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The Task Before ‘Sleepy Joe’ Is to Put Liberal America Right Back to Sleep
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At birth, all of us begin a journey that offers opportunities either to grow – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually – or to stagnate. The journey we undertake lasts a lifetime, but there are dozens of moments each day when we have a choice to make tiny incremental gains in experience, wisdom and compassion or to calcify through inertia, complacency and selfishness.

No one can be engaged and receptive all the time. But it is important to recognise these small opportunities for growth when they present themselves, even if at any particular moment we may decide to avoid grasping them.

When we shut ourselves into the car on the commute to work, do we use it as a moment to be alone with our thoughts or to silence them with the radio or music? When we sit with friends, do we choose to be fully present with them or scroll through the news feed on our phones? When we return from a difficult day at work, do we talk the issues through with family or reach for a glass of wine, or maybe bingewatch something on TV?

Everyone needs downtime, but if every opportunity for reflection becomes downtime then we are stagnating, not growing. We are moving away from life, from being human.

Dried-out husk

This week liberal Americans reached for that glass of wine and voted Joe Biden. Others did so much more reluctantly, spurred on by the fear of giving his opponent another four years.

Biden isn’t over the finishing line quite yet, and there are likely to be recounts, court challenges and possibly violence over the result, but he seems all but certain to be crowned the next US president. Not that that should provoke any kind of celebration. The rest of the world’s population, future generations, the planet itself – none of us had a vote – were always going to be the losers whichever candidate won.

The incumbent, Donald Trump, miscalculated, it seems, if he thought dismissing his opponent as “Sleepy Joe” would be enough to damage Biden’s electoral fortunes. True, Trump was referring to the fact that Biden is a dried-out husk of the machine politician he once was. But after four years of Trump and in the midst of a pandemic, the idea of sleeping through the next presidential term probably sounded pretty appealing to liberals. Most of them have spent their whole political lives asleep.

Four years ago, however, they were forcibly roused from their languor to protest against Donald Trump. They grew enraged by the symptom of their corrupt political system rather than by the corrupt system itself. For them, “Sleepy Joe” was just what the doctor ordered.

But it won’t be Biden doing the sleeping. It will be the liberals who cheerlead him. Biden – or perhaps Kamala Harris – will be busy making sure his corporate donors get exactly what they paid for, whatever the cost to the rest of us.

Anger and blame

In this analogy, Trump is not the opposite of Biden, of course. He represents stagnation too, if of a different kind.

Trump channels Americans’ frustration and anger at a political and economic system they rightly see as failing them. He articulates who should be falsely blamed for their woes: be it immigrants, minorities, socialists, or the New World Order. He offers justified, if misdirected, rage in contrast to Biden’s dangerous complacency.

But however awful Trump may be, at least some of those voting for him are grappling, if mostly unconsciously, with the tension between stagnation and growth – and not of the economic kind. Unlike most liberals, who dismiss this simplistically as “populism”, some of Trump’s supporters do at least seem to recognise that the tension exists. They simply haven’t been offered a constructive alternative to anger and blame.

Ritually disappointed

Unlike the liberals and the Trumpists, many in the US have come to understand that their political system offers nothing but stultifying stagnation for ordinary Americans by design, even if it comes in two, smartly attired flavours.

They see that the Trump camp rages ineffectually against the corporate elite, deluded into believing that a member of that very same elite will serve as their saviour. And they see that the Biden camp represents an ineffectual rainbow coalition of competing social identities, deluded into believing that those divisions will make them stronger, not weaker, in the fight for economic justice. Both of these camps appear resigned to being serially – maybe ritually – disappointed.

Failure does not inspire these camps to seek change, it makes them cling all the more desperately to their failed strategies, to attach themselves even more frantically and fervently to their perceived tribe.

That is why this US election – at a moment when the need for real, systemic change is more urgent, more evident than ever before – produced not just one but two of the worst presidential candidates of all time. We are looking at exactly what happens when a whole society not only stops growing but begins to putrefy.

