Joe Biden’s touchy problem

Joe Biden is the Democratic frontrunner for his party’s nomination for president, winning 46% of the vote in a recent poll, compared to 14% for second-place Bernie Sanders.

This, despite seven women having come forward with accusations of “inappropriate behavior.” None were claims of sexual misconduct, but rather concerns over a style of interaction that has made these women feel “uncomfortable.”

He has kissed women’s heads, pressed his forehead to theirs, and generally invaded space.

“Creepy Joe” is one nickname he’s earned from his touchy-feely demeanor.

“Uncle Joe” is another.

some background

Biden has an emotional delivery and style that some say comes from personal tragedy.

In 1972, a few weeks after Biden won his Senate seat, his first wife, one-year-old daughter, and his two sons, Hunter and Beau, were hit by a tractor trailer while Christmas shopping. His wife and daughter were killed; his sons survived but with massive injuries.

Then, in 2015, his son Beau died of brain cancer.

in his own words

The most successful and happiest people I’ve known understand that a good life at its core is about being personal. It’s about being engaged. It’s about being there for a friend or a colleague when they’re injured or in an accident, remembering the birthdays, congratulating them on their marriage, celebrating the birth of their child. It’s about being available to them when they’re going through personal loss. It’s about loving someone more than yourself, as one of your speakers have already mentioned. It all seems to get down to being personal.

the non-apology response

Biden published a video in response to the accusations in which he talks about learning from the situation while avoiding an apology.

Some say this (lack of an apology) is why the issue hasn’t gone away.

Is touch a biological necessity that simply makes the world a little better? Or, is touch creepy and invasive, and should it be stopped? Also, grab and tissue and geek out on what happens to babies when they are not touched enough: A look at the seminal study on touch conducted in Romanian orphanages in the 1990’s.

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