Sitting on my nightstand is a copy of the novel “Hope Never Dies – An Obama Biden Mystery.” I want to pick it up and continue to read it. I want to laugh at the humor of presenting former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as a “bro.”
But I can’t.
After allegations of Biden’s excessive touching of women and the discomfort it brings them, he has shown himself to be just another man who uses a position of power to support sexist tropes that have been around since the start of civilization.
As his interactions with women have taken the spotlight, so has his past. Old policies on criminal justice, racist remarks and plenty of other inappropriate statements that make him a public relations nightmare have surfaced.
We have a Biden problem.
In regards to the recent #MeToo era, you would think that we would hold someone like this accountable as we have with people in Hollywood. You would think that Old Joe would pull his campaign to be the Democratic nomination for president. You would think that the media would hold him to the same standard as other politicians and celebrities.
But somehow, we have managed to throw his accusers under the bus. Somehow, his perceived “bro” personality has allowed him to capture the hearts of voters everywhere. Somehow, a fond memory of the Old Joe memes, his relationship with former President Barack Obama and his seemingly carefree attitude has earned him a free pass.
And if you think that these issues are in the past, keep in mind that his excessive and inappropriate touching and remarks have gone unpunished up to this point because of his position of power. I highly doubt that giving more authority will alleviate his issues.
While the #MeToo movement is about women finally being heard and believed, it is also a promise that men will hold each other accountable for the negative effects of toxic masculinity. However, by choosing to ignore Biden’s past, all of that gets thrown out.
That’s really what the Biden problem has shown: accountability goes out the door when it’s someone who is well liked. What happened to eradicating these men that have polluted the political climate with their toxic masculinity?
It doesn’t matter what party you align with or what policy you think is best for the country. We have to hold everyone to the same standard.
If you love Joe because of his policy – or perceived policy – you should do research on his never-ending past of creating discomfort and take a look at some more suitable candidates. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor of South Bend Indiana Pete Buttigieg are all nomination hopefuls with truly progressive policy without any known baggage to go with it.
What’s most important is remembering why movements such as #MeToo had to come forward: men have gotten away with abuse through positions of power for nearly all of human history. Old Joe has proven himself to be a part of the toxically masculine power structure that has plagued our society and it’s time to hold him accountable to the same standard as the men targeted by the #MeToo movement.