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Biden: It's Midnight in America

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As campaign announcements go, Joe Biden's video proclaiming his desire for four more years was everything but "Morning in America." 

Presenting a dystopian view of our country should "MAGA-Fascist extremist" win in 2024, Biden did what he's done for his entire, lamentable political career: He appealed to fear and vitriol as he pits American versus American in his craven quest to retain power. 


Most presidents running for reelection would make a big deal about the great achievements of their first term. They'd brag about the robust economy, affordable gas and energy prices, triumphs overseas in foreign policy, and overall domestic bliss and prosperity. 

Of course, if Biden attempted to do that, he'd have to acknowledge record inflation, sky-high gas prices (with an increased reliance on foreign oil), the deadly and disastrous pull-out from Afghanistan, and the ongoing, seemingly-endless conflict in Ukraine, and the ongoing political divide exacerbated by his insistence on an unpopular, left-wing political agenda. 

Biden has literally engaged in this divisive, angry campaigning since the beginning of his career. CNN has unearthed a radio ad from his first run for the US Senate in 1972. He uses the sound of jack-booted Stalinist stormtroopers and then the sound of criminal gangs marauding the American streets. If you listen close enough, you can hear the racist dog-whistles Biden blew so often when he was teaming up with segregationists in the early part of his career. (Hat tip: Kamala Harris)

Ironically, the punchline of the radio ad is that Biden's opponent, 63-year-old J. Caleb Boggs, was too old and out of touch compared to the young, energetic Biden. Now, any suggestion that 80-year-old Biden may have lost a step is met with derisive attacks from the now-gloriously unemployed Don Lemon. 

The idea that Biden was going to "unite our country" was always a damnable lie. He has divided us at every possible opportunity over the decades.


From preying on racial fears over the forced bussing issue in the 1970s to attacking Judge Robert Bork in the most personal, vitriolic confirmation hearing in US history in the 1980s, which he then out-did with the despicable circus that was the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in the 1990s, to his rhetoric against Sarah Palin in the 2008 presidential campaign, to his proclamation that Mitt Romney was going to put African Americans "in chains" during the 2012 campaign, to his outright lies about Donald Trump and Charlottesville in the 2020 campaign. 

At every turn, Biden has divided Americans over sex, race, religion, and economic status. And, of course, he has benefited from his angry rhetoric. Now, running for reelection, Biden goes back to his well of discord and further divides an already divided electorate. 

Because he has no other option. There is nothing...literally nothing he can say about his first term other than, "I wasn't the orange man with the bad tweets!" 

The question is: This time around, will that be enough?

Now that we know what Biden is running on, the ball is in the Republicans' court. It's on them to offer a hopeful and positive vision for how we can maneuver our way out of this morass and achieve what our country is capable of achieving. 

I have no doubt the Republican candidate is capable of doing just that...depending on who that candidate is. 

The American people are certainly susceptible to negative and divisive campaign tactics, but at heart, we want an optimistic message. We want to believe our best days are ahead of us. And most importantly, we want to hear a message about a sunny future without a dark and negative message about "the other side," especially considering "the other side" consists of our brothers, neighbors, and children. 


We've had enough of that, haven't we?

Republicans must take into account several factors when choosing their nominee over the next several months. They need to select the person best equipped to lead our nation with the policies, vision, and temperament to lead us to better days. But we also need to select the individual who can articulate their plans and agenda in a way that doesn't demonize and disrespect the Americans who voted for Joe Biden four years ago. 

If our candidate falls into the trap of matching Biden punch for punch with his slime and dirt, we might win, but what will be left to govern? 

It's time for a Reaganesque moment. It's time for "Morning in America." We're ready. 

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