Some polls now have Joe Biden running ahead of Donald Trump by 10 points and sweeping the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. This vindicates the strategy Biden's advisers have adopted: Confine Joe to his basement, no press conferences. Trot him out to recite carefully scripted messages for the cameras. Then lead him back to his stall.
This enables Biden to avoid the blazing questions that are dividing not only Democrats and Republicans but liberals and leftists. And most of these issues touch on the explosive subject of race.
Consider. California's legislature just voted to put to a statewide ballot in November a return to the racial preferences that were banned as discriminatory in a statewide referendum, 25 years ago. The proposal would reverse the 1995 constitutional amendment, approved by 55% of voters, which outlawed "preferential treatment" based on "race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin." If the measure carries, California returns to a racial spoils system.
Race preferences are being pushed because they are needed to bring about greater representation of blacks and Hispanics in the student bodies of elite schools of the state university system like UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley. Asian students are today "overrepresented" in these prestigious schools, because of their superior test scores. Where does Biden stand on anti-Asian discrimination?
Earlier this June, the California Assembly voted to establish a task force to make recommendations for reparations for slavery. Now, California did not enter the Union until 1850, and slavery was outlawed in the state constitution, though several thousand slaves were brought there during the 1849 Gold Rush. Where does Biden stand on reparations for slavery?
Many of the recent protests in the wake of George Floyd's death have involved the desecration and destruction of monuments. 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?
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? Understandably, Biden would prefer not having to choose between Caesar Rodney and BLM.
Black men are arrested and incarcerated more often than whites because of the systemic racism of law enforcement officials, we are told. Does Biden believe white cops are congenital racists?
In the great cities where the killing of black men is today all too common, the regimes that have ruled them for decades have been almost wholly Democratic. Does Biden believe there is systemic racism in the ruling circles of all these Democratic-run cities?
Over the last month, there has been an explosion of shootings and killings. In Chicago, over Memorial Day, 84 people were shot, 24 mortally. Last weekend in Chicago, 106 people were shot and 14 killed. New York City is experiencing the worst shooting violence in a quarter century. Is there systemic racism in the police departments of our great cities? Again, who has been running those cities, if not Democrats?
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?
Does Biden believe, with Elizabeth Warren, in wealth taxes on the rich and wealth transfers to close the black-white wealth gap?
Is there systemic racism in American media? Our dominant media institutions include the Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, CBS, and NBC. All are controlled by liberals.
Is there systemic racism in our great universities and colleges? Yet, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the rest of the Ivy League have long been run by an entrenched liberal elite.
Is our huge federal workforce permeated by racism? Though African Americans are 13 percent of the U.S. population, they occupy 18 percent of all federal jobs.
Is there systemic racism in our public schools? Who controls the teachers’ unions? Who fills almost all of the teaching positions?
Is there systemic racism in California? If so, who is at fault? The governor, both senators, both houses of the legislature, all statewide offices, and 46 of 53 U.S. House seats in California are held by Democrats.
If Biden emerges, then he will have to answer why all these institutions where his party and people are predominant—the media, Hollywood, the academic community, public schools, big-city governments, the big foundations, the federal bureaucracy—are apparently shot through with systemic racism after decades of Democratic dominance. And, more precisely, what he intends to do about it.
Perhaps it's better to shelter in place in the basement.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.
[Image by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA 2.0 via wikimedia commons, resized]