I realize that if you took down everything I said, you would come across some pretty inane comments. If I had to do a debate, live, I’m sure I’d come out looking like an idiot. Still, Biden! (Did Obama ever say stuff like this? Did Hillary? I sincerely doubt it.)
The question: “what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?”
Excerpts from Biden’s answer:
“Make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.”
“It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t — they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — the — make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.”
The first part of Biden’s answer is coherent, but I disagree with him. I don’t think the solution to repairing the legacy of slavery is to put 3-year-olds in school. Even if we neglect the question, I still don’t think putting 3-year-olds in school is the answer to much of anything. 3-year-olds should be playing, not learning their ABCs. B, starting Kinder this year, learned her ABCs a week before school started, and I promise you, having learned them late will not negatively impact her at all. For me, the Democratic urge to push preschool to younger and younger ages reeks of institutionalization of our children. Offering impoverished to lower middle class working parents additional financial support so they can afford high quality childcare of their choice, which may or may not be “school”? That I can get behind.
The second part of his answer, though, really takes the cake. What, exactly, is he saying? Parsing it carefully, it sounds like he thinks we should play audio recordings for underprivileged – black in this context – children at night so they hear more words. Leaving aside the racist implications here, I sincerely doubt that children get much benefit from audio recordings. It’s like plopping your kid in front of the TV – nothing wrong with doing that when you need a break, but don’t tell me it benefits the child. To learn vocabulary, kids need back and forth with another human.
Mostly, though, he reminds me more of Trump than Obama in terms of ability to state ideas that make sense. Obama could sell both of the above concepts, and even if you didn’t agree with them, you’d be forced to consider his logic. Biden? Not so much.
Honestly, I wish Biden had not run. We do need a centrist candidate, but he’s filled that space and blocked other younger, fresher contenders. Had Biden not participated, perhaps someone else might have emerged. Sanders is a crackpot as far as I’m concerned, and that leaves us with Warren, who is simply too far left for me.