Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Pankaj Mishra

Biden Needs to Fight His Own Culture War

Like FDR, he must make Americans believe in helping one another again.

Dorothea Lange and other artists made concern for the poor seem like common sense. 

Dorothea Lange and other artists made concern for the poor seem like common sense. 

Photographer: Dorothea Lange/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Comparisons of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to the New Deal are flourishing. They obscure the fact that Biden’s achievement — passing reform legislation against an intransigent opposition — is very fragile.

Republicans are already waging an extensive culture war on issues cherished by progressive Democrats, starting with freer immigration. And though Biden and his colleagues are taking to the road this week to sell the administration’s plan, victory in what he calls the “battle for the soul of America” will require much more than vigorous messaging by politicians.