15 votes

"Can Biden beat Trump?"

What the polls say about a Biden v Trump matchup
(The polls say yeah so... yeah. Admittedly this is a repeat of 2016 and Ukraine will basically be the same thing as Clinton's emails and nothing is truly guaranteed.)

Can Biden beat Trump? The truth is he's just as risky as Bernie
(Neither of them is a guaranteed win. If there was a safe choice, it wasn't one of these 2.)

Stop saying Biden is the 'most electable'. Trump will run rings around him. (No. And not because of his record or gaffes, but because he is an establishment politician and Ukraine will leave the same impression on Biden as Clinton's emails. Are you people insane? Have you forgotten 2016?)

56 comments

  1. [29]
    skybrian
    Link
    The short answer is that nobody knows. Anyone who thinks they know for sure is fooling themselves. More precisely, nobody can give you a guarantee. At best there are models that give...

    The short answer is that nobody knows. Anyone who thinks they know for sure is fooling themselves.

    More precisely, nobody can give you a guarantee. At best there are models that give probabilities. As we learned in 2016, a 20% chance can still happen.

    This doesn't necessarily mean the forecaster was bad at their job. Due to the way probabilities work, you can't judge that from a single prediction. The way they judge it is that, when a forecaster gives a 20% chance, it happens 1 in 5 times. You need quite a few predictions to tell how they're doing.

    This means forecasts don't really do what we'd like them to do, but they're the best we have.

    23 votes
    1. [2]
      arp242
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If the vote had happened on a different day, or if the weather had been different, or if the leading news story from the previous day had been something else, Clinton might have won. Essentially,...

      If the vote had happened on a different day, or if the weather had been different, or if the leading news story from the previous day had been something else, Clinton might have won. Essentially, a vote is just a blessed poll.

      This is why I don't like these kind of massive "A or B" votes ("Clinton or Trump?", "Brexit or remain?") because they're so simplistic and don't represent the views of a lot of voters. Turns out that a lot of people's views are nuanced and complex; who knew?

      Voting on a party in a multi-party democracy with a culture of coalitions is a lot better, IMHO, although still not perfect and does have its own downsides (see e.g. Belgium for an extreme example).

      I think we need to radically rethink our democratic system in Western countries to be more democratic. Some say that I say this just because I don't like the outcome of these elections, which is true, but I think a good case can be made that making such a large change as Brexit based on a small minority is not very democratic. There was no option to vote "I want to remain in the EU but with changes X, Y, and Z".

      My own view is that asking everyone for an opinion is misguided. As a voter, I need to be informed about the EU, economics, education, law, foreign relations, science, etc., etc., etc. This is essentially impossible for most people (including myself) even with the best of intentions.

      Instead, asking a randomly chosen subset of citizens (perhaps 100, maybe more, maybe less) who are given the time and resources to actually study the matter in-depth would be better, more or less similar like a jury trail. This is also how democracy worked in ancient Athens. There are a bunch of different ways to do this, but this seems like a much more constructive way to do democracy.

      Not everyone will get their say every time. That's okay, you don't need to weigh in on every decision; you're really not that important. And ideally the system is done in such a way that everyone will get to have a say at least once in their lives (although I'm not sure how feasible that is given the size of the US).

      Guess the comment got side-tracked a bit, but to conclude I think the current political system is broken and Trump is a sign of that, and while Bernie vs. Biden is not unimportant, I think the main effort should be rethinking democracy.

      13 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Yeah, this is a side effect of having discrete, centralized decisions. We have exactly one president at a time. This means that whatever algorithm you choose to convert "the will of the people"...

        Yeah, this is a side effect of having discrete, centralized decisions. We have exactly one president at a time.

        This means that whatever algorithm you choose to convert "the will of the people" into an answer isn't going to satisfy everyone, and the more divided the country is, the more dissatisfied people there will be.

        5 votes
    2. [26]
      EscReality
      Link Parent
      Personally I do not think Biden stands a chance no matter who he is running against. No one actually wants him, he is just the option the party thinks is the safest. The irony of that of course is...

      Personally I do not think Biden stands a chance no matter who he is running against. No one actually wants him, he is just the option the party thinks is the safest.

      The irony of that of course is that I think Bernie stands a bigger chance because he would bring out the millennial vote like Obama did. We haven't really been majorly involved in an election since 2008 and Bernie could be what brings us back to the polls.

      6 votes
      1. [10]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's not a conspiracy. He's winning most of the primaries because the most people are voting for him. There were plenty of other candidates that nobody wanted. They didn't get many votes, and they...

        No one actually wants him, he is just the option the party thinks is the safest.

