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Vote Blue No Matter Who? Why I Think That’s a Flawed Ideal

As a person who voted for Bernie Sanders, I can’t say I’m particularly ecstatic about how our election is shaping out to be. While it’s become increasingly clear that former Vice President Joe Biden has clinched the Democrat nomination, in the months that preceded, I’ve seen many Democrats adopt a mentality of voting ‘blue no matter who,’ as we all assumed that any Democrat nominee would be far better than the dim-witted, prejudiced bigot who currently sits in our White House today. But as we approach the day in which we elect the new leader of our nation, I can’t help but vocalize my dissatisfaction with this perspective and my shame in Democrats for embracing it fully and completely. 

Although Joe Biden came into this election cycle with a fair reputation for being President Barack Obama’s VP, many Americans did not dig deeper below the surface to find what wrongdoings Biden may have committed. While his constant reminders of working closely with Obama have built him a strong, prominent character, let’s take a look at his actual background which in reality, goes against many of the values that Democrats consider of utmost importance. 

Women’s Rights

We all know about the infamous case of Roe v. Wade, which signified a monumental milestone for women’s rights in America, as it legalized abortion and ultimately protected a women’s right to choose what happens to her own body. However, if we look at Biden’s record on his stance regarding women’s rights, I am sure that many Democrats would be deeply disappointed. In the 1980s, Biden voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and before that, in 1974 he publicly stated that he “didn’t think a woman had the sole right to say what happened to her body.” Furthermore, in 2006, he continued to hold a conservative position concerning abortion and Planned Parenthood in comparison with his fellow Democrats, even stating that he “did not view abortion as a choice and a right,” for it was “always a tragedy.” While some may argue that all these cases were decades ago, and that people can change their views, we must jump to 2019, just one year ago, where Biden said he was still supportive of the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortion, though he finally reversed his position, having been heavily criticized by activists for his stance. 


If you watched the Democratic Debates, I’m sure you remembered when Kamala Harris brutally attacked Joe Biden on his past stances, specifically regarding integration and busing, leaving him utterly speechless and unable to form any sort of rebuttal. Although Harris definitely has her own past issues that need to be addressed, she brings up a significant point, with the fact that Joe Biden actually opposed attempts to remedy discrimination and desegregate educational institutions. Though some have made excuses that an overwhelming majority of white parents and politicians were extremely against these means of desegregation, when it comes to choosing the leader of an entire country and its people, I know I don’t want anyone who has actively contributed to racist antics holding that amount of power. Even if he didn’t publicly declare any outwardly horrific racist sentiments, if we dive into Biden’s history, he actually is shown partnering with and making excuses for outright racists such as Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, joining with Helms on a measure that would have prevented “the Justice Department from bringing desegregation lawsuits that could result in court-mandated busing.”

LGBT Rights

Many remember Biden and Obama as the duo who finally legalized gay marriage in America—after all, who could forget those iconic pictures of the two running around the White House waving rainbow flags? This alone gives Biden a reputable image when it comes to LGBT rights, but when it comes to his past, you may be shocked. Back in 1996, when he was a senator, he voted for the vile discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which refused to recognize same-sex marriages as legitimate, as well as barring them from receiving any federal benefits whatsoever. 


When discussing Biden, we cannot gloss over one of the deadliest, brutal acts of violence in the history of US foreign policy, the Iraq War. The number of Iraqi people that were murdered approaches, if not exceeds, millions, and guess who was an avid supporter of this horrendous war? In 2003, Biden was “a senator bullish about the push to war who helped sell the Bush administration’s pitch to the American public,” who “voted for—and helped advance—the Bush agenda.” He was described as being the war’s “most crucial” senator supporter. 

Sign Immigrants make America Great

Democrats seem to adore Barack Obama’s time as president, yet what so many choose to ignore is the awful things the Obama administration actually participated in. The Obama administration deported hundreds of thousands of immigrants, more than any other administration, and Biden denies this wicked process that tore countless families apart. Moreover, beyond just the Obama administration, Biden’s record on immigration is not any less shameful. He “voted to uphold an HIV travel ban that authorized the indefinite detention of Haitian refugees despite a wave of public sentiment in their favor,” while also calling “for a crackdown on employers who hire ‘illegals’ and fought against driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.”

Criminal Punishment

America’s criminal punishment system is absolutely abominable, and Joe Biden plays a big role in its injustice. He was an avid supporter of the war on drugs, and in fact, was actually proud of his role in cracking down on crime. While it’s often said that Democrats in the 1990s who led the crime crackdown were responding to a genuine crime wave, Biden went far beyond the others, to levels that can only be deemed as utterly cruel and unethical. Biden promoted measures that “created more heavily armed police forces increasingly focused on locking up people for minor drug crimes.” His reforms are deeply harmful and atrocious, as he fueled mass incarceration by making sure people accused of minor drug crimes were completely locked up. Joe Biden is entirely guilty of corrupting our criminal justice system, disproportionately making an overwhelming amount of Black and Brown people suffer, and we cannot forget that. 

These were merely six examples, not even mentioning his terribly flawed views on health care, social security, climate change, and the fact that he’s a sexual assaulter, but it’s undeniably evident that he’s held such opinionated stances that have actively participated in the massive oppression of marginalized communities. Joe Biden is not our Democratic hero. He’s a conservative dressed in a flimsy Democrat disguise in order to win our votes. And while the vote blue no matter who mentality causes us to choose the lesser of two evils, the fact of the matter is that we shouldn’t have to.

Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are dishonorable, deplorable candidates who are pathetic excuses for president, and making people, especially people who have faced the direct oppression of their policies, choose is unequivocally immoral.


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Celene Machen is currently a freshman at Boston University planning to double major in English and Math. Her passions include tennis, writing, and social justice. As an aspiring writer and activist, Celene's role models are author Jhumpa Lahiri and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both of whom are BU alumni.
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