By: Larry Schweikart
Both sides have been expecting October surprises. The Trump camp thinks the tax information may have been the last of them, although it seems the Democrat Scandal Bag is never empty. But the Hunter Biden laptop is a potential game-changer in a number of ways. His exposure doesn’t just draw in his father, but on a symbolic plane touches on four major issues that continue to shape this campaign.
Rudy Giuliani. Photo by: Doug Mills/The New York Times
As a prelude, let’s note that it is clear from comments by Rudy Giuliani that there is more to come. Much more. And like a good boxer, you never lead with your best punch. It’s almost certain that whatever else Rudy is sitting on, it’s juicier, sleazier, and more damning than what has been seen so far. I discount tales of “sex tapes” with underage boys, but the key takeaway from any of this will be that Hunter Biden seriously exposed his father to extortion, blackmail, and control by the Chicom government.
Now, a caution: so much corruption has been uncovered in the last four years that for either side it’s the boy who cried wolf. After all, with each new revelation about the FBI actively participating in the Trump coup, another day goes by without so much as an indictment, let alone a public hanging. Is there anything Hunter Biden could possibly do that would cause a Republican to say, “I’m SHOCKED!”? No. Likewise, there is probably nothing even in the new materials to cause a die-hard leftist Democrat to say, “That’s it! I cannot support Joe Biden anymore.” We learned in the Clinton impeachment saga that despite clear and admitted felonies by the Slick One, the Democrat Senate would give him a pass.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Hunter Biden Scandal-of-the-Week Club will not affect the election. Speaking with pollster Richard Baris this week, he reminded me that in 2016 one of the main issues that moved undecided voters against Hillary (perhaps not so much for Trump) was the email scandal. As Baris put it, “This was the rich and powerful vs. the ordinary person again.” People knew they couldn’t begin to get away with such criminal acts that Hillary was exonerated over. Where does that leave Hunter Biden then? It likely means that this is one more factor that will reduce turnout for Sleepy Joe. It is somewhat ironic that a man in Washington, D.C. for 47 years hasn’t til now had major scandals associated with his name—but that speaks more to how utterly ineffective and unimportant Biden has been than to his purity.
The “C” of corruption in this case, however, is tied strongly to a second “C” that ordinary voters are starting to become uncomfortable with, China. It was bad enough that the China Virus came from, well, China; that the ChiCom government covered it up; and that it is entirely possible that they “allowed” the virus to escape on purpose. Right now, as of October 2020, no one wants to go into full-blown accountability mode, but a reckoning is coming. The Chinese indirectly tried to assassinate the President of the United States and his entire staff. This will not, nor cannot, be forgotten or brushed under the rug.
Sports Viewership Ratings Nielsen from LA Times 10/13/20
But in the case of Hunter Biden, the “C” of corruption is heavily (though not entirely) tied to the “C” of Communist China. If there are doubts in voters’ minds about how much the Chinese government knew about the virus and how little it did to control it, anyone seen as in the back pockets of Beijing will suffer. Exhibit A: the NBA. Probably the majority of the NBA’s catastrophic ratings collapse was its sickening embrace of terrorist or anti-police groups such as Black Lives Matter or the fascist so-called Antifa, but some of the NBA’s current toxicity comes from its proud waving of the hammer and sickle and its unwillingness to criticize genuine human rights abuses in Asia.
Tying Biden’s China corruption with the growing hostility to Communist China, there is a third “C” now aligning unfavorably with the Democrats: American Corporations, especially the tech giants, are not looked upon favorably by the middle class. This was inevitable, as Progressives have labored for years to make Americans hate Wall Street. The irony comes in the fact that these attitudes among large groups of middle-class Americans begin to actually set in, not over the perennial villains—the big banks, such as J.P. Morgan Chase or Citi—but against big tech giants Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Anti-corporate themes have been a part of the left for decades. Now they are being embraced by ordinary people against tech monopolies that threaten to destroy free speech.
And, astoundingly enough, there is a fourth “C” that is tied to Hunter Biden, communist China, and corporate tyranny, namely the Collapse of several swaths of American entertainment, most notably Hollywood, movies, television broadcasting, and Broadway. It is not an overstatement to say that some of these entertainment sectors may never come back. The key here is that especially in Hollywood, the trail once again leads to China. Over the past decade, many studios have had major financing/production deals with the Chinese. Tom Cruise’s Skydance Productions is probably only the most obvious, but a quick review of the producers of almost any big-budget feature today will reveal more than a few Asian holding companies. These almost all are tied back to the Chinese Communist government. To survive, Hollywood must make ever-increasing numbers of pictures that appeal to the Chinese—action, big-budget—with notable stars. Many of these stars, of course, have seen better days and are on the downside of their careers even before the China Virus threatened to wipe out movie theaters altogether. This is a no-win for China: it can pour more money into studios that were already having difficulty selling a product to Americans, thereby giving them an even bigger taint, or it can withdraw support and finish them off.
In short, the Hunter Biden computer files are about a great deal more than what is actually on them: it’s about the different ways Hunter Biden himself exemplifies all the corruption, corporatism, Chinese control, and institutional collapse that led to the rise of Donald Trump in the first place.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: The American President, and founder of the Wild World of History website that features full curricula for US and World History courses grades 9-12 that includes teacher guides, student workbooks, tests/answer keys, images/maps/graphs, and video lessons accompanying every unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com).