Despite my strong desire to address the ludicrous nature of supposed cancer-causing sound waves emanating from wind turbines, I can't get the situation surrounding former vice president Joe Biden out of my mind. It's not simply because he's now been labeled "Creepy Uncle Joe," rather it's because I believe our response to the accusations surrounding the last administration's VP will have some wide-spread implications for political discourse moving forward.
During some of our newsroom discussions, it's been said what the public wants most in these politically divided times is consistency. We don't want two-faced politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths (that's four different messages if you do the math), and we certainly don't want them to adopt or abandon thier stance on an issue based on which side of the aisle is feeling the heat at that moment.
I feel the accusations against Biden will put the shoe on the other foot. It's a prime example of an opportunity in which we the people can exemplify what we desire most from our elected officials — consistency. The accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior against Biden are, of course, seem like the next car in the #metoo train. From Democrats like former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to Republicans like former Arizona Rep. Trent Franks and the president himself, accusations alone have at least been a thorn in their duly elected sides if not an abrupt end to their political careers. Perhaps even more on the nose, take the confirmation hearings for now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Accusations from Christine Blasey Ford elevated the public's attention in those proceedings to a whole other level.
What I'm left wondering is whether the American people will find themselves swapping talking points with their opposition. Democrats both in and out of Washington claimed Kavanaugh was unfit for consideration because of Ford's accusations. I am curious to see if the party will maintain that stance for Biden. If not, they would essentially be applying the Republican defense of Kavanaugh to keep a Biden presidential bid afloat. Assuming that happens, that should make us question what was unconvincing about the Republican argument in the first place.
On the flip side, Republicans questioned why Ford waited to come forward with her story until Kavanaugh had a shot at a higher official position. The same could be said of the timing in Biden's case. He announced his intention to run for the White House in mid-March, and Lucy Flores detailed her accusation against him before the end of the month. So, if Republicans should call for Biden to bow out of the race without questioning Flores' timing in the same manner as Ford's, they too would be bolstering the Democratic argument the party largely opposed during the Kavanaugh hearing.
While I realize the intensity of the alleged assaults aren't on par with one another, but the manner in which we address them should be the same regardless. Whether that means the public uniting to call for political figures to step down when accusations arise or whether that means emphasizing due process for each and every candidate who stands accused, it should be consistent. Matters such as this are too serious to weaponize through a mono-partisan lens, because choosing to heed or discredit the words of accusers in favor of one party or the other, derails proper representation of the public.