Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden was photographed interacting with Stephanie Carter, wife of Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter during Carter’s swearing-in ceremony in 2015. Appropriate? Perhaps not. But should Biden’s physical expressions of affection disqualify him from seeking the presidency?

Earlier this month former President Barack Obama spoke at a town hall in Berlin, during which he touched upon his concerns in regard to the current progressive movement in the U.S. In particular, he said that he worries that progressives are too rigid in terms of maintaining purity of issues within the party.

While both sides of the aisle are undeniably prone to groupthink, each respective party handles deviation from the hivemind in a different manner: conservatives make allowances, and progressives — as Obama said — turn on each other.

Of course, these revelations come in the wake of the allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, who remains a close friend of President Obama’s. It’s possible that the former president is only addressing this now in order to lessen the impact it will have on Biden’s potential presidential bid, but doesn’t this sentiment hold true anyway? I think it does.

One of the worst culprits of this type of over-saturation is — and I say this reluctantly — the #MeToo movement. The actions that Biden is “accused of” were at worst inappropriate, and at best laughable.

I, personally, do not like anyone touching me unless I am married to them; that’s a very small pool. I believe that there are too many “huggers” in this world. However, that doesn’t make you huggers’ actions ill-intentioned or even inappropriate, unless I explicitly tell you that I am uncomfortable, but you continue to do it regardless. (Many of you are guilty of this.)

I understand the argument that speaking up against such a powerful person is intimidating. Still, 100 percent passiveness in the face of something as “serious” as this, significant enough to consider yourself traumatized, is not adequate. If they felt in any way victimized, why wouldn’t they have taken some sort of step to address the situation?

Public trial is not the correct way to handle these types of situation, and it seems obvious that the accusers’ endgame is nothing more than fame and/or money. Of course we’re not talking about genuine sexual assault here, just what could be considered the normal range of human interaction. You may say that I’m victim-blaming, but I really wouldn’t even call these women “victims.” Would you? Honestly?

There is a line that has to be drawn somewhere, and it’s difficult to know exactly where it needs to be. We’ve all touted “believe women” for so long, and that idea holds true. I do believe these women… that’s not the question in this case. I just think the fact these accusations are considered “accusations” at all is absurd.

Progressive purists are losing sight of the long-term goals of the movement and simultaneously (and unintentionally) damaging it. Yes, we should demand that unethical behavior is called out and handled as necessary, but to treat something as innocuous as kissing someone on the top of the head (in public, no less) the same way that we treat a senator groping his aide while alone in his office, is taking away from the seriousness of the latter. In fact, it makes the whole movement into a joke.

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