President Joe Biden has become the first sitting US President in modern history to join a picket line, as he is currently on the picket line with the Union of American Autoworkers who has been on strike over disagreements relating to pay and general welfare of workers.
Biden’s gesture might be misunderstood as a campaign stunt, and it might really be, but it also depicts the most important attribute of a leader or an aspiring leader. Identifying with people, in the time of their need.
Biden didn’t just go there to tell the unionists that he is with them, but he left no one in doubt about the fact that he is in full grasp of the issues in contention between these workers and the industry owners. He told them that the auto industry is booming, its owners are making good money and it is all right for the workers, who eke out these gains, to demand for better pay.
Biden, as President would be expected to align with the industry owners or stand aloof in this case, after all, these unionists are just thousands of people whose votes wouldn’t really make too much difference if it’s about votes, but Biden understands that these workers have families and what they fight for is not merely about getting a good pay, but it goes beyond their personal welfare, but would impact on how the general American workforce views his relationship with workers.
Democratic politicking is a game of the mind. If you cannot win the hearts of the people, you can’t win the election. And if you cannot show the people that you identify with the things that affect them, you can’t win their minds, and won’t get their votes.