If an administration deliberately wished to cause havoc on the border, to ensure fuel was nearly unaffordable, to create a crime wave, to spark 1970s hyperinflation, and to rekindle racial tensions, what would it have done differently than what President Joe Biden has done?
So is Biden malicious, incompetent, or a wannabe left-wing ideologue?
When pressed about inflation and fuel price hikes, Biden either blames someone or something else, gets mad at the questioner, or claims former President Donald Trump did it.
His administration apparently believes things are going well and according to plan.
When polls disagree, his team either believes the American people are brainwashed or that they themselves have not supplied sufficient propaganda. So they never pivot or compromise, but rededicate themselves to continued failure.
Why? Apparently, what most in the country see as disasters, Biden envisions as success.
Take the border - or rather its disappearance.
Never in U.S. history has an administration simply canceled immigration laws, opened the border, and welcomed in millions of illegal aliens. All arrive illegally, and without audit, or vaccinations and tests in times of a pandemic.
Cartels now import lethal drugs at will into the United States. We have no idea how many terrorists walk across the border each day.
Almost all the entering millions who break the law are poor, without high school diplomas or English skills, and in dire need of massive federal and state housing, food, education, legal, and health subsidies.
Do the leftists in Washington believe that millions of dependent new residents will look to the Left for decades of support and soon find ways to reciprocate with fealty at the polls? Is that why Democrats brag in unapologetic tribalist fashion about changing the demography of the electorate?
Former President Barack Obama's energy secretary-designate Steven Chu once gaffed in the 2008 campaign when he openly wished that U.S. gas prices would reach European levels.
In truth, the Left has always believed the only way to achieve their objectives of discouraging driving, forcing middle-class Americans onto trains and buses, and persuading them to live in urban high-rises rather than drive carbon-spewing cars from spacious suburban ranch-style homes was to encourage high fuel prices.
Is that agenda why Biden, during the current energy crisis, simply canceled new federal oil and gas leases? As diesel hits $7 a gallon in California, why else did he refuse to finish the Keystone XL pipeline or reopen Alaskan oil fields?
Inflation continues officially to exceed 8% per annum. Most consumers feel it is double that when they pay for food, fuel, building materials, houses, or rent - the essential stuff of life.
What did the Biden Administration expect would follow from keeping real interest rates at near zero, while printing trillions of dollars at the moment supplies were short and demand was spiking?
Or did it think inflation more fairly "spreads the wealth"? Does it prompt new necessary attacks on "corporate greed?" Does it demand more federal intervention and socialist policies?
If inflation is "bad" for most, it may not seem so to this left-wing administration.
Violent crime is on its way to 1970s levels. The combination of defunding the police, radical city and county prosecutors who don't charge or lock up criminals, and emptying jails and prisons have ignited a national crime wave.
The Biden Administration shrugs. It offers no new federal help to fund more police or charge freed criminals under applicable federal statutes.
Does it think it is more socially just to let criminals free than incarcerate them?
Does it buy into "critical legal theory" that laws do not reflect ancient ideas of right and wrong, but instead are "constructed" by the privileged to oppress the already oppressed?
Is what Americans see as dangerous crime something the Biden zealots applaud as tough social karma?
Americans are tired of the new woke tribalism. Judging individuals on the basis of their race, gender, or superficial appearance is amoral, and contrary to the entire civil rights movement, and the U.S. Constitution.
It destroys any idea of meritocracy and divides the country artificially into supposed victims and victimizers.
But do the Biden people see it that way?
Or do they promote racial tensions and tribalism, as welcome revolutionary fervor?
In that regard, the Bidenites promote identity politics as a good way to stir up the pot, to demonize supposed oppressors and deify the oppressed - all as a way of retaining political power. For the Left, living in a socialist nation controlled by an elite is far preferable to living in a free and prosperous one answerable only to the people.
The public believes the Biden Administration has failed America, with disastrous results due either to its incompetence, belligerence, or left-wing zealotry.
But Biden and his delusional team seem delighted with what they have wrought.
In sum, what Americans see as an abject catastrophe, they cheer on as a stunning and planned success.
Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of "The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won," from Basic Books. You can reach him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.