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Fri, 01 Mar 2024 Feature Article

Orange-man Bad, Methuselah Good

Orange-man Bad, Methuselah Good
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The 100 000 plus non-committed votes in the Democratic Party Primary in Michigan have served notice to Democratic Party’s political strategists that the Biden campaign is losing support among some of its coalition demographic. Arab American voters of the Democratic persuasion, led by Congress-woman Rashida Talib, sent a strong message to the Biden camp that their support in the November presidential elections could be conspicuous by its absence.

Not to be deterred, the Democratic Party’s political strategists, elated by the 81% of the vote garnered by President Biden, seem to be doubling down on their support for the Biden/Harris ticket in the presidential race of November 2024. Convinced that a second Trump presidency would be an existential threat to America’s hypocrisy or democracy (it depends on who is defining), democratic strategists are already signaling the kind of messaging they intend to use between now and November.

No one can deny that former president Trump brings with him an encyclopedia of negative baggage from his previous term in the White House. The Muslim ban, the payment of the porn star, the Access Hollywood tape, the very fine people on both sides, the feces-hole countries, the two impeachments, the war against immigrants, the border wall, the January 6 insurrection, and the indictments are still fresh in the minds of Americans not of the MAGA persuasion.

Virtue signaling about Biden’s character in contrast with Trump’s lack of character worked like a charm in the 2020 presidential election. Biden was marketed as a grandfatherly elder statesman with years of political wisdom and knowhow under his belt. It was true that Biden may have been a little forgetful and very often he did not appear to know where he was or what he was in the middle of saying, but surely this was to be preferred over the moral and racial blackhole that was Trump.

As the political challenger, Biden had the advantage of having before him a whole slew of mishaps miscalculations, foul-up, bleeps, and blunders of the Trump administration. President Trump, ever ready to pour gasoline on every racial fire he encountered proved to be an easy target for the Biden camp to go after. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric coupled with some of the groups he seemed to attract almost begged for the label of racist and Caucasian supremacist to be attributed to Trump.

The 2020 presidential election was therefore branded as a no brainer for African Americans, immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other minority groups that were the targets of Trump’s faith based MAGA coalition. In January of 2020, while appearing on the Breakfast Club with Charlamagne tha God, Biden stated that any Black person who was having problems figuring out if they were for him or for Trump was not Black. In other words, Orange-man bad, Methuselah good for Black people.

A completely different set of dynamics are at play going into the 2024 presidential elections. For starters, President Biden is the one with the track record that is now under scrutiny. It is to his credit that President Biden chose a Black running mate in Kamala Harris and also appointed the first Black female to the Supreme Court in the person of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Biden can also be credited with the nomination of at least 25 Black judges to the federal court.

Biden’s stalled student debt forgiveness initiative would have gained him much credit in the Black community which is struggling under the burden of student debt repayment. The $20 000 debt relief would have helped to ease the financial weight being carried by both students and parents who may be servicing these debts. Regrettably, for every Biden initiative that would benefit the Black community there seems to be an equal and opposite senate initiative working against it.

The stalling and scaling down of Biden initiatives that would benefit the Black community has no doubt led to a decline in Biden’s approval rating among African Americans who are known to be among the most loyal and faithful supporters of the Democratic Party. A poll conducted by NBC News suggest that Biden’s approval rating among African Americans has dropped by as much as 20 points in the year previous to the poll. Disaffection among Black voters could mean defections to the Republican Party or it could mean that many Black voters will simply sit out the next election.

President Biden’s unwavering support for the genocidal campaign of Israel in Gaza is further alienating Black voters from the Biden administration. Many Black voters who might have been willing to let Jim Crow Joe slide are balking at the intransigence of Genocide Joe. President Biden’s total commitment to the apartheid state of Israel is not sitting well with many Black voters who equate apartheid in Israel with the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

Orange-man bad, Methuselah good may very well prove to be a losing strategy for the Democratic Party going into the 2024 presidential election. Trump may be an existential threat to the America that Democrats are willing to sign off on. The Biden/Harris ticket may however prove to be the catalyst that unleashes the Trumpian existentialist threat. As John Stewart said in his opening monologue in his return to the Daily Show, “When the enemy is at the gate you need Conan the Barbarian on the wall.” The Democratic Party must face the sad reality that Joe “Methuselah” Biden is no Conan the Barbarian, neither is he in any shape to climb any walls.

Lenrod Nzulu Baraka is the founder of Afro-Caribbean Spiritual Teaching Center and the author of The Rebirth of Black Civilization: Making Africa and the Caribbean Great Again.

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Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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