In the recent commentary on Joe Biden’s response to the Lululemon Left’s protests in D.C. and Brooklyn, a consensus appears to have surfaced. They tell us Joe Biden is keeping the politically appropriate distance from the protesters and their acts of widespread public vandalism and violence, and his aim is to remain squarely focused on those suburban voters outside of Philly, Pittsburgh and elsewhere.
There will be no mass rallies for Joe Biden this year, and that’s not because of the coronavirus. It’s because Biden can't command those types of crowds, except maybe for one or two well-hyped events in late October with enough celebrities and musicians to arouse attendees. Joe Biden is no longer the left’s representative, and not just because, it brings me no joy to say this, Biden is likely incapable of being anyone’s representative or being the one roused for that 3 a.m. phone call.
There’s a reasonable criticism of the Democratic Party’s primary process and the type of candidates the order of state primaries produces. But there’s something else afoot. This isn’t just about Biden’s ability to ride a moderate message to the White House and be a barely operational figurehead acceptable to Iowans and those free citizens of New Hampshire.
The difference is that even while the Bidenization of the protest movement is afoot, the energy and the aims have now been successfully co-opted by the white elites who compose one of two planks within the Democratic Party. Their anger and their issues are now center stage. They were mad when they declared themselves occupiers and trashed our parks and public spaces. They were mad when they declared themselves the resistance. And a year from now, they’ll embrace another slogan or moniker and leave Ahmaud Arbery’s family grieving at home.
A good political party is a big tent, but this isn’t that. The Democratic Party has political leadership, but those leaders are not based in Washington. Pelosi and Schumer are not the leaders of the Democratic Party. Acosta and Kimmel are. Chris is actually the more powerful of the two Cuomos. So now we’re left with this weird spectacle of a mass movement, and no candidate willing or capable of offering that movement anything concrete, four months out from the November election.
As America’s populist era continues, keep in mind that the great uncovered story of the past decade is the rise of the populist radical left. That Joe Biden made it through Iowa and South Carolina doesn’t change the power of that movement. Its impact has been very literally seen and felt. We see its power reflected in each yoga pant-clad revolutionary screaming at a police officer in front of a business that will never open again. The avocado toast days are over.
It won’t be those legitimately aggrieved over the loss of George Floyd who immediately contest the election results later this year. Instead, it’ll be the same folks out there right now, our young white urban class that were for a decade told they were on the right side of history. For them, the constraints of our federal political union feel binding. The cities are where the populations are. They have the numbers, they have the experts, and they have the mainstream media. They see their will being stymied as somehow anti-democratic and, in the sense that they misunderstand our republican system, it is.
A great unanswered question for the left: will they consent to be bound further in political union or decide that their version of progress is too important to be left to chance? We’re seeing them openly grapple with that question right now, along with a preview of what November 4th might look like.
Whether or not Biden embraces them, what you’re seeing out there in our streets are the Biden rallies and the rallies of the Democratic Party. And it’s that very version of the left that you’ll have setting the Overton window if Biden wins in November.