Thinking About Joe Biden, Tara Reade and Sexual Assault Allegations

Over the past week or so, I’ve been reading on Facebook of various opinions of the Tara Reade allegations against Joe Biden. My first response upon hearing of the allegations was “Oh, no!”

I think because of my politics and because of the stakes of the 2020 elections, it’s very difficult for me to look at the allegations with unbiased eyes. I despise Trump and I do not want him re-elected in 2020. And on a personal level, I like Joe Biden. My preferred Democratic candidate was Elizabeth Warren, but I have no animosity against Biden. Unlike some progressives, I see moderates like Biden as competing friends and not as implacable foes. Because of those built in biases, I can’t help but see Tara Reade’s allegations through a political lens.

The problem of these hyper-partisan times is that we often view the sexual harassment allegations against powerful political leaders through a very biased political lens. Whether it’s Joe Biden, Brett Kavanaugh, Al Franken, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton or some other political leader, we too often are tempted to judge sexual harassment allegations based on whether it helps our political cause or not. We’re biased to assume a political leader is innocent if we agree with this person’s politics or see this person as vital to our cause. Or we’re biased to assume a leader is guilty if we disagree with their politics.

This is inherently unfair to both the accuser and the accused. It makes having a fair hearing impossible. They become the targets of death threats and harassing emails and phone calls. Their personal lives become political fodder for Fox News, MSNBC, or some other political group.

After seeing how Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey and others got away with sexual harassment until recently, it’s important for women and men who have been sexually harassed by powerful individuals to see that Tara Reade’s allegations get a fair hearing.

But Joe Biden should be given a fair chance to defend himself too. The case of the Central Park 5 and many cases of the Innocent Project have shown that innocent people have been accused of sexual assault. And in this poisonous political atmosphere where people are not to content to winning an argument, they try to destroy a person as well, it’s important to give the accused a chance to defend themselves.

I think that’s the only thing one can ask for, a fair hearing of both the accuser and the accused. But I don’t know if that is possible in this time. especially with Donald Trump’s history of exploiting partisan divisions and making everything about partisan politics.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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2 Responses to Thinking About Joe Biden, Tara Reade and Sexual Assault Allegations

  1. I agree with you about letting them both get a fair hearing. I also am a little suspicious about the timing of this accusation. The Nation editor endorsed Sanders and now they’re hoping for a miracle. I guess that might come during the convention to elect delegates. It won’t happen. We had so many good candidates, but it’s too late now. We can’t have four more years of Trump.

    • angelolopez says:

      Thanks Diane. Unlike some progressives, I don’t really have any issues with a moderate like Biden being the Democratic nominee. I don’t think he was the best candidate, but I like him. I do want Tara Reade to get a fair hearing. But I’m inclined to think Biden is innocent, unless some compelling proof is found. I just want a fair and impartial process where the accuser’s allegations can be thoroughly investigated and where the accused has a chance to defend themselves.

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