Joe Biden – a former US vice-president who is vying for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 US presidential election – seems to be going from gaffe to gaffe – to put it mildly.
More harsh observers may call Biden's cringe-worthy displays of intense campaign politics a clear example of the old “foot-in-mouth” disease.
After last week maligning the campaign of Bernie Sanders, a fellow Democrat – but bitter primaries rival – for allegedly producing a fake video that turned out to be real, Biden is now reported as referring to video game developers as “little creeps.”
In Biden's New York Times interview, where former President Obama's second-in-command describes a meeting he once – while in office – had with representatives of Big Tech, i.e., the Silicon Valley.
Back then, apparently – and that would have been prior to 2016 – there was nothing for Biden to write home about to the likes of the New York Times. The meeting was not about Big Tech's handling of user data, privacy, and security, or even political biases of any kind. None of those seem to have been of concern at the time – Biden's meeting was instead all about how to better enforce intellectual property (IP) claims.
But now, asked about “Silicon Valley's expansion of power during his time in the Obama administration” – Biden said that there had been one “little creep” at the IP discussion table – whom he describes as “close to a billionaire” and also one who allegedly told him he was an artist “because he was able to come up with games to teach you how to kill people.”
In the New York Times interview, Biden continues with his version of events, offering his own direct quotes from a number of years ago. And according to him, he was triumphant in putting Silicon Valley people who claimed to be “the engine of America” in their place.
Instead of learning in hindsight that Big Tech is indeed the engine of America – though flawed in so many ways – Biden lets his old-timey corporate allegiances flag fly proudly here:
“As I added up the seven outfits, everyone's there but Microsoft. I said, you have fewer people on your payroll than all the losses that General Motors just faced in the last quarter, of employees.”
He also accused tech companies of “an arrogance (…) an overwhelming arrogance that we are, we are the ones. We can do what we want to do. I disagree.”
In Biden's world, it's easy to imagine that only the political center of power that spawned him has the right to overwhelming arrogance and doing what it wants. Competition in this realm doesn't seem to be welcome at all.
Despite no scientific link between real-world violence and video games, politicians continue to exploit this hypothesis in earnest.
Biden has expressed this particular stance against video games in the past. Back in 2013, while he was Vice President, he proposed an extra tax on violent media.