        It's not a conspiracy. He's winning most of the primaries because the most people are voting for him. There were plenty of other candidates that nobody wanted. They didn't get many votes, and they dropped out once it was obvious nobody wanted them. Biden clearly isn't in that group, and he's actually beating Sanders by a huge margin. It's about 1.9M to 1.3M so far, it's not even close.

        I understand it's frustrating. I'd prefer to see Sanders win too, and I'm not even American. But the system is based on who gets the most votes, and he's losing that contest.

        19 votes
        1. [8]
          arp242
          Link Parent
          Just because people are voting for him doesn't mean people "want him"; I think those are two different things. While there are certainly people who "want" Biden, I suspect that he's drawing quite...

          Just because people are voting for him doesn't mean people "want him"; I think those are two different things. While there are certainly people who "want" Biden, I suspect that he's drawing quite a lot of strategic votes too.

          8 votes
          1. [7]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Then those people want him for a strategic reason. It doesn't matter. In the end, it's totally irrelevant why anyone votes for a particular candidate, just who gets the most votes. And the reality...

            Then those people want him for a strategic reason. It doesn't matter. In the end, it's totally irrelevant why anyone votes for a particular candidate, just who gets the most votes. And the reality is that about 50% more people are voting for Biden than Sanders.

            13 votes
            1. [6]
              arp242
              Link Parent
              I don't think it is irrelevant; I think it's a sign that the democratic system isn't working well. Also see my other comment on this story.

              I don't think it is irrelevant; I think it's a sign that the democratic system isn't working well. Also see my other comment on this story.

              8 votes
              1. [4]
                NaraVara
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                There’s a ton of signs out there that the system isn’t working well, but “the people I like keep losing” isn’t really one of them. Political organization on the Left is weak and dependent on...

                There’s a ton of signs out there that the system isn’t working well, but “the people I like keep losing” isn’t really one of them.

                Political organization on the Left is weak and dependent on consumeristic wank voting is one. People are disenfranchised due to how maliciously designed the poll locations and voter registration processes are. The media is bullshit and fixates on horse race coverage and yellow journalism instead of issues while elevating the platforms of bullshitters and shills. We privilege the perspectives of a minority of rural white voters due to what amounts to a historic accident.

                So yeah. Lots of problems. But the party system isn’t really one of them.

                14 votes
                1. [3]
                  arp242
                  Link Parent
                  As someone coming from a multi-party democracy, the whole two-party system in the US (and to lesser degree, UK) and local representatives seems rather dysfunctional to me. I agree the other issues...

                  As someone coming from a multi-party democracy, the whole two-party system in the US (and to lesser degree, UK) and local representatives seems rather dysfunctional to me. I agree the other issues are probably bigger ones though.

                  6 votes
                  1. NaraVara
                    Link Parent
                    That's because you're assuming the political parties in the US are something they're not. Our system was initially designed to flow upwards from the smallest scale local communities with small...

                    As someone coming from a multi-party democracy, the whole two-party system in the US (and to lesser degree, UK) and local representatives seems rather dysfunctional to me.

                    That's because you're assuming the political parties in the US are something they're not. Our system was initially designed to flow upwards from the smallest scale local communities with small constituencies sending delegates to making decisions on their behalf along progressively larger constituencies.

                    In other words, we vote for people moreso than parties and the political parties themselves are just broad coalitions of fundraisers and campaign infrastructure. The parties don't really have independent leadership and just end up being managed by whoever in the party happens to hold elected office. They have limit capability to whip votes and no capability decide who gets to run under their slate if the voters in any particular constituency want them.

                    Partisanship used to be fairly weak in the country and there used to be lots of conservative democrats and liberal republicans. This all got muddied with the advent of mass media and the distortionary effects of large individual donors. We're in a highly unusual period in history where we have weak parties (as in, management) and strong partisanship and it's largely a reflection of dysfunction and disagreement within society about social issues.

                    7 votes
                  2. Grawlix
                    Link Parent
                    I genuinely have no idea how people are defending the party system we have in America. The primary argument is, "Well, Biden got the most votes," which no one is denying. The point is how and why,...

                    I genuinely have no idea how people are defending the party system we have in America.

                    The primary argument is, "Well, Biden got the most votes," which no one is denying. The point is how and why, and that's incredibly important. There's party favoritism, media bias, "strategic voting" based on FPTP voting (and faulty premises of "electability"), voter suppression, unequal vote weight, even just the order the primaries happen...

                    To simplify it to just "Biden has more votes, and that's that" is plastering over ALL the problems we have and creating this false impression that it was ultimately a fair fight.

                    6 votes
              2. ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                I think @Deimos is saying that it's irrelevant because he did end up getting the votes: why is no longer important. The how may still be for reference in future efforts to change the system for...