Enervating divisions

Not everyone in the US is so addicted to these patterns of self-delusion and self-harm.

Large swaths of the population don’t bother to vote out of hard-borne experience. The system is so rigged against them that they don’t think it matters much which corporate party is in power. The outcome will be the same for them either way.


Others vote third party, or consciously abstain in protest at big money’s vice-like grip on the two-party system. Others, appalled at the prospect of Trump – and before him the two Bushes, and before that Ronald Reagan – were forced once again to vote for the Democratic ticket with a heavy heart. They know all too well who Biden is (a creature of his corporate donors) and what he stands for (whatever his corporate donors want). But he is slightly less monstrous than his rival, and in the US system those are the meaningful electoral options.

And among Trump’s supporters too, there are many desperate for wholesale change. They voted for Trump because at least he paid lip service to change.

These groups – most likely a clear electoral majority – could redirect the US towards political, social, even spiritual growth, if they could find a way to come together. They suffer from their own enervating divisions.

How should they best use their numerical strength? Should they struggle to win the presidency, and if so should it be a third-party candidate or should they work within the existing party structures? What lesson should they draw from the Democratic leadership’s sabotaging – twice over – of Bernie Sanders, a candidate offering meaningful change? Is it time to adopt an entirely different strategy, rejecting traditional politics? And if so, can it be made to work when all the major institutions – from the politicians and courts, to the police, intelligence services and media – are firmly in the hands of the corporate enemy?

Terrible reckoning

There is no real way to sleep through life, or politics, and not wake up one day – usually when it is too late – realising catastrophic mistakes were made.

As individuals, we may face that terrible reckoning on our death-beds. Empires rarely go so quietly. They fall when it is time for their citizens to learn a painful lesson about hubris. Their technological innovations come back to haunt them, as ancient Rome’s lead water-pipes supposedly once did. Or they over-extend with ambitious wars that drain the coffers of gold, as warrior-kings have discovered to their cost through the ages. Or, when the guardians of empire least expect it, “barbarians” – the victims of their crimes – storm the city gates.

The globe-spanning US empire faces the rapid emergence of all these threats on a planetary scale. Its endless wars against phantom enemies have left the US burdened with astounding debt. Its technologies, from nuclear weapons to AI, mean there can be no possible escape from a major miscalculation. And the US empire’s insatiable greed and determination to colonise every last inch of the planet, if only with our waste products, is gradually killing the life-systems we depend on.

If Biden becomes president, his victory will be a temporary win for torpor, for complacency. But a new Trump will emerge soon enough to potentise – and misdirect – the fury steadily building beneath the surface. If we let it, the pendulum will swing back and forth, between ineffectual lethargy and ineffectual rage, until it is too late. Unless we actively fight back, the stagnation will suffocate us all.

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
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  1. aname says:

    Lefties talking about spiritual things… Yes, there is a spiritual world, but the majority of the world are in tune with the evil one because the deception is so great. Especially in our times.

    A Trump presidency gives America four more years to change from their wicked ways. A Biden presidency like the author points to puts America back to sleep. Asleep in that comfortable illusion that the devil’s workers have created that leads them down that easy broad path to destruction.

    • Replies: @Wyatt
  2. It was a fraudulent election. Not only were the candidates horrid, but elites chose Biden and ensured his win by adding ballots in strategic locations. Most likely the fraud will prevail because Biden has the support of the institutions and it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will overturn this farce. Everyone pretends the United States has clean elections but the current mail in ballot system begs for tampering. It would be fairly easy correct the obvious deficiencies but for some reason encrypted ballots with watermarks and other protective measures are not desired.

