Special to WorldTribune.com
What is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you are running for office? Insult voters.
It looks like the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden does not realize this.
Did he not learn a valuable lesson from Hillary Clinton, who lost the election in 2016? In September of that year, at a campaign fundraiser, Clinton infamously referred to half of then-candidate Donald Trump’s voters as “deplorables.”
These “deplorables” were irredeemable in her view. They’re “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it,” she said.
The comments, despite Clinton’s subsequent phony apology, ensured that those very so-called “deplorables” were determined not to vote for her. To her shock, she lost Rust Belt states she needed to win the presidency.
In a similar vein, at a recent fundraiser, Biden punctured his aura of “electability,” undermining the main reason many Democrats voted for him. He blurted out that some of Trump’s most ardent, core supporters are not going to switch their allegiance and vote for him because, essentially, their values are inferior to his.
Would he be able to attract Trump’s base? He was asked this central question at an event hosted by Massimo Corporation founders, Joe and Sara Kiani, according to an April 16 report in The Hill.com.
“His base? Probably not,” Biden said.
“There are people who support the president because they like the fact that he is engaged in the politics of division,” he said.
“They really support the notion that, you know, all Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims are bad and … dividing this nation based on ethnicity, race,” Biden said.
“This is one of the few presidents who succeeded by deliberately trying to divide the country, not unite the country,” he added.
Biden assumes, with these statements, that other fellow elitist leftists, who also regularly engage in this type of virtue-signaling, will laud him as the visionary, compassionate leader needed for our troubled times. The implication is always the same: Other people are insensitive and ignorant, whereas, they, the progressives, are the enlightened and noble ones.
It is astonishing that Biden has still not grasped that this mindset, this left-wing snobbery, alienates the very voters he needs to attract if he wants to defeat President Trump in the fall. Biden’s goal at this point in the campaign should be to cast as wide a net as possible, trying to persuade all voters to support him.
He should not be directly impugning the motives of Trump’s working-class supporters, many of whom back the president because of his America First policies on trade and immigration. It is not because they hate Mexicans and Muslims—a vicious smear.
Moreover, Biden still has to unify the Democratic Party. In particular, he must persuade the supporters of socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to back Biden’s campaign.
Many of these Bernie voters dislike the establishment policies that led to a stagnant economy during the presidency of Barack Obama. By labeling the legitimate grievances of some voters as a form of bigotry, Biden fails to understand the current political climate.
Both on the right and on the left, there is a strong current against the knee-jerk labels of the past.
Note that both Trump’s and Sanders’ supporters mistrust the media and the Washington elite. This is because neither have legitimized or responded to their needs.
Biden promises to remember the “forgotten man” that Trump remembered but then forgot, in his view. Yet, Biden himself has forgotten who these voters are and why they rejected the Democrats in 2016.
Clinton and Biden are already bedfellows in this failed campaign strategy. Only fools make the same mistake twice.