Operation Biden

Operation Biden

Operation Biden

It is February 2024. The world is in a jam.

The United States of America is considering reelecting Donald Trump, a man who has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted with the fate of the free world. Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t even respect the underlying premise of the “free world”, which is that the citizens of the nations — through regular open and fair elections, and through freedom from fear of reprisals for speaking out against the government — work together to serve as a final check on madness corruption and evil in government, while also together growing the national conversation and nudging their shared government towards the better and away from the worse.

Rather than repudiating Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on democratic institutions, rules, and norms; his attempts to steal the 2020 presidential election; and his ongoing campaign to undermine President Biden’s legitimacy with false claims of election fraud; a critical mass of Republican voters, elected officials, donors, and thinktanks seem only too happy to help Trump not just regain, but better consolidate his power over the government of the United States of America.

We also have reason to believe that Trump’s previous term in office has taught him how to better his chances of replacing our democratic republic with an authoritarian regime. (Biggest lesson: No more people who are going to push back on you when you want to do whatever you want to do; like, for example, having the DOJ send letters to states where you narrowly lost, falsely claiming that the DOJ has good reason to believe there was fraud in their elections).

And we’ve all watched as Trump has worked to weaken the nation’s support for Ukraine in its war against Putin’s bid to build another Russian Empire — this one shorn of any ideology beyond, “might makes right”. With Trump one feels the chill of a dictator among dictators in a zero-sum world where the United States is just one more tyranny among competing tyrannies.

The United States has never been perfect, either in its internal or external affairs, but let us take this moment to choose to follow our most beautiful founding ideals and our better moments, rather than to escape from our experiment in large scale democracy into the same tired old boring shit of the by turns cynical and by turns starry eyed, “kings rule and the people suck it” and the reality-shrinking finite-ism of “us versus them” (as opposed to the reality-expanding infinite vista of “win-win”).

Due to circumstances political and procedural, one 81-year-old man stands between this would-be tyrant — now armed (both within his own thought and within the thought of those allies likely to join his 2024 administration) with both the clarity of purpose to take and maintain power no matter what and the practical tools for consolidating power and suppressing dissent — and the presidency of the United States.

And Joseph Biden — our would-be savior from (at the very least) four years of extreme stress to the constitutional order of the United States of America — is not going into this election with great popularity.


For one thing, it is hard to be popular in a country where majorities of the two halves of the voting population consider the other side’s voters to be somewhere on the spectrum from hopelessly-foolish to hopelessly-bad (the midpoint of that spectrum is: pretty-foolish/pretty-bad).

And, added to the underlying dysfunction of a populace walled off from each other in panicked echo chambers, and to various national and international difficulties (including morally and politically difficult situations like the influx of illegal immigrants and the war in Gaza); people also sometimes worry and crow (depending on their side of the divide) that Biden’s brain isn’t up for the heady task of leading the largest, oldest, and most powerful democracy in the world.


What to do? What to do?

Sometimes moments like this happen. Human structures, no matter how carefully constructed and tended, are not invincible. All our laws, rules, constitutions, governments, organizations within and without governments: all we do is but overlapping human structures.

So here we are and its come down to two old men and their administrations: Joseph Biden & Co, who will almost certainly stay within the norms, rules, and structures of our democratic republic to faithfully work towards the good of all; and Donald Trump, & Co, who almost certainly will work to further damage checks against Trump’s power, which he seems to understand as the supreme good (an end, rather than a means) and as the majesty, pomp and sway of a Forever King in a world of winners-and-losers and Us-vs-Them.

But this is what the power of the leadership in a well-functioning democratic republic actually is: A tool, temporarily loaned to the leaders from the people, to be used to find ways forward for the entire nation in a world of win-wins and !all-together-now!.