    For those who want to know what the future brings my take is this: There will be little to no change in foreign policy. Mostly a lot of bluster but U.S. trade, immigration, and job loss will continue as under Obama. AI will accelerate job losses. World food production will show decline in this decade due to climate change and (mostly Chinese) over-fishing in the oceans. Most people don’t realize Chinese attitudes toward food. It’s sort of a “eat it now” and the future be damned philosophy. China will continue to import more food putting pressure on the prices of food everywhere else (media discussion will be censored because it’s considered “racist” unless complaints are about white countries) . The U.S. will implement a form of a Green New Deal that in practice will do nothing other than tax an already over taxed middle class. It’s not that climate isn’t an issue, it’s that addressing the problem is now far too late & too big politically, only adaptive measures are now realistic. The young with their focus on racism and fascism have no idea how minuscule those problems are compared to climate change (only nuclear weaponry compares to climate outcome). If there is one lesson to be learned it’s that when Corporate America supports your cause (BLM/Trump removal) you’d better reexamine your priorities.

    Jonathan Cook sort of skims the surface of the election with this article and really says nothing new. He’s a wonderful writer though and I’d highly recommend following him because many times he does provide interesting information. His book is an excellent read if Middle East politics is your interest.

    Good luck to all you young people. Ron Unz does a public service by allowing so many interesting articles on his website. This site is what Google and Facebook should have been.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  3. Wyatt says:

    Yes, there is a spiritual world, but the majority of the world are in tune with the evil one because the deception is so great.

    I am always disappointed in the ignorance and stupidity of average Americans until I see the opinions of foreigners. After that, I have a tepid appreciation for my countrymen. It’s amazing how much American media and culture “informs” the world and how much more readily they take on deception designed specifically to dupe Americans. Maybe Americans just have a resilience to it after years of exposure, but it still amazes me how much more easily non-Americans take to fake news from America.

    Here’s hoping for a big asteroid reset button.

  4. Chris Moore says: • Website

    How should they best use their numerical strength? Should they struggle to win the presidency, and if so should it be a third-party candidate or should they work within the existing party structures? What lesson should they draw from the Democratic leadership’s sabotaging – twice over – of Bernie Sanders, a candidate offering meaningful change? Is it time to adopt an entirely different strategy, rejecting traditional politics? And if so, can it be made to work when all the major institutions – from the politicians and courts, to the police, intelligence services and media – are firmly in the hands of the corporate enemy?

    ((Bernie Sanders)) is doing pretty well for himself, for a man who was “sabotaged twice over” by his party. Why did he so enthusiastically endorse the same party that sabotaged him?

    I’ll tell you why: Because his Jewish set doesn’t care how it gets rich and powerful — capitalism, bolshevism, zionism — it make no difference to the murderous moneychanger/grifter/confidence man. It’s all about the power to exert their “chosen” will over the hapless Charlie Brown goyim. And also about their power to sadistically laugh about it in Charlie Brown’s face.

    But one day Charlie Brown will have his revenge, and it will be the last time he ever has to extract it.

  5. God, I hope Biden wins. Not that I like him. In fact, I like Trump a little bit better.

    But at least the girlfriend will have to shut up.

    Biden probably will start WWIII. But at least I’ll get some peace for a while before he does.

    • Replies: @Lost American
  6. @Militiades 100

    Climate change is like race. Diversion. Whatever it is, I promise you, it is not like they say it is. It never is.

    The important issue is money.

    Firstly, apprehending the thieves and putting their asses in jail. And I don’t mean people on welfare. I mean multi-billionaires, who are by their very nature thieves.

    Wages. Unions. Worker safety. Safety nets. Taxing the rich until their pants are on fire. Tromping down the FIRE sector. Raising up the Industrial sector (with environmental safety controls, of course), and most of all, destroying Corporate Agriculture (you so rightly point out the food thing, but don’t give solutions) and restoring the small farm. (Now I’ve started dreaming. Sorry. Imagining people actually caring about money, much less agriculture, is like taking to many sleeping pills. You dreamin’, buddy. You dreamin’.)

  7. Jonathan Cook: thank you very much for this iluminating article!

  8. He articulates who should be falsely blamed for their woes: be it immigrants, minorities, socialists, or the New World Order.

