Biden, Dems need to get message out now!, by Ben Jealous

2/29/2024, 6 p.m.
Biden, Dems need to get their message out now! Spoiler alert! Donald Trump will be allowed to remain on the ...

Biden, Dems need to get their message out now!

Spoiler alert! Donald Trump will be allowed to remain on the ballot this fall.

One way or another, the Supreme Court is going to decide that a state cannot remove Mr. Trump from the ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding elected office. Mr. Trump is an insurrectionist.

But that is not the question currently before the court.

The decision will likely be joined by some of the court’s moderates. It could even be unanimous.

Regardless of the reasoning behind it or the narrowness of the ultimate decision, another barrier will be removed for Mr. Trump. His base will be further energized.

Increasingly, the question on many people’s minds is this:

With the Trump train picking up speed again, what can President Biden do to stop it?

The economic and social struggles of the broad base of working-class America define

the political moment that we are in. It is a populist one. This has allowed Donald Trump to speak to Americans’ anxieties with no intention of following through, and in completely dishonest ways.

Mr. Trump has been stealing Bernie Sanders’ talking points since back in 2016. Remember before all the “rigged election” rhetoric, Mr. Trump spoke of the “rigged economy.” He truthfully told voters our health care system is broken but dishonestly said he would give us a better one.

And, of course, he lambasted NAFTA as the disaster it was.

It was all empty rhetoric. Mr. Trump lacked the conviction, knowledge and genuine desire to do anything about these issues.

Take the issue of trade. All of Mr. Trump’s tough “America first” talk about trade belies the fact that his policies would do nothing to ensure American competitiveness. Despite China being a favorite target from the stump, Mr. Trump would allow China to dominate the emerging global economy by preventing the domestic growth of the industries at its center.

The irony is that what working-class America is demanding,

President Biden is delivering. He is just not talking about it.

President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is reopening American factories, rebuilding American manufacturing and creating jobs. Our current president is backing up industrial unions such as the United Auto Workers when they find themselves in a real fight.

And he is ensuring that America seizes the moment to lead the world economy in this century like we did in the last one.

President Biden does not need to sound more like Donald Trump. Mr. Trump is all bluster and aims only to foment anger.

What President Biden needs to do is make it clear that when it comes to cars and energy, there is only one future: electric vehicles and renewable sources such as solar and wind.

He needs to speak plainly about how, if America does not seize these markets and support the manufacturing sectors behind these industries, China will. China already controls more than 80% of the world’s solar-manufacturing capacity and the Chinese electric car industry is growing rapidly.

To be sure, there are many, many factors at play in this year’s election. But many of the big ones tie back to the working class.

For instance, the gender gap has grown — but not necessarily in President Biden’s favor.

Women skew more heavily toward the president in polls that follow public displays of Mr. Trump’s misogyny or news of his sexual assaults.

But, in general, recent polls are showing President Biden’s base advantage with women has shrunk.

Meanwhile, the gender gap for men skews more and more heavily toward Mr. Trump. That is driven by the trend among working-class men. And it is working-class men of all races – including growing numbers of Black men.

We all grew up hearing that actions speak louder words. But talking the talk is becoming more and more important in our politics. This is not a case against action. Rather, where President Biden is already showing great leadership with his actions, he also needs to make sure the American people hear about it.

The writer is the executive director of the Sierra Club and a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania.