We need higher standards in 2020

Staff Editorial

Although we’re still on year three of President Donald Trump’s term, everyone seems to be looking at the Democratic Party for what their next step is in the 2020 race.

And until very recently, former Vice President Joe Biden was a likely front-runner, although he has yet to announce his bid for the presidency. Biden, with his memes, ice cream cone affinity and warm, wide smile, appealed to millennials and baby boomers alike.

Recently though, accusations from women saying he has inappropriately touched them have been flooding in.

In response, Biden posted a video to his Twitter.

“Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying,” he said in the video. “Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”

Although he acknowledged his actions, he did not apologize. If “making connections” means making a person uncomfortable, Biden needs to rethink his interactions.

Our current president frequently boasts about his exploits with women and has expressed that he thinks women are inferior.

We can’t propose a candidate like Biden and forgive his actions because of his seemingly approachable, goofy exterior.

If we are going to criticize Trump for his behavior — not to say these men committed the same acts — we need to examine what Biden has done as well. We deserve a candidate who is honest, upfront and respectful of everyone.

Democrats need to find a candidate who embodies the values they claim to support. Biden can’t be a strong contender if he has invaded the privacy and personal space of multiple women.

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, women have become more vocal about their lives and the assaults and uncomfortable situations they have endured. Biden needs to recognize this movement and respect the gravity of its voices.

These women are not going away. Although the interactions he had with them may have just been politics to him, to these women, it was a defining moment, and one that clearly moved them enough to speak about it on a national level.

If Biden’s reaction to these claims tells us anything, it’s that he views it as a small inconvenience.

“I’m not sorry for anything I have ever done,” he said in an April 5 speech in reference to the accusations.

At this point, Biden has removed himself from the controversy and suggested he is above it, which you can do when you’re not the one who is feeling objectified, but the one who simply was “making connections” through unwanted touch.

Come 2020, we need a candidate without a checkered past and questionable morals — it shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

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