At Howard University, a preview of Biden’s lazy reelection strategy

This past week, President Biden gave us a hint of what we can expect from his 2024 reelection campaign. We can expect it to be heavy on incendiary culture war topics, and low on substance.

Leading with the culture wars often requires a candidate to cry wolf, and that was exactly what Biden did this past week, while speaking at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Biden sounded the alarm on (deliberately undefined) white supremacy, while casting himself in the role of antidote. He exhorted Americans to “stand against the poison of white supremacy [as I did in my inaugural address].” He then declared white supremacy to be “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.”

Let’s cut through the smokescreen here.

America has isolated individuals who hate black people. And illegal immigrants. And Asians. And Jews. It also has individuals who hate white people, and who are willing to express this antipathy with violence. (Just last week, a black man in Tulsa was arrested for killing two white strangers because he “hates white people”.)

In a multiethnic nation like this one, tolerance is constantly at war with people who would divide us along hostile lines of race and ethnicity. People like President Biden.

But the fact remains: white supremacy, as an organized, coherent ideology, has no substantial constituency in the United States.  Americans, on the contrary, have been becoming more accepting of diversity with each generation.

Diversity is also a fact on the ground. Forty-eight percent of Generation Z, our youngest adult generation, is comprised of “racial or ethnic minorities”. Between 2009 and 2017, America had a twice-elected black president.

Why, then, is President Biden speaking like a Civil Rights leader on the front lines in Selma, Alabama in 1965?

Intellectual laziness, for starters. I should also mention that Howard University, where the president spoke, has a majority black enrollment, so the race card was irresistibly low-hanging fruit for an 80-year-old white man delivering a commencement address there.

But there is also the simple fact that Joe Biden is in trouble as he faces his reelection campaign. After nearly three years in office, President Biden has had considerable stumbles in the realms of economics and foreign policy. His overall approval rating consistently wavers between thirty and forty percent. According to Reuters, 54% of Americans disapprove of Joe Biden’s job performance; and that means that the dreaded “MAGAs” aren’t the only voters whom Biden has failed to impress.

And speaking of Trump: Donald Trump, a former president with plenty of baggage of his own, has edged ahead of Joe Biden in at least one poll.

No one can really argue with Joe Biden when he makes general, blanket statements about the evils of racism. Biden faces more difficulty when forced to defend his policies on inflation, crime, immigration, and energy independence.

And so what does the president do? He goes to a historically black university, and casts himself as the white knight figure holding back a tide of white supremacy. Don’t fall for it, folks.