Originally published March 12, 2020
In one of the greatest turnarounds in modern Presidential election history, Joe Biden roared into first place in the Democratic primary this past week. Bernie Sanders, whom the Democratic establishment viewed as someone who couldn’t beat incumbent Donald Trump, is at risk of getting another candidacy stolen from him when the final delegates are counted.
The Democrats’ well-oiled political machine had both South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar drop out and endorse Biden within 48 hours before Super Tuesday, where roughly a third of the delegates were awarded. That, combined with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren staying in to split the socialist-left vote, left Biden with around 100 more delegates. Polling website FiveThirtyEight currently has Joe Biden at an 89% chance of winning the nomination, up from 12% prior to Super Tuesday.
Bernie Sanders could easily be considered the most dangerous politician to America since Woodrow Wilson. However, the Democrats lining up behind Biden isn’t a rejection of Sanders’ socialist policies, rather a calculated political move that the American people are not ready for the radicalism of Sanders. Unlike Barack Obama, whose policy proposals during the 2008 election were widely criticized for being Marxist-esque, Sanders had no ability to turn out high numbers of new voters. Sanders’ promise of higher-than-expected turnout from millennials and Gen-Z were not materializing in the early primary contests, so the Democrats threw him under the bus.
The Democrats’ motivations notwithstanding, the rejection of the policies of Bernie Sanders (and his ideological protégé Elizabeth Warren) is beneficial to the United States. While Sanders never gave a straight answer to the costs of his programs, many put the figure at over $100 trillion over the next ten years, which would triple the current budget. The US is already running trillion-dollar yearly deficits with no end in sight; the Sanders plan was just unsustainable without epic financial collapse.
Now that Sanders is all but gone, the Republicans have an issue going forward: They can no longer use the “socialist” label on Joe Biden. Sanders is obviously a socialist, and Biden shares a lot of the policies, but to call Biden a socialist would be “crying wolf” too many times for independents (who will be the deciding factor in November). However, there are still plenty of problems with Joe Biden.
Last July, after being attacked from the left over his role in the 1994 crime bill (which saw a dramatic decrease in crime across the nation), Biden unveiled a criminal justice reform plan that included ending cash bail. As any New Yorker will attest to, this is a disastrous policy. Since New York State’s end to cash bail came into effect at the beginning of 2020, there has been a dramatic and noticeable rise in violent crime. The New York Post recently reported that since the beginning of the year, 482 people committed 842 crimes – including 299 “major” crimes – that would have otherwise not occurred if the bail law was not enacted. Overall, crime has spiked 21% since this time last year. Biden wants to nationalize this policy.
Since May of 2019, Biden has vowed to increase taxes. “The first thing I’d do is repeal those Trump Tax Cuts,” he said. Even though the tax cuts have greatly benefited the middle class while increasing the tax revenue the federal government receives, Biden has not backed down from this stance. At a campaign stop last week, he told a crowd-member who seemed to support the tax cut, “…If you elect me, your taxes are gonna be raised, not cut, if you benefited from [Trump’s tax cut].” This would not be an increase on the top earners; it would be a middle-class tax increase.
Biden is incredibly weak on foreign policy, an area where President Trump excels. He was part of the administration that saw the rise of ISIS, the invasion of Crimea, and the destruction of Venezuela. He bashed Trump’s decision to take out Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani. He regularly drew equivalency between the Israelis and Palestinians. He has major corruption issues regarding family members’ dealings in Ukraine and China.
Regarding healthcare, Biden is not as radical as Sanders to push “Medicare for All,” but he wants to expand the disastrous failure that was Obamacare. He should hope that the electorate has a short memory, because the skyrocketing health insurance premiums only recently leveled out due to the removal of the individual mandate in 2017. Expanding Obamacare, as opposed to a repeal and replacement, will only make the health insurance market more volatile, which hurts the general public far more than it helps.
That being said, Biden’s greatest flaw is not his policies, it’s his own mental stability. Anyone who has been watching Biden on the campaign trail can see that the 77-year-old has lost a few steps since he was the Vice President. He regularly gaffes, forgets where he is, and has a hard time finishing a sentence. Even Bernie Sanders, who is 78 and had a heart attack on the campaign trail, seems significantly more mentally capable than Biden. Which means that Biden’s Vice-Presidential candidate will carry more weight in the General Election than a normal VP. If Biden picks a radical left-winger, like Warren or Kamala Harris, then all of their baggage comes into the Biden campaign.
So while 90% of the country breathed a collective sigh of relief from Bernie’s demise on Super Tuesday, Republicans, Independents, and some Democrats cannot be too enthused by the alternative. Biden may not be as great of an existential threat to the foundation of the country as Bernie was, but a Biden presidency still carries a great risk of damaging the country. The right shouldn’t rest on its laurels; and President Trump’s main job is to make sure he turns on his voters this November.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, the Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow him on Twitter @TheMoHill.