Friday, 28 August 2020

US 2020: Alleged Rapist or Alleged Rapist - What a Choice!

The US 2020 election offers two painful choices - Trump or Biden. The parallels between the men are alarming. Both have faced rape and sexual assault allegations. Both have provably behaved horribly around women. Both are advancing in years and declining in cognitive ability. And both have a track record of racism and corporatism. 

Biden fans love to call themselves "the resistance", but what exactly are they resisting? Their man is guilty of everything they hate about Trump and even said he'd consider a Republican running mate!

Let's take a closer look at The Democrat saviour:

Biden fans still go gooey-eyed as they reminisce about the "good ol' days" under Barack Obama and no doubt see Biden as the continuity candidate. Indeed, they probably assume they can overlook Biden's declining mental faculties on the assumption Obama will be running things behind the scenes. Biden, of course, was Obama's vice president and this can only be a good thing, right?

Okay, so as vice president, Joe Biden was gaffe-prone, but he could be a slick and confident talker. Ten years ago, he certainly had his qualities, but today it's a very different matter. The man can't get his words out and even gets the names of his own family members wrong. He is 78 years old and appears to be showing signs of dementia. That's hardly a good start, is it? And then there is the completely fabricated lies...

Last year, Biden made up a story about him visiting the Konar Province in Afghanistan at the request of a four star general. He claims to have awarded a Silver Star to a captain who tried to refuse the honour, saying he felt like a failure. The Washington Post exposed that almost every detail of the story was false and Biden later defended himself on TV by suggesting the details didn't matter. 

As well as pathological lies, Biden has also been guilty of racially insensitive gaffes, saying "Poor kids are just as talented as white kids" and “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” These are not the type of gaffes you can put down to a stammer. They stem from the thought process of a man who hung around with white supremacists in his younger days.

Biden unwittingly exposed the cynical half of the #MeToo brigade who overlooked the credible accusations made by Tara Reade and disgracefully vilified a fellow survivor. It would seem Biden's celebrity supporters like Alyssa Milano will cynically exploit the victims of rape for political gain. They certainly show an alarming double-standard. It would seem you can only be #MeToo if you are centrist blue.

Imagine a racist who wants to represent the black community and a rapist who wants to represent rape victims. Such a man could only appeal to the desperate or hypocritical - and Biden will certainly exploit desperation and hypocrisy.

Biden and Obama are guilty of so many of the things the left hate about Republicans: they dropped more bombs than George Bush jr., they built ICE detainment centres and locked kids in cages, they deported human beings en masse, and they offered little to ordinary Americans. Their economic policies were corporatist, and while highly effective in terms of their intended outcomes, they largely ignored the working class. 

Biden and Obama had great opportunities in 2008 when they controlled the house and senate. They could have pushed through meaningful police reform, gun controls and universal healthcare. They could have stopped dropping bombs and ended prisons for profit. They could have done so much more to address poverty and inequality and create a system that works for the many. But they ignored obvious problems and now seem oblivious that their slide to the right made Trump possible. They allowed a situation where the left wasn't even in the Overton window, and when you do that, you make fascism a viable option to those who are disaffected and looking for something, anything better.

Some blue wave centrists still seem convinced the rot at the heart of America is the Republican Party as though the Democrats are not owned by the same corporate donors and vote the same way as Republicans on so many key issues. A study showed Republicans vote in favour of corporations over the people 100% of the time. Democrats only do so 97% of the time. Hardly a party of the people, is it? 

The one saving grace of the Democrats is the handful of bright young socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, but they are marginalised, vilified and even smeared as antisemites by their own party. This will sound eerily familiar to the left in Britain. There is much talk of pushing the Democrats left, but truth be told, they have no desire to be pushed left. They are conservatives.

The Democrats only gave AOC 60 seconds to speak at the Democrat Convention and they have failed to offer a single meaningful policy. Their message is "Vote for us to stop Trump". They are doubling down on the Hillary approach that failed so spectacularly in 2016. They're an optics party who hope to get away with lack of meaningful action and empty platitudes. They will say Black Lives Matter and take a knee, but will they take on corrupt police departments? Doubtful. 

Voter shaming is their key strategy and if they lose, they will blame the left like they did when Hillary Clinton lost. Somebody needs to tell them it's their job to win votes, and the left vote on policy, not platitudes. "Yes we can!" isn't going to work again, any time soon, certainly not without the charisma of an Obama and the ill-founded hope brought by America's first black President.

The Democrats' target audience is not the left, unfortunately, it's the centre-right. They assume they can take the left vote for granted because they have nowhere else to turn. They probably won't offer a single policy concession to the left, not even the desperately-needed Green New Deal, and when they lose, they will blame the left again.  So many readers from the UK must be wincing right now. They are witnessing the same in Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Corporatism is a disease which has infected both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the political spectrum.

I'm a big believer that you vote for the party over the person, for policies over public image, and I agree Trump needs to go, but surely voters must draw a line at some point - and that line must surely come at Joe Biden - a man who is barely distinguishable from the repugnant President Trump. How could anyone sleep at night knowing they voted for Trump's blue equivalent, especially after a seemingly rigged primary?

Biden has praised white supremacists, been credibly accused of rape, filmed sniffing hair, kissing heads and generally making women uncomfortable. When speaking to the public, he often shows a bullying, aggressive side to the most reasonable of questions. He said he has no sympathy whatsoever with students struggling with debt and told his corporate donors (who are mostly Republican donors) that nothing will fundamentally change. That is the most honest statement he's made in years.

If Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, America will see sadly little or no difference. They will still have a senile rapist corporatist who locks up children, allows the police to murder with impunity, oversees the world's largest prison population, let's people die from lack of healthcare, denies higher education to the poor, and allows corporations to endlessly fleece the public. They'll probably find an excuse to bomb some country too. Iran and Venezuela better watch out.

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