    There is a lot to unpack there.
    First, he has never actually blamed immigrants, he has spoken about illegal aliens needing to be deported. He has also said that they could come back legally through the “big beautiful door” in his “wall”. He has also pointed out that the immigration policy was wacky. There were thousands of very bright foreign students attending US universities on student visas that would love to stay in the US and would be a great addition, but are forced to leave, while illegal aliens are given sanctuary.
    Just what “minorities” other than those illegally entering the US has he blamed? Muslims? Perhaps, but his statement was made in the context of several attacks in the US (allegedly) by Muslim extremists. The statement was the need to stop that immigration until the US could figure out what was going on. If the attacks were by Muslim extremists, how do you know which Muslim coming from another country, isn’t an extremist? “Hey! Are you a Muslim extremist?” “Who me? Not at all, I just follow the teachings of the Koran.” Whatever that means.
    Blaming socialists? The dumbed down American public, generally speaking, has no concept of political differences. If you aren’t a part of the kleptocratic corporate capitalist class, you are communist. There is nothing in between. Ask a “conservative” what he is conserving, and you get the same old bullshit about “American values” which are so vague they are meaningless. On the other side, you get the “liberals” wanting “equal outcomes” which is also so vague, it is meaningless. If you have “equal outcomes” just cancel the Olympics right now, because there will be no winners, only equal outcomes. Post secondary education for all? That doesn’t happen anywhere and never has. The “communist/socialist” countries that d o have free post secondary education, limit it to those who have proven themselves to be the cream of the academic crop competing for a limited number of spaces. The liberals who are communists/socialists/leftist want open borders. Does China have open borders? Did the USSR have open borders? How the hell do you improve the lot of your own citizens by bringing in millions of immigrants annually to compete with your own citizens, including the tens of millions un and under employed?
    Of course, none of the above eliminates Trump’s flaws. What it does do, however, is show just how badly the competition is flawed. As I have said for many years, elections in (((Western liberal democracies))) are like being asked if you would rather be hanged or shot.

  9. Trinity says:

    Five Things That Don’t Exist In America

    1. White Supremacists * PLENTY OF JEWISH SUPREMACISTS, BLACK SUPREMACISTS, I guess you would call the mixed race La Raza types, “Brown Supremacists,” and yes they are very real as well.

    2. White Privilege * Jewish Privilege and Black Privilege ARE VERY REAL THOUGH

    3. An honest politician who puts America and American voters first.

    4. liberals

    Lets be real here. The term “liberal” was hijacked by anti-White racist Jews and has been used down through the years to describe anyone left of Joe Stalin and who also hates Whites. I think the last honest to goodness liberal probably died during the Nixon administration if not sooner. Anyone who describes any of these anti-White goons on the left as a “liberal” is a total shill, tool or moron. Take your pick.

    5. I guess we can now add an ELECTION to this list. Obviously we no longer have REAL ELECTIONS in America either. Biden had about as much of a shot at winning Michigan and Georgia as I have of hitting the Powerball Jackpot. Anyone who believes Biden won this election probably identifies leftist goons as “liberals.”

    • Replies: @Notsofast
    , @karel
  10. Notsofast says:

    “I guess we can now add an election to this list.” Now add? Where have you been? Welcome to the party brother… unfortunately we’re out of beer.

    • Agree: Trinity
    • Replies: @Trinity
  11. What is ‘liberal’ anymore? It used to mean more liberties, more freedom, more expression.
    Now, it’s all about more dogma, more blind cult worship of Jews, blacks, and homos. It’s about more censorship. Liberalism went from the Hundred Flowers Campaign to the Cultural Revolution, albeit one backed by Jewish Supremacists, Big Capital, and Celebrity Culture.

    Are liberals even aware of this? And think of feminism. We were told it’s about Empowerment. But feminism now teaches women to meekly kowtow before trannies who insist that they are ‘women’ even though they got penis and balls. What kind of a strong woman cannot even defend her sexual identity?

    And if Urban Libs are so into BLM and black feelings, why were they into gentric cleansing of blacks? Why do they want to be rid of blacks from urban areas?

