Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault by Tara Reade. Reade came forward to Krystal Ball and explained, in graphic detail, how Biden violated her.
Last year, 8 women came forward against Biden after Lucy Flores alleged that Biden inappropriately touched her and forcefully smelled her hair. Video montages, memes, and tweets have gone beyond viral, showing clips of Biden inappropriately touching women and young girls and making them noticeably uncomfortable.
Biden did apologize and promised that he would be more “mindful” about people’s personal space, though these women who have come forward feel his apology fell short of taking full responsibility.
While Biden has had a problematic policy record when it comes to some issues vital to women’s rights, such as abortion, he has quite vocal about violence against women for many years now. Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act to Congress in 1990 and in 2016 he wrote an open letter to Chanel Miller (then referred to as Emily Doe), who was the victim of notorious rapist Brock Turner.
In this strongly worded letter, Biden made it clear that he believed the victim and thanked her for her bravery coming forward. Biden even made it clear that it is vital we believe survivors when they come forward they way that she did.
I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors: I believe you. It is not your fault.
Biden now faces sexual assault allegations, and as someone who has established an extensive political career “believing women,” he has a moral obligation to step out of the race for president.
If Biden becomes the Democrats’ nominee then it will be a contest of two men who both have sexual assault allegations against them. This would not only be detrimental to women, but to the entire #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. We are in the middle of an unprecedented shift in our culture when victims are actually believed, and if Biden carries on to receive the nomination we are saying that we should only believe victims when it is convenient for our own agendas. If Biden continues to pursue the nomination he is demonstrating that his words to Chanel Miller and to all survivors where exactly that, just words.
I know some will intellectualize why it’s okay to not believe Tara Reade and some will point to Biden’s record of supporting survivors as proof of his innocence. “He can’t be a rapist, he has always supported women. He wrote VAWA!”
We need to remind these people that it is common for predators to use survivors and good causes as a cover for their horrible deeds. Remember, Louie CK and Harvey Weinstein were both vocal Hillary Clinton supporters, and the Penn State pedophile Jerry Sandusky found his victims through a children’s charity that he created. It is very easy for predators to hide behind their prey in our culture and this must be addressed, we need to do more than just believe survivors we need to dismantle the systems of power that allow predators to exist in the first place.
But in all of the previously mentioned cases, justice, to some degree, was served. Sandusky and Weinstein are both now in prison and Louie CK’s career is in the toilet compared to where it was 10 years ago. Biden however is still in the race for the nomination and is still being treated as the presumptive Democratic nominee by the media.
The media has been virtually silent about Tara Reade, the story has been viral for days now and yet sources like CNN and MSNBC have said next to nothing.
What are we telling survivors if we pick and choose the ones we believe? Even if Biden denies the allegations, as he has, that does not change the reality that allowing him to continue in the race sends a message that we only have to believe survivors when it fits our personal narrative. That can never be the case.
I believe the women who came forward about Donald Trump, I also believe the woman who have come forward about Al Franken. I do not ask “what is their motives for coming forward now?” I do not care what Reade’s politics are and I do not care. She is a victim and deserves to be heard, period.
Keep in mind there is also a significant degree of evidence to support that Biden would actually do something like this. It is not just her word against his, because along with Biden’s history of creepily touching girls and sniffing women’s hair, in 2014 Secret Service agents went into detail about how Biden would skinny dip in front of female agents, much to their discomfort.
Oh, and we also can never forget about what he did to Anita Hill.
Another thing to keep in mind, Donald Trump is ridiculously good at using fodder against his opponents, especially when he can validate that fodder. Just look at how he rallied all of the women who have allegations against Bill Clinton so swiftly and look at how it helped legitimize his campaign in the eyes of his supporters. This one allegation is enough fodder for Trump to use in any number of debates and attack ads. It is beyond a political risk to run Biden at this point, it is political suicide.
With evidence mounting against him in the middle of such an important cultural shift and at a time when we have a president accused of sexual assault, we cannot allow victims to be belittled by Biden’s candidacy.
Biden, as the person who wrote the Violence Against Women Act, who publicly and adamantly believed Emily Doe, who has said that we should believe survivors “no matter how long it takes them to come forward,” has a moral obligation to step out of the race. It is an insult to all survivors of sexual assault if the two choices for president in 2020 both have assault allegations against them. Choosing between two predators for the highest office of the land is a decision no one should have to make.
Biden needs to drop out now. For the sake of survivors everywhere, for the sake of integrity, for the sake of defeating Donald Trump, Biden must drop out.