UK Correspondent

A couple of traits from the Joe Biden 2020 Presidential run are strikingly disqualifying: Plagiarism and lack of leadership qualities.   

In his economic campaign announcement,  the American press has overlooked or maybe given him a pass on the fact the he PLAGIARIZED the entire concept from the BRITISH PRIME MINISTER – Boris Johnson.  Biden’s “Build Back Better,” would be more correct if it read “Build Back, like Boris.”   Here is the evidence. 

Joe Biden didn’t build this – Origins:

The slogan “Build Back Better” originally came about from a 2015 UN program to construct a Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.  Following a UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, it was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Jun 3rd 2015.    

At the conference the concept of “Build Back Better” was proposed by the Japanese Delegation as a holistic concept as can be outlined as follows: 

The principle of ‘Build Back Better’ is generally understood to use the disaster as a trigger to create more resilient nations and societies than before. This was through the implementation of well-balanced disaster risk reduction measures, including physical restoration of infrastructure, revitalization of livelihood and economy/industry, and the restoration of local culture and environment.”  

 The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, said: 

In his economic campaign announcement,  the American press has overlooked or maybe given him a pass on the fact the he PLAGIARIZED the entire concept from the BRITISH PRIME MINISTER – Boris Johnson.  Biden’s “Build Back Better,” would be more correct if it read “Build Back, like Boris.”   Here is the evidence.

The UK “builds, back, better” connection. 

The slogan re-emerged in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in London on April 9th, 2020. Virtual meetings and virtual discussions took place between London First, the group with hundreds of business CEOs, and individuals from all levels of the UK government.  They engaged with Number 10 Downing Street (Prime Minister), the London Mayor and his Strategic Coordinating Group meetings, London MPs, other political stakeholders, and with the Bank of England, to discuss bold and decisive action for all aspects of Covid-19 – the lock-down, unlocking, and recovery. 

Earlier in her career, London First’s Chief Executive, Jasmine Whitbread had led humanitarian organizations responding to disasters.  She noted that in those times they focused on immediate needs but also formulated plans to “Build Back Better”.  After the April 9th meetings, the UK strategy for responding to Covid-19 began looking at what “building back better” would mean for London and the UK.   

More than 200 leading businesses wrote to and lobbied the government in line with this strategy and you can see in their letters, the phrase “build back better,” is often evoked.   

The following month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a vision for reopening the UK after the Covid-19 lock-down. He said, “once we move beyond the emergency phase, we owe it to future generations to BUILD BACK BETTER and base our recovery on solid foundations, including a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy.”  He used this slogan many times, his podium emblazoned with the accompanying “build, build, build” mantra. This is where Joe Biden got the idea.   

Joe borrows some ideas. 

In fact, only 11 days later Joe Biden put forward a new economic plan for America to “Build Back Better.”  

It gets worse though, the actual substance of the plan seemed really similar to President Trump’s ideas, prompting the President to remark to journalists that “Joe Biden plagiarized his “Buy American” plan.  You may recall from President Trump’s 2016 campaign the slogan “Buy American, Hire American.”  Or the rallies where he would ask the crowd whether they would prefer products stamped with “Made in America” or “Made in the USA”?  “I think I prefer ‘Made in the USA’” Trump would say. 

Biden has repeatedly been accused of plagiarism through his career: 

He dropped out of the Presidential race in 1988 when he was found out taking lines from the speech of British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock without giving Kinnock credit for the ideas.   

In his college years, he was forced to admit plagiarism, then repeat his first-year class at Syracuse Law School due to copying five pages from someone else’s work published in a law review journal.    

When he was Senator, Biden plagiarised an entire paragraph from a story on then-newly elected President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea and used it for a speech.  Again, he didn’t cite the source, – Time Magazine, and even had President Myung-Bak’s language put directly into an official congressional resolution in February 2008.    

Then in 2019, his presidential campaign put out a climate plan using exactly the same language as activist groups – American Rivers, the Carbon Capture Coalition and Blue Green Alliance.  The campaign did not reference the material at all until it was brought to their attention by media.   

Do we have a leader here? 

Leaders are bold and decisive, while followers look elsewhere for confidence and ideas. In the recent UK elections, Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn exhibited his “follower” traits.  He was criticized for being wishy-washy and indecisive on Brexit.  In response, Corbyn exclaimed he would invite in other viewpoints and support the majority view.  Hence the soundbite, Jeremy Corbyn “may be a decent man, but he is not a leader. 

When it comes to Joe Biden a study found Joe Biden has these same personality traits as Corbyn. They say Biden may be characterized as a conciliatory extrovert.  One who is driven to seek approval.  This personality type wants others to like them and view them as a friend or ally.  They present an image of goodwill.  When disagreements occur, they attempt to smooth things over, sometimes at the cost of conceding. 

Leaders with Biden’s personality profile tend to exhibit an interpersonal leadership style, characterized by flexibility, compromise, and an emphasis on teamwork.  By contrast, organizational psychologist’s and coach, Dr. Karlyn Borysenko assessed Trump to have a dominant personality profile.  His emphasis is on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results.  Typically, people with this style are motivated by winning and prioritize taking action and achieving immediate results.  They are often described as direct, demanding, strong-willed, determined, fast-paced, and self-confident. 

In short, President Trump is a leader and Joe Biden is a follower.   

In the run-up to the 2020 US Presidential election, criticism of Joe Biden so far consists of internet memes – where he struggles without losing his train of thought.  Or meanders into different topics altogether.  But there is a lot of substance behind his history of plagiarism and poor leadership qualities that show Joe Biden is a weak candidate for the top political office he seeks.   

Carol King received a first class BA (honors) in History and Politics from Stirling University, along with an exceptional commendation for a study on US public opinion and Foreign Policy. She also completed a year of study at University of London before taking up a Graduate Proctor Fellowship at Princeton University. She further completed a MPhil in American Politics at Dundee University. Aspiring to be a writer/commentator on American politics, she now writes for UncoverDC.

Twitter: @CarolKing561