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Biden and leftism

BY: Elizabeth Buerkle

The 2020 U.S. election has sparked tensions between the Democratic and Republican parties, and with those tensions comes the inevitable press slandering against each other. The Trump campaign has made valiant efforts to mark the Biden campaign as a radical leftist movement, Vice President Mike Pence deeming Joe Biden a “trojan horse for a radical left.” at the Republican National Convention. However, progressives have taken issue with that claim, as they haven’t come to full agreements with the democratic ticket themselves; the “#NeverBiden” and “#BernieorBust” trends standing as examples of that. The disparity between what progressives want and what the Biden campaign offers blends together in the eyes of the republican campaign, but here are the key differences.

One of the widely discussed conflicts between progressives and Biden is his choice for Kamala Harris as his running mate; Black Lives Matter activists found the placement of a law enforcement officer on the democratic ticket near insulting considering the widespread call to minimize the role the police have in government. Furthermore, there is the less fresh and current news surrounding Biden regarding his sexual misconduct with women such as Tara Reade, who accused him of touching her inappropriately while working for his office in 1993 to a degree that constitutes legal action for sexual harassment. Her and 7 other women’s allegations stand as bright alarms to progressives who wish to stand by the #MeToo movement set forward in late 2017.

In terms of the policy, progressives who wish to remain, staunch supporters of Bernie Sanders, have even less to look fondly upon, as policy positions like Medicare for all, 4-year free college, or federally legalizing marijuana, are all opposed by Biden. He even refused to say he wouldn’t veto a softened version of Medicare for All even if it passed through congress; he has remained a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Though his recent rollout of a climate action plan essentially translates to a tamer version of the Green New Deal, he also doesn’t want to eliminate all fracking, only new fracking permits, going against the desire of environmentalists. He even wants to expand the swollen military budget and, regarding the aforementioned Black Lives Matter movement, is not in support of defunding the police. 

A lot of the shifts towards progressivism Joe Biden has made are very recent, making him fit more snugly within the “radical left” description, however, he still does not fit that marker completely whatsoever. As he stated himself, he believes “People aren’t looking for a revolution, they are looking for results.” Joe Biden is the candidate of the Democratic establishment, not the revolution. The campaign slander brought on by the Trump campaign is fear-mongering within the right, and ironically enough the crying out about Biden being horrible for the country can be seen by both the far-right and left. The real question that remains is whether Biden’s centrism will be the thing that costs the Democrats the election, or what they will accredit with their victory.


*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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