by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently claimed to be “truly shocked” by a poll showing President Biden with a 33 percent approval rating. I was shocked, too — how could his approval rating be that high?
Blow, of course, is surprised at Biden’s unpopularity, and worried that the Democrats are stumbling into a bloodbath in the November midterms. Blow is paid to understand and explain politics and culture to his readers. That he is surprised reveals a lot about the bubble he is in. And his meandering analysis of Democrats’ problems illustrates how the ideology making Democrats unpopular is also preventing them from understanding why they are unpopular.
Blow initially blames Biden — for being too much of a “decent man … sober and straightforward” rather than a “showman.” This is a ludicrous assessment of a politician, who, until age caught up with his tongue, was one of D.C.’s preeminent bloviators. Nonetheless, Blow’s ordinary partisan delusion is less interesting than the ideological blind spots revealed when he turns to genuine sources of Biden’s unpopularity, such as “the fear of crime and the pinch of inflation” and that “Republicans are playing heavily into culture war issues.”
Although Blow does not seem to realize it, these issues combine to reinforce voters’ disapproval of Biden. Democratic failures on bread and butter issues such as crime and inflation are related to the culture-war radicalism that has captured their party.
Twitter, not the blue-collar union hall, is now the heart of the Democratic Party, which is controlled by the educated, urban professional-managerial class, epitomized by woke, union-busting CEOs. This faction has merged the class and culture wars — championing cultural radicalism, entrenching its own economic interests, and neglecting the common good.