Then-candidate Joe Biden sold America a bill of goods in 2020. He said he was running for president to “restore the soul of America,” and promised “unity over division,” but his administration has arguably been one of the most divisive in U.S. history.

1. Policy Whiplash

While Biden wrongly suggested Donald Trump’s presidency represented an aberration from what America stands for, Biden himself has not governed as a “return to normalcy” president. On the contrary, he has given the United States a form of political whiplash.

From his first days in office, Biden rushed to reverse nearly every move his predecessor made.

Trump designated the Houthis in Yemen a terrorist group; Biden reversed that decision (before hastily re-designating them so last month). Trump had instituted immigration policies like “Remain in Mexico” and negotiated safe third-country deals with Central American nations; Biden tore those up. Trump signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to speed up the process of correcting, disciplining, or firing employees who underperform, but Biden rescinded it.

2. An Aggressive Social Agenda

If President Barack Obama exacerbated the culture war, Biden has hypercharged it.

After the May 2022 leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning the 1973 abortion precedent Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion vandals targeted at least 88 pro-life pregnancy centers and 228 Catholic churches, according to CatholicVote. These attacks involved threatening messages such as “If Roe isn’t safe, neither are you.” The Department of Justice failed to prosecute most of these cases.

Meanwhile, however, the FBI arrested pro-life activist Mark Houck, charging him with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act for allegedly pushing a pro-abortion activist outside an abortion clinic.

A jury ultimately acquitted Houck, but that doesn’t minimize the ordeal he went through.

The DOJ under Biden has charged at least 26 pro-life protesters for violating the FACE Act.

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta admitted in December 2022 that the June overturning of Roe increased “the urgency” of the DOJ’s work, including the “enforcement of the FACE Act, to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”

This fit with Biden’s July 2022 executive order marshaling the federal government to defend “reproductive rights” after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.

Meanwhile, Biden has also gone out of his way to champion transgender orthodoxy. His executive orders reorganized the federal government around the idea that biological sex matters less than a person’s stated gender identity, and he aggressively promoted openly nonbinary staff like Sam Brinton, transgender officials such as Rachel Levine, and social media influencers such as Dylan Mulvaney.

Biden even had to ban transgender activist Rose Montoya from the White House after an incident in which Montoya, a male, revealed his prosthetic breasts toplessly at a Pride Month celebration last June on the South Lawn.

Biden has also pressed the transgender issue in schools, even though polling shows most Americans oppose gender lessons for kids and support parental rights on the issue.

3. Demonizing Concerned Parents

In 2021, the National School Boards Association sent Biden a letter likening parents who protest school district policies to domestic terrorists. Documents later revealed that the White House had worked with the school boards group to draft the letter.

The school boards association later apologized for the letter, and the Justice Department rescinded a memo it issued based on the letter, but the incident revealed Biden’s approach to concerned parents.

The Biden administration released a domestic terrorism strategy in June 2021, after consulting “extensively with a wide array of experts.” Those “experts” appear to have included a far-left smear factory, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a call with donors, SPLC President Margaret Huang bragged that the Biden administration reached out to her organization for advice to “help shape” the domestic terrorism strategy. As I wrote in my book, “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC weaponized its history of rightly suing KKK groups into bankruptcy to demonize mainstream conservative and Christian groups, which it puts on a “hate map” alongside KKK chapters.

The SPLC’s smears led to a domestic terrorist attack in 2012, and an SPLC lawyer got arrested on domestic terrorism charges last year. Amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal that led the SPLC to fire its co-founder in 2019, a former employee called the “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”

Despite these scandals, the Biden White House hosted SPLC leaders and staff at least 11 times, and Biden nominated an SPLC attorney to a top federal judgeship.

Recently unearthed documents showed that a leading Education Department official met with SPLC staff in 2022, one year before the SPLC put parental rights groups such as Moms for Liberty on its “hate map.”

4. COVID-19 Free Speech Suppression

After Biden took office, the White House moved to suppress what it called “misinformation” on the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by allowing vaccine “misinformation.”

Documents released in the “Twitter Files” and in legal cases showed that the Biden White House repeatedly pressured social media companies to remove “misinformation” on COVID-19 vaccines and other topics.

Facebook admitted that it suppressed “often-true content” about people’s experiences with the vaccines.

Amazon bowed to White House pressure to suppress certain books that expressed skepticism about vaccines.

These attacks on free speech have led moderates to join conservatives in condemning the Biden administration.

5. ‘Extremists’

Biden has repeatedly demonized his opponents, branding them racists or “extremists.”

When states moved to institute protections for election integrity after many officials loosened voting rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden demonized those efforts as racist. He even said of Georgia’s new voting law that it “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”

Shortly after Biden took office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the military to observe a one-day stand-down to address extremism based on some reports that service members took part in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Yet a Defense Department-commissioned study on extremism in the military not only found little evidence to suggest the military is more extreme than the general public, but also warned that efforts to root out supposed “extremism” may harm recruitment.

According to a December Pew Research Center survey, only 24% of Americans surveyed say they are “very” or “somewhat confident” that Biden can “bring the country closer together.” In 2021, almost half of Americans (48%) surveyed expressed confidence in his ability to bring unity. Even self-identified Democrats, who mostly expressed confidence in Biden’s ability to bring unity in 2021 (74%), appear to have largely given up hope of such unity. Only 42% expressed optimism in December.

On Sept. 1, 2022, Biden gave an impassioned speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. His team lit up the hall with red, white, and blue, but the red in the middle covered Biden, giving him a “Star Wars” evil emperor aura. That aura fit the speech’s theme perfectly, as Biden warned about the “MAGA extremism” that “threatens the very republic.”

I think that speech sums up the ultimate reason Biden has utterly failed to “restore the soul of America.” Biden’s rhetoric in that speech echoes his administration’s horrifying record in targeting his opponents, and that could not be further removed from efforts to truly mend our country’s divisions.

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