Joe Biden is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party
To provide perspective, this article is a tie in piece with an opposing writer, Sophie Koch. Both of us took the Political Compass test, designed to qualitatively plot political views on economically right and left leanings, and on how pro or against government authority one is. Relative to the opposing writer, I lean slightly more left economically and am measurably more pro government-authority. Given this disclosure, the bias of this piece should become more clear when comparing arguments.
As of October 21, the writing of this article, projections in the US estimate around 220,000 deaths officially linked to Coronavirus. These deaths are a direct effect of the nonchalant response by Donald Trump and the majority of the Republican party in response to the pandemic. Purely politically, national emergencies are a blessing for the majority party due to the “rally around the flag” effect (when a majority of people in a nation support the leader during crises, see: G.W. Bush approval rating post 9-11). Unfortunately for Trump, his post-pandemic bump has been minimal and his handling of the outbreak has squandered any chance for utilizing it to boost reelection chances.
In the middle of a pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the people of the US medically, financially, and emotionally, it would be a good idea to have the nominee be someone constantly on the right side of history with these issues and fights for the working class. Unfortunately, we were given Joe Biden. Joe Biden, who told his corporate donors that "Nothing would fundamentally change" if he was elected. Over his years as a Senator, he made himself a downright disgraceful record that certainly caused more harm than good and is a poor representation of what a Democrat should be.
Joe Biden lied about the fact that he supported cuts to Social Security and Medicare (The Intercept). He lied about the fact that he thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, when in fact he was instrumental in ensuring a majority Democrat Senate gave President Bush the authority to invade Iraq (The Progressive, et al. CFR). As recently as February 7, he lied about Medicare For All, saying it would “cost more than the entire federal budget” (Politifact). These are lies that directly are and will be related to thousands of deaths of Americans and the people in the countries Biden pushed to invade. Aside from these life-impacting lies, he also has a record of forging a fake civil rights activist career, claiming to have been arrested in South Africa on his way to see Nelson Mandela, being in the top half of his law class, and more (The Intercept). While he does admit to these lies after they have been uttered, and attempts to pass them off as an issue in his articulation of speech, repeatedly lying on core issues is not an issue in articulation. It is an issue of moral conviction.
Aside from his lies, he also stood consistently outside of the core values that define democrats. On civil liberties, he stood afar from his policies of today, voting for the PATRIOT Act, A.E.D.P.A, The Defense of Marriage Act, and opposed busing to desegregate schools around the nation. Each of those bills was despicable in their own ways and eroded the freedoms of people for little reason (New Yorker) (Politico) (BFN). The PATRIOT Act, created to prevent and “intercept” terrorism was instrumental in the illegal wiretapping of hundreds of millions of American communication devices (without probable cause), violated privacy protections in the Fourth Amendment by allowing warrantless searches without notification of the target, and was a bill that never should have passed. A.E.D.P.A. effectively killed the writ of habeas corpus (a manner to challenge unlawful confinement and restraint), and the Defense of Marriage Act was an abhorrent bill that federally defined marriage as between a man and women, allowing states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. On reproductive rights, he supported the Hyde Amendment as recently as 2019, which would prevent federal abortion funding (NOW). On climate change, he is just as lacking, with his campaign being “stuffed” with fossil fuel executives (NBC). Biden’s climate advisor, the person who should be the environmental face of the future “Biden administration,” is a former board member of Cheniere Energy, a natural gas company (RS).
On healthcare, Joe Biden said that even if Medicare for All passed Congress, he would veto it. In the middle of a pandemic where thousands of people are going bankrupt over medical bills, he had the audacity to say that an expanded Obamacare would be more effective. Expanding Obamacare would simply build on and likely worsen the issues already present. As the people suffer, Biden nitpicks. Joe Biden’s pushback to Medicare for all is an underlying symptom of his true political beliefs. His belief in antiquated incremental measures to solve issues may have worked decades ago, but in this day and age, we have no time for slowly ramping up solutions. We need to solve these issues as fast as possible before our archaic systems, many supported by him, kill more innocent lives.
4 years ago, the majority of political pundits, polls, and voter sentiment all suggested that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election, easily. Every presidential debate lost Trump more and more approval in the polls. It seemed clear cut- Hillary was going to win. Clearly, she did not. If one assumes that Biden will win against Trump because Biden is ahead in the polls, they would be mistaken. Donald Trump is unique in that his voter base never shrinks, Throughout his scandals, impeachment, and investigations, his approval rating has stayed mostly consistent, around 41% and higher. Donald Trump is not a moderate conservative. He is a right-wing populist candidate, and a clear way the Democrats could have defeated him would have been nominating Bernie Sanders, a left-wing populist candidate who had a far more ideologically diverse base than Biden.
Four years ago, Democrats tried the exact same strategy of nominating a moderate candidate, a strategy that failed to attract swing voters. Democrats have made a mistake in assuming moderates are more electable this election when moderates have failed in previous elections as well. If the Democratic establishment was half as good at coalescing to push progressives like Bernie out of the race as they were at coming up with a moderate candidate that has an enthusiastic base, they would have a far better chance at beating Trump.
The argument I make isn’t to simply not vote, nor to blindly vote for Trump. These arguments would be reckless and dangerous in the current political climate. Instead, I see a reasoned and fair alternative plan that demonstrates disgust for Biden and the Democratic establishment, while still not jeopardizing the lives of people under a Trump administration. If a voter is in a swing state, they should vote for Biden. However, if a voter is in a state that will certainly be called one way, voters should express their distaste for the establishments of either party by voting third party, or writing in a candidate. When 57% of Americans say a third major political party is needed to effectively show their political beliefs, it is clear that people should not be voter-shamed into voting for Biden. He is an affront to Democratic core values and has demonstrated through his record that he is not the change this country needs.