SShortly after Biden was declared president-elect, he announced that he would extend a hand across the aisle. “We must stop” he said, “Treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies. We are Americans. “This is the Biden Playbook at work, honed through years of compromises made with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: appealing to the Republican elite in office, while trying to attract moderate Republicans on the ground.
After reaching out to the Republicans, the center of the Democratic Party turned to its true enemy: the left that it blames for its poor performance in the elections. Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger led the charge, contender that “no one should ever say ‘defund the police’ again.” Even though the progressive candidates did well through the ticket, and Biden led a campaign inspired by Hilary Clinton’s neoliberal program, centrist Democrats blamed the central demand of the Black Lives Matter movement to alienate moderates. In the account of the centrist Democrats, the problem is the left, and the answer is to reach that poor soul, the moderate Republican.
The moderate Republican is a myth. Despite all of the Lincoln Project’s claims that stir Republican voters, the president actually largest share of Republican vote than in 2016. About 94% of Republicans recalled the debacles and racism of the past four years and concluded they wanted more. This is not a hoax; it is the core of the republican party. Biden would I like to frame his presidency as back to normal after the trumpian exception. The reality, however, is that Trump does not represent something new; emerges from the long shadow that white supremacy over American history.
We need to recognize that the top white Republican voter knows exactly why they are voting for Trump. Powered by Fox News and talk on the radio, the Republican voter chooses his party because Republicans guarantee the continuity of white supremacy both economically and culturally. When Trump campaigned to save the suburban (white) woman from the urban poor, he was mocked as hopelessly out of touch. In spite of the pollsters promisesHowever, his strategy worked: Trump’s share of the white female vote rose to 55%.
While White supremacy is not new in America., is likely to become increasingly scathing. The United States is projected to become white minority by 2045, and the Republican Party has decided to resist this demographic shift by rallying its base and using the tools of American politics to hold on to minority white rule for as long as possible.
For example, as Biden was fervently appealing to moderate Republicans, two white Republican pollsters refused to certify electoral results from Wayne County, predominantly black from Michigan. Trump’s post-election strategy is indicative of that of the Republican party in general: disenfranchising voters of color by all means possible and using the manipulation and unrepresentative alchemy of the polling station system to produce Republican political power.
When Biden crosses the hall, his hands are likely to be on his back; Most Republicans have yet to acknowledge the election result. The Republican establishment has little to gain from working with Biden. With the Senate likely to remain in Republican hands, and Democrats apparently more concerned with appealing to Republicans than taking substantive action on it economic crisis caused by Covid-19, Mitch McConnell can rub his hands when thinking about the periods in between 2022.
For the Republican Party to really want to work bipartisan, Democrats would need to garner support for the kind of systematic political reform (of the polling station system, for example) that will likely avoid the same gesture of crossing the aisle.
We have traveled this path before. While Biden spent the 2020 election campaign insisting that he was not a socialistIn 2008, Obama came to power having distanced himself from the “radical” agenda of Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor. Obama also faced an economic crisis and took a bipartisan approach, propping up the banks and creating only a modest stimulus package. The result? After a determined two-year campaign of obstruction by Mitch McConnell, Republicans rode a wave of the Tea Party to obtain a midterm majority in the House of Representatives in 2010.
It does not have to be this way. In the 2020 elections, voter turnout was the highest ever since 1908. Black voters were crucial to achieving a Democratic victory and preventing a continuation of the rule of the white minority. If the Democratic Party is not going to squander the openness the people have made, it must change its orientation toward the American people. Rather than exploiting black support and marginalizing black voices pushing against a neoliberal political agenda, the Democratic party should give black voters the respect it has so far reserved only for that fantasy: the moderate Republican.
The Democratic Party cannot have both. There are red and blue states. There are Americans who want to defend white supremacy and Americans who fight over what the rejection of white supremacy looks like on American soil. Biden can commit the Democratic Party to building a genuinely post-white America, or he can try to placate the Republican Party’s white supremacist project. But you must choose.
Joshua craze is a resident writer at the Embassy of Foreign Artists, Geneva
Ainsley LeSure is an assistant professor of African studies at Brown University specializing in racism and post-civil rights democracy.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.