517. Preponderance of the great (VII)
Joe Biden is not an American. This is easy enough to tell from the way he talks about the British: Biden has a chip on his shoulder about the British—as we can tell from his various acidulous remarks about the BBC. You might think that an American would naturally disdain the British, since America was founded through a rebellion against Britain—to be anti-British is just to be American; perhaps sentiments differ in degree, but the basic position is constitutive as to what it is to be an American.
However, if you look at the way actual Americans—as opposed to Irishmen who claim to be Americans—talk about Britain there is a difference. The difference is that the Americans won, and people who win are never bitter; so they just chuckle about the British or tease them about their defeat—they do not hate or despise the British. Eventually, as with Americans and the Red Indians, we come to sentimentalise people we defeat; and, as with TS Eliot and HP Lovecraft, we even want want to become our vanquished enemies—when Lovecraft and Eliot engaged in Anglophilia they were just like some hippy-dippy Californian who inveigles his way into the remnants of the Sioux tribe. There are probably no contemporary Americans who hate and despise the Sioux or the Iroquois—even though the Indian wars were brutal—because Americans comprehensively won. When you comprehensively win you eventually end up with a kind of benign affection for those you defeated.
However, Biden is not an American; he sees himself as primarily being Irish—perhaps he would call himself an “Irish-American”. The Irish are losers; and, indeed, they only gained their independence because decadent elites within England took their side—with many English aristocrats and intellectuals larping as Irishmen. Ireland has never had meaningful independence, and since she was liberated by a progressive political movement she is today among the most “woke” nations on earth; her former leader is a homosexual Asian and her population is rapidly being replaced by Africans (the black Irish really are black these days).
This is because all the “Celticism” found in de Valera and Yeats was at base an act; the independence movement was progressive—it was for modernity, globalising modernity. Ireland herself has never been militarily strong enough to chart her own course; and in WWII, despite formal neutrality, she had to do what England said. The only real Irishmen—free Irish men—on the island of Ireland are, in fact, the Ulstermen. Irish independence was the British left’s project.
For Biden, his left-wing views intertwine with his Irishness; the left encourages a cult of victimhood and resentment—and this suits Biden’s national identity, an identity of loss and self-pity. Even though he is nominally the most powerful man in the world, Biden still pettily refused to speak to the BBC when they asked him a question—and this is because, in his heart, he is a loser; he is filled with spite and resentment. An American president might have said: “Yeah, yeah I’ve a moment for the Redcoat media.” But he would not have been consumed with spite, because he would know he was not a loser.
What Biden proves is that the “melting pot”—an early 20th-century idea—was a myth. The Irish never really “integrated”, nor did the Jews—nor did the Italians. “The Americans” remain Englishmen, Welshmen, and Scotsmen who rebelled against their mother country; they were joined by a few Dutch, Germans, and French—and the Founding Fathers were even uncertain about the German presence. Black Africans have never been American, for the British offered them freedom during the Revolution—black Africans were excluded from being American from the beginning; they were only recognised as full subjects by the British. Hence black Americans usually cheer for America’s enemies in her various foreign wars. In short, “integration” is a myth: America—the wider West—is more salad bowl than stew, a fact now widely acknowledged.