As the Democratic Party moves on from the searing primary season, tensions are rising. After a long and contested battle, former Vice President Joe Biden has emerged as the presumptive presidential nominee against President Donald Trump. The Democratic Party now finds itself at a crossroads, as anxiety ripples through the ranks despite the vast support for Biden amongst the Democratic base.
Though his policies are widely popular, some Democratic elites have expressed concern over the Biden campaign’s slow-footed response to the rapid changes imposed by this pandemic. With key battleground states shifting rapidly, the Biden camp appears unprepared for an election battle that continues to change on a daily basis.
Beyond strategy concerns, some argue that Biden is unable to provide a progressive vision for the party. As the economic fallout from the pandemic mounts, there are deep divisions in the Democratic Party over the best economic policies and how to best confront the long-term effects of this global health crisis. Many liberal Democrats fear that Biden’s centrist policies do not adequately address these issues, and thus risk a tear in the fabric of the Democratic coalition.
The Biden campaign’s recent selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate has done much to quell these fears, however. Harris is a trailblazing politician that offers a progressive vision for the Democratic Party and a strong voice on the left – a comforting presence in the midst of the anxiety of Democratic supporters.
Despite the angst that has risen, the hopes of many Democratic supporters remain high for a clear Biden-Harris victory in November. With a looming economic crisis hanging in the balance, Democrats must remain unified in the face of future unknowns if they are to defeat a powerful opponent. The last few months have been tumultuous for the Democratic Party, and the months ahead will be no easier. The strength that the Democratic Party musters amidst this unease will decide the course of American history.