Election 2020 — What’s the Score? What Trump has done for America and what Joe Biden must do
We have currently seen two days of the Democratic National Convention, held online of course as per social distancing. The United States today is more divided than ever, because everyone with a political opinion can express it, thanks to the permeance of social media and its hand in exacerbating the ideological divide that exists in this country. This division however, regardless of what the last two days of DNC song and dance as well as the Pledge of Allegiance has to say, is a good thing.
To say that this is an important election is an understatement, the gross ineptitude and callousness of this administration has given rise to a culture that harkens back to the “good ol’ days”, times that were simpler: low skill jobs paid well, momma could stay at home and raise the kids, everyone blindly obeyed authority, and minorities (ethnic, racial, and sexual) “knew their place”. Donald Trump represents that for them, and his voters in their zeal have become increasingly more vocal about their own views. The alt-right has ballooned in popularity and appeal, and White Supremacists and Nationalists, once at the fringes of society are now operating boldly and openly in the public square, regardless of how their content has been moderated by the aforementioned social media behemoth. Division is a good thing.
That is alarming, but Trump’s term as President has given rise to the more hopeful elements of American society: Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, a reawakening of the spirit of exploration as the United States Space Force is formed, and a recognition that American Capitalism is broken. American Healthcare is broken. American Education is broken. When the enigmatic QAnon has more of an impact on American Conservative thought than the old guard of Conservative Intelligentsia, it’s obvious something is wrong. The Epstein scandals. The Panama papers. The Ukraine conspiracy. These are all alarms that are waking the Progressive Left as a major political force, and through it we’ve seen the rise of arguably the most popular politician since Barack Obama, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been consistently left in word and action almost clinched the Presidency for a second time, losing to staunch Neo-Liberals Clinton and Biden.
And this is where things get interesting, the Left as we know it in the United States is encompassed by the Democratic party, but there’s always a rush towards the “center” in every election. Democrats do this, Republicans do this as well. What’s interesting this time is the Republican party has changed how it operates with the meteoric rise of Donald J. Trump to the presidency. The old adage, “Liberals fall in love, Conservatives fall in line” is what Trump relied on to consolidate power within his own party. The Democrats however believe that running the same campaign in 2016, snubbing the actual Leftist/Progressive candidate for the moderate center-right one, is the winning strategy. In 2016 it failed in spectacular fashion, and the high-minded liberal intelligentsia and liberal political masterminds had to eat crow. The conservative voter, who felt inferior in many ways to the costal liberal, was vindicated. The one man who the Left was so sure would lose, won. Like a sports story of the underdog, Trump with all of his scandals and shortcomings defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the most powerful and recognizable political figures of all time.
In 2016, a major fracture in the Democratic party occurred. One that would persist even to this day, and that’s the mobilization of the actual left in this country. Medicare for All (M4A) and the Green New Deal being endorsed by a major political candidate rallied progressives behind Bernie. But then the rumors came out, followed by emails, followed by admissions from DNC insiders that there was a concerted effort to derail Senator Bernie Sanders and hand the election over to Clinton. Facts that became more clear after Trump’s victory. On July 28th, 2016 the former DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned after Wikileaks exposed the conspiracy. This was a slap in the face of progressives and affirmed their suspicions of foul play. I personally knew a Bernie campaign worker who told me about the plots the following year. Here in 2020, Bernie came so close and yet was so far, and we saw the same issues — long voting lines and voting machine mishaps in areas that were strong in their support for Bernie while Biden friendly areas didn’t have those issues. It looked like 2016 all over again, but that’s not what broke the camel’s back. The Liberal media itself, ran story after story questioning Sanders and Cortez, to the point that he became politically toxic after the “Bernie Bro” debacle where the liberal media and liberal intelligentsia chose to laser focus on “toxic” Bernie supporters when in reality every micro faction in the party was just reflecting what they saw on screen. A battle royale of Democrats, all of them sniping at each other. Bernie’s supporters felt singled out, and rightfully so — they were being singled out, all the while Biden was winning states he didn’t campaign in because he’s Joe Biden. The Liberal media did the heavy lifting for him, focusing on his accomplishments and his pedigree as former Vice President to the most popular politician in recent memory, Barack Hussein Obama.
Regardless of the finer details, and the fairness involved, Biden won handily, beating out all the other candidates once the voting started. The man who polled number one, and then fell to fourth, won the nomination despite his many gaffes and mistakes on stage and the campaign trail. And with all of the chaos that is the American political left right now, Trump has been working overtime to make the case that he deserves another four years — despite his horrible reputation among NATO allies and their citizens, despite his rude and prickly demeanor towards those who don’t sing his praises, despite his willingness to channel strongman tactics when it comes to civil rights, and despite his Achille’s heel which is his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. And despite those things, he still has plenty of positive things he’s done, which as far as his voters are concerned is why he’s worthy of another term. There are two major initiatives that he’s started that I agree with, and while the Democrats are saying that a vote for Joe is a vote for American investment, the message is weak considering that Trump is literally investing in America. How so?