                I think @Deimos is saying that it's irrelevant because he did end up getting the votes: why is no longer important.

                The how may still be for reference in future efforts to change the system for the better, but today – he has the votes, one way or another.

                8 votes
        2. EscReality
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Whats your point? I am a independent, most people I know my age are. We are literally not allowed to vote in this part of the election. Just because the party has decided Biden is the safest...

          But the system is based on who gets the most votes, and he's losing that con

          Whats your point?

          I am a independent, most people I know my age are. We are literally not allowed to vote in this part of the election. Just because the party has decided Biden is the safest option doesn't actually mean most people agree. Even then, they are voting for him because he is safe, not because they actually want him. Plus the millennial voter turnout in the primaries has been abysmal, so its still really not a majority of their own party.

          3 votes
      2. [14]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        I thought that initially too, but given the results of the primaries so far, where young voter turnout has been abysmal, I am not convinced that is true anymore.

        Bernie stands a bigger chance because he would bring out the millennial vote like Obama did

        I thought that initially too, but given the results of the primaries so far, where young voter turnout has been abysmal, I am not convinced that is true anymore.

        12 votes
        1. Flashynuff
          Link Parent
          This isn't actually true. Youth turnout is up. I've personally seen thousands of college students wait 3 hours in line to register to vote all day on Tuesday. It's just that older folks are...

          This isn't actually true. Youth turnout is up. I've personally seen thousands of college students wait 3 hours in line to register to vote all day on Tuesday. It's just that older folks are turning out in droves, and it's making the youth vote a smaller percent of the overall vote.

          10 votes
        2. [8]
          arp242
          Link Parent
          I think a lot of people have just given up on politics. Obama didn't give us the "change" he promised in 2008 (which is not 100% Obama's fault) and then there's this Trump person. People have...

          I think a lot of people have just given up on politics. Obama didn't give us the "change" he promised in 2008 (which is not 100% Obama's fault) and then there's this Trump person. People have become cynical and apathetic.

          This is a really bad thing, because it does matter in ways that aren't immediately obvious in most people's day-to-day lives.

          7 votes
          1. [6]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            I’m not sure if you remember how cynical and apathetic people were before Obama. The fact that it took a rock star of a political celebrity to make people pay attention for 5 minutes is a problem...

            I think a lot of people have just given up on politics. Obama didn't give us the "change" he promised in 2008 (which is not 100% Obama's fault) and then there's this Trump person. People have become cynical and apathetic.

            I’m not sure if you remember how cynical and apathetic people were before Obama. The fact that it took a rock star of a political celebrity to make people pay attention for 5 minutes is a problem on its own. But the fact is turnout and engagement is way up. It just happens to be up by even more among suburban rich people than among the youth.

            7 votes
            1. [5]
              Kuromantis
              Link Parent
              Not who you were replying to but care to elaborate? I'm 14 so I don't even remember anything pre 2016, let alone pre 2008. Did people not care simply because they didn't know? Was it because TV...

              I’m not sure if you remember how cynical and apathetic people were before Obama.

              Not who you were replying to but care to elaborate? I'm 14 so I don't even remember anything pre 2016, let alone pre 2008. Did people not care simply because they didn't know? Was it because TV news is terrible at politics (see the Dean scream)? Was everyone still on a Neoliberal trip? (Was it because of TV bias?) Was everyone distracted on 2008 Facebook and 'technological revolution' nonsense that would come until much later and thought politics wouldn't apply to the Internet? Were people too focused on stuff like gerrymandering and FPTP to take politics seriously?

              And what about progressivism? Did it just not exist before Bernie? Did TV silence it to please advertisers? Was grassroots campaigning impossible without the Internet?

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                Loire
                Link Parent
                Progressivism in the U.S. was strangled during the Cold War. Murdered in an alley and left to rot. When Clinton won the presidency on what was basically a Republican-Lite platform, even the idea...

                And what about progressivism? Did it just not exist before Bernie? Did TV silence it to please advertisers? Was grassroots campaigning impossible without the Internet?

                Progressivism in the U.S. was strangled during the Cold War. Murdered in an alley and left to rot. When Clinton won the presidency on what was basically a Republican-Lite platform, even the idea of progressivism was essentially snuffed out.

                4 votes
                1. [2]
                  Kuromantis
                  Link Parent
                  Again, how, why and by who? What would stop any progressive candidate to have run in the 90's or 2000's and gained a following? Sanders himself has been around politically for some 40 years now,...

                  When Clinton won the presidency on what was basically a Republican-Lite platform, even the idea of progressivism was essentially snuffed out.

