The path of most resistance — Joe Biden’s campaign

Jeff Thomas, Life and Arts Editor

Joe Biden’s campaign strategy has been and continues to be a remarkable political case study. 

In what is likely the most pivotal election in the history of American democracy, the Democrats can’t help but gamble the future of the country so they can undermine the left. In brazen displays of hubris, Biden’s campaign has been equally as obsessed with casting the left out of American politics as it has been with defeating Donald Trump. The party has gone out of its way to make itself palatable to everyone except their allies on the left.

One of the ways this has manifested itself is in the Democratic party’s constant courting of Republicans. For years now party voters have had to endure moments like Nancy Pelosi heralding Ronald Reagan because of the Democrats’ obsession with right wing moderates. This tendency has reared its head frequently in the run up to the election.

During last month’s convention, Democrats used their largest platform to give Republican John Kasich a featured speaking slot while orchestrating a media hit job on young progressive voice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Since then, the Biden campaign has touted endorsements from over 100 right-wingers, including former Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder.

Now it defies logic that Democrats would publicize the endorsement of Rick Snyder, a despised former Governor who poisoned the water supply of one of the largest cities in a critical battleground state. Still, some would argue that endorsements are largely just symbolic gestures. More concerning to leftists is that the party is taking steps outside of symbolic political posturing.

During the 2020 election season, Democratic Party donors exerted considerable resources to primary popular progressive house legislators Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez. This party courtesy was extended to long time Democratic Senator Ed Markey, as Joe Kennedy acquired endorsements from Democratic establishment sweethearts Pelosi and Beto O’Rourke in his quest to fulfill his Kennedy birthright by unseating Markey. In all instances, the progressive incumbents handily defeated their primary challengers.

These openly hostile primaries were another strategic misstep. Again, the Democrats were willing to risk alienating voters they’ll need in the general election to try and oust progressive incumbents. Ultimately, these fruitless primary contests reinforced the feeling among leftists that the party is not only out of step with, but in direct opposition to their vision for the future of the country.

The Biden campaign’s unwillingness to incorporate popular policies like universal healthcare and the Green New Deal into his campaign platform lend credence to this belief. As proven by Markey’s recent primary victory, it would be easy and effective for Biden to embrace policies that are popular with young progressives, yet the campaign refuses to do so.

In lieu of extending a policy olive branch to young progressive voters, the Biden campaign strategy appears to be shaming voters into action. The assertion from his campaign surrogates being that it is selfish and naïve for voters to not support the man opposing Trump, even if that man represents almost none of their political beliefs. Time will tell what impact this strategy will have on voter turnout for the general election.

Polls indicate that the Democrats are likely to retake the White House in November, though it is hard to imagine what the ramifications of the party’s scorched earth campaign against the left will mean going forward.

The Biden campaign’s duality of purpose, choosing to fight would be supporters with as much vigor as the Republican party, has set the stage for more party division. Despite party efforts, voices on the left continue to get louder. The stakes are too high for their voices not to be heard. 

The posturing of the Biden campaign ensures that the battle for the soul of the Democratic party will continue regardless of who wins the general election.