The creation of the Space Force has reignited conversations about interstellar travel. And all of the modern world we have today we owe to the Space Race of the 60’s. As the United States prepares to build a permanent moon base, which was announced shortly after the creation of the Space Force, new technologies will have to be developed which will eventually end up on consumer markets. Those technologies will assist us in better managing civilization on Earth, particularly around renewability. This will be the biggest boost for the US Economy, in the invention of new technologies that will be scalable and usable by our allies.
Trump’s hard stance on China is long overdue. The Chinese have asymmetrically opposed the United States on every metric as they grow in power. Bush nor Obama wanted to do what needed to be done because of the harm that would come to American businesses. Trump has stirred the pot, and yes while there has been fallout on this side of the pond, the Chinese have been forced to capitulate and they want Trump to lose this election so they can move back to the status quo. He blocked Huawei, he’s putting pressure on Chinese firms like Tencent and ByteDance who do a great deal of business here in the United States. With all the havoc inflicted by Chinese offensive Cyberoperations, damage to our intellectual properties and military supremacy, they need to be dealt with now. Trump is doing that, and I do not think Joe Biden will stay the course if he’s elected. For those voters who really care about China, Trump is the best choice. They are our number one Geopolitical rival, and if they are not put in check now, the world will be torn in two, and we’ll have an aggressive Chinese empire in the East and NATO in the West. A new Cold War.
The best thing the Biden Campaign can do is focus on how Trump has hurt. How Trump has damaged. How Trump has destroyed. No more talk about unity and coming together, those liberal tropes are old and tired. Democrats did that in 2016 and even lost states they should’ve won. That doesn’t appeal to the voters they need to win over. Moderate Republicans are too few in number, old guard liberals are going to vote for Joe anyway, they need to get the Independent vote, and Independents are not moderates, they are rational — meaning they vote their interests. Progressives who sat out in 2016 may very well sit out again, one prominent progressive that I follow online was told by a liberal to literally leave the country because he wasn’t singing Biden’s praises. Remember when I said Neo-Liberals aren’t actual Leftists? They’re center-right, even though they’ve been told they’re left. We’ve had two days of the DNC and not one mention of the millions of Americans facing evictions and are being evicted even as I write this. It’s just so tone-deaf, and I fear that Democrats, that liberals have not learned the lessons of 2016. So far I’m hearing from the Democrats that we should vote for Joe because he’s been through tragedy. But real politick is transactional. Trump has given his voters what they want: racism, jingoism, militarism, proto-fascism, unbridled capitalism, promises of American supremacy in space, dominance over China, and they’re going to show up in even larger numbers this time around. Joe needs to talk beef, and so far only Bernie Sanders has done that on Joe’s behalf.
Perhaps Barack Obama’s speech tonight will do the heavy lifting, but as I myself have seen and heard speaking with other progressives, what appeals to liberals, what appeals to the liberal base doesn’t appeal to progressives. Who are the progressives? They are the young, they are the wise, and they are Americans who believe that this nation can work for everyone. Neo-Liberals do not share that view, and Joe Biden and his historic VP pick Kamala Harris both represent an ideology that progressives have spurned. Progressives exist today because of the shortcomings of the Obama administration. He created them with his campaign, he gave them a voice and belief that they had a place in the Democratic party not just the Green party or some fringe third-party. Trump invigorated them and Bernie was their choice — twice. And twice the Neo-Liberal monolith rejected that choice. Because Democrats have failed, even when they controlled all three houses of Washington DC to curtail the Electoral College, to curtail gerrymandering, the Democrats now need every vote they can get.
All Republicans have to do is get their voters to show up and they win, and their voters go to the polls religiously. The Republican spirit of patriotism, of sacrifice, and of duty to one’s perceived people drives Republican victories. The only time Republicans lose is when they’ve dropped the ball to so much that even their more moderate voters, and the rational independent voter, moves to vote for the other side. Obama earned Republican votes, life long Republican votes, poor-working class rural votes, independent votes, and of course liberal and leftist votes. Liberals overstate the impact racism has on elections, every racist voted against Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Obama won in both elections. Where the left is losing is on policy. The left ironically has become the new conservatives. Neo-Liberal administrations advocate for a “return to normal” which disturbingly enough led to the ascension of Donald Trump in the first place. This is what is most troubling. They fail to understand that what we had wasn’t working, what we have isn’t working, and nothing but fundamental change will work. More than distinguishing himself against Trump, Joe absolutely must distinguish himself from Neo-Liberalism, because as terrible as Trump has been, the country isn’t a smoldering crater, Covid-19 hasn’t killed us all, and dirty cops along with the institutions that protects them have always operated with impunity since they use to be the slave patrols of old. Joe absolutely has to convince Trump’s benefactors and supporters to vote left in the same way his friend and former boss was able to, and in doing that he can’t forsake the progressives any more than his party already has.