There are going to be two major issues when it comes to the election this November, both of which are related.
One of them is coronavirus. The other is China.
For Joe Biden, the latter is going to be difficult. That’s because if he talks about it in an honest way, it’s going to end with him being called a racist.
That’s at least the takeaway from a so-called “racist” ad that Biden released accusing Trump of not being hard enough on Beijing.
In the ad, Biden’s campaign says he warned of the problem that the coronavirus posed back in January (when it was still largely contained to China) while the president kissed up to Beijing.
This isn’t really accurate, given the fact that Biden called out “Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia” the same day the White House announced restrictions on travel from China, but never mind that. It turns out progressives aren’t particularly happy about Biden’s ad, claiming that it’s inflaming anti-Asian sentiment.
“Some worry the rhetoric in a new Biden campaign ad could spur anti-Asian bias already on the rise because of the coronavirus pandemic,” a Thursday piece in Politico claimed.
Others argue that Biden’s effort to sound tougher on China than Trump could backfire diplomatically in the long run.”
“Democrats have criticized the Trump team’s efforts as xenophobic. One Trump ad, for instance, implies Biden is cozy with Chinese leaders by picturing him alongside former U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke, an American of Asian descent,” Politico reported. “But Trump himself has piled on. In a recent tweet, Trump claimed: ‘China wants Sleepy Joe sooo badly … Joe is an easy mark, their DREAM CANDIDATE!’”
Which is, unlike Biden’s ad, accurate.
Biden has a history of appeasing China, particularly during his time in an Obama administration. He’s not exactly the man for the moment.
Still, however, he’s in a bit of trouble because criticizing China apparently counts as racism these days:
Wow @JoeBiden. Already trying to out-Trump Trump. This kind of fearmongering is causing violent attacks on Asian Americans. If you are trying to reform your past history of racist policymaking, like your 1994 crime bill, you had better do some homework. This ain’t it. pic.twitter.com/ePHiVGQFf3
— Cecillia Wang (@WangCecillia) April 19, 2020
“There are a number of very serious and valid critiques of the Chinese government,” Tobita Chow, director of the progressive group Justice Is Global, told Politico. “It is possible to do that in a way that is not racist and not nationalistic.”
This is what Biden is going to deal with this election cycle. If he dares criticize China — a country which hid human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 and spread rumors that America was actually responsible for spreading the virus, he’s going to be called a racist.
But don’t worry — Biden’s campaign wants you to know that he’s not racist and that he’s “blasted” bigotry against Asian-Americans. Not that the ad actually engendered any of that, mind you, but he’s come out against terms like “Chinese virus” and that sort of thing.
“Our ad levels substantive and deserved criticisms at Donald Trump for believing discredited Chinese government propaganda about containment of the virus — something Joe Biden publicly warned him not to fall for,” the Biden campaign said in a statement to Politico.
“That misjudgment has had devastating consequences for the American people.”
As the kids liked to say back in the 1990s, whatever.
The American people aren’t terribly concerned if Biden is being nice enough to the Chinese government, something that somehow equates to whether or not he’s a bigot. This is going to be a real issue considering that Americans aren’t terribly enamored of Beijing at the moment.
They’re perfectly fine with Asian-Americans, mind you, as they’ve always been. This isn’t an issue for anyone except Democratic pundits who are pathetically thirsty for attention and can get themselves on MSNBC if they claim Biden’s a bigot just like the president
Meanwhile, if Biden decides to capitulate on this, have fun in the debates. Trump is going to make plenty of hay over the fact the Biden is unwilling to condemn the country that’s responsible for the spread of COVID-19 because he’s too obsessed over the idea he might be condemned for being a “racist.”
That may be important to Democrats, but the rest of the American public isn’t going to find this take all that convincing.
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