Paleoconservative political commentator and Trump supporter Pat Buchanan called out Joe Biden in a recent blog, claiming that the Democratic presidential candidate hides from answering questions on systemic racism when he is in Democrat-controlled cities and institutions.
Biden can avoid “the explosive subject of race” by only speaking in safe spaces such as Democratic-controlled cities and institutions where he can “recite carefully scripted messages for the cameras,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan listed questions he said Biden has yet to fully answer.
“Where does Biden stand on reparations for slavery? What does Biden think about tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee? Where does Biden stand on destroying statues of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt?” Buchanan asked.
“What did Biden think of the removal of the statue of Caesar Rodney, Delaware statesman and slave owner, who, despite a grave illness, rode to Philadelphia to sign Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and cast his lot with the American Revolution?”
Buchanan went back to Biden’s days as vice president for Barack Obama looking for questions. “Is there inequality in wealth between Black and white America because of systemic racism? If so, why did that inequality persist through two terms of our first Black president, with Biden as his VP?”
Not answering these questions may be a strategic move for Biden.
Biden should emulate former presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln and use silence as a strategy, wrote Jeffrey A. Engel, director of Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History and co-author of “Impeachment: An American History.”
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“Silence proved just as effective a political tool for Roosevelt as it had for Lincoln and Washington before him,” Engel wrote for the Washington Post.
Above all, Biden needs to appear the opposite of Trump, Engel said. “Trump, and the anxiety he engenders even in the best of times, is … Biden’s most valuable electoral asset. Every reelection campaign is ultimately a referendum on the incumbent, and Trump dramatically fails Ronald Reagan’s famous test: Are Americans better off today than when he took office? It might seem counterintuitive at a moment our nation seems at risk, but three of our … leaders captured the presidency by saying less. To follow in their footsteps, Joe Biden need only offer calm, unity, and empathy, restricting his campaign to three simple words each would have endorsed: ‘I’m not him,'” Engel wrote.
Trump hasn’t exactly been silent during his term. “His Twitter feed has been a supercharged version of its normal self,” The Atlantic reported. “Trump has attacked Joe Biden, slurred reporters, insulted leaders on the front lines of protests, and claimed federal authority he doesn’t have. This is the sort of behavior we’d call unhinged from any other president, but the word has lost any power through its endless, justified invocation throughout his tenure. In any case, the tweeting suggests a president flailing around for a message that sticks and for a sense of control.”