SHAUN KING: I Would Endorse and Even Campaign for Joe Biden if He Did These Five Things

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It looks like Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. I say “looks like” because he hasn’t won the nomination yet — and with the pandemic delaying primaries across the country, I’m not even sure he will ever get the delegates he needs to officially win it. And every single day I hear Democrats clamoring for somebody other than Biden to be the nominee.

I would never vote for Donald Trump. I just want to get that out in the open, but casting my vote for Joe Biden, while holding my nose and resenting a country that continues to force us to choose between the lesser of two evils, is totally different than endorsing and campaigning for him. Here’s what it would take for me to endorse and campaign for Joe Biden.

1. He’d have to admit that he’s the primary architect of modern day mass incarceration, apologize for it, and commit to the most robust plan ever written to undo what he helped build. Joe Biden spent nearly 30 years not just crafting the infamous crime bill, which was named after him, but crafting dozens of bills and amendments all centered on exploding the systems and structures of mass incarceration from mandatory minimums, to the death penalty, to rewarding states who followed his harsh lead.

2. Right now, the minimum age for Medicare is 65 years old. I am a part of the movement that wants to make the minimum age ZERO. That’s all Medicare for All is, taking the minimum age down from 65 to 0. Bernie Sanders planned on doing it gradually over a period of 4 years. Last week, as if it was an olive branch, Joe Biden offered to lower it to 60 years old. That’s not an olive branch, that’s an insult. Hell, in 2016, mainstream Democrats were talking about lowering it to 55. The bottom line is the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how flawed it is that the United States is the only nation in the world that ties your health insurance to your job. It’s dumb. And now that millions are out of work, they are out of health insurance. It’s outrageous. Right now, Biden is not even in the right ballpark on healthcare. Period. I need him to be in a wildly different place than he is right now on healthcare before I’d back him.

3. If he doesn’t want to simply adopt the environmental plan of Bernie Sanders — which he should do immediately — he could adopt the robust plan created by Washington Governor Jay Inslee. It was the original gold standard among presidential candidates. Elizabeth Warren adopted Inslee’s plan as her own. Biden’s plan to stop global warming and address the climate crisis was the worst of anybody running. Now that this global pandemic has exposed that the country can actually pay for whatever it cares to pay for, Biden can no longer use cost as an excuse for anything — particularly not saving the planet.

4. I counted nearly 50 different times Joe Biden blatantly lied about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement from claiming he participated in sit-ins that he never participated in (some never even happened at all), to falsely claiming he was trained in Black churches on Sunday mornings as a teenage boy, to falsely claiming he marched all over the place. He never marched at all. I need Joe Biden to acknowledge and apologize for this. What’s wild is that in 1987, he did acknowledge and apologize for telling such lies, but over the past year, he started them back up again. Forgive me, but I’m stuck on this. It’s a gross abuse of power and he has refused to apologize for it.

5. I need Joe Biden to nominate a true progressive as his vice president. Yes, I’d love for it to be a progressive woman of color. That would be the ideal scenario — but for me, it’s more important that he appoint a truly committed progressive than anything else. Appointing a moderate or conservative woman or a person of color is nothing. You can be a woman or person of color and have HORRIBLE politics. We need somebody that actually energizes the progressive base on his ticket. Without it, Biden will struggle.