And the neoliberal establishment will do anything to convince you otherwise
After Bernie Sanders’ disappointing Super Tuesday performance, it seems that Joe Biden has been the “unofficial official” Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election. And this progression of events has deeply disturbed me as someone who has closely followed the values that Joe Biden has stood for throughout his career.
And if you choose not to read any further than this, let me tell you, his record is deeply unimpressive if you’re looking for a candidate with a shred of compassion for the common man.
Who could forget the man who was enthusiastically supportive of the 2005 Republican-led bill that stripped private student loans of bankruptcy protections? Who could forget that his enthusiastic support came as a result of hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from credit card companies?
Who could forget the actions of the man who presided over the shameful debacle that was the Senate confirmation hearings in which Anita Hill spoke of the sexual harassment she endured at the hands of Clarence Thomas? Who can deny that this man’s recent “apology” to Anita Hill in the eleventh hour (many decades too late) is nothing more than damage control for a man who now realizes his shameful conduct could hinder his path to office?
Who could forget the words of the man who said Roe v. Wade went “too far” and that he didn’t “think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body?”
Who could forget the beliefs of a man that opposed busing and desegregation in schools for more than four decades? Who can stand in support of a man who views his compatibility with segregationists as a benefit and school integration as a detriment?
“Their blood is on your hands as well. You are disqualified, sir. You are disqualified.”
Who could forget the destruction caused by the Iraq War, and the avid support offered by the then chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, Joe Biden? Who can forget the deception behind falsely convincing the American public that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in order to garner support for a war that would go on to kill numerous Americans and Iraqis? Who could forget the words of Air Force veteran Michael Thurman when he recently confronted Biden at a diner in Oakland, California with the chilling but accurate sentiment: “You enabled that war. And you also gave a medal to the man who enabled that war and caused that war. Their blood is on your hands as well. You are disqualified, sir. You are disqualified.”
And if Biden’s checkered past wasn’t enough, his current state and scandals might be the most unnerving factor of all. The internet was abuzz with theories on Joe Biden’s whereabouts after he had seemingly fallen off the face of the earth in the midst of one of the biggest public health crises in the past century: the novel coronavirus pandemic. This was obviously a strange and tactless absence for a man maneuvering to become the leader of the free world.
“Probably best I don’t.”
And what the public received as consolation (or perhaps proof that he was still, indeed, alive) was an incoherent man struggling to collect his thoughts off cue cards while slurring his words in a prerecorded YouTube live stream. And as if one demonstration of his cognitive decline in one week wasn’t enough, Nicole Wallace’s unnerving interview of Joe Biden takes the cake. Wallace grins ear to ear in a failing attempt to convince the public that nothing is amiss while Joe Biden completely loses a simple train of thought and gives up mid-sentence, telling us what we all hope he realizes about continuing his presidential campaign: “Probably best I don’t.”
And just yesterday, amidst this deplorable performance in his attempt to establish some semblance of competency, Alexandra Tara Reade, a former staff assistant for Joe Biden, has revealed specific details of the sexual assault she endured at his hands in 1993. She is one of eight women who has alleged that Joe Biden has engaged in inappropriate physical contact with them. Lucy Flores. Amy Lappos. D.J. Hill. Caitlyn Caruso. Ally Coll. Sofie Karasek. Vail Kohnert-Yount. Alexandra Tara Reade. Remember their names.
For many supporters of Joe Biden, he represents a return to “normalcy,” to a time before Trump took office. But I think it’s important to remind ourselves that the normalcy we had before 2016 was a country hurtling towards the late stages of capitalism characterized by worsening inequality and an inability of the working class to lead dignified lives. Biden has promised that “nothing will fundamentally change” a chilling promise when our nation is at the precipice, staring into a chasm of literal existential crises.