Life can be funny – in a tragic-comic kind of way. It was this week when presumptive presidential Democrat nominee Joe Biden revealed his disrespect for black Americans – what George W. Bush called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” In disrespecting Black voters, he disrespects all Americans. Here is why.
A radio host, who was black, concluded an uneventful interview by inviting Biden back. “It’s a long way to November, we’ve got more questions,” he said. The comment was not provocative. The invite was friendly, should have produced a “thank you” and willingness to return.
Instead, it produced a bizarre exchange. Biden spit self-promoting statements, ending: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Where does one begin? Offensive, arrogant, insulting, inexplicable, except as prejudice toward individual black voters and their ability to think for themselves? Yes. But there is more.
This slap-down is a cutaway into how the Democratic Party – not just Joe Biden – feels about black Americans, a sense of ownership, propriety, and dominance over their collective votes, as if these votes were not possessed by constitutionally-protected individuals, but by a block of unthinking voters who – due to skin color – must reflexively vote Democrat.
That is fundamentally at odds with America – who we aim to be and who we are. We are a nation of free individuals, beholden to no one, allowed to learn, think, analyze, and vote as we wish, not in lockstep. That freedom – from political intimidation – is what makes us Americans.
Go deeper. The notion that the Democrat Party “owns” black voters, as if anyone who identifies as black must vote Democrat – is anti-constitutional, insulting and arguably anti-American. Biden has lifted the lid on Democrat assumptions about black Americans. What does it tell you?
First, he has gone beyond pandering, beyond promising material benefits to individual constituencies, including black Americans. He has turned to castigating, lecturing, not-so-subtle intimidation. His comment is a rebuke, is it not? He is deriding his listeners, saying they need to do what he says – or they are stupid, right? The comment is a window on his whole party. They will promise until promises fail, then they will rebuke and intimidate.
One can see why Biden feels pressed. National polls show black Americans are unconvinced. Trump expanded their success, value as individuals in the workplace, and life options. He produced the highest black employment in history, highest incomes, labor participation, educational opportunities, and objective outcomes.
Trump’s social positions – criminal justice reform, respect for faith, opposing Democrat-led late-term abortion laws, set Trump apart from Biden. They also align him more closely with black voters. Such things take time to sink in, but they are sinking in.
One sign is recent polling. In November 2019, an Emerson poll gave Trump 34.5 support of black voters – a giant leap. In January 2020, a Gallop poll recorded a 14 percent increase in satisfaction with race relations. Now, black leaders are switching parties. See, https://nypost.com/2020/02/29/why-these-black-new-yorkers-are-voting-for-trump-in-2020/.
Biden has problems. A February 2020 poll by a black political action committee showed many feel Democrats are “not paying close enough attention to the black community,” were distracted by “impeachment.” Ominously for Biden, one-third expressed a desire to have “someone else” run. See, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/24/blackpac-poll-democrats-117243
Another number is revealing. Days after Biden’s blunder, six of seven mainstream media stories focused on Biden’s “apology,” not the remark. But shadows are “appearing on the cave wall.” Biden has less black support than Hillary did in 2016. That is telling.
As the Chicago Tribune notes: “Hillary Clinton saw the results of taking African American votes for granted in 2016, when turnout by black voters decreased for the first presidential election since 1996 — Bill Clinton’s reelection — in a campaign that drew a record number of people to the polls, according to the Pew Research Center.” Biden is on a lower flight path. See: https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-joe-biden-black-voters-20200522-bviuwfyfazdirnqwmpkghx7ibe-story.html.
If you can stand it, there is more. Smart voters see through Biden – see him disrespecting individualism, free thought, right to vote, conscience, and education. He did more than take votes for granted. He dumbed himself down for what he thought was his audience. While lecturing on ethnicity, he also “talked down.” He did not say, “you are not Black,” but “you ain’t Black.” Boggles the mind, except these remarks come from a boggled mind.
In short, every American of voting age should know they have a right to vote, that the right is theirs, not to be stolen, bought, intimidated, or extracted on false promises or by self-righteous demands from an out-of-touch Democratic presidential candidate. They own their vote.
One could call Biden’s remarks offensive, arrogant, bizarre, stupid, and the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Afterall, this is a candidate who said “poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids.” See, https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/09/biden-poor-kids-white-kids-comment/39933417/.
I would call these remarks revealing. They make clear the contrast between those who believe Americans are individuals, vote from conscience not coercion, prefer work to shirk, are hopeful not interested in dependence – and those with the opposite view.
Biden and modern Democrats have little respect for the individual’s ability to think. That was obvious in his remark on black Americans. He told us more about himself – and his faltering party – than he knows. By disrespecting black Americans, he disrespects all Americans.