                  Again, how, why and by who? What would stop any progressive candidate to have run in the 90's or 2000's and gained a following? Sanders himself has been around politically for some 40 years now, what was stopping him then? Who would have done it? Was it cold-war propaganda saying the "US succeeded with capitalism" while ignoring the differences between the capitalism of Roosevelt and Reagan/Rockefeller? Was it just big corporations looking to rig the game? Was media that powerful then?

                  1. Loire
                    Link Parent
                    All of the above. McCarthy hunted down every American with vaguely progressive leanings and put the rest in hiding. Progressive movements and beliefs were stigmatized as "Communist" for decades...

                    All of the above. McCarthy hunted down every American with vaguely progressive leanings and put the rest in hiding. Progressive movements and beliefs were stigmatized as "Communist" for decades and the Cold War installed a psychological disdain for the left in a majority of Americans. Unions were stigmatized and delegitimatized, eventually to be decimated by Right To Works laws. The FBI harrassed left leaning groups and leaders for decades. Reganomics and his antics were seen as a necessary medicine for the economic stagnation of the 70's and, to be frank, it worked for 20 or so years before the house of cards came tumbling down.

                    Progressivism didn't take root in America after the 60's because of constant and systematic attacks from politicians, corporations and citizens. But it also didn't take root because a majority of Americans were at least comfortable, if not prospering through the 80's, 90's and half of the 2000's. Millenials and Gen Z are such disproportionate supporters of Sander's movement because the economic reality has changed. They are not comfortable nor prosperous and so they are looking for a new deal.

                    6 votes
              2. NaraVara
                Link Parent
                People just didn't care because it was "cool" to be detached and unplugged from everything. Caring was lame. You still see shades of this in stuff like South Park where people who care about stuff...

                People just didn't care because it was "cool" to be detached and unplugged from everything. Caring was lame.

                You still see shades of this in stuff like South Park where people who care about stuff are always depicted as insane and up their own asses.

                1 vote
          2. ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            Extending this idea to those who don't see it should be one of the primary efforts of any candidate whose goal is to extend the human ability, rather than diminish it out of fear or doubt or...

            it does matter in ways that aren't immediately obvious in most people's day-to-day lives.

            Extending this idea to those who don't see it should be one of the primary efforts of any candidate whose goal is to extend the human ability, rather than diminish it out of fear or doubt or discomfort. In fact, it's one of the ways to extend the human ability: by providing people with the insight to make the better choice.

            Not the only one, and not even the most important one, but an important one all the same.

            3 votes
        3. [2]
          wycy
          Link Parent
          I think part of this is that a lot of young people don't understand the primary system, and I don't think the Sanders campaign has done a good job of letting young people know that they need to...

          I think part of this is that a lot of young people don't understand the primary system, and I don't think the Sanders campaign has done a good job of letting young people know that they need to vote for him twice: once in a primary and once in a general.

          Back in 2008, I was connected enough with politics to have heard of Obama way back at his famous DNC speech. I supported him for President, and even drove an hour home from college to vote for him in the general. But back then I had no idea that a primary system existed, and I certainly didn't vote for him in it. I didn't really learn about primaries until 2016.

          I think young people just don't know that some years you don't vote at all, and some years you vote twice: once in November, and once some other random time you need to look up based on your state.

          6 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            That's a good point. Sometimes giving "obvious" directions will help. I wonder how many people it applies to?

            That's a good point. Sometimes giving "obvious" directions will help.

            I wonder how many people it applies to?

            2 votes
        4. [2]
          EscReality
          Link Parent
          So most of my friend group (millennials around 30) are all registered as independents. I suspect this is true for most people our age as we are the demographic that seems to be the most opposed to...

          So most of my friend group (millennials around 30) are all registered as independents. I suspect this is true for most people our age as we are the demographic that seems to be the most opposed to the traditional party system.

          Can't vote in the primaries if your not allowed to.

          2 votes
          1. Omnicrola
            Link Parent
            If you want to, you can change your affiliation for the purposes of voting in the primary. You can change it back for the general. I'm on board with tossing the 2 party system with a single chosen...

            If you want to, you can change your affiliation for the purposes of voting in the primary. You can change it back for the general.

            I'm on board with tossing the 2 party system with a single chosen candidate out the window though.

            5 votes
      3. Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        To be fair he was frontrunning at around 30% support for practically the entire race until Iowa, meaning his core base is pretty large. More interestingly, his base is also the second most...

        No one actually wants him, he is just the option the party thinks is the safest.

        To be fair he was frontrunning at around 30% support for practically the entire race until Iowa, meaning his core base is pretty large. More interestingly, his base is also the second most committed to their candidate, only behind Sanders' base. Granted the youth vote is still pathetic with Biden.

