Joe Biden, Kamala Harris still lesser of two evils

Biden and Harris were never the ideal candidates and it is important to really look at the criticisms made to their pasts, campaigns and policies.| Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

So we’ve settled for Joe Biden. What now?

The stakes have arguably been the highest than in any election in a long time. The possibility that we could’ve had Donald Trump and Mike Pence for another four years caused many people to vote for whichever candidate had the best chance of beating them.

Now that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the election, many people will get the feeling that we won and that the work here is done. However, the fight for social, economic and environmental reform in the U.S. did not end on Nov. 3.

Biden and Harris were never the ideal candidates and it is important to really look at the criticisms made to their past campaigns and policies.

To begin, neither Biden nor Harris have a truly clean past. Much like his opponent, Biden has had many sexual misconduct allegations against him. Eight of them in fact. 

In addition to this, since the start of the campaign and the primary election, Biden received a lot of criticism from Democrats for his views on decriminalizing marijuana, universal healthcare and climate change.

In fact, his view on these issues caused him a lot of controversy in the Democratic primary debates as he is more conservative on these issues than his former opponents. 

As the United States continues to struggle with a deadly pandemic, it is worrying that Biden is not for universal healthcare and instead wishes to promote his own “Biden Care,” which is somewhat a variation of the Affordable Care Act. 

Now, arguably one of the most pressing issues to Democrats and young voters is climate change, and Biden’s proposed climate policy doesn’t necessarily meet the standards it should.

In addition to the refusal to support the popular “Green New Deal,”  Biden and Harris have stated that they will not ban fracking. This is something that angers many people, including Democratic politicians, as fracking is not something that the Democratic Party typically supports.

Harris, specifically, has received criticism, especially from the Republican party, about how she had said that she was in favor of banning fracking only to switch her view recently during her vice presidential debate. 

It certainly says something about a candidate’s character when it seems that they switch their views to what is most convenient to them at a given time.

Like her running mate, Harris has also had quite a controversial past. As a district attorney and attorney general, Harris was against legalizing marijuana, caused a lot of Black people to be incarcerated and seldom held police and prosecutors accountable. 

Harris has also been criticized for being unsupportive of the transgender and sex work communities during her time as district attorney and attorney general. 

She refused an incarcerated transgender female the healthcare needed for gender reaffirming surgery, and to this day, she does not support the decriminalization of sex workers.

Biden and Harris, clearly, have their controversies and their problems. And while the same, and likely worse, can be said for Trump and Pence, we’re having a different conversation now. 

Those that care strongly about current issues need to continue to pay attention to those causes and that includes holding even their preferred leaders accountable.

Diego Cotte is a media production freshman who can be reached at [email protected]

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