy of his leadership.
According to Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller, “The reason Biden uses this bizarre virtual set for televised meetings — and not an actual room like East Room, Cabinet, Oval, Roosevelt, Sit Room, etc. — is because it allows him to read from a script directly from a face-on monitor (& w/out teleprompter glass that can be seen on camera).”
That doesn’t in itself make Biden an ersatz president. Lots of politicians are nothing but empty reflections of what their handlers put in front of them, but in his case there is ample evidence aside from the fake White House that he is a product of the imagination of those around him, a figurehead whose policies and even his press conferences (“I’m not supposed to take any questions”) are scripted by others.
That is certainly true of the president in Dick’s novel, Talbot Yancy, who is known comfortingly as “The Protector” and recognized by the masses as their inspirational “spir-pol-mil leader.” He doesn’t just represent the government of the former United States, but of “Wes-Dem,” or what remains of the Western democracies. The problem is that he isn’t a real person. He isn’t even a whole fake person. He’s just the upper half of a simulacrum programmed by smart speech writers and PR flacks known as Yance-men. He also doesn’t rule over anyone or anything. The Yance-men have all the power, an elite class of administrators who have kept the entire surface of the earth for themselves while relegating the bulk of the population (what is left of it after mass casualties) to underground “ant tanks” where they survive on stingy rations in order to support the war effort.
But what the people don’t know is that the war between Wes-Dem and Pac-Peop (the communist alliance based in Moscow) ended years ago. The majority of people remain in their underground prisons for no other reason than that the elites from both the Eastern and Western blocs are working together to consolidate their own power and wealth. The robots they requisition from the underground hives are not warrior drones, as advertised, but servants to the technocrats who have divided the earth into their private exclusive domains.
Even more than the similarities between Biden and Yancy, it is this divide between the ruling class and the loyal but hoodwinked citizens that strikes one as the most troublesome parallel between Dick’s novel and our reality.
As one of the protagonists, an escapee from one of the underground “ant tanks,” learns midway through the book, Talbot Yancy is “a fake so vast that it could not even be described” or at least believed.
“What you’re looking at on your TV screen every night, down there … in your tank, what you call ‘Yancy,’ the Protector, that’s a robot.”
“But it talks,” Nicholas said, reasonably. “It says heroic things. I mean, I’m not arguing with you. I just don’t understand.”
“It talks,” Jack Blair said, “because a big computer called Megavac 6-V or something like that programs it.”
What makes this so chilling is that the Talbot Yancy who speaks “heroic things” only talks to the bamboozled masses, while the elites know he is a fake and a fraud, a convenient construct whose sole purpose is to encourage productivity in the underground ant tanks so that the lavish lifestyles of the above-ground survivors can be preserved.
Yes, in the book, there really was a nuclear war, but one that has long since ended, and ironically, resulted in a true peace between the world’s great superpowers. Likewise, in our present-day crisis, we can be assured that the COVID virus is real, and that some form of the pandemic is or was a threat to the general welfare. But in both cases, the crisis has been manipulated by elites into a mechanism to maintain and extend their power. (If talking about COVID makes you nervous because you think it might get you banned from Facebook or Twitter, then merely substitute “global warming” as the life-threatening crisis that the elites warn us about while jetting around the globe in search of a better tan. It’s the same principle — you’ve been had!)
Of course, it’s hard to imagine that the ruling class does not have our best interests at heart, right? Who could believe that Jeff Bezos, for instance, doesn’t have altruistic purposes in his monopolistic enslavement of the consumer class and his obsequiousness to the Chinese Communist Party? How could we ever grasp the notion that Mark Zuckerberg envisions a world where he and a handful of other technocrats control both the production and dissemination of knowledge? And why would one political party seek to characterize its opponents as racists, Nazis, and proponents of something called “the Big Lie”?
The deception at hand is so mind-numbing that it is too horrible for most of us to contemplate. That’s why sometimes it takes the imagination of an artist like Philip K. Dick or George Orwell to point us toward the evil that man is capable of. Only in fiction do we allow ourselves to think the worst, but once our eyes are opened, how can anyone deny the underlying truth of a world where a few powerful elites control and exploit those who slave for them?
In “The Penultimate Truth,” one of the characters in charge of the world order ruminates that the Yance-men “ruled through their cynical and professional manipulation of all media of information.” Anyone who is paying attention to CNN, Twitter, or the New York Times can confirm that the same thing is happening today. There are multiple “Yance-men” (or Joe-bots?) in the media who aim to protect Biden’s credibility no matter how much they lose their own.
Case in point was a recent Reuters “fact check” on the fake White House set made famous by Biden. Mind you, the truth was already plain. Fake it was, but Reuters nonetheless said it was “misleading” to claim “that U.S. President Joe Biden received his booster shot for COVID-19 on a ‘fake White House set.’”
Rather than concede that it was creepy that Biden was pretending to be the real president in the real White House, Reuters equivocated by noting that “The president’s immunization filming occurred at an actual location on the White House grounds.” Yeah, that’s right — in what is essentially a film studio in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where the White House Yance-men rely on special effects to convince the public that Biden is in charge.
That’s no fact check, Reuters! That’s a coverup. No one ever said that the fake White House wasn’t located on the White House grounds. Just like no one ever said that the fake president saying “heroic things” isn’t really Joe Biden. But that’s just the penultimate truth. If you want to know the rest of the story, you are more likely to get it by reading Philip K. Dick than Reuters or the rest of the establishment media.
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Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page. Twitter and Facebook may ban me at any time. Also please consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book is “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends” and is a collection of personal essays that transcend politics. My earlier books include “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution,” “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website.