  2. [8]
    wycy
    (edited )
    Link
    If this election were held under the conditions of late 2019, I'd say Joe Biden wouldn't have a chance against Trump. However... Coronavirus and the resulting recession may be the one thing that...

    If this election were held under the conditions of late 2019, I'd say Joe Biden wouldn't have a chance against Trump. However...

    Coronavirus and the resulting recession may be the one thing that can haul Biden's lifeless campaign across the finish line--

    • if enough old people (read: Trump's electorate) end up dying or too afraid to go to the polls, and/or
    • if the economy gets bad enough, and/or
    • if the outbreak ends up worse here than in other countries and Trump is seen as uniquely responsible.

    It's also conceivable that Biden and/or Trump could catch covid-19, and really make things interesting.

    9 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Biden and/or Trump and/or Bernie* (Just saying, really, much of Congress could die from this, see Iran right now) Whatever happens, now is a great point of inflection for alternate history of...

      Biden and/or Trump and/or Bernie* (Just saying, really, much of Congress could die from this, see Iran right now)

      Whatever happens, now is a great point of inflection for alternate history of almost every type and outcome.

      5 votes
    2. [4]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Life under a gerontocracy. . . Maybe Julián Castro or someone young should just keep campaigning until November just in case.

      It's also conceivable that Biden and/or Trump could catch covid-19, and really make things interesting.

      Life under a gerontocracy. . .

      Maybe Julián Castro or someone young should just keep campaigning until November just in case.

      4 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Hey, that's why they 'suspend' their campaigns and Gabbard (38) is still openly running. Pete (38), Yang (47) and maybe Klobuchar (59) could come back in, although if any of them did it too late...

        Hey, that's why they 'suspend' their campaigns and Gabbard (38) is still openly running. Pete (38), Yang (47) and maybe Klobuchar (59) could come back in, although if any of them did it too late we might need to go back to worrying about a brokered/contested convention, which would all play into Republican smearing.

        1 vote
      2. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        Everyone seems to forget that Gabbard is still in the race. I honestly think she's staying in the race just on the off-chance that Biden and Sanders both fall ill and have to drop out.

        Everyone seems to forget that Gabbard is still in the race. I honestly think she's staying in the race just on the off-chance that Biden and Sanders both fall ill and have to drop out.

        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Nah. Everyone who dropped out "suspended their campaigns" so they're still on the ballots and they still have formal organizations the they can start collecting money for and signing checks at a...

          Everyone seems to forget that Gabbard is still in the race. I honestly think she's staying in the race just on the off-chance that Biden and Sanders both fall ill and have to drop out.

          Nah. Everyone who dropped out "suspended their campaigns" so they're still on the ballots and they still have formal organizations the they can start collecting money for and signing checks at a moments' notice if they need to.

          Gabbard is in the race because she gets to continue running a campaign and collecting enough donations to keep her friends and associated employed as "Director of Such and Such."

          This is basically the Green Party's entire game these days as well (at least on the national level). They're professional campaigners. They're not focused on actually getting power or pushing policies anymore, just keeping the campaign going so they can continue paying staff and salaries for crony networks. Even if they win an election or two, it's in the service of keeping the grift going.

          7 votes
    3. ibis
      Link Parent
      This would require honest media reporting to have an effect. If the US was uniquely bad, do you think that information would reach Trumps supporters? Do you think that they’d believe it if it did?...

      if the outbreak ends up worse here than in other countries and Trump is seen as uniquely responsible.

      This would require honest media reporting to have an effect. If the US was uniquely bad, do you think that information would reach Trumps supporters? Do you think that they’d believe it if it did? (eg fake news).

      I’m honestly asking, because I’m not American, but we have Murdoch media here too, and it generally feels like conservative politians are never held accountable by their media bubble.

      3 votes
    4. envy
      Link Parent
      This is what Allan Lichtman says who created the 13 keys to the whitehouse Fortunately, it is election year, so Trump cares. Unfortunately Trump is just focused on the stock market right now, and...

      This is what Allan Lichtman says who created the 13 keys to the whitehouse

      Fortunately, it is election year, so Trump cares.

      Unfortunately Trump is just focused on the stock market right now, and not on the number of deaths.

      2 votes
  3. moocow1452
    Link
    Could have sworn that this was a Vox article at some point, that neither choice was a very safe one, but Biden is the old reliable, and Bernie is the electric hotrod, and that's why they've both...

    Neither of them is a guaranteed win. If there was a safe choice, it wasn't one of these 2.

    Could have sworn that this was a Vox article at some point, that neither choice was a very safe one, but Biden is the old reliable, and Bernie is the electric hotrod, and that's why they've both stayed in compared to people who tried to moderate the two.

