The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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What Biden Means for the #MeToo Movement

Politicians need to be held to a higher standard when it comes to apologizing

Joe Biden: America’s grandpa, former United States senator from Delaware and former Vice President to Barack Obama now finds himself batting accusations of “inappropriate touching” amidst speculation of launching a presidential campaign.

   In early March 2019, former Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores wrote an op-ed for New York Magazine, stating that he walked behind her, put his hands on her shoulder, smelled her hair, and finally planting a slow kiss on the back of her head.

   Since then, a number of women have come forward accusing the former Vice President of similar behavior.

Biden responded on April 5 to the accusations during an impromptu press conference. A reporter told him that some of his accusers would like it if he would just apologize instead of beating around the bush, to which he answered, “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more.

I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. That’s the reputation I’ve had since high school for god’s sake.”

 As a nation that has witnessed the height of the #MeToo movement not so long ago, answers like the former Vice President’s makes us wonder if our elected leaders actually listen at all.

Let it be clear that he did not apologize to his accusers but rather apologized for how his actions were perceived. As a man who advocates himself constantly as one of action, and not talk, it seems like he is falling significantly short of his laurels.

What’s even more strange is how some Democrats who demonized President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on similar issues in the past, given their accusations were significantly worse, now flocked to defend Biden.

Sure, all of these men are of a generation different from our own but that does not excuse their actions in the present day.

We must hold politicians to the same standard, if not higher, than the citizens they represent. The issue of sexual harassment cannot be this ”grey area” where some decide they’re against it today and then for it tomorrow, or the inverse.

So what is there to do? Twentieth century author Ernest Hemingway put it best when he said, “the shortest answer is doing the thing.”

To live in a great and civilized society means being on the side of what’s right and holding people accountable for their actions and calling out injustices as we see them. Once we as American citizens, and by extension our elected officials, begin this great and noble undertaking, only then will we truly make America as our forefathers once wrote all those years ago, “a more perfect union.”

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