The Democrat’s dilemma with Joe Biden

Megan Krok, Copy Editor

After Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Mike Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, Democrats seemed that they had no choice but for Joe Biden to become their party’s presidential nominee. But with Biden’s questionable past that does not necessarily follow liberal views, left-siders have a tough decision to face this fall.

In a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post-ABC News, it was found that 53% of registered voters who support Donald Trump are “very enthusiastic” about their support, and only 32% of the voters said they were “somewhat enthusiastic”. Meanwhile, only 24% of voters who plan on supporting Joe Biden were very enthusiastic, while the majority 49% were somewhat enthusiastic.

Many factors play into these low-ratings for Biden. First, is the former vice president’s questionable past. Allegations towards Biden and his inappropriate behavior towards women surfaced back in April of 2019 with former Senate aide Tara Reade. She claimed that Biden touched her inappropriately and again made these allegations this past March, making it clear that Biden had sexually assaulted her. Since Reade’s allegations, seven more women have come forward to make claims against Biden, however they have not stated that his behavior led to sexual assault or harassment. 

The most frustrating thing with these allegations is that Biden has yet to make explicit apologies for any of them. He would instead go on to say that he was not sorry for his intentions in these situations. Naturally, this is worrying and aggravating for women who do not want to necessarily support him but want to vote democrat in the general election.

On top of this, many people are noting that Biden spoke out against busing and racial integration back in the 1970s. He claimed that non-”orderly” racial integration policies would cause his kids to grow up in a “racial jungle” stating, “Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.” These statements were from a 1977 congressional hearing focused on anti-busing legislation. Within this hearing Biden also made statements against integration not just in schools, but in all parts of society, wanting to “ensure we do have orderly integration of society.”

Even though these statements were made over forty years ago, it is frightening to think that this man could be representing a political party filled with people of color. Modern Democrats are driven to advocate for racial equality. Whether this be through movements such as Black Lives Matter or DACA, most liberals want to support and help minorities thrive in society. How can the United States be progressive in that realm with a president that once advocated for a segregated society?

Many Democrats are truly worried about Biden representing their party in the upcoming election as he seems to be everything they don’t support. Founder and chairwoman of the Plainfield High School Democrats Delaney O’Sullivan also have her reservations towards supporting the former vice president. “I find it hard to support Biden because he’s exactly what the Democrats didn’t want, an older white male. He’s a moderate which might resonate with some, but many democrats want change and he does not cater to a progressive agenda.”

With Biden’s past towards women, people of color, LGBTQ+, etc., democrats, and even undecided voters have a major dilemma on their shoulders. Many want a change from the current leadership in this country, but now that Biden will likely have the democratic nomination for the upcoming election, the progressiveness the democrats have been fighting for may be not as likely as they had hoped.