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Uncle Joe and the Violence of the Liberal Middle

by Lukas Hermsmeier Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 at 11:26 AM

To many, Joe Biden represents the feelings of normality and reconciliation. Many Americans seem to like this mix of nostalgia and belief in progress, a kind of tranquilizer-patriotism. Whoever listens to Biden will hear vague promises, conjurations and Obama anecdotes


Primary elections in the US

By Lukas Hermsmeier, New York

The Democrats seek a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Unfortunately, many say Joe Biden will be nominated. The presidential candidate stands between arrogance, presumption, and ignorance.

On the left and right, there are only radicals and spoilsports. For instance, Bernie Sanders is a socialist with a croaking voice. Why is he so furious? Or Elizabeth Warren, the pedantic ex-professor who has a damn "plan" for every damn problem. All the other candidates are younger and energetic and only lack experience. The country needs stability, reason and peace, a politician like "Uncle Joe."

In the middle of September 2019, he and the other top candidates took the stage for the first time at the third Democratic televised debate in Houston, Texas…

Criticism is undesired

This is Biden's third run. He failed with his candidacy in 1988 and 2008. As compensation, Barack Obama in 2009 made him vice-president which Biden uses to present himself in public as a kind of Feel-good-moderator of the country… From Biden's perspective, he has had an "unfinished career." Whoever has read the bestseller "The Unwinding" by the stellar journalist George Packer knows how landing in the White House has long been part of Biden's career plan. The decades-long wait could now be over.

Sometimes Biden gives the impression the whole process is only annoying to him: the primaries, the criticism from his party, the media that constantly sends only their youngest reporters to events and millennials who desire "someone cooler" as a Biden confidant told the "Politico" magazine…

Biden laughed when Lindsey Davis, moderator of the ABC broadcast station at the Houston debate a few weeks before, said the educational system discriminates against black students. The smug laugh showed his uneasiness with this uncomfortable theme. How could he support racism, he Obama's friend and helper, he Uncle Joe?

Nothing substantial or insightful occurred to Biden with the following question about today's responsibility for the inheritance of slavery. Instead he gave a few educational tips to all African-American parents: the descendants of the slaves should grapple with the inheritance of slavery.

Biden supported the Iraq War

Biden constantly makes statements like these, somewhere between arrogance and ignorance. It is his good fortune that the person occupying the White House is such a striking example of failure and abuse of power. "Biden often makes promises and twists the facts but Trump's lies are unparalleled," the Atlantic magazine declared a few weeks ago. Recently, Trump was reproached for trying to discredit Biden by getting the Ukrainian president Wolodymyr Selensky to investigate the business dealings of Biden's son Hunter in Ukraine. Now an impeachment procedure threatens the president.

Joe Biden is a phenomenon. The man has had many political scandals. He once was a cheerleader for the Iraq War and is suspected of entanglements with the credit-card industry. He is accused of sexual molestation and in 2019 doesn't seem able to communicate with young women without rating their appearance. Whoever wants to know more only needs to search for "Creepy Joe" on Google. Biden speaks of the "battle for the soul of the nation" while always emphasizing "equal opportunities." However, nothing suggests Biden as president would fight resolutely for structures that could increase equal opportunities.

Biden rejects "Medicare for All," the state health insurance for all US citizens urged for years by Bernie Sanders because it would replace Obamacare. Bidencare is a system that would leave nearly thirty million citizens uninsured. He does not back a Green New Deal as demanded by the leftist House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Instead, he published his climate plan that is characterized by vagueness. For Biden, other proposals like complete debt relief for students or free tuition at universities go too far. His program is a collage of compromises, a single-great Yein ("No-Yes"). So Biden embodies that politics that made Trump possible!

Biden has the best chances of running against Trump in 2020 as the Democratic candidate – despite his programmatic vagueness, despite all the phrases used to cover up his lack of vision, despite his regular lapses and despite the absence of a grassroots movement like the movement behind Sanders. This may confirm his ability to manipulate the feelings of many voters.

The first feeling that Biden represents is the feeling of normality. While Sanders and Warren see trump's election as a symptom, Biden sees the US president as an "anomaly" and a swindle of American values. Biden offers the country a trip back to the fall of 2016 when everything was still good. Many Americans seem to like this mix of nostalgia and belief in progress, a kind of tranquilizer-patriotism.

The second feeling used by Joe Biden is reconciliation. Biden likes to proclaim "America is an idea." The 2020 election will focus on uniting the country and closing the trenches, not on his person or political themes. Biden is proud of his reputation as a statesman who champions bipartisan politics for which he was honored with the "Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership" in 2017.

From the middle to the abyss

"Electability" is the word of the hour. Biden's followers and some experts say Biden is electable, unlike Sanders and Warren. This may be the only compromise on which enough voters could unite to prevent Trump's second term in office. But Biden is only doing what Hillary Clinton tried unsuccessfully to do: position himself between leftist Democrats and right-wing Republicans in the supposedly battered middle where everyone afraid of his or her privileges being endangered will stand at the end. This is a great number of people.

A glance at Biden's congressional history shows what this politics of the middle looks like whose normality should be restored and how partisan is this form of bipartisanship. Until now, the ex-Senator from Delaware has defended the "Crime Bill" that he co-authored, a law that the former president Bill Clinton signed in 1994 and led to hundreds of thousands landing in jail for trivial offenses, above all people of color. Up to now, Biden is accepting donations from Wall Street. Still today, women cannot be sure Uncle Joe will allow them to decide over their bodies. Biden is the best example of how much violence can emanate from the liberal middle.

The other candidates "indoctrinate" the people with ideas and To-Do-lists while Biden takes time to listen. Again and again, one hears the argument that Biden is a good listener. Conversely, whoever listens to Biden will hear vague phrases, conjurations, and Obama anecdotes. Good old times are the only tranquilizer for the country.

[Translator Marc's note: The US is a "slow" country that refuses to learn or credit O Canada for its achievements in health care, transportation, community centers, and interdependence. Visit Vancouver with its Canadian spirit, its computer-operated Sky Train and its 3-building Refugee Welcoming Center! Imagine a country without Wall Street and the Pentagon! As journalist Harald Meyerson (American Prospect) and Bernie Sanders have warned, if we don’t fight for big change, we won’t even get incremental change!]]


Biden Fact Check,, Sept 12, 2019

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