Former Vice President Joe Biden was named at the Democratic National Convention this week to be the party’s presidential nominee, and he delivered his acceptance speech on Thursday.
A number of left-leaning Canadians noted that a portion of Biden’s remarks sounded awfully familiar and accused the nominee of having plagiarized the words of Jack Layton, the late leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, TheBlaze reported.
This actually isn’t the first time that Biden has been accused of plagiarism. Similar accusations regarding a political speech as well as a law school paper led to the suspension of his first run for the presidency in 1988.
HuffPost reported that the line in Biden’s DNC acceptance speech that drew so much attention north of the border was when he said, “For love is more powerful than hate, hope is more powerful than fear and light is more powerful than dark.”
Many Canadians took to social media to point out the strong resemblance between that line and one that was included in the farewell address letter from NDP leader Jack Layton prior to his death.
Layton had written, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Ironically, both that progressive media outlet, as well as the more conservative-leaning Post Millenial, noted that Layton himself may have actually borrowed those words from one of his own political predecessors, former Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier.
In a 1916 speech, Laurier said, “Let me tell you that for the solution of these problems you have a safe guide, an unfailing light if you remember that faith is better than doubt and love is better than hate.”
Not the first
To be sure, the notion that love is better than hate is and has been a common sentiment, and the words uttered by Biden were not exact replicas of what either Layton or Laurier had said. However, the accusations of plagiarism hold some merit given Biden’s reported history.
Business Insider reported in 2019 on how Biden, during his 1988 campaign, bowed out after acknowledging the similarities between what he had said about being the first in his family to go to college in comparison to a similar claim uttered by British Labor MP Neil Kinnock.
That episode had followed on the heels of other accusations in 1987 that Biden had plagiarized portions of a law review journal for a paper he wrote while at Syracuse University College of Law.
Biden admitted to the plagiarism in both instances, and now it appears that he has borrowed somebody else’s words without attribution once again. Will it will harm his chances in the upcoming election? We’ll see…