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Joe Biden is not Obama, and he’s not a good candidate

Joe Biden is not Obama, and he’s not a good candidate

Joe Biden has recently announced his candidacy for the 2020 election; he is already pulling ahead in the polls, but we as voters shouldn’t get too excited about a possible Biden candidacy. A Biden candidacy would be a major step backward for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. 

The progressive wing has been making massive strides in this election cycle. Candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders frequently make headlines with radical reform proposals and conversations about reparations, the Green New Deal, Medicare for all and student debt forgiveness taking center stage. 

It has forced Republicans into the position of defending generational bankruptcy, private insurance and denying widely accepted climate science. In other words, when we push progressive ideas, it forces Republicans into an uphill battle where all they have going for them is the ideological platform of “privatization is good.”

This ideological platform can be effective and popular – after all, PragerU has become widely popular by doing nothing but releasing propaganda that supports this platform – but when Democrats challenge it the way Warren does and back their challenge up with research, data and comprehensive plans to get their ideas done, it weakens that platform. 

Democrats are at a crossroads now where we can either embrace positive change, bring back New Deal-era policy, make strides on civil rights issues and fight for the working class, or we can elect Joe Biden. 

Joe Biden is not a progressive candidate. His voting record reflects one that supports unjust wars in the Middle East, extends the neoliberal agenda of privatization and global capitalism and supports the war on crime that disproportionately effects communities of color. Biden voted against desegregation. Biden did wrong by Anita Hill when she sought the same consequences for Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 that we saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford pursue against her abuser, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just last year. Biden even dropped out of an election in 1988 after cases of plagiarism were revealed. Forget progressive, he is not even a good candidate. 

Biden is closer to center than President Obama was, and President Obama was not a particularly progressive leader. We can’t trust Biden to ride the progressive momentum to meaningful reform that may slow the effects of climate change. We can’t count on Biden to help out a generation that is so deeply in debt that paying off loans is talked about on college campuses as a fantasy, not an eventuality. 

We can’t rely on Biden to support racial equality and the fight for a $15 minimum wage. All we can count on from Biden is more center left, “reach across the aisle” bull crap that the Democrats have been pulling since Nixon broke their control of the White House in 1969. 

We need to get back to our roots and fight for equality and the working poor, not for centrism that leaves us gridlocked and ineffective. It’s time to let the neoliberal era of the Democratic Party die and to usher in progressive changes. 

It’s time to bring back trust-busting and livable wages, to once more make efforts support the vulnerable communities in our country and maybe finally do something meaningful to combat climate change. The Overton window has been creeping right for the past 50 years, and it’s time to push back. We don’t need Biden, we need progress. 

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