As Joe Biden moved into the transitionary phase in preparation for taking over the White House this month, he’s sold himself as a candidate of reconciliation. His own Twitter account makes it sound like he’s the great uniter and that some vision of America has come back now that the hell of the Trump administration has finally have been averted. Democracy has been saved from fascism and corruption. Terrible rhetoric can be replaced with a proper presidential demeanor. The proper controls can get back into power. The party of science and intelligence can finally start getting COVID and climate change under control.
It’s hard not to speak about just how cynical all this is. It may be cynical for the republican party to run around prancing like they’re the party of Americanism but it’s not like the left hasn’t given them a lot of ammo. For every normal moderate liberal who loves America but wants to focus on ironing out it’s problems, there’s a young millennial Marxist out there who legitimately thinks that the United States is an unforgivable, tyrannical nightmare than needs to be destroyed.
Biden would claim to not be a part of this coalition but that’s not totally believable.
Part of why such an idea is hard to swallow is that Biden is clearly going to be an extension of the rhetoric and tenor of the Obama administration and how it handle politics from 2009 to 2017. If I need to remind you how that went, Obama always kept 1 foot in radicalism with the other foot in moderation. He would make ran speeches about unity and American values while ruling like a Machiavellian power monger. He constantly fed redmeat to his base of extreme leftist and race hustlers who wanted him to go much farther left and he was ever willing to actually go.
He said what he needed to depending on what crowd he spoke to. Behind closed doors he lamented middle Americans for “clinging to their guns and their religions” while appealing to God in his speeches.
Obama was whatever he needed to be. What concerns me about Biden is that I already see the signs that he is going to be leaving farther into that dichotomy before he’s even entered the Oval Office. Biden calls himself a moderate and appealed to Americans as the “return to normalcy” candidate. He then hitches his chain to radical leftist causes when necessary and then immediately jumps away from them.
His vice president is just as confounding. Kamala Harris, rhetorically speaking, is a student of the equity school who believes in very far left politics outwardly and constantly petals rhetoric about racial justice and women’s liberation. She can pull out long speeches about racism and oppression she’s experienced in her lifetime (sometimes against Biden).
If you look at her record though, her words don’t match her record. She was an extremely aggressive prosecutor who infamously abused her power to keep innocent people on death row and use prisoners for forced labor.
Even so, she’ll turn around and make videos like the “Equity” video on November 1st which all but called for the government to reorient itself into literal communism.
She’s going to be the devil on Biden’s left shoulder and right shoulder at the same time constantly dragging him farther into more partisan positions while his speeches speak bland platitudes about American values and justice and feigning moderation when necessary.
Biden has no incentive within his party to learn into earnest moderation. Despite this, he will go around declaring himself the candidate of “unity”.
If Biden actually does want to be the unity president and to reach a branch out to the right to his side has spent the last four years villainizing in every way possible then he needs to make a sign of peace and provably force out some of the people that are villainizing the moderate right and American values in general. If he wants to do that he should start by publicly distancing his administration from the best examples of clear radical leftism and make it clear that his values as a liberal do not reflect the values that are espoused by the far-left.
He needs to call out The 1619 Project as an anti-American indoctrination project that was wrongly given the Pulitzer price, debunked by every reputable historian in the country and THEN exported to schools as a curriculum for public school students. We can’t have history classes where every fact of American history is underlined with the line “but it doesn’t matter because Americans were hypocrites on slavery”.
He needs to call out Antifa members who assault people in the streets, attack police officers, illegally occupy public space, destroy small businesses and assassinate Trump supporters in cold blood on the street.
He needs to distance himself from the racialists like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X Kendi who are running around calling everyone with the wrong skin color is born racist and cannot be redeemed. We cannot continue to have a racial discourse in this country where one side is born with racist original sin and every other faction is given moral credence to publicly shame them whenever they want.
Those are just three groups of people on his side that Biden could individually chose to distance himself from even marginally. If he did that, I would have a lot of respect for him. Mind you he has plenty of reasons not to. This would mean having to permanently alienate himself from his base and cutting off his image is the most progressive president elected in our lifetime which is the only thing he’s got going for him among his base.
