It’s Not Too Late to Dump Joe Biden

Joe Biden got here by being the safe candidate. Sexual assault allegations may eliminate his only asset.

Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. After his victory in South Carolina, the party establishment coalesced around Biden and once-promising candidates began dropping like flies. Barack Obama was pulling strings behind the scenes to make everything come together; he even convinced Bernie Sanders to drop out and endorse Biden.

Joe Biden was never a strong candidate. His policies, unlike those of progressive candidates, are not popular. 70% of Americans support Medicare for All, and Joe Biden does not. 74% of voters support a wealth tax. Joe Biden does not. 58% want to make college tuition-free and cancel all student loan debt, and Joe Biden does not. More Americans support a ban on fracking than are against it (46% to 33%). Joe Biden doesn’t think a ban on fracking is “realistic.” Joe Biden does, however, support a Green New Deal; 63% of Americans agree with him on that

67% of the country supports marijuana legalization (which Joe Biden is against). When it comes to decriminalizing crossing the border, 48% support and 32% are opposed. Joe Biden wants to make sure it remains a crime to cross the border, and thinks those that cross illegally should be sent back to where they came from. 55% of Americans are in favor of a $15 minimum wage, and only 14% believe the minimum wage should be kept at $7.25. Joe Biden is in favor of a $15 per hour minimum wage.

All of the above policies have the support of a majority of all Americans, not just Democrats. Out of those eight popular progressive policies, Biden only supports a $15 minimum wage and the Green New Deal. 

Obviously Joe Biden wasn’t nominated because of his great ideas. He captured the nomination because he was the safe candidate. The best thing he had going for him was the fact that he wasn’t Trump, and Biden has consistently been ahead of Trump in polls. Biden’s argument was largely one of electability, which, when combined with interference in the primary by party leadership, was enough to make him the presumptive nominee.

Joe Biden is no longer the safe candidate. He’s looking more and more like the man he promised to save us from, Donald Trump, every day. Biden has a credible and very disturbing sexual assault allegation against him from a former staffer, Tara Reade. He and his surrogates, including several women vying for the VP spot, have falsely claimed that The New York Times cleared Biden of any wrongdoing. After several days of the Biden campaign misusing and misrepresenting their story, The New York Times was forced to clarify that they had not, in fact, cleared Biden.

Recent polling done by The Huffington Post and YouGov does not look good for Biden. Only 28% of voters think Joe Biden was the Democrats’ best option for a nominee. This is compared to 38% of voters who thought Trump was the Republicans’ best option in 2016.

35% of voters think Biden respects women, compared to 32% that think Trump does. Luckily for Biden, only 16% of voters have heard a lot about his sexual assault allegations, compared to 45% of voters who have heard a lot about the allegations against Trump. 29% of voters think the allegations against Biden disqualify him from the presidency, and 19% aren’t sure.

In the coming months, we are likely going to hear more and more about Biden’s interactions with Tara Reade and the other inappropriate interactions he’s had with different women. If Democrats portray the allegations made by Tara Reade as anything other than a credible, disturbing allegation of sexual assault, they will look like hypocrites (and some already do). All victims of sexual assault deserve to be heard, and the allegations against Biden are no less credible than allegations made by other women against Donald Trump.

I recognize that the allegations against Biden may be false. It is estimated that around 2% to 6% of sexual assault allegations may be false, and an even smaller percentage are made maliciously. The risk of sexual assault never being reported, however, is far greater. More than 75% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police, and less than 1% of rapists end up incarcerated. I consider this a far greater injustice than the small amount of alleged sexual assaults that turn out to be untrue.

Tara Reade did not file a police report until April of this year. Sexual assault victims who do not report crimes against them to the police may do so for various reasons; the most common include a fear of retaliation or believing the police would not do anything to help, both of which would likely apply to Tara Reade.

Reade is not the only woman to speak out about inappropriate behavior by Biden. To date, eight different women have spoken out against inappropriate interactions with Biden, and Tara Reade’s allegations are the most serious against him.

It is not too late for Democrats to dump Joe Biden, nor is it too late for Joe Biden to exit the race. Choosing a candidate with more progressive views, such as Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, would probably be wise, although any candidate not accused of sexual assault will do. There are plenty of younger, moderate Democrats that could step in to fill Biden’s shoes. There are progressive Democrats that could take the reins and lead the party into a new era. 

The election is still six months away. Excluding the sexual assault allegation, the policy weaknesses of Biden are enough to swing the election in Trump’s favor. Biden’s stances on the issues are largely outdated and unpopular. He got here by being the “safe” candidate, but that description clearly no longer fits. If Democrats truly believe that Trump is as big of a danger to democracy and the future of this country as they say, they must do everything in their power to ensure he doesn’t win, which means nominating a candidate other than Joe Biden.

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