'Make America Moral Again'
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign slogan is based on his belief that America was once a moral nation. When was that?
In 1789, when the Constitution affirmed that buying and selling of black human beings was the law of the land?
In 1838, when thousands of First Americans died in the forced march known as the Trail of Tears?
In 1857, when the Supreme Court ruled that slaves, as the property of their owners, had no rights?
In 1882, when Congress barred Chinese immigration, and massacres and expulsion of Chinese occurred in Oregon and the West?
In 1916, when women could not vote in national elections?
In 1925, when lynching blacks was common in the South?
In 1932, when the Great Depression devastated poor whites across the nation?
In 1967, when intermarriage between blacks and whites was illegal in 16 mostly southern states?
In 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act essentially forbid gay matrimony? Biden voted aye.
Biden’s public record is horrendous, He voted to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and supported U.S. wars in Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen that have killed, maimed, and displaced millions of people; voted for the harsh 1994 Violent Crime Bill that devastated black communities; supported the 1996 “Welfare Reform” bill that impoverished thousands of women and their children; voted for the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act that repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall’s conflict-of-interest prohibitions, thus paving the way for the 2008 Great Recession — 8 million American lost their jobs, more than 4 million homes were foreclosed, and 2.5 million businesses closed; supported the “grand bargain” with Republicans to cut Medicare and Social Security; voted for NAFTA; and voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that authorized
700 miles of fencing along
the U.S.-Mexican border.
Was America “moral” in 1991 when Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination? Twenty-eight years later, the #Me Too movement has forced Biden to say something about his committee’s treatment of Anita Hill. He called her to express regret for what happened, but still hasn’t taken full responsibility for his shameful behavior — as evidenced by his appearance on “The View,” where he gave a non-apology: “I am sorry she was treated the way she was treated.” Given Hill’s demeaning treatment, Biden’s phone call and comments are disgusting and opportunistic.
Biden’s most horrendous act, however, was his vote for and support of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Historian Stephen Zunes reviewed Biden’s key role in pushing this invasion that violated the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter (The Progressive, April 3). As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2002, Biden claimed that Saddam Hussein “had a sizable arsenal of chemical weapons as well as biological weapons, including anthrax,” but U.N. inspectors reported that “Iraq no longer appeared to have any weaponized chemical or biological agents.” The International Atomic Energy Agency had reported in 1997 that there “was no evidence whatsoever that Iraq had any ongoing nuclear program,” but Biden continued to insist that Saddam was “seeking nuclear weapons.”
During the summer of 2002, as the Bush Administration pushed for war, Biden’s committee had an opportunity to listen to leading anti-war scholars on Iraq and Middle East, but they weren’t invited to testify. Nor did Biden call “officials in the Pentagon or State Department who were willing to challenge the alarmist claims.”
Journalist Chris Hedges has also condemned Biden’s enthusiastic support of U.S. wars. These “misguided interventions by the national security apparatus have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, over 5 million desperate refugees fleeing to Europe, the destruction of entire cities, the squandering of some $5 trillion of U.S. taxpayer money, rampant corruption and criminality. The mandarins of national security, rather than blunt the rise of radical jihadism, have ensured its spread across the globe” (Truthdig, April 8).
Biden’s moral values are clear: He supports endless and devastating wars abroad; and has contempt for women, racial minorities, and working people at home.
John Marciano lives in Talent.