The 2020 Presidential Election is far from close, yet the most anticipated aspect of this election cycle is near: the Democratic Debates. On Friday, June 14, the Democratic lineup was announced for June 26 and 27 by The New York Times, and with 20 candidates expected to take the stage one should be prepared for a war of ideas. In the years leading up to this, the progressive movement has grown exponentially and has a popular mandate behind it as many Americans support progressive ideals, as reported by CNBC. With neo-liberals, newcomers, career politicians and fan-favorite progressives gearing up to take the spotlight, the Democratic debates should not be missed. However, it is imperative that Americans, particularly the Democratic base, know which candidates have done good for the country and which candidates have done nothing but spew the same unpopular ideology that cost the Democrats the 2016 election. The most popular of the latter is former senator and vice president Joe Biden, who risks losing the 2020 election due to his controversial past and inability to win progressive voters.
Joe Biden, arguably the Democratic frontrunner, is the embodiment of everything that the Democrats should not be. Biden is a champion of mass incarceration, endless wars and corporate greed – all features that everyday Democrats should avoid. This long-standing legislator has claimed that he has “the most progressive record of anybody” in the Democratic race, as quoted by The Hill, yet is there even an ounce of truth in that statement?
Biden is the only Democrat in the race who voted for the disastrous Iraq war, which left over 4,000 American soldiers dead, and killed almost 500,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. Biden is the only Democrat in the race who has boasted about his creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which has, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, encouraged states to adopt harsh sentencing laws instead of building a fair justice system. Biden is a Democrat who voted with Bush Jr. Republicans in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which has made it difficult for the typical American family to file bankruptcy from their credit card charges. So much for standing up for the little man/woman, right Joe?
The former vice president has not learned from his past, as he continues to make statements that puzzle Americans and Democrats alike. Biden recently stated that he would love to work with Republican lawmakers in a post-Trump setting as “these folks know better,” as quoted in The Huffington Post. Really, Joe? These “folks” are the same lawmakers who left a seat on the Supreme Court vacant for a year for the sake of political gain, and the same people who stated that they wanted to make former President Obama a “one-term president,” yet Biden claims to be Obama’s “best friend.”
The facts are clear; Biden is not only out-of-touch with the Democratic base of which he desperately wants to court but with the American public. While many Americans are in favor of abortion rights, Biden has long supported the Hyde amendment (which he just denounced), a ban of federal funding for abortion. Most Americans support progressive legislation such as Medicare For All and free college tuition, but Biden supports neither. Biden is only the Democratic frontrunner as he has secured the support of the influential baby-boomer population, but has little support from young voters. If Democrats want to win 2020 and prevent another Republican term, it is clear and fundamental that Joe Biden is far from being the best or even the most progressive candidate.