North Texas Daily

Democrats should be paying more attention to rape allegations against Biden

Democrats should be paying more attention to rape allegations against Biden

Democrats should be paying more attention to rape allegations against Biden
April 12
12:00 2020

Earlier this month, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign, virtually securing Joe Biden the Democratic nomination. Two weeks before that, former Biden aide Tara Reade levelled a rape allegation against her one-time employer. She is one of eight women to have accused Joe Biden of sexual misconduct. So how does the party that prides itself on championing women’s rights come to terms with the possibility that their only candidate might be a sexual predator?

Apparently, it doesn’t. Media coverage on this topic has consisted primarily of think-pieces spotlighting the lack of media coverage on this topic, and this is hardly the first time Democrats have turned a blind eye to allegations made against party representatives. More attention was directed toward Bill Clinton’s consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky than the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct levelled against him, at least one of which recalls an instance of actual rape. Admittedly, the Democratic Party’s history of discounting assault allegations is less extensive than those of the Republican Party, which appears to have something of an unofficial policy on not believing survivors. Democrats were right to condemn opponents for mindlessly defending Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and Roy Moore, but to do so while deliberately overlooking allegations made against Democratic representatives is indisputably hypocritical.

It would be one thing if Democrats had been willing to consider Sanders as a viable alternative to Biden prior to the suspension of his campaign, but the party has been so preoccupied with trying to appease conservatives and centrists that it has inadvertently jettisoned its own ideals in favor of those it claims to oppose. Sanders encompasses Democratic ideology to a revolutionary degree, while the mere act of endorsing Biden is reminiscent of Republican policies on assault allegations. Despite this, Democratic representatives both failed to address the accusations made against Biden and proceeded to endorse him before Sanders had even dropped out. Democrats are so worried about alienating centrists they are neglecting to account for those who rely on the party to represent their interests.

Is this all just a moot point now that Sanders has, in fact, suspended his campaign? Not necessarily. Sanders is still on the ballot in states that have yet to cast their vote for the Democratic nominee, but barring an upset in Biden’s popularity with more moderate Democrats, Democratic voters will be forced to confront their own moral quandaries in November. Is it morally reprehensible to vote for Biden, considering the disheartening precedent his victory might set for assault victims who thought they could rely on Democrats for support? Or is it irresponsible and short-sighted to risk the re-election of a man who has become renowned for his own sordid history of harassment and general deplorability? Either way, ignoring assault allegations altogether should not be upheld as a happy medium. The Democratic party needs to revisit its reason for being, or it will continue to confuse compromise and capitulation, and women, LGBTQ people and people of color will continue to go largely underrepresented within the political sphere.

Featured Illustration: Ryan Gossett

About Author

Rachel Card

Rachel Card

I am a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in sociology. I was born in Austin, Texas, and currently live in Denton with my roommate and starter cat, Gen.

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