There are so many different agendas within the Democratic Party that it is hard to come up with a coherent message. Margaret Valenti writes on Joe Biden’s plans compared with those of the Democratic Party.
There are, at this point, at least three Democratic parties, if not more: anti-Trump (lifelong Republicans or swing voters dissatisfied with Trump’s performance), liberal (lifelong Democrats), and progressives (pro-Bernie Sanders’ policies). Every single one of them is in conflict with each other. At one point, when Trump accused Biden of playing into the hands of the progressives, who Trump says are taking over the Democratic Party, Biden had to say “the party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party”. Trump replied “and they’re [the radical left, progressives] going to dominate you, Joe. You know that”, to which Biden responded “I am the Democratic Party right now”, as if trying to reassure himself, swing voters, and anti-Trumpers that he is not a socialist (though that word barely means anything in U.S. politics).
Donald Trump is right, progressives slowly gain momentum in government. They gain that momentum right alongside the right-wing conspiracy theorists that Trump praises, or at the very least refuses to denounce. Still, throughout the Democratic National Convention, the Democrats touted a pro-Medicare for All and aggressive policies to combat climate change. Expand Obamacare, keep private insurance, that is all that Biden ever promised. Last night, Joe Biden had to fight with Trump over what his values were because his values are confused with his party’s values. As the candidates debated Climate Change, Biden did not endorse the Green New Deal even though his Vice President, Kamala Harris, was one of its original co-sponsors.
He very publicly made statements against Medicare for All and against the Green New Deal, both are programs that many people in the U.S. associate with socialism and by extension communism. Given the red-scare politics and McCarthyism that still exists in U.S. politics, associations with what people claim is socialism and are socialist policies are not likely to win over more swing voters, let alone those who are simply anti-Trump (people who would still probably vote for Trump over Sanders if he were the candidate).
As Biden struggles to define himself, he separates himself from a Democratic party that increasingly leans towards progressive politics. Many voters now idly watch as the Democratic Party swings like a never-ending pendulum, not quite able to come up with a consistent message to give to the public. That lack of consistency gives Trump the ability to define the party as a socialist one. They have no rebuttal, as a unified party, because they have no cohesion. Still, they try to brand themselves as the party welcoming to all no matter what political affiliation. How is one party supposed to satisfy progressives and anti-Trumpers at the same time? They cannot. Now, they have a crisis of definition. In their attempts to represent everyone, they now stand for nothing, giving Trump the upper hand.