This year’s presidential election is going to be between President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and many have been left scratching their heads, wondering how this could have happened.
But, for many women voters, there could be no two worse candidates. Both men have sexual assault allegations against them. Trump has a laundry list of women alleging misconduct, and Tara Reade, a former aide for Biden, alleges that he penetrated her with his fingers in 1993.
In the post-#MeToo age, it is really a disappointment that our two presidential candidates have allegations against them, especially considering, when examining the Democratic primary, the amount of candidates with comparatively squeaky clean records.
It is not only upsetting that our candidates do have these allegations against them, but also that the public decided to vote for them regardless, showing that as a society, we still have a long way to go when it comes to taking sexual assault seriously.
I remember following the 2016 presidential election very closely. I kept up with news, polls and everything else that corresponds with an election, and I was not so convinced that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win as sweepingly as many national polls projected. I was on the fence about the whole thing.
Then the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released, on which can be heard then-candidate Trump bragging to host Billy Bush about “grab (women) by the p*ssy.”
Being a man without the anatomy that Trump so enjoyed grabbing, and trying to objectively watch the election and analyze the impacts of each and every news story, I did not really grasp the human implications of the vile behavior Trump was caught bragging about. I simply thought that it would sink his campaign, Clinton would take the White House and it would be considered a historical turning point in the 2016 election.
Of course, we now know that was not what happened. Trump went on to apologize for the comments, and the apology actually appeared genuine for the first sentence-and-a-half, which is pretty remarkable for him.
“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them,” Trump said in response.
But Trump lost his veneer of genuineness when he mentioned the fact that the recording was more than a decade old. That line somehow tries to dismiss his behavior merely because it happened a while ago. Maybe it would be different if Trump was 12 or 15 years old when he said those words, and then the decade had passed and he grew up, but that is not the truth. Trump was 59 at the time.
Naturally, and rightfully, the media hopped down his throat about it, and his apology, and his further apology that further dismissed the problem as “locker-room talk.”
The issue with Biden’s claim is that the former Vice President is a neoliberal, the breed of politician that most acceptable mainstream sources love. The New York Times, The Washington Post and similar outlets all clamor for their Democratic establishment figures. See how they treated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign for an example of how they act when somebody messes with their mundane status quo.
So the media will not hold Biden accountable for his actions at any point throughout this election, I can guarantee you that. The New York Times has already gone as far as to “investigate” Reade’s claim against Biden — and promptly dismiss it like the hacks they are.
“No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by (Biden),” The New York Times said, outlined in the previously cited article.
And that is where my concern comes in. All candidates, regardless of party, need to be held accountable for their misconduct. If the Democratic Party truly wants to portray itself as champions of women, it would replace Biden as its candidate.
But that change also stems from voters. Do your due diligence and vote for candidates that uphold your personal ethical standards.
Jake McGowan is the Opinions editor for The Daily Targum.
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