A Dementia Patient Is President Because It Doesn’t Matter Who The President Is

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readFeb 9, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

So it turns out the dementia symptoms Biden’s supporters have long dismissed as a “stutter” are actually exactly what they look like.

The special counsel assigned to investigate Joe Biden for mishandling classified documents reports that investigators “uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” but concludes that “no criminal charges are warranted in this matter.”

Which normally would be cause for a sigh of relief by this administration and its supporters, except that among the reasons given for this conclusion is that the president has gone senile.

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Special Counsel Robert Hur writes to Attorney General Merrick Garland, saying that “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023. And his cooperation with our investigation… will likely convince some jurors that he made an innocent mistake, rather than acting willfully — that is, with intent to break the law — as the statute requires.”

Hur reports that in interviews Biden couldn’t even remember things as fundamental as the years of his term as vice president, or when his son Beau died. Hur also writes that Biden’s memory had gotten worse between the aforementioned recorded 2017 interviews and the interviews with the president last year.

In short, the president’s brain don’t work. It’s shot. The “leader of the free world” has rusted out gray matter. It’s like swiss cheese in there.

And it is indeed getting worse. During a press conference in which Biden was ostensibly meant to reassure the world that his brain is working fine in light of the big news, the president referred to the president of Egypt as the president of Mexico and froze mid-speech when he unsuccessfully tried to remember where his son got the rosary he carries from. Just this week Biden has mistakenly referred to dead European leaders as still being in office, not once but twice.

If you were still laboring under the delusion that it matters who the US president is, the fact that an actual, literal dementia patient has held that office for three years now should dispel that notion once and for all. The US empire has been marching along in exactly the same way it was before Biden took office, completely unhindered by the fact that the person who’s supposedly calling the shots is in a state of degenerative neurological free-fall.

Literally anyone could hold that office and it would make no meaningful difference in the way the US empire is run. A coma patient could be president. A jar of kalamata olives could be president. The position which Americans hold elections over in the belief that it could bring positive changes to their country and their world is nothing but a figurehead.

Which is a bit of a problem for Americans who would like to change certain aspects of their government’s behavior, like for example the backing of an active genocide in Gaza. Whose conscience do they work to appeal to if the person they were told is in charge actually isn’t? Who do they vote for if the people who really call the shots aren’t even on the ballot?

The fact that the US president has dementia exposes the uncomfortable truth that the functioning of the empire is too important to be left in the hands of voters. There’s too much power riding on the behavior of the US government from year to year for the electorate to be permitted a say in it.

The globe-spanning power structure that is centralized around the United States is run not by the official elected government of that nation, but by unelected empire managers who filter in and out of each administration and maintain a steady presence in government agencies and government-adjacent institutions. These empire managers form alliances with corporate powers and working relationships with the many nations, assets and partners who function as members of the undeclared US empire.

Which means there’s not really any way for Americans to vote their way out of this mess. If you have a problem with genocide, militarism, economic injustice, authoritarianism, or any other crucial building block for the US-centralized power structure, you will never be permitted to have any influence over those things through the official electoral system. Voting in western “democracies” is done to give us the illusion of control, like letting a toddler play with a toy steering wheel while you drive so they can feel like they’re participating.

That doesn’t mean there’s no way out of this mess, just that there’s no way out of this mess that involves voting. We’re already seeing pro-Palestine activists throwing significant obstacles in the operations of Israeli weapons dealers, and the push to educate and inform the public about what’s happening in Gaza has caused Israel to lose control of the narrative so severely that it’s now resorting to desperate online influence ops. Measures like this can be implemented across the board to bring about the end of the imperial power structure. Once enough people begin turning against the empire, using the power of our numbers to force real change will quickly move from impossible to possible to likely to inevitable.

But we’ve got to stop hanging all our hopes on the electoral system first. Every four years we see American attention get sucked up into this empty puppet show about which soulless empire manager should be the temporary official figurehead at the front desk of the permanent imperial machine, and if you want to vote by all means go ahead and vote. But don’t let that performative ritual distract you from the real project: to wake up our fellow humans and begin forcing real change.


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Featured image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)