The comments were in response to a question from debate moderator Chris Wallace about federally sponsored racial sensitivity training, which has run into controversy over its focus on critical race theory and forced confessions of “white privilege.” The former vice president’s indictment of elitism and appeal to his blue-collar and religious origins, however, provides some very telling juxtapositions.
Ronald Reagan made similar appeals to what came to be known as ECBC’s, ethnic Catholic blue collar voters, voters who, while often members of labor unions, embraced the right to life, family values, and a strong national defense. Reagan spoke to and for those Americans, born in the Midwest, comfortable with religion, and proud of America’s history.
Trump and Biden are chasing these same votes, in many of the same states, and many pundits believe these votes might well decide the election. But there is a raft of ironies in Biden’s ode to being an Irish Catholic. Even as he pronounced those words, he and his Party – and he tells us he IS the Democratic Party - are bitterly opposing the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is unashamedly Catholic and has spent decades teaching law at the nation’s foremost “Irish” university, Notre Dame. Well-funded now, the school rose from the humblest of beginnings. Its “Victory March” sings of overcoming the odds, “great or small,” hearkened back to the days when the school was the pathway up for the sons of hardscrabble families from the farms and mill towns of 1950s America.