The Economist endorsed Joseph R. Biden (Joe Biden) a few days ago, and I thought their explanation of this endorsement was superb (much better than “Because Duh”). I wanted to go a bit beyond their piece and highlight a few things for a moment.
First of all, I routinely see some kind of fear of the US turning to socialism somehow under a Biden or other Democratic presidency. I honestly think this is wackadoodle and can’t even comprehend how they could think the United States would turn to socialism. We’re not even halfway to the Netherlands or Germany on a social safety net! Where does this fear stem from? I honestly cannot understand it beyond knowing that it’s been very popular political messaging on the right for ages.
But the word “socialism” does scare some people, particularly people who came from truly socialist or communist countries decades ago. Unfortunately, it appears that such people are conflating topics and miss the fact that Donald Trump is pushing the country much more in the direction of the authoritarian regimes they or their relatives escaped. This is why so many top Republicans, national security officials, and intelligence officers are so concerned about another Donald Trump presidency — as well as what he has already done to our separation of powers, judicial independence, the independence of the FBI and DOJ, our democratic institutions, and rule of law in general in the United States. Indeed, the subheadings The Economist uses are brilliant: King Donald and President Joe.
There are hundreds of experts in this field who have expressed alarm at Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and even desire to be a dictator or king of sorts. We have not had anything close to this in the modern era, if ever.
The Economist also highlights the divisiveness in the country that has resulted from Donald Trump’s rhetoric and almost constant attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. It’s been disturbing, to say the least. What happened to civil debates of the issues? How did such a great nation let schoolyard name-calling become the norm in our highest level of politics? The Economist writes, “THE COUNTRY that elected Donald Trump in 2016 was unhappy and divided. The country he is asking to re-elect him is more unhappy and more divided. After almost four years of his leadership, politics is even angrier than it was and partisanship even less constrained.”
Going on: “Joe Biden is not a miracle cure for what ails America. But he is a good man who would restore steadiness and civility to the White House. He is equipped to begin the long, difficult task of putting a fractured country back together again.”
It doesn’t take long for The Economist to get to potentially the biggest problem and long-term damage Donald Trump has inflicted on the nation’s position in the world: “as the guardian of America’s values, the conscience of the nation and America’s voice in the world, he has dismally failed to measure up to the task.” As pointed out before, his administration has actually kidnapped thousands of children and babies, with more than 500 still missing their parents and traumatized for life, because they thought cruelty — yes, child abuse and psychological torture — would be an effective way to deter immigration, to discourage people from seeking a better life and refuge in the United States of America. What ideals was the United States of America built on?
This also relates to Donald Trump’s climate policy. In 2021, if Donald Trump is still president, the United States will exit the global Paris climate accords. We will leave behind 197 other countries (almost every country in the world), and join Turkey and Iran as one of only 3 odd nations to not continue on with our simple and flexible commitments to reduce emissions and try to avert potentially society-destroying climate crisis. It’s a total disgrace. It’s beyond disgrace — it’s idiotic. Our reputation, influence, and potential benefits abroad will be sunk, much more so than they even are today. The rest of the world will put the United States in a truly shameful box, which will limit our opportunities.
Of course, that also relates to Donald Trump’s obsessive need to lie and seeming inability to understand the objective truth of basic facts and science. This has long been known about Trump, but it has been glaringly debilitating to the United States. “The most head-spinning feature of the Trump presidency is his contempt for the truth,” The Economist writes. The figures are staggering when you look up his lies over these years or even for just one day! There has been nothing comparable in US history, and dare I say global history. He has a disorder. Everyone knows it. But as President of the United States, he sets an example for millions, and one of those big messages is that it’s fine to lie — a ton. This is shameful.
There’s more, of course. “This president calls for his opponents to be locked up; he uses the Department of Justice to conduct vendettas; he commutes the sentences of supporters convicted of serious crimes; he gives his family plum jobs in the White House; and he offers foreign governments protection in exchange for dirt on a rival. When a president casts doubt on the integrity of an election just because it might help him win, he undermines the democracy he has sworn to defend.” How did we ever allow this?
“Four more years of a historically bad president like Mr Trump would deepen all these harms—and more. In 2016 American voters did not know whom they were getting. Now they do. They would be voting for division and lying. They would be endorsing the trampling of norms and the shrinking of national institutions into personal fiefs. They would be ushering in climate change that threatens not only distant lands but Florida, California and America’s heartlands. They would be signalling that the champion of freedom and democracy for all should be just another big country throwing its weight around. Re-election would put a democratic seal on all the harm Mr Trump has done.”
If the United States goes this route, it has truly fallen as a nation. It will be like a chopped down tree. The leaves may still be green for a while. But it will essentially be dead inside.
That is, undoubtedly, something Joe Biden was thinking about when he decided to make his campaign about restoring “the soul of our nation.” And, no matter what you think of anything else, I think that when you look at Joe Biden, you can to see that he does his absolute best to live the ideals of the American essence, to serve the country and every individual he talks to. You can see that he focuses his conversations on what he can do for that other person on the deepest level. You could hardly have a starker contrast.