Trump’s greatest strength in 2020 is the weakness of the opposition.
A large number of Democrats are contending for their party’s Presidential nomination in 2020. At one time there were as many as 25, but many have dropped out of the race. Realistically, unless we have a late entry by Hillary Clinton or Michael Bloomberg, only four of them would appear positioned to win the prize.
Joseph Biden is the best known of the Democratic candidates. Generally, he inspires neither enthusiasm nor antipathy. I have observed Biden over his many years on the public stage, and I believe him to be a man of rather modest abilities. On more than one occasion I have noted him exhibiting the rather casual attitude toward truth typical of so many politicians. Frequently he seriously exaggerates his own accomplishments. While in college, Biden was charged and found guilty of plagiarism, and on several occasions since that time he has improperly used portions of other politician’s speeches in his own orations. Nevertheless, “Smiling Joe” Biden somehow survives these controversies and his frequent gaffes.
Biden served for thirty-six years as senator from Delaware, and in 2008 he was selected to be Obama’s running mate in the upcoming Presidential campaign. He served as vice-President for the next eight years. By Obama’s direction, Biden oversaw the government’s massive infrastructure spending program that was intended to counter effects of the 2008-9 depression. The results were grossly disappointing. As President Obama later admitted, “The shovel ready projects were not so shovel ready.” Biden also helped formulate America’s policy toward Iraq. This led to the total withdrawal of U.S. forces from that country, followed almost immediately by the rapid expansion of the ISIS Caliphate. That was a total disaster, leading to the death of tens of thousands of Muslim and non-Muslim civilians in Iraq and Syria and necessitating the later war by Trump to destroy ISIS and restore our pre-withdrawal position in the area.
What can Biden offer us now but the same old tired, failed policies?
Pete Buttigieg is a new voice in the Democratic Party. Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012, he announced his candidacy for the Presidential nomination in April 2019. He has gained considerable support among Democrats who seek a new direction for the party but are opposed to the socialistic agendas of Warren and Sanders.
Buttigieg is openly gay, and in 2018 he married (in a church ceremony) Chasten Glezman, who now calls himself Chasten Buttigieg. Pete Buttigieg’s platform expresses support for reducing income inequality by raising tax rates on higher income earners, strong environmental protection policies, more support for organized labor, and improved background checks of firearms purchasers. Buttigieg also supports a public option for health insurance and favors electoral reforms that would include abolishing the Electoral College. He has limited executive experience, but that was also true of Obama and Trump when they became Presidents.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernard Sanders are the only other Democratic Party Presidential candidates who appear to have some chance of being nominated. Both of them espouse openly socialistic platforms that would vest much greater powers in the Federal government and virtually destroy our present capitalistic economic system. Critics fear that their approach would gradually turn the United States into another Venezula. Many informed observers, including former President Barack Obama, doubt that either Warren or Sanders can win a general election.
All the Democratic contestants are social liberals and favor enactment of the so-called Equality Act. This legislation would provide members of the LGBT community the same sort of protections currently provided to Blacks by the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. Furthermore, should LGBT rights come into conflict with the sensitivities of members of the religious community, LGBT interests would prevail.
Democrats have at least four things working against them in the 2020 elections.
First, their field of potential candidates appears very weak. Buttigieg seems to be the most promising among them, but his life-style will give him a severe handicap among many voters. Biden seems old and tired and bereft of new ideas. The socialistic platforms of Warren and Sanders are a heavy drag on their prospects.
Second, none of their candidates has offered a realistic approach to the major concerns that Trump himself has thus far failed to address – the burgeoning national debt, the fiscal instability of Social Security and Medicare, and the problem of global warming.
Third, their unanimous and unequivocal endorsement of the Equality Act means that none of the potential Democratic Party candidates will get much support from conservative Evangelicals and Catholics. Furthermore, if he is the nominee, Buttigieg might fail to get Black votes in the numbers usually accorded to Democratic candidates .
Fourth, the nation’s economy under Trump’s leadership appears very healthy. Although the President may be obnoxious or downright despicable in the eyes of many voters, it will be against one’s financial self-interest to vote him out of office, especially when the opposition has so little to offer in the way of practical economic ideas.
One never knows what tomorrow will bring, but unless there is a sudden downturn in the nation’s economy, Trump’s prospects for reelection would appear to be quite good.