The entourage on the train wasn’t all of it, of course. At each station, the forward door of our train car was guarded on the platform by additional agents, whose job it was to prevent people from using the door the vice president used. Whatever additional unseen security was deployed beyond this I cannot guess. Drones circling overhead, I suppose, with agents in some underground black-site bunker intoning into headseats: “Creepy is on the move! Creepy is entering Sector 4!”…
[I]n Biden’s case, all of this is done for the sake of theater — so that Joe Biden can continue doing his ordinary-guy shtick. Ordinary people have to be inconvenienced so that Joe Biden can pretend to be an ordinary guy. The serfs have to be forcibly reminded of their serfdom — no, you cannot just get off a train in our nation’s capital, willy-nilly and whenever you like, and here’s a man with a gun to make sure! — so that the lords can show us that they’re just like us.
But of course they don’t live like us.
Biden often is praised for the environmental impact of his train habit. The emissions math is not entirely straightforward, but my guess is that all those buzzcuts who showed up at every single stop between Philadelphia and Washington to stand at a closed door and look menacing did not get there on unicycles: I’d bet they came in SUVs burning copious amounts of fossil fuel.