Commentary: Michigan Has One More Chance to Reject the Political Establishment – It Might Not Come Again

by David Safavian


Joe Biden is not merely a presidential candidate; he is a vehicle for returning the establishment elite to power.

Michiganders of both parties rejected the establishment in 2016. In doing so four years ago, the voters shocked Hollywood, labor bosses, left-wing journalists, and other political elites who thought we fit neatly into one of their ideological boxes. People across the Midwest correctly recognized that the political class had long ago ceased to be responsive to our needs, and so we revolted. Not much has changed since then.

Despite constant reminders of his blue-collar roots, Joe Biden is a charter member of the political elite. The Delaware politician has spent his entire career in government — 36 years in the Senate and eight as vice president. Yet, he trades heavily on his “Scranton Joe” upbringing, complete with the story about him becoming a civil rights activist in Delaware — something he alone remembers.

Despite all his folksy posturing, Biden is just an empty vessel who will put elites back in control. His vice-presidential choice, ranked as the most liberal member of the Senate according to 60 Minutes, comes from the other left coast, California. Others in his orbit — the people who will be making policy if Biden is elected — cut their teeth in left-wing politics.

But it’s not just the people Biden surrounds himself that should give us all pause. Look who is financing his campaign. “Scranton Joe” is raking in twice as much money from billionaires as the President. Wall Street is even more firmly behind him, pouring five times as much cash into his campaign as Donald Trump’s. 

Biden is also the consensus choice of a media establishment, which has spent four years launching the most unrelenting, coordinated attacks on a presidential administration in American history. Their preferred narrative is rigorously enforced by thousands of Silicon Valley hall monitors intent on choosing to suppress news that is unfavorable to Biden.

Just like his contrived “Scranton Joe” persona, Biden’s record from four decades in Washington is rarely discussed. Yet, it is marked by mistakes at every turn. His fingerprints are on policies that shipped American manufacturing jobs shipped overseas, redistributed wealth from hard working middle-class taxpayers to groups favored by progressives, and sent more of our young people to fight seemingly endless wars around the globe.

Despite efforts to paint Joe Biden as a grandfatherly man who will govern from the middle, the people spending millions to ensure his victory know their man. They understand that Biden will never lift a finger to stop the flow of jobs to China and cheap goods back to America. After all, he was a key architect of the whole system. He spent more than 30 years on Capitol Hill advancing the cause of “free trade.” He supported NAFTA 26 years ago over the objections of rank-and-file union members. He pushed to help China, first by granting our biggest strategic competitor “most favored nation” trade status, and then by pulling out all the stops to get the communist regime into the World Trade Organization. Taken together, these policies resulted in the loss of tens of millions of jobs, and the death of entire American industries.

Compare the Biden record with that of President Trump. He has held China accountable for its actions and negotiated a new deal, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) two years ago, with the ringing endorsement of the AFL-CIO. Manufacturing is coming home, thanks to this President.

Just as the business elites crave a return to globalization and surrender to China, the foreign policy bureaucracy craves a return to endless war. As a senator, Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War. As vice president, he never met a foreign quagmire he didn’t like. It’s no wonder that Robert Gates — who served as Defense Secretary in both the Obama and Bush Administration — said that Biden has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

In contrast, President Trump opposed the Iraq War as a private citizen, and as President he has brought thousands of troops home from war zones while refusing to get American soldiers involved in any new open-ended interventions. Instead, he focused on delivering for our veterans, rebuilding our military at home, and projecting peace through strength.

As we did in 2016, Michiganders have another chance to the coastal elites “no.” We don’t have to go back to business as usual, with policies like the Green New Deal, single-payer healthcare, and job-killing taxes and red tape.

You may not like how Donald Trump tweets or punches back against his critics. You may not care for his brash New York persona. But if you look at his actions, he is clearly making the lives of Michiganders better. The choice is clear.

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David Safavian is the general counsel at the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Deputy Director of its Nolan Center for Justice.
Photo “Joe Biden Michigan” by Kelly Kline CC BY-SA 2.0.









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