    Liberals make no sense.

    • Agree: zimriel
  12. Trinity says:

    Yes, I guess looking back they have been closer to SELECTIONS OR AUCTIONS. My bad. I guess I was rehashing ANCIENT HISTORY.

  13. Biff says:

    The Task Before ‘Sleepy Joe’ Is to Put Liberal America Right Back to Sleep

    Just like Obama did with ease.

  14. Memo to Mr.Cook–Biden? Nope…Harris is in charge now (maybe) and she isn’t putting ANYONE back to sleep! But the Dems are too stupid to know that with Harris the (as from the movie Dune), “the sleeper must awaken”! And “the sleeper” is the American Nationals….all of us (I hope)! And another line from Dune–“Fear is the mind killer.” Do NOT be afraid of Harris and her Communist overlords (from China or otherwise), but be vigilant!

  15. Sean says:

    An excellent post by Cook, especially about Biden and the Dems now being the party of corporations. But a new Trump emerging is not very likely, while his policies would be easy to copy, another person with the public profile from decades of TV, large fortune and willingness to risk it running for office simply doesn’t exist. That is why after his rather narrow win in 20016, big business just hunkered down in the reasonable expectation he would not be re-elected. Whatever way you cut it, Trumpism is populist and business knows populism is difficult to control once it is in power, and apart from cutting them off from the vast profits of globalism could easily lead to economic radicalism and shakedowns of corporations. Biden speaks from Wilmington, which has an empire of Fortune 500 companies incorporated there because Delaware gives them the moon and the stars.

    The American worker has been subjected to competition from China by outsourcing, and importation of immigrants for those jobs that cannot be outsourced. Next order of business is to give Wilmington, Delaware competition from all over the globe. Foreign countries will vie to be the one supplying a legal framework most favourable to US corporations, which will begin to leave America entirely, thereby US big business that got Biden elected will be protected from any new taxes, which will hit small business very hard.

    The Republicans will be forced to fall back on small business Poujadism, whose supporters will be even less able to give the Republicans the financial resources to compete. The tax regime in the US will be precisely targeted to hit uneducated people with above average incomes: those being the core of Trumpist voters. Meanwhile, politics will ostensibly be about racial justice as the MSM scream that white men are evil, which conditioning has already been proven to dissuade white men from voting in accordance with their interests, they are the only group Trump lost votes among.

  16. Liza says:

    of Bernie Sanders, a candidate offering meaningful change

    Jezus take me now.

  17. karel says:

    That is real news to me. I have always thought that liberals have the liberty to pauperize everyone in a legal sort of way.

  18. @obwandiyag

    I guess that you are aware that all prolonged wars for America since the 20th century were started by Democrats except for Bush Jr-Iraq, Afghanistan
    Biden could start a major war {of course the war starters are the usual people who rule from the shadows)- this time- no exemptions to their draft-no exemptions

    WW1 Wilson- Dem. -some 120,000 American servicemen dead
    WW2- FDR Dem. 440,000 dead
    Korea- Truman Dem.over 45,000 dead if you include the MIAs and of course they should be included (executed in prisons and blown to smithereens or vaporized by artillery}
    Vietnam – LBJ-Dem.- got us into that. JFK just had advisors there-near 59,000 dead
    Kosovo (Albanians), Serbia- Clinton-Dem- over 1 billion of damage to Serb infrastructure- Christian areas
    Iraq 2003- Bush Jr-Republican of neo con Zionists- 4,700 dead and how many with gruesome amputations, brain injuries, toxic injuries
    Afghan- Bush Jr -and Obama. Obama managed to double the number of American dead. Bush Jr – some 50 plus targeted assassinations; Obama- some 930 or so
    Arab Spring, Syria, Libya bombings, rise of ISIS- Obama- Dem with help from the Clinton sociopath

    I learned well about Vietnam when in Marines- infantry and other combat arms men are just bait-BAIT-we should be able to push for lawsuits against operations staff who give their stupid plans and get thousands of men ambushed and massacred

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