    7 votes
  4. [11]
    vektor
    Link
    Can someone riddle me why no one seems to care that Biden is showing signs of mental decline? Some serious gaffes that kind of indicate he's not nearly as lucid as we'd like the president to be,...

    Can someone riddle me why no one seems to care that Biden is showing signs of mental decline? Some serious gaffes that kind of indicate he's not nearly as lucid as we'd like the president to be, and the polls favor him over Sanders? What? Does the public not know about that, as implied by pro-sanders subreddits? Or do they just not care? Or has reddit lied to me and it actually isn't all that bad? I expect Biden to get torn apart by Trump over these things. Sanders is a bit harder to catch.

    6 votes
    1. [8]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      We will have to see come the debate. One should not diagnose through the internet from ten second clips. Biden could literally just be slipping on his words in the heat of the moment. The long...

      We will have to see come the debate. One should not diagnose through the internet from ten second clips. Biden could literally just be slipping on his words in the heat of the moment. The long form of the debate will show whether or not he is struggling.

      And yes, its always a good idea to assume resdit is lying to you.

      9 votes
      1. [7]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Biden also has a well documented stutter. A lot of has gaffes are just him changing his words to avoid flubbing and stuttering on a problem word. What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say: His...

        Biden also has a well documented stutter. A lot of has gaffes are just him changing his words to avoid flubbing and stuttering on a problem word.

        Maybe you’ve heard Biden talk about his boyhood stutter. A non-stutterer might not notice when he appears to get caught on words as an adult, because he usually maneuvers out of those moments quickly and expertly. But on other occasions, like that night in Detroit, Biden’s lingering stutter is hard to miss. He stutters—­if slightly—on several sounds as we sit across from each other in his office. Before addressing the debate specifically, I mention what I’ve just heard. “I want to ask you, as, you know, a … stutterer to, uh, to a … stutterer. When you were … talking a couple minutes ago, it, it seemed to … my ear, my eye … did you have … trouble on s? Or on … m?”

        I think the recent example of "we know these truths to be self-evident, all men and women created by the.. — you know, you know, the thing.” It seemed pretty clear to me that he was having difficulty saying equal and had to change his words so that he could continue on.

        8 votes
        1. [6]
          pvik
          Link Parent
          I do not know if Biden had a speech impediment/stutter or not, but to your last point: Here is the clip of him making that exact statement. Couple of thing that I want to point out: Your...

          I do not know if Biden had a speech impediment/stutter or not, but to your last point: Here is the clip of him making that exact statement.

          Couple of thing that I want to point out:

          1. Your transcribing is not accurate and you seem to be adding pauses incorrectly.
          2. The exact words he is saying is: "We know these truth to be self evident. All men and women created by go you know, you know the thing.
          3. That is clearly NOT a stutter. Please stop saying he is stuttering there. Stuttering is an actual speech impediment.
          4. He has no pause between when he starts saying "go" and "you know...".
          5. Most likely he could not see the teleprompter clearly, or he did not want to say God, because he was told to be more secular in his speeches and his brain did a panic-course-correction. I don't know.

          (I am only making the above points to the clip in question. I do not know if he suffered from stuttering in the past or as a child.)

          5 votes
          1. [5]
            dubteedub
            Link Parent
            Please read the article that I linked. He has a well documented stutter going back to his childhood and he discusses it at length with a reporter who also has a stutter (much more prounounced). It...

            (I am only making the above points to the clip in question. I do not know if he suffered from stuttering in the past or as a child.)

            Please read the article that I linked. He has a well documented stutter going back to his childhood and he discusses it at length with a reporter who also has a stutter (much more prounounced). It is a really good read.

            I also pulled out this quote for a reason.

            A non-stutterer might not notice when he appears to get caught on words as an adult, because he usually maneuvers out of those moments quickly and expertly.

            He tries to change words to something else if he gets hung up on a sound he is struggling with.


            Edit: here is a more recent article from yesterday in the Chicago Tribune.

            The former vice president addressed his lifelong stutter during a CNN town hall last month. “You know, stuttering, when you think about it, is the only handicap that people still laugh about,” Biden said.

            He was asked what advice he would give a college student who has stuttered his whole life. Biden said he used to practice reciting poetry in front of a mirror. He said he occasionally still stutters, at age 77, especially when he’s tired. He said he uses some of the same methods shown in “The King’s Speech,” the 2010 movie about King George VI’s stutter, to slow down his speech.