Our shared liberal democratic republic is a spiritual good. It allows all us citizens to prevent our government from becoming a criminal state (where, for example, opposition leaders end up in jail on false charges and then somehow dead), while together growing our shared conversation and government. Additionally, the reality a liberal democratic republic presupposes and seeks to realize is a reality where power and success for one are compatible with sharing power, success, and responsibility with many. This is fundamentally different from an authoritarian state, where the people cannot prevent the government from sliding deeper and deeper into a thugocracy: a form of government where power, prestige, wealth, and even basic goods like safe food and water and freedom from imprisonment; are contingent upon lending one’s support to a regime that pits its citizens against one another in a battle over the scraps of power, prestige, wealth, and freedom that the government — inherently incompetent because its supreme good is not governing well, but rather maintaining and extending its own power, wealth, and prestige — leaves on the table.

The wonderful thing about living in liberal democratic republics is that they help their citizens be both happy and decent: a government of by and for the people selects for open, honest discourse; and for enterprises, organizations, and behaviors that benefit everyone. It is so great to live in a liberal democratic republic because here the government’s highest values coincide with our own inborn sense of what is True and Best: We are all in this together and can and should share both power and responsibility; if we respect and value one another, we can all win together — within the bounds of universal law (applying to both those with and without political power; those with and without money; etc.), we can all create, explore, fellowship, and grow together.

Our liberal democratic republic separates church and state not because the state is superior to religion, but because combining spiritual and political authority tempts people to lie to themselves and others about the most important things. And also because wisdom comes not from being forced to submit to xyz dogmas, but from a free, open, and honest search for wisdom. (To the old adage, “a man convinced against his will remains of the same opinion still”, we could add, “except that, forced to patronize notions he neither believes nor understands, he’s lost a little traction in his own thought and action: he’s become a little more meaningless to himself. Sorry that we stopped rhyming”.)

Our liberal democratic republic separates church and state, but the underlying reality of a liberal democratic republic is fundamentally a spiritual one:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident:

We all contain within us that spiritual Love with which everything is OK and without which nothing is OK; and in this sharing of the Spirit, we share basic rights, including but not limited to, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is that self-evident Truth (spiritual and thus prior to arguments or proofs for and against, a Truth etched into every human’s heart of hearts) that provides us humans with both a right and a duty to maintain control over our own governments — a right and duty to create and maintain structures of government that allow the citizens to steer their shared governments away from criminal states and towards wiser, fairer, more joyful ones.

There is therefore, for the citizens of this nation, but one choice:

Operation Biden.

Who’s fault is it?

He should’ve …

She should’ve

They should’ve …

We should’ve …

I should’ve …

God should’ve …

The Fates …, well, they’re just so inscrutable …

Yes, yes, all great points; but at this point in time (and forgive me if I speak rather pointedly), all quite beside the point.

For reasons beyond our ken, it seems likely that the United States of America is going to buckle itself into either a 77-year-old or an 81-year-old, both of whom sometimes mix up names. Both have access to any medical, dietary, physical or et cetera intervention. However, we are here trying to elect Biden rather than Trump both because Biden has proven himself a far superior caretaker of our shared democratic republic and because the people and plans he brings with him are wiser, gentler, and more careful stewards of our shared government.

What hey, what ho! It’s everybody’s fault; it’s nobody’s fault. Yada and yada. We have to get a good solid five more years out of Joe Biden, and he’s got to get that out of himself; that’s just where are we here and now: So let’s get to it!

But how?

I imagine it’s already in the works, but let’s assemble a world-class team of experts in aging. I nominate Valter Longo and David Sinclair to lead. Valter Longo’s approach is based almost exclusively on diet and exercise since he considers the long-term effects of anti-aging drugs and other supplements to be too experimental. David Sinclair embraces diet, exercise, and supplementation. As Biden is 81 now and the world needs him to be as sharp and spritely as reasonably possible, the fact that the long-term effects of anti-aging supplements is perhaps of less importance than in the general case. Anyway, Longo and Sinclair and their team will daily huddle — at least spiritually and bezoomed, if not usually physically present — and pray and meditate upon how to !do no harm! and as much good as possible !without doing harm!. Why will they do this? Because we’re trying to save the free world here, people! Everybody’s got to pitch in as best they can. And, as it happens, we’re entering a very exciting time in humanity’s ability to live longer, healthier, heartier lives. Let’s, therefore, take advantage of the available science.