I don’t believe Biden is a radical. I don’t even necessarily believe he is a puppet for the far-left or the establishment. I do think that he is too spineless to make the most basic concessions while he runs around the country pretending he’s the great unity candidate of our times. He was only elected because he WASN’T Trump.
If his debate performances show anything it’s that he’s more than willing to abdicate his moderation on a whim. He all but dismissed the Proud Boys, a fraternal organization, as white supremacist domestic terrorists on live TV. Certainly the group picks a lot of fights with Antifa but there’s no equivalent between teenagers who want to pick fights with another group of angry teenagers that fetishize punching Nazis and sociopaths assassinating people on the street.
On the flip side, Biden was far less willing to immediately condemn Antifa on the grounds that it was “Antifa is an idea, not an organization.” It may be true that Antifa has no organizational structure but that doesn’t stop sociopaths from joining this “idea” and assaulting people they declare to be fascists.
He defends his radicals and calls his opponent’s radicals terrorists.
If Biden’s not willing to make even the most basic concessions to the right and to the very notion that America is a country that’s worth living in then all bets are off. I absolutely refuse to take Biden‘s moderation and unity rhetoric seriously if he can’t even do the most basic work of meeting the right on neutral ground.
If the 2020 election proves anything, it’s that the American people chose to advocate moderation. The American people didn’t vindicate the far-left. The American people didn’t vindicate the far-right. They elected Biden AND they gave Republicans moderate victories in the house, senate and down ticket. That might seem contradictory but the message is clear. The people want the government to shut up and keep the nationalists, racialists and socialists at bay.
Even the extremely contentious Georgia Senate runoff elections didn’t validate the left’s grasp on power. Despite the fact that they’ll be inheriting the presidency and both houses of congress, the Democrats won by narrow margins and will be spending the next two years struggling to rally their moderates enough to push legislation through congress. The Democrats shouldn’t have a margin this narrow.
The American people didn’t vote Biden into office because they want an equity/socialist/revolutionary agenda. It’s Biden’s duty to the people to lead them responsibly and honor that call from the people.
Alas, that’s not the tenor that’s clearly radiating from the campaign. For all of his promises to avoid executive action on controversial issues, the resentment radiating from the left is tangible. Just last month, the incoming deputy chief of staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon, called Republicans “a bunch of fuckers” during an interview with Glamour magazine. The people that surround Biden have nothing but contempt for flyover America.
The far-left might consider Biden a sellout but it’s his prerogative to avoid alienating them and to constantly keep one foot in their camp. Bernie Sanders probably wasn’t too far when he said that Biden was the most progressive candidate ever elected. BlackLivesMatter can call him out for not honoring their demands but as long as he doesn’t openly condemn black nationalism and rioting it won’t make a difference in this cultural zeitgeist even if he does make nominal nods to the “Defund the Police” movement.
It’s for these reasons that Biden’s “unity” rhetoric rings hollow to me. Unity is not when the radical left get everything they want and the Republicans are told to pound sand.
Unity is not the largest newspaper in United States telling us that the founding myth of the country is a complete lie and needs to be replaced with walk proselytizing in order to redeem the nations soul. Unity is not dismissing an entire race of people as subhuman redneck degenerates who are beneath the contempt of polite society. Unity is not telling the entire country that it’s immoral to go outside for three months and then looking the other way on minority towns and small businesses being destroyed by rioters because “racism is the real disease.” Unity is not average Americans being assassinated in the streets by “anti-fascists”.
Unity is when the majority of people in this country on all sides of the aisle agree that we are all Americans and that America is fundamentally a good thing. Unfortunately in this toxic moment neither party seems to believe that America is great when the other political party is in charge. We all become doomsayers and radicalize when our backs are against the walls. If Biden actually means what he says and I don’t think he does then he hast to do the absolute minimum of telling people on his own base that America is a country that is good and that the Americans who did not vote for him have a voice that he will respect.
Above all, he actually has to mean it and prove it. Right now a lot of people would rather secede from the union than have him as president and believe democracy has failed them. Biden is going to be their president too.