            A friend of mine who stutters recently shared a long social media thread on stuttering, written by a guy named Charles Repine, who says he has stuttered for 35 years. Repine writes eloquently about the various avoidance behaviors he and other people who stutter often adopt to keep from stuttering in public. (“Substituting a feared word for a word that’s easier to say.” “Sentence abandonment: Recognizing that you’re about to stutter and just giving up entirely.” “Putting off saying a feared word or sound until it comes out fluently.”)

            I encourage all those who are claiming that Biden has a brain malfunctions or dementia, to go back and look at the debates and speeches that are used as "evidence" of this in light of this last paragraph and see how Biden looks to just be using his learned stutter avoidance mechanisms.

            6 votes
            1. [4]
              pvik
              Link Parent
              I apologize for replying without reading the article. I do hope people have a conversation about stuttering and hope it is not ridiculed. However, in this case, I feel like Biden supporters seem...

              I apologize for replying without reading the article.

              I do hope people have a conversation about stuttering and hope it is not ridiculed.

              However, in this case, I feel like Biden supporters seem to be using the fact he suffers from stuttering to cover any and all of his gaffes.
              This has already lead to a trend of people correlating Dementia with Stuttering on social media. This is not good.

              Stuttering also does not make people say completely made up phrases like "Lying-dog-faced pony soldier" or incoherent phrases like "I am a caucus".
              People make gaffes and people in the spotlight are unfortunate to have those gaffes recorded and saved by the internet. However, I think people should stop using the narrative that he is just stuttering when he is making these kind of gaffes.

              Neither I nor anyone not close to Biden/His physicians know if he is actually suffering from Dementia or not. It is not an easy thing to diagnose in a 30 minute check-up with a physician either, especially if it is in early stages.

              Nor, should people be trying to build a narrative he has dementia from video clips of his. I really wish people would pay more attention to the candidate's policies than spending time on these kind of things.
              (However, If Biden is in fact suffering from Dementia, I (emphasis on I) think it is his responsibility to the people of US as a public servant to step-down or at least nominate someone else)

              In the context of this original-post, Trump mocking Biden and mock-stuttering (thanks to the narrative that has been built already), is only going to give us a clip similar to him mocking Rubio for sweating. Unfortunately, his base will also eat it up.

              (I do not want to bring up my own personal experiences with stuttering, but once again, the clip you mentioned above, does not look like him stuttering, nor him using a learned stutter avoidance mechanism. But, I am not a native english speaker, so stutter avoidance in english may be quite different. I do not know. This statement is also just my opinion.)

              6 votes
              1. dubteedub
                Link Parent
                No sweat. I completely agree with you. Biden was one of my last choices (just above Bernie, Bloomberg, and Tulsi), I just want people to reconsider this whole dementia angle. He has a long history...

                I apologize for replying without reading the article.

                No sweat.

                Stuttering also does not make people say completely made up phrases like "Lying-dog-faced pony soldier" or incoherent phrases like "I am a caucus".

                I completely agree with you. Biden was one of my last choices (just above Bernie, Bloomberg, and Tulsi), I just want people to reconsider this whole dementia angle. He has a long history of gaffes and many of them are just Biden being Biden. I think you lying dog-faced pony solider thing is an example of just that.

                I also think that his aggressive nature with folks that he believes are being bullies is also a concern. It is a machismo that seems to cloud his thinking at times.

                I also do think some of his gaffes are just avoidance behaviors for his stutter.

                Neither I nor anyone not close to Biden/His physicians know if he is actually suffering from Dementia or not. It is not an easy thing to diagnose in a 30 minute check-up with a physician either, especially if it is in early stages.

                Nor, should people be trying to build a narrative he has dementia from video clips of his. I really wish people would pay more attention to the candidate's policies than spending time on these kind of things.

                That is exactly my issues. People are building up this conspiracy theory that Biden has dementia using a few video clips and seem to be ignoring that his been called a gaffe-machine basically his entire life in political office.

                Right now a lot of Sanders strongest supporters are absolutely running with the idea that Bernie has dementia and its hugely concerning. Just last night the top moderator of /r/SandersForPresident stickied a post that said:

                Joe Biden has early-stage dementia. Corporate media isn't talking because they would rather we lose to Trump, whereas a President Sanders would break up Comcast, which owns most of them.

                The SFP mod team has spoken with neurologists and psychiatrists who professionally diagnose dementia. Joe Biden has it. The "Democratic" media is just ignoring it until the general.

                https://i.imgur.com/4UGPVey.jpg

                This is a super serious accusation, particularly with the fact they are claiming that they talked to doctors who had diagnosed him.

                6 votes
              2. [2]
                Litmus2336
                Link Parent
                My best friend has a stutter, and it manifests in interesting ways. He says that he often chooses odd vocabulary choices because he knows/feels he will stutter on certain words. Do you ever...

