Biden is imperfect in a large Democratic pool

Illustration by Raya Deussen

Former Vice President Joe Biden certainly has a list of titles to prove that he is more than capable of becoming the next president of the United States. Most notably, he was the 47th vice president during President Obama’s tenure and a senator from Delaware between 1973 and 2009. These past experiences have put him at the forefront of the Democratic primary election. By all means, Joe Biden would be a good president, and certainly better than Donald Trump. Frankly, so would I. Practically anyone could do a better job than the sitting president. But the voters should not hope for a candidate that would simply outperform the current administration. This would only set low standards for the upcoming election. 

Indeed, thanks to the current administration, most voters simply want a reputable politician who will return the U.S. back to its pre-Trump ways. But the thing is, to so many this country was never a safe haven. Trump’s values, or lack thereof, were victorious in 2016 because these kinds of sentiments have always existed in the U.S. in one shape or another. There have always been those who suffer greatly while a selected few reap the benefits of the whole system. The fact is that the system is broken. Racism, homophobia and xenophobia are emboldened by various laws pushed for by the politicians who want to lead this country and are in positions of power.

Biden is one of those politicians. He is one of those leaders who wants power and tweaks their views based on the current political climate. He is not alone; many other politicians do the same thing, but this needs to change. The country needs a commander in chief who actually holds the interests of all U.S. citizens in mind. 

Many have told me that I have no right commenting on American politics since I am not an American citizen and do not have a right to vote. First, consider that, as the longstanding global hegemon, the U.S. has a huge impact on the state of global affairs, and whatever kind of foreign policy D.C. promotes will affect people across the world. I am not telling you who to vote for or who I would vote for if I had the opportunity. I am simply presenting a case against Biden as a person who lives in the U.S., has American friends and has been on the receiving end of my peers’ naive advice for “easy” political solutions to problems affecting my own country.   

As the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden has the most foreign policy experience out of all the presidential candidates, but having years of experience does not mean he has always made the best decisions. Biden voted in support of the Iraq War resolution in 2004. Its financial cost was $400 billion, and the U.S. took the brunt of this financial expense. This war ended with countless lives of Iraqi civilians and American soldiers lost. Simply put, the Iraq War was a disaster for all involved. Biden supported the war even though the U.S. Army was sent into Iraq without a plan for a subsequent strengthening of the Iraqi civil society. Also, even though Biden is calling for the end of the Yemen War, he is still unwilling to call into question the U.S.’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, whose regime is exacerbating the conflict with its carpet bombing of the country. 

Not only are his foreign policy views questionable, but his record in supporting the rights of all Americans is anything but commendable. Biden has failed to show support for anti-segregationist policies like desegregated bussing. He was one of the authors of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that saw the rise of mass incarceration, which is largely a racist product because the system predominantly targets African American men. In 1986, he helped pass a federal law that treated the use of crack cocaine as a much more punishable offense than using cocaine. This law targeted African American and Latino men in disproportionate numbers to white men and led to their mass incarceration. 

Biden’s campaign also recently released a statement that it will accept donations from super PACs. Their main argument is that Donald Trump has not shied away from super PAC donations. Having a handful of wealthy companies and individuals impacting decision-making in the White House is dangerous for democracy. Such actors will be able to impact executive-level policymaking in Washington if the candidate that comes into power is funded by them. This takes away from the fundamentals of the election process — the selection of a candidate who is the best fit for all citizens rather than just for those who put money in their pocket. This shows that candidates, such as Biden, will stop at nothing to come into power and that their motives are skewed due to their abandonment of the democratic ideal that all votes should weigh equally. 

These are but a few flaws that the Biden campaign will have to account for in the upcoming election. The American people deserve someone who is fit to fight for the rights of its citizens rather than for the benefits of the select few on the top.

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