As mentioned previously, more than half of Americans are not receptive of Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending proposals. More than half of Americans believe Biden’s proposals will have little to no impact on their lives. Thus, the ‘Biden Agenda’ – despite the sales pitch and publicity on the part of the Biden Administration – has failed to capture the mood of the majority of Americans.
Part of what explains the lack of receptivity and apathy on the part of the American public towards Biden’s agenda is their wariness towards any bold notions of change and reform. Because the basic principles of the American system – namely, capitalism, reduced taxes, and small government – are so engrained in the DNA and the identity of the country, vociferous calls for change and reform are often seen as part of a “communist” or “socialist” agenda aimed at stripping the people of their agency and power within the system.
Moreover, there has long been an anti-elite and anti-government culture and sentiment in the United States, because the foundations of America’s system – namely, the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and the U.S. Constitution – are the byproducts of a revolution against an overbearing elite and government. Also, the elites and government are seen by many people in the United States as being motivated to censor or suppress the views and voices of regular people. In recent times, there has been an outcry over big tech and social media companies and their apparent censorship of certain views and voices. Thus, the rift between the elites and government on one hand, and the people and the masses on the other hand has always existed in American society, but it has widened over the course of the last few years.
Thus, the basic DNA or identity of the United States – which is based on grassroots capitalism, reduced taxes, and small government – may be resistant to significant change and reform. Even piecemeal and incremental changes such as the “Biden Agenda” are perhaps seen by more than half of the United States as being part of a broader strategy aimed towards changing the basic DNA, identity, and principles of the country. But if changes and reforms are to take place in American culture and society, the changes and reforms which are proposed have to be overarching and significant rather than piecemeal and incremental. Perhaps anything short of universal education, universal health care, and universal basic income will lead to a lack of receptivity and suspicion and thus a reversion to the original principles and philosophical underpinnings of the American system.
“Either go big, or go home” is perhaps the slogan which can best describe the situation of the Democrats. By not going big, Joe Biden has seen his approval rating drop from 50 percent at the beginning of the year to 35 percent in the present moment, and his agenda is being ignored and overlooked by more than half of the American public. Republicans will then seize on the timidity and half-ass efforts of the Democrats and their piecemeal and incremental approach, as they did in Virginia this past Tuesday. But even if the “Progressive Caucus” manages to steer the course of the Democratic party towards a “Go big or go home” approach and strategy, it may be stonewalled by the populists and the American masses, who are more than likely to defeat progressives if the political struggle between the progressives and the populists is left to be determined by the ballot box.