Is Joe Biden the ‘Lesser of two Evils?’
In all honesty, this question keeps me up at night — sometimes; I have a lot of other things to think about, after all. But the thought; the possibility; the potential of two sexual predators running against one another for the White House should send a shudder down the spines of a collective America.
Its not just about whether we believe him, her, or none of the above. This dilemma comes down to precedent. I am a believer in merit, but not the kind the president speaks of in 2020. I have and will continue to vote for the candidate I believe to be best suited for the role up and down the ballot regardless of my personal feelings for him or her or party alignment.
For example, I have become a strong believer in the overall message radiated from the Obama White House, but given the opportunity back in 2008, I would have voted for his opponent without hesitation. Similarly, I did not place great faith in the Clinton agenda, but for me, the choice required barely an ounce of consideration — one candidate was capable of presidential leadership, the winner has shown his lack of it in the three years since.
For this reason, when the ballots arrive and its time to cast my vote, it shouldn’t be difficult for me to choose. Admittedly, I have already chosen. But it really isn’t that simple anymore. It doesn’t matter whether I believe Tara Reade or not, and I truly don’t know what to think of the allegations she has made. The media circus that this saga has become proves two things: Journalists have bungled the story in an effort to continue crafting an expanding web of narrative and speculation (as long as it sells, right?). And the future of “believing women” is under attack.
The state of our nation has diminished significantly. We are made to choose between a man who moves on women “like a bitch,” and one that we are afraid to fully investigate for fear of the potential bombshell that our system has produced two aging predators to represent the America’s vision moving into this new decade.
Developments in this story suggest that Reade may be fabricating this encounter. For what reason remains unclear, but we should steadfastly refuse to reject her complaint outright without an impartial and complete accounting of this allegation. It is deeply troubling if she is telling the truth, and politically cataclysmic for the entire system if she is lying. Either way, we must know.
The realization goes deeper though. Biden has been tainted by the ludicrous allegations that nepotism enriched his son, leveled by probably the most crooked nepotist to ever walk the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
We may never know if he committed this heinous act. It is certainly best politically for Donald Trump if this remains a mystery through voting season. If we find Biden guilty, he becomes a quantity alongside the depravity of our current chief; if he is innocent he immediately rises above it in the eyes of most Americans.
Deeper Ripples Through Social Normalcy
The weight dangles over us as voters and as a nation hurtling toward a monumental decision. The question mark hanging over Joe Biden is one that afflicts our entire society beyond the metrics of a vote. It cannot be causally tossed aside as another political spectacle in which voters have to select from a bad bunch.
This is one that threatens to discard the concerns, feelings, and even safety of women all across the country. If we are to select from among two men who are innocent — as they both claim — then we are tarnished by political theatre that threatens to make unsubstantiated claims and false muckraking the new norm.
A shift in decorum this fundamental opens the door for continued and expanded election interference by world powers everywhere. The proven capacity for political question marks to derail a campaign and assist their competitor, ultimately prevailing in the electoral college, is a despatialized phenomenon. This sort of assault can come from within the United States just as easily as without. The integrity of American elections was tested in 2016, it might be shattered this year if we aren’t careful.
But if both men are the predators their victims claim them to be, we are entering into a cruel new world where sexual violence and dismissal are to be celebrated; end of story.
If we make violence and dismissal the new norm then we eradicate a century of progress in the form of women’s rights. By dismissing the validity of a valid complaint in the name of political expediency we suggest that powerful men are incapable of sexual assault. Rape, assault, exposure, unwanted advances: these are all the actions of powerless men, of poor men.
“And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
— Donald Trump (in the locker room), 2005
This type of attitude should deeply disturb us all.