Biden Has Failed to Keep His Most Important Promise | Opinion

As every candidate does, Joe Biden made a lot of promises on the campaign trail. While parts of his policy platform may have been uninspiring or even anathema to swing voters, he was able to win over many with a single promise: that he would be "a president who seeks not to divide, but unify." In November of 2020, Biden proclaimed that it was "time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again."

However, through his first couple of years in office, President Biden has been anything but the unifying figure he promised to be. According to Pew Research statistics, polarization has continued to worsen during the Biden presidency. While this is certainly not all Biden's doing, he has more than done his part to widen the divide between Americans.

On Thursday, Biden gave a campaign-like speech in which he attacked his political opponents from the grounds of a national park with Marines posted behind him. He asserted that a large cohort of voters in this country "pose a clear and present danger" to our democracy and urged others to "vote vote vote" in the midterms. Biden also painted with that broad brush at a recent Democratic fundraising event, labeling "MAGA Republicans" as "semi-fascists"—whatever that means. His hyperbolic attacks will only fan the flames of polarization.

But this isn't new behavior from President Biden. Whenever the nation has most needed him to make good on his promise to unify, Biden has set out to divide.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Biden repeatedly called our health crisis "a pandemic of the unvaccinated" and attempted to scare those who had foregone the shots. He predicted in 2021 that the unvaccinated would face a "winter of severe illness and death." Setting aside the fact that the data say he was wrong, is this really what "put[ting] away the harsh rhetoric" looks like?

Not only did Biden use fear tactics to turn our nation against—and to manipulate—the unvaccinated; he also sought to paint his political opponents as ruthless racists. Biden called the state of Georgia's efforts to pass election security legislation "Jim Crow 2.0."

Biden knew the Georgia voting legislature was not working to suppress the minority vote, as their new law expands weekend early voting, allows anyone to vote absentee, and even codifies drop boxes. Nevertheless, he chose to employ divisive rhetoric, exploiting old racial wounds to whip up support for his plan to overhaul state election rules at the federal level. He has continued to do the same this year, even comparing his political opponents to Jefferson Davis.

Joe Biden Philadelphia speech
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 01: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a primetime speech at Independence National Historical Park September 1, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Biden spoke on “the continued battle for the Soul of the Nation.” Alex Wong/Getty Images

Always seeking a scapegoat, Biden also attempted to turn Americans against businesses. In regard to gun violence, Biden declared that Congress should get rid of gun manufacturers' legal protections and open them up to liability for crimes committed with their products.

Aside from being unproductive, such a notion inexcusably guides American fury toward organizations that have nothing to do with the tragedies we've witnessed. Should car manufacturers be open to liability if drivers use their product in a malicious or lethal way? What about companies that produce knives? Of course not. These statements only serve to divide.

Then, this year, seeing Americans struggle with high gas prices, Biden blamed major oil companies, urging them to increase supply and portraying them as price gougers. It has always been absurd to blame high gas prices on oil companies, as they are no more incentivized by profits when prices are high than when prices are low. Gas prices are the result of supply and demand, and it's easy to understand oil companies' apprehension toward investing in rapidly increasing supply while Democrats continue to display hostility toward fossil fuels.

Again, Biden cares about none of this. He has sought time and time again to pit different groups of Americans against one another in hopes of increasing support for his own party.

This does not excuse the damage and polarization caused by Donald Trump and certain Republicans. But during his campaign, Biden portrayed himself as the anti-Donald Trump, a symbol of the end of brazen and frenetic governance, and of a return to civility. He promised to unify the American people. Instead, Biden has consistently opted to reduce legitimate public issues to allegedly clear questions of moral character, hoping to convince enough Americans that he's fighting for what's good and decent—never mind the lies he's told or the polarization he's caused.

By acting to deepen the divide in this country, Biden has failed to uphold the very promise that won him the presidency.

Benjamin Ayanian is a contributor for Young Voices, a PR firm and talent agency for young, pro-liberty commentators. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News, The American Spectator, and more. His Twitter is @BenjaminAyanian.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.