                My best friend has a stutter, and it manifests in interesting ways. He says that he often chooses odd vocabulary choices because he knows/feels he will stutter on certain words. Do you ever experience that?

                2 votes
                1. pvik
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, I do have words I am more comfortable with than others and I have grown to use words I am more comfortable with more frequently, often times, even if the meaning I wanted conveyed could've...

                  Yes, I do have words I am more comfortable with than others and I have grown to use words I am more comfortable with more frequently, often times, even if the meaning I wanted conveyed could've been more effective with another word.

                  3 votes
    2. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      Kind of comes with the territory of electing the naked Democratic machine, I guess. Trump seems to have inverted the whole "Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line" truism, so my...

      Kind of comes with the territory of electing the naked Democratic machine, I guess. Trump seems to have inverted the whole "Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line" truism, so my guess is that there's going to be a whole lot more "this is fining" from Democrats since Biden is pretty much the nominee at this point, and they're on a unity kick.

      3 votes
    3. wycy
      Link Parent
      I think people just really haven't seen it. In the televised debates to date, Biden's only really had to speak for 1min 15sec at a time--and even then he'll cut himself off. There are several...

      I think people just really haven't seen it. In the televised debates to date, Biden's only really had to speak for 1min 15sec at a time--and even then he'll cut himself off. There are several compilations of his major brain malfunctions going around the internet, but these don't get any play on TV at all--but they will in the general.

      The Sunday debate could change things if he has a major malfunction on TV.

      1 vote
  5. [7]
    Autoxidation
    Link
    IMO many people here are out of touch and don't understand US politics as much as they think they do (look at the sheer amount of Bernie support in past threads and compare it to how well he's...

    IMO many people here are out of touch and don't understand US politics as much as they think they do (look at the sheer amount of Bernie support in past threads and compare it to how well he's done in the primary). Biden is beating his polling expectations and spending almost no money doing so. States that were thought to be favorable to Sanders haven't been so. Most people in the US are still moderates and they are comfortable with Biden.

    On top of that, turnout has been significantly higher than 2016; which shows a great trend for the general election. Biden is an absolutely known quantity. He's gaffe prone and getting old, but he signals a return to normalcy many are wanting for, and after 2016 and the Trump administration's constant scandals, most voters don't seem to care about things that might affect Biden.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      vorotato
      Link Parent
      They're polling for him in the primary because they think he's "electable", however safe is usually boring, and boring loses elections. We didn't win against Bush with John Kerry, we didn't win...

      They're polling for him in the primary because they think he's "electable", however safe is usually boring, and boring loses elections. We didn't win against Bush with John Kerry, we didn't win against Trump with Hillary, and I suspect we won't win against Trump with Biden.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Autoxidation
        Link Parent
        I don't think that conventional wisdom applies anymore after 2016. The massively increased turnout is direct proof that people are willing to show for Biden, and it's a great indicator for the...

        I don't think that conventional wisdom applies anymore after 2016.

        The massively increased turnout is direct proof that people are willing to show for Biden, and it's a great indicator for the general election.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          vorotato
          Link Parent
          The idea that the older generation can carry this through on their own, despite young people being far greater in number is something that we have yet to see in any democrat election. New events...

          The idea that the older generation can carry this through on their own, despite young people being far greater in number is something that we have yet to see in any democrat election. New events can happen, however the new surprising events that we have seen don't seem to be aiding the older generation.

          3 votes
          1. Autoxidation
            Link Parent
            If young people voted in the numbers that mattered, we wouldn't be in this position, but here we are, and turnout as a whole vastly surpasses 2016 and it greatly favored Biden, not Bernie. It's...

            If young people voted in the numbers that mattered, we wouldn't be in this position, but here we are, and turnout as a whole vastly surpasses 2016 and it greatly favored Biden, not Bernie.

            It's really a testament to how unpopular Clinton was.

            5 votes
    2. [2]
      Litmus2336
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's quite frankly scary to me that when confronted with the idea that Biden won in a legitimate election the only fallback is "Well, voters didn't really want him, if condition we would have...

      It's quite frankly scary to me that when confronted with the idea that Biden won in a legitimate election the only fallback is "Well, voters didn't really want him, if condition we would have Sanders". This is the stuff that undermines our democracy.

      1 vote
      1. Autoxidation
        Link Parent
        Voters did really want Biden over Sanders. Sucks for those of us that support Sanders but that is just the reality of the situation. The US as a whole isn't ready for Sanders yet, despite his...

        Voters did really want Biden over Sanders. Sucks for those of us that support Sanders but that is just the reality of the situation. The US as a whole isn't ready for Sanders yet, despite his major support among the younger voters.

        5 votes