Joe Biden Is Trying to Ignore the BLM Movement, But Will It Work?

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

 

Joe Biden may have trouble formulating a sentence at times, but I have to give his campaign credit. They’ve figured out the best possible way to handle having an almost 80 year old, often doddering old man as a candidate. Namely, they just keep him hidden, don’t let him answer press questions, and do their best to ignore the major left-wing shift in their own party.

That’s exactly what’s happening with Biden and Black Lives Matter. I’m not talking about the slogan, but the major political movement which has engulfed the Democrat party.

Now, Politico is pondering how Biden can possibly keep this up. In a piece that’s sympathetic to the organization led by self-proclaimed Marxists, they prodded the Biden campaign’s lack of engagement with rallying cries like “defund the police” and the BLM movement in general.

Biden’s advisers were often less attentive — and sometimes downright dismissive — of certain obsessions of the social media left. Biden did not discuss white privilege the way Kirsten Gillibrand did. He didn’t endorse reparations or the legalization of marijuana when some of his chief rivals did. He stubbornly insisted that the two most important primary constituencies were political moderates and older working class African-Americans, two groups without much influence online. The Biden campaign’s unspoken primary slogan could have been, “Twitter isn’t real life.”

That’s actually a correct take. Twitter is not real life and Politico is also not real life. The obviously biased leanings of the two reporters who wrote this story are colored by a worldview created by the online bubble that is social media. If you are on Twitter, you believe BLM is the new standard around the country. Meanwhile, many people are just saying the slogan to avoid being harassed, and even the slogan itself is a departure from the actual policy platform of BLM. How many know even know their real positions? Very few.

In reality, this is who BLM is.

This cautiousness and skepticism has spilled into the general election. One way to think of the Biden campaign’s navigation of racial issues is that he and his advisers care a lot more about addressing policy demands than they do about addressing cultural issues.

Sure, Biden will toss out a tweet tacitly supporting the protests or pretending that he can unify the country, but because of the rampant media bias, in none of his recent interviews has he been pressed on the BLM movement, nor the issues they are pushing. He’s been essentially ignoring the group.

“There is a conversation that’s going on on Twitter that they don’t care about,” one Democratic strategist observed. “They won the primary by ignoring all of that. The Biden campaign does not care about the critical race theory-intersectional left that has taken over places like the New York Times. You can be against chokeholds and not believe in white fragility. You can be for reforming police departments and don’t necessarily have to believe that the United States is irredeemably racist.”

There are two questions here. One, can Biden keep this up to try to preserve his credibility with moderates? But two, and perhaps more importantly, does he actually shun critical race theory intersectionalism?

I have my doubts about both. As we saw in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, you simply can’t hide from these radicals forever. They will find you, and eventually Biden is going to be in public again. It may be for a TV hit or what is supposed to be a small gathering, but BLM protestors will end up going after him. They do not care about electoral calculations or harming their own side (which one presumes is anyone but Trump). These are zealots, formulating their rage around a secular religion. They won’t just shrug if you ignore them.

Biden is going to have to address these issues sooner rather than later. We know he doesn’t want to defund the police, though he’ll likely try to escape that by talking about “re-imagining” policing, which is nothing but code for the destruction of police departments with a bunch of imaginary, magical social workers. But what’s his position on ripping down statues of George Washington? Reparations? Cash Bail Reform? It’s amazing that he’s went this long without having to fully answer those questions and it can’t last forever. It may take until the debates, but Trump is going to make him take a side.

Lastly, I’m skeptical he’s actually against intersectionalism. I think he’s against it now because he sees that as a path to election, but what part of his campaign team makes anyone think Biden is a moderate? What happens after he picks someone like Kamala Harris or Val Demmings as his VP, both of which are very much into intersectionalism? This idea, which is being falsely spread by some conservatives as well, that Biden’s politics are “normal” eschews his history and the present. Biden is not normal. He’s a forty year, far-left fixture who took pride in being labeled  one of “the most liberal” Senators. He’s embraced the Green New Deal, wants to a public option, wants to raise taxes, and is for abortion until birth.

In short, I don’t think Biden can keep hiding from the BLM movement, nor do I think he actually disagrees with them. I think he’s just doing his best to win the election at this point, which is to be expected. In the end, he’s going to be doing BLM’s bidding. Voters should take that into account and not buy into the current mirage.