Why Joe Biden’s 'normalcy' may get him reelected: columnist

Why Joe Biden’s 'normalcy' may get him reelected: columnist
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 09: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to talk about his proposed FY2024 federal budget during an event at the Finishing Trades Institute on March 09, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seen as a preview to his re-election platform, Biden's proposed budget is projected to cut the deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years. It remains unlikely the plan will find any support in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).

The 2024 presidential election is likely to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, however, much has changed since 2020. The United States is no longer in the midst of a viral pandemic. The economy has since stabilized. Setting aside the debates over whether Biden's and Trump's ages pose potential liabilities to their ability to serve as commander-in-chief, the rift between the two major political parties has never been wider, thanks to the GOP's gigantic leap rightward.

Those partisan ideological distinctions, New York Times opinion writer Jamelle Bouie notes in an editorial on Tuesday, are what could secure Biden a second term over Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

"Biden's biggest advantage has to do with the opposition — the Republican Party has gotten weird. It's not just that Republican policies are well outside the mainstream, but that the party itself has tipped over into something very strange," Bouie explains.

READ MORE: Why Joe Biden excels at vanquishing malarkey

Specifically, Bouie stresses, the conservative movement's obsession with "wokeness" and its state-level campaigns to dismantle civil rights is particularly problematic among the electorate.

"'Woke mind virus' is a term of art for the (condescending and misguided) idea that progressive views on race and gender are an outside contagion threatening the minds of young people who might otherwise reject structural explanations of racial inequality and embrace a traditional vision of the gender binary. I know that 'cultural Marxism' is a right-wing buzzword meant to sound scary and imposing. To a normal person, on the other hand, this language is borderline unintelligible. It doesn't tell you anything; it doesn't obviously mean anything; and it's quite likely to be far afield of your interests and concerns," Bouie says.

"Not only do Americans not care about the various Republican obsessions — in a recent Fox News poll 1 percent of respondents said 'wokeness' was 'the most important issue facing the country today' — but a large majority say that those obsessions have gone too far," Bouie adds. "According to Fox, 60 percent of Americans said 'book banning by school boards' was a major problem. Fifty-seven percent said the same for political attacks on families with transgender children."

When combined with the GOP's relentless assault on abortion and reproductive liberty, Bouie continues, "it's as if the Republican Party has committed itself to being as off-putting as possible to as many Americans as possible. That doesn't mean the party is doomed, of course. But as of this moment, it is hard to say it's on the road to political success."

READ MORE: '2024 could be more like 2016': Journalist urges Democrats to revisit their 'formula'

To Bouie, this presents Biden and the Democrats an opportunity to capitalize on the public's general distaste for what the Republicans are offering.

"The current state of the Republican Party only strengthens his most important political asset — his normalcy. He promised, in 2020, that he would be a normal president. And he is promising, for 2024, to continue to serve as a normal president. Normal isn't fun and normal isn't exciting," Bouei concludes. "But normal has already won one election, and I won't be surprised if it wins another."

READ MORE: Bernie Sanders predicts Joe Biden will 'win in a landslide' if he is 'delivering for working-class people'

Bouie's full Times column is available here (subscription required).

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