Since Vice President Joe Biden sealed up the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, the internet has been a feral place. His online fans have feasted on the corpses of Bernie Bros, brigaded the mentions of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stans with chants of Medicare-for-some, and hacked into the Democratic Socialists of America.
It’s not much better IRL.
Frankly, it’s a fucking mess.
But one of the reasons Democrats chose Joe Biden was to bring about a sense of normalcy to the party; to bring together warring factions; and to restore a sense of calm, diginity, and most importantly, unity, after two brutal primaries.
Now he’s had enough. On Thursday, Biden told his rabid online base to accept victory with grace—and to be nice online.
“Mayor @PeteButtigieg’s campaign had a set of ‘rules of the road’ that helped define the character of his campaign and his supporters,” Biden wrote. “I think it’s a good idea, and one I’d like @TeamJoe to adopt.”
Team Joe, Joe says, it’s time to calm down. And his plan going forward is for everyone to be nice.
“We won’t defeat this President by being like him,” Biden said. “We’ll win by doing the opposite. Where he seeks to divide us, we’ll connect people. Where he shows cruelty, we’ll show compassion.”
It’s not entirely clear who the argument is directed at, given that the made-up scenario of Biden fans flaming the vanquished opposition didn’t quite play out. Even if it sounds like fun.
Biden’s words also address how his supporters go after President Donald Trump and his fans. He wants the anger to simmer, not boil.
It’s a tactic that jibes with how Biden appears to want to run against Trump. In interviews, he’s been hesitant to criticize the president, even at one point stopping to apologize in the middle of calling him out.
So you heard it from the man himself: Biden fans fired up against a president who is overseeing a pandemic that’s killed tens of thousands—in part due to his mishandling of the situation.
Calm down a tad.
*First Published: Apr 16, 2020, 11:00 am
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]