Biden Versus Trump: The Policies They Stand Behind

0
46

President Seeks Another Mandate

The coronavirus changed everything. In its absence, it is thought that President Donald J. Trump would have had a much easier path to reelection. Now, Election Day 2020 has become a mandate on the president’s handling of the pandemic, and the resultant economic dislocations and suffering.

Some polls show Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden with a double-digit lead. But everybody remembers 2016, when Hillary Clinton seemed to have a lock on the presidency, until tens of thousands of votes in several swings states swung the Electoral College in favor of the real estate mogul.

President Donald J. Trump displays his signature after signing an Executive Order on Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children
(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks | Public Domain)

The president’s supporters generally point to his handling of the economy, with a glance at the record-high stock market. Until the pandemic, labor participation and unemployment were near historic levels. Others cite his filling the federal judiciary and Supreme Court with judges who might achieve one of the conservatives’ holy grails, reversing the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortions. They see this cadre of jurists as a bulwark against future liberal tendencies by the executive and legislative branches.

Though never reaching an overall positive job approval rating, the president has drawn good marks on keeping the country safe and on “law and order” issues. Conservatives have also cheered the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 for lowering tax rates for corporations and individuals, though those for low earners will have a sunset provision. In addition, his trade, tariff and regulatory policies, not to mention his tough immigration stance, have earned the president a solid base of support. What his detractors see as his decidedly unpolitical behavior are embraced by his supporters.

Biden and running mate Kamala Harris seek a return to the norms that, with his unorthodox political style, the president has shattered. The former longtime senator and vice president wants to restore normalcy to politics and heal the political divide. His campaign theme is “Battle for the Soul of the Nation.”
His campaign website lists 50 proposals and plans that cover everything from race relations to bringing back manufacturing jobs. Under the banner of “Bold Ideas,” the campaign promised, “We aren’t just going to rebuild what has worked in the past. This is our opportunity to build back better than ever.”

Biden has rejected the big vision programs of his party’s far left, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal (though his Biden Plan to put “the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050” shares the goals of the Green New Deal).

The GOP has tried to paint Biden as a socialist, or at the very least, someone who can be captured by the Democrat’s left wing.
“I beat the socialist,” Biden said in response, referring to primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders.

Not So Blue

Looking at the presidential results in New York State for 2016 belies the state’s “deep blue” label. Yes, Clinton defeated Trump 59 to 36.5 percent. But take away the five NYC boroughs and her margin of victory was much narrower. In fact, of the 67 counties in the state, Trump won 50 of them and flipped 19 counties that had gone for Barack Obama in 2012. Closer to home, the Republican candidate won Suffolk County (51-46) while Clinton took Nassau (51-45).

Joe Biden speaking with supporters at a phone bank at his presidential campaign office in Des Moines, IA.
(Gage Skidmore | CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nassau County Republican Committee Chair Joseph Cairo told Anton Media Group that voter enthusiasm for President Trump remains high, stating, “There are people who might not put Trump signs out on their front lawn, but they’re going to come out and support him. I think more now than four years ago. The issues of bail reform, defunding the police—people are motivated.”

Nassau County and New York State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs stated, “I think that upstate will still go for Trump, but not as much. And across the country, rural communities will go for Trump a lot less than they did in 2016. I think it’s a very different election. The voters were taking a chance last time. Now they know. They’ve got more information to go by and people aren’t loving a lot of what they’re seeing in Trump—the divisiveness, and the manners and the language and the lack of respect. All those things.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was asked by Anton Media Group how Biden could regain the counties that President Trump won.
“He is the right candidate to win back those areas,” she replied. “I won most of them back in 2018 when I ran for reelection. I believe voters have seen a disappointing performance out of President Trump. And I think they’ve seen him mishandle this COVID pandemic severely. They’ve seen rising unemployment and a lot of families suffer. I think they’re looking for a leader who knows how to bring people together and not divide us. And someone who gets things done—and Joe Biden is the man for that.”

Retiring representative Peter King (R–2nd District) was asked by Anton Media Group, “What advice would you give President Trump to win Long Island?”
“First thing is knock off getting in petty fights with people,” King replied. “Focus on the economy and also say he’s going to take another look at reinstating the SALT deduction,” referring to the state and local taxes that, under the tax cut passed in 2017, limited SALT deductions to $10,000 on the federal tax return. “He meant well, but realizes it’s unfair and find some way to take another look at it. But mainly, focus on the economy. And also, he has done a great job on MS-13. We had 25 [gang-related] murders in my district alone. Since he got involved, we’ve had none. He really got heavily involved with Homeland Security and the FBI and giving high-tech equipment to the Suffolk County cops and all of that. He came twice to my congressional district [to deal with MS-13]. That’s almost unheard of.”

Leave a Reply