76-year-old Presidential candidate Joe Biden believes he is the right choice for the Democratic Party in 2020. Many young Democrats, however, disagree, believing him to be a fondly-remembered, but ultimately antiquated figure of the party's past.
Biden seemed to reinforce this view in a resurfaced clip from his book launch earlier this year. In the video, he's interviewed by Patt Morrison from the Los Angeles Times, and the things he has to say about the younger generation are pretty damning.
When asked about millennials, Biden responded:
"The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break."
Biden spoke about how his generation basically "finished" civil rights:
"Because here's the deal guys, we decided we were gonna change the world. And we did. We did. We finished the civil rights movement in the first stage. The women's movement came to be. So my message is, get involved. There's no place to hide."
Despite the surge of millennial voters who turned out in 2018, Biden seems to be under the impression young people need to get involved!
"And so, there's an old expression my philosophy professor would always use from Plato, 'The penalty people face for not being involved in politics is being governed by people worse than themselves.' It's wide open. Go out and change it."
Biden also conveniently left out the climate crisis his generation (and he specifically, as a member of Congress) failed to prevent, or the soaring prices of healthcare.
Biden's generation did not "fix" America, they imperiled it.
Biden's voting record in Congress is not an especially progressive one.
Throughout the years, he's voted to deregulate Wall Street, support discriminatory bussing practices, and took a major role in Bill Clinton's 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which is now remembered for its racist effects on our justice system.
Comedian Michael Ian Black summed up his disgust with Biden's answer very well:
If Biden wants to win the young votes he needs to win the Presidency, he's going to have to change his tune in a big way.
Many highly educated and motivated millennials are struggling to make ends meet, and mocking them is not what our nation needs right now.