Of course, diet, exercise, and supplementation are available to both candidates. But there are anti-aging tools that uniquely play to Joseph Biden’s core strength as a leader, particularly in a match-up against Donald Trump: meditation, prayer, practicing loving-kindness, and other tried and true spiritual practices.

Joseph Biden is a decent, dignified man, who has spent his life in service of the United States of America, and the democratic principles upon which it stands; and in this life of service, Joseph Biden has learned a great deal about how to lead competently — with goodwill, wisdom, and practical insight.

Joe Biden’s strengths are those of an elder statesman. Don Trump’s weaknesses are those of an old man who has long wielded notions like “true” and “false” and “good” and “bad” as ultimately meaningless weapons for getting what one wants.

If it is Trump versus Biden in 2024, the election is between the nihilism of winning for the sake of winning and the spiritual good of winning for the sake of governing well within a system that keeps the ultimate power over the government in the hands, hearts, and minds of the governed.

The Republicans still have a chance to turn away from their present nihilism and elect a candidate whose fundamental political tactic is not lying and who has not attempted to subvert the will of We the People. Hopefully they take it.

But whatever the outcome of the Republican presidential election, what the democratic party has in Joe Biden is a lifelong servant of our democratic republic, a wise elder statesman. He should, if he is not already doing so, double down on that strength with a proven anti-aging treatment regime that he, as a practicing Catholic, is most likely to some degree already following: meditation, prayer, and practicing loving kindness.

There is no need to tell people you are on a spiritual path. As previously noted, the point of separating church and state is that combining religious and political authority tempts people to lie to themselves and others about the most sacred things. What is needed from Joe Biden and his supporters now is a consistent spiritual effort influencing a clear, honest campaign, and wise leadership.

In short, Joe Biden needs to get even better at being Joe Biden: a wise, decent, competent, compassionate leader; and for this we suggest that he and all of us who would here strengthen our democratic republic get serious about what this nation is all about:

We are here to cherish and serve ourselves and each other, and our shared government and conversation — growing as individuals and (many overlapping) groups and as a nation in the spiritual Love with which all is Okay and without which nothing is.

We can say a little prayer every morning and evening, a prayer to find what is best for all. We can meditate every day upon the Love that chooses everyone. And we can feel, think, and speak about why our form of government is a spiritual good: We the People anchor our own government; we work together to grow our shared conversation and government, and most fundamentally to serve as a final check on madness, corruption, and evil in our government.

A human’s naught but gears and pulleys to be steered by the Love that creates, sustains, and shines through all things — including each conscious moment. Let’s rally then as one around the only one who, as things seem to have shaken out, is in a position to refute Donald Trump’s assertions that 2 plus 2 equals “they stole my election, so now I’m going to punish journalists and fill my administration and bureaucracy with yes-men and -women — the kind of can-do people who won’t tell me I can’t do something just because it’s illegal, the kind of people who understand that nothing can be illegal if the King does it!”, that might makes right, and that the ends justify the means.

Joseph Biden has a good, solid chance of steering our ship of state out of the dangerous straights of a would-be tyrant and his all too many all too willing lackeys. So what can we do but spend our hearts, minds, and votes on Joseph Biden’s 2024 presidential campaign? Gently, kindly, and all together now. A good leader brings out the best in people; but good supporters also bring out the best in their leaders. Let us be good supporters of the man that we all need to be a good steward of our shared constitutional republic and the soul of things — for which it, and we, would stand.

Thugocracies are not just incompetent, they are also boring, lonely, scary. They’re not good platforms for doing neat things. Let’s keep doing neat things together, USA! And for starters, let’s help Biden help us protect the systems, rules, and norms that shelter so many and that have long emboldened both US citizens and citizens of the world to dream and live bigger, brighter, more joyfully — in the sacred knowledge that governments of, by, and for the people can not just survive, but can thrive.

Authors: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Editors: Amble Whistletown & Bartleby Willard
Copyright: Andrew M. Watson

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