Opinion: Joe Biden shouldn't be president

Biden is out of touch with his progressive title and we don't need another old white president

Former Vice President Joe Biden is a socially progressive, old, straight and white establishment Democrat. Up against President Trump, a somewhat anti-establishment Republican, who is socially conservative, old, straight and white, Biden seems to be the Democrats' safest bet to win the 2020 presidential election.

Biden has been a fan favorite presidential candidate since the end of the Obama administration. For many current college students, the first presidency that is really memorable is the Obama presidency which shaped our view of Biden. 

In fact, an Associated Press story shows that Biden believes he can ride the Obama wave into the 2020 election. It stated, “He’s betting that the majority of Democratic voters are eager to return to the style and substance of that (Obama) era — and that they’ll view him as the best option to lead the way back.”

However, as a serious Biden presidential run approaches, students must look past Obama’s vice president and confront the realities of his actions and policies. 

Specifically, Biden’s history regarding race is far from progressive. In the early 1970s, Biden denounced the need for busing in the North, which would have desegregated schools, a stance he stood by in his memoir published in 2007. Biden also played a large role in criminal justice reform that disproportionately harmed people of color in the U.S.

In relation to women in the U.S., Biden’s singular transformative policy was the Violence Against Women Act. However, there have been far more actions that would demonstrate that Biden does not truly understand its purpose. 

Infamously, during Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing, Anita Hill came forward with harassment claims against Thomas. Although there were two other women who could corroborate Hill’s claims, Biden did not intervene as chair of the Judiciary Committee to allow their testimonies. Thus, Hill had to testify alone, which led to Thomas being confirmed to the court. 

As of April 5, 2019, there have been seven official allegations against Biden for various inappropriate interactions. On April 3, 2019, Biden posted an informal video on Twitter that acknowledged that times were changing. Although, there was no mention once about how Biden understood his actions were inappropriate or any mention of the word "sorry."

Many have been comparing the lack of an apology to Anita Hill to the lack of apology to the women who have made allegations against Biden. 

Gina Woodall, a lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies, mentioned the lack of impact Biden's actions will have on his popularity and possible presidential run. 

“He was wrong back then, and the message is off this time too," she said. "I think (Biden’s response) was off the mark both times."

Even though he provided an inadequate response, Woodall explained that there may not be long-term repercussions.

“We have President Trump as president and the allegations against him and actual data about things that he has done and said about women," Woodall said. "When you compare it to what Joe Biden has done and many women in positions of power within the party, party activists that have said, ‘that is how he is, he’s going to have that inappropriate style with men and women, he’s just a very tactile person.’ I think that it will kind of blow over.”

This may explain why political polls still have Biden in the lead. Following the allegations and the non-apology, a poll conducted by the Morning Consult found, “He is 9 points ahead of the next closest contender: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), at 23 percent.” 

Biden’s handling of the most recent allegations against him as well as voters' complacency to its impact demonstrates a terrible truth of the state of American politics. 

Saying, "that is just how he is" is not good enough. Biden must take steps to ensure that he changes the way he interacts with voters, women and children. 

By not acknowledging the importance of his actions or words, Biden demonstrates a fundamental disconnect with the women who have stepped forward against him. This shows that he will hide behind Obama’s legacy, one monumental policy and his establishment roots rather than incite actual change and progress.

As youth, it is our responsibility to ensure that those elected are responsive to the times rather than just citing progressiveness to attract voters. 

Reach the columnist at alshah2@asu.edu or follow @aasheeni on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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