Joe Biden is the perfect representation of a progressive Social Guardian: a moderately-liberal proponent of social justice with strong convictions for equality and a balanced economy.
Updated Aug 22nd, 2020 by Jeffrey Lee, Principal Editor
Joe Biden is primarily known for serving as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama, but now he may just become the next president of the United States. If he is elected this November, he could be the most balanced and seemingly progressive Social Guardian we’ve had as a President in a long time. Let us explain.
From our research on political personalities, Social Guardians are known for playing supportive roles and are typically balanced in their political approach, representing the mainstream but being open to change. Generally, they are politically moderate, compassionate, and passive in expressing viewpoints. Joe Biden perfectly represents all these attributes, and we would like to dig deeper and explain why we believe that in this article.
The Status Quo Politician or Major Reformer?
The thing about Social Guardians is that they don’t fully embrace the status quo or favor major reform. You could say they are in the center or lean slightly left when it comes to their change appetite. They can be viewed as being centrists, something Joe Biden is often accused of being.
This comes as no surprise because Joe Biden often positions himself as being the center of the Democratic party. When it comes to expressing his personal ideology, he doesn’t state his own but instead toes the party line and states the dominant beliefs of the Democratic party.
While he is fairly liberal, he takes an approach that doesn’t entirely satisfy the liberal party. This aligns with his Senate voting record too. According to DW-Nominate Scores of his Senate votes, Biden was always more liberal than at least 44 percent of his Democratic colleagues but always less liberal than 43 percent of his colleagues.
Oddly enough, most of the positions he backs would make him the most progressive candidate ever to be elected to President of the United States’ office. This is a dual-card aspect of Joe Biden, a mixture of the party line and major reform, a typical trait of Social Guardians. Social Guardians tend not to have a steadfast ideology but express political beliefs that are either a reflection or a reaction to what is currently going on in politics. And currently, the Democratic party is moving left due to the Coronavirus and the radicalization of the Republican party. It only makes sense that Joe Biden is doing the same.
The Lean Optimism of Joe Biden
Like we’ve stated above, Joe Biden views himself as a Democrat through and through. And it’s fair to say that Obama has helped reshape the Democratic party to be the party of optimists. On multiple occasions, he has said that people should embrace “relentless optimism” and frequently advise voters to reject pessimism in life and our politics.
Being an Obama Democrat, Joe Biden has most likely adopted the former president’s approach in his own life. This can be seen in his speeches where he tells people that we can “restore the soul of America” and states things like, “I’m even more optimistic about the future of our country than I was as a 29-year-old in the Senate.”
This provides ample evidence for us to believe that Joe Biden is a Social Guardian. While they are known for being in the center when it comes to idealism, Social Guardians lean towards an optimistic outlook and believe we can shape our country the way we want it to be if everyone participates.
A Reasoned Emotionalist
A common thing that the media likes to bring up about Joe Biden is his emotional moments. He can easily connect with others when he gets in his element, especially when it comes to speaking about his late son Beau or talking to those who have lost a loved one.
He focuses on empathy in stump speeches, positioning himself as someone keenly aware of Americans’ pain and anxieties. This is where Social Guardians excel; they are known for their humbleness and can achieve an intimate level of connection with almost anyone.
We would call Joe Biden a “reasoned” emotionalist because he still approaches tasks based on the best interests of the Democratic party. He doesn’t let his emotional views trump what he believes he should or should not be doing.
Like most Social Guardians, Joe Biden is open to change and new policy reforms. While many framed him as a moderate during the primaries, he is actually pretty flexible on policy. He has frequently shifted his positions based on the dominant beliefs of the Democratic party.
This flexibility can especially be seen after Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Presidential race back in April. Since then, he has endorsed Elizabeth Warren’s bankruptcy plan and adopted Sander’s medicare and college parts for all policies. Joe Biden’s campaign has even added progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to his climate policy task force.
This has shown that Joe Biden is not a candidate who is stuck in his way. He is open to trying new things and embracing “change” much to the same tune as Barack Obama did back in 2008. As previously mentioned, though, he is not a big change reformer. He is a moderate change reformer.
His partial adoption of progressive plans shows that he doesn’t believe big reform needs to happen all at once. Because of this, he maintains the moderately liberal stance that allows him to create a platform that is inviting for conservatives, moderates, and liberal voters. The Social Guardian makes sure that everyone is brought along for the ride, and not just one voice.
Passive to a fault
Social Guardians are known for being a passive force in politics and not expressing their opinions publicly. And like we mentioned prior, Joe Biden does much of the same. While he occasionally expresses his own opinions, he primarily expresses the Democratic party’s beliefs and the silent majority.
And like most Social Guardians, Joe Biden doesn’t force his viewpoints and beliefs on others. That’s because Social Guardians aren’t steadfast in certain political ideologies. If anything, they don’t get involved or overly attached to certain beliefs or ideologies. They do what they believe to be right within the moment.
For some, this can be seen as a particularly passive way to engage in politics. It’s a fair criticism of Joe Biden, but who knows, it could be the thing Americans are looking for in this upcoming election. Compared to his opponent, Biden is appropriately sober and quiet in approach. This can either be his advantage against his loud-mouth opponent or the disadvantage that could cost him the election. Time will tell.