by David Parmer / Tokyo
In just over 500 days the United States will hold the most important presidential election in its 238-year history. On the surface, the election will be about whether Donald Trump gets another 4 years in the White House. But more fundamentally, it can be seen as a battle for the soul of America.
Donald J. Trump, real-estate tycoon, dealmaker, and 45th President of the United States has brought his own brand of populism to Washington. Polls consistently show his approval rating hovering around 35% and sometimes a bit higher. Many of those who voted for Trump did so in a belief that he would “shake things up.” And that he has done. It seems that this mandate has no limits and he can virtually do what he wants. He is famously quoted as saying that he could shoot someone on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and that there would be no backlash. It looks like he is right. Scandal after scandal just do not affect him, and the phrase “like water off a duck’s back” comes to mind.
More important than Trump’s personal style, about which much has been written, is his America First ideology. Trump’s philosophy boils down to: “If it ain’t broke, break it!” Trump has embraced foreign dictators like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin and dismissed the advice of Washington professionals (including his own intelligence agencies) in the American government. Trump has also picked fights with America’s traditional allies and disparaged NATO. The most insidious part about Trump and his cohorts is the re-shaping of traditional American values. Trump claims to return to real-American values, but his policies speak otherwise. And now, Donald Trump wants another 4 years. Will he get those 4 years?
Trump will be voted out of office in November 2020 if the Democrats have their way. As of June 2019, their best candidate for doing this is former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden won’t get the Democratic nomination without a fight, and a tough one at that, but he has one magic quality: elect-ability. This means that if anyone can beat Trump he is seen as the one to do it.
There are 24 Democrats including Biden vying for the job of president. Biden’s strategy, from the beginning, is to target Trump and not his fellow Democrats. True, he will have to “mix it up” with them in several debates over the next 506 days, but he might just let them sort themselves out, and the last man/woman standing will get to be his running mate.
Democrats need to put up a centrist as a presidential candidate in order to challenge Trump in his 35% base areas, and Biden fits the bill perfectly. Probably to appease the Democratic Party’s leftists, however, Biden’s running mate will either be an “ethnic” or a woman. Senator Kamala Harris fits both bills and is a likely choice. Senator Corey Booker, a black liberal with impressive credentials, might also be chosen. Another possibility for Biden’s running mate is former Congressman Beto O’Rourke. Will the Democratic Party put forward two “white guys” in the age of diversity? That remains to be seen.
These are dangerous times in and of themselves and also by virtue of the climate that Donald Trump has created. The world is a much more dangerous place because of the policies the Trump administration has put in place vis-a-vis NATO, Iran, Russia and China to name just a few. With this in mind, it is no stretch to see this as the most important election in American history. Not only the US, but countries around the world wait with bated breath for the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Photo: Bastin Grenshake Tzovaras via flickr
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