Wednesday on Twitter, Dem candidate Joe Biden tweeted that “America was an idea. We’ve never lived up to it but we’ve never walked away from it before,” echoing his repeated refrain about America’s failures.
Biden included a link to a podcast interview in which he claimed, “America was an idea, an idea. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident.’ We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before, and I just think we have to be more honest. Let our kids know, as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes, so we don’t repeat them.”
For two years, Biden has cited this point on the campaign trail, arguing that while ours has never been a truly equal society, we have never given up trying to make it so. In his campaign launch video, for example, Biden said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” We’ve heard it so often, it’s almost a cliché. But it’s who we are. We haven’t always lived up to these ideals; Jefferson himself didn’t. But we have never before walked away from them.”
What is new in Biden’s tweet is his emphasis on America’s mistakes. President Trump, by contrast, has added this line to his speeches: “The Democrat party is ashamed of America. The Republican party is proud of America, and that’s a big difference.” Indeed.