STOP Joe Biden

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To the Democratic Party leadership,

In recent months, talk of former Vice President Joe Biden launching a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination has increased greatly. Biden has described himself as the most qualified potential candidate, and has in general made large strides towards positioning himself for a potential run. As progressives, this greatly disturbs us, because while Biden does his best to appear as the grass-roots, down to Earth kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, his record would speak to the contrary.

As long as he was in Washington D.C, Biden benefited from the influence and support of the political elite. From 1989 to 2000, MBNA, a large credit card company based out of Biden's home state of Delaware served as Biden's single largest donor. Coincidentally enough, Biden would vote overwhelmingly in favor of creditors, while his son, Hunter Biden, worked for the same company as a lobbyist from 2001-2005. Biden is also well known for accepting lobbyist money, receiving a whopping total of $344,400 from the industry from 1989-2008 when he left the Senate to become Vice President. (Jacobin)

Aside from Biden's troubling history with dark money, he has long served in contrast to another progressive idea: drug decriminalization. During the irrational drug scare of the 1980s stoked by President Reagan and other conservative leaders, Biden held unwaveringly harsh positions against drug users. The 1986 and 1988 Anti Drug Abuse Acts which enforced mandatory minimums for those convicted of drug possession, and established other authoritarian restrictions on drugs including the Office of National Drug Control Policy passed Congress with breathless support from Biden. (Slate)

Last but certainly not least are Biden's interventionist foreign policy stances. In 1999, Biden voted for S.Con.Res. 21 (106th), which allowed the U.S Air Force to perform airstrikes in Kosovo during the Kosovo War, resulting in as many as 5,000 Yugoslav civilian deaths. Perhaps most disturbingly, Biden voted in favor of the disastrous Invasion of Iraq in 2002 leading to close to 193,965 civilian deaths, a vote he now claims to regret, despite voting against a timetable for exit in 2006. Finally, lesser known but very real is Biden's role in the 2010-2012 Arab Spring, in which Biden and the Obama administration organized revolts and general political upheaval across North Africa, resulting in the further destabilization of the region, and directly causing perennial war, countless deaths, and the current refugee crisis plaguing Europe. (OnTheIssues) (Human Rights Watch) (Wikipedia)

Joe Biden has a great deal of experience as a statesman. For close to five decades, he's held a presence on the world stage and has shaped modern American politics. But with Biden's record of accomplishment also comes a record of pro-creditor, anti-drug, pro-war, and overall, Neoliberal voting. No matter how hard he tries, Biden cannot wipe his past from the minds of voters, and is thus a weak, vulnerable candidate. We believe nominating Joe Biden to face President Trump in 2020 would be a monumental mistake, perhaps even more so than the nomination of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, and ask the DNC to listen to their voters, and stop Joe Biden's candidacy.

Sincerely,

Progressives across the country