There's no telling where the destruction wrought by a President Joe Biden would end. Not even our most prized obelisks would be safe.
On Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump's campaign tweeted out a screenshot of an imagined future CNN report from the "D.C. Autonomous Zone" where the demolition of the Washington Monument is well underway. "This would be Joe Biden's America," the caption reads.
This would be Joe Biden's America pic.twitter.com/qCILb8SMNo
— Trump War Room—Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) November 2, 2020
The tweet is perhaps meant as a bit of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole. (By the Trump campaign's standards, it's even relatively charitable to CNN in depicting the network neutrally covering urban unrest.)
It's nevertheless in keeping with the dark closing message of Trump's campaign: A Democrat-controlled White House will use the immense power of the Oval Office to remake America.
"The Biden lockdown will mean no school, no graduation, no Thanksgiving, no Easter, and no Christmas, no Fourth of July and no future for America's youth," warned Trump at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Monday, conjuring up the risk that a Biden administration would do its best to shut down most social and economic life to fight coronavirus.
It's not the first time that Trump has claimed Biden would prosecute the War on Christmas with a renewed vigor. It's also not the only thing that would be in President Biden's sights.
"Him and his group," Trump warned Monday in North Carolina, will "destroy the suburbs, dissolve your borders, terminate religious liberty, outlaw private health insurance…shred your Second Amendment, confiscate your guns and indoctrinate your children with anti-American lies."
His Twitter feed over the last few days has rung similar alarm bells about gun rights, the Supreme Court, and school choice.
Biden will terminate school choice, eliminate charter schools, defund religious schools, ban prayer in public schools, indoctrinate your children with Anti-American lies, and force you to subsidize extreme late-term abortion. We believe that every child is a Sacred Gift from God!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2020
Biden will repeal your Second Amendment and Pack the Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2020
Some of these criticisms are more on point than others. But Trump's warnings about Biden represent the president's choice to end his campaign with a strongman's song that dabbles in the language of liberty while still managing to be overwhelmingly hostile to the idea of individuals leading their own lives. Trump's pitch isn't ultimately about freedom, it's about control.
"America will never be a socialist nation," Trump said in North Carolina Monday, which is always good to hear. But every warning about high taxes and the end of Christmas is pared with a warning that Democrats will make it too easy to trade with other countries or for people to move to this one. Even as the president was praising school choice at his rally and on his Twitter account, he was signing executive orders setting up a federal commission to encourage "patriotic education" in public schools.
The destructive potential of a Biden administration doesn't necessarily mean the federal government is too powerful as is, Trump argues. Rather, it means we need to keep electing to right people to wield that power correctly.
"This election comes down to a simple choice: do you want to be ruled by the arrogant, corrupt, ruthless, and selfless [sic] political class, or do you want to governed by the American people themselves?" said the president in his speech Monday.
The choice of being governed a little less is apparently not on the ballot.