America has entered a reckoning period with its history of systemic (and systematic) racism. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests have demanded the end of racist police brutality. This has spilled over into broader discussions of racism in the US. Likely democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden vowed during remarks on Independence Day to stamp out systemic racism if elected president.
Joe Biden stated that he would “rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country” during a video posted on July 4. Biden’s message diverged greatly from that of incumbent Donald Trump, who spoke at Mt. Rushmore earlier in the day. During his speech, Trump warned his supporters of the “radical left” attempts to disrupt normalcy. Trump has maintained his calls that “angry mobs” are tearing down America’s history.
Trump warned supporters of a supposed “new far-left fascism,” ironically overlooking fascism’s origins as a far-right ideology.
Before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Trump was ahead in polls. His focus on the economy and stability were favored by many, as the economy was chugging, and the average American was getting a higher paycheck. However, the pandemic offered a test for the President’s leadership, and many voters seem to think Trump failed that test.
Further testing Trump’s authority, the May 25 killing of George Floyd ignited a series of protests around the country. Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality drew swift condemnation from Trump, who struck a “law and order” posture. This won him no supporters, and, in fact, coincided with slipping approval ratings.
Meanwhile, likely voters have been siding more with Biden in national polls. Many find his tone to be more sympathetic, and his message more immediate. In his July 4 video, he states that “America is no fairy tale.”
“It’s been a constant push and pull between two parts of our character: the idea that all men and women, all people, are created equal, and the racism that has torn us apart. We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American dream.”
Biden’s tone has won him significant ground in national polls. According to an average of polls from the across the country, Biden is currently leading Trump by an average of eleven points nationally. This has solidified him as a clear favorite to win the election. This could put the incumbent on the back foot going into November.