Joe Biden tweeted Sunday night that if he gets elected, his administration “won’t just rebuild this nation — we’ll transform it.”
We're going to beat Donald Trump. And when we do, we won't just rebuild this nation — we'll transform it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 6, 2020
Scott Morefield, a reporter for the Daily Caller, responded to Biden’s post and said the transformation Biden was referring to would be the country’s change “into a socialist hellscape.”
Mr. Morefield has a point. But what is more interesting about Biden’s turn of phrase is where it came from and what it means. Joe Biden has been playing a double game in Democrat circles. On one hand making gestures and saying things that appeal to the hard left. On the other hand refusing to back “defund the police” and other hard-left notions he and the pros on his staff know would alienate him from the swing voters he needs to win.
Both ideological sides have been jostling for position over campaign statements and the veep choice. But one may now have come out on top. It is signaled by the “transformational” line. That word is a dog whistle, a subtle reference meant for a specific audience, for the hard left. Obama used it, Sanders used it, AOC uses it. It means not just reform of a system, but its transformation into something completely new. In this case, an authoritarian socialist government.
Concepts like “defund the police” play into that narrative. With no legitimate authority to keep order, the street gangs of Antifa and Black Lives Matter could control the landscape, as they have in some cities recently, and usher in any government they chose. The Democrats, much like German industrialists in the early 1930s who thought they could control other socialists, are using these domestic terrorist groups as pawns. But what if the groups turn on them and demand power themselves?
Ernst Rohm, call your office. Transformational change is just what Antifa and Black Lives Matter want and now Biden is telling them they could get it. It’s more than a throwaway line. It sounds like a promise, a Rubicon crossed.
The GOP understands the threat and is not taking it lightly. “If we defund the police as Joe Biden’s allies are calling for, who will answer the phone when people call 911?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Sunday. The Trump campaign has said, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
If we defunded the police as Joe Biden’s allies are calling for, who will answer the phone when people call 911? Please share President Trump’s powerful new “911” TV ad calling out Biden and the radical left-wing mob https://t.co/xMVy3eudgu
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 6, 2020
Biden’s lurch left will please the media and the pop culture but it won’t help him in November. He is aware of that and he could pivot back to left center again at the convention or during the debates. But all the fast footwork is going to leave a lot of people wondering where we really stands.
When that is figured out, most likely sometime in October, one faction, the pros and their swing voters or the media and their hard-left acolytes, will feel very sold out. Could they sit on their hands and not vote for Biden, not vote in the presidential race at all? They’ve done it before. Many Bernie Sanders’ voters did it as a protest against Hillary in 2016. It could happen again.