There is no doubt about it, I have a lengthy list of people I would like to see in that Oval Office, and Joe Biden is somewhere towards the bottom of it, but all other options have been exhausted.
Note: I will not be mentioning Biden or Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither Trump nor Biden knew exactly how to handle something so sudden and unpredictable, and making the pandemic political will make it worse.
Remember life in 2008-2015? Politics were rough then, but compared to now…whoof. Well that was America with an Obama presidency that Joe Biden was second-in-command of. Calm, level-headed moderate liberals more than willing to work with equally calm, equally level-headed moderate Republicans. A fever dream now, right? Well, I believe we can expect this again from a Biden presidency. Obviously, not everything will just snap back to normal, but without Donald Trump poking at every tender and sore social issue he can from the White House, I think we can expect some civility to return.
That is just the social side of it. The more important question is how will Biden govern? What does a Biden economy look like? What is Biden’s idea of foreign policy? How about things like healthcare and education?
First, let me offer a quick comparison of Biden and Trump on the economy. As Trump so desperately clings to one successful tax cut (which helped add $4 trillion to the national debt), Biden has a track record of breaking through partisan gridlock and wiping up economic spills. Biden was a fixture in Congress during the economic boom of the 80s and 90s while Trump was renovating hotels. Biden had a reputation in the Senate for appealing to the Republican perspective and was able to win some of their votes for key legislation like the Recovery Act of 2009. The Act was passed, Americans saw a soaring economy resurrected from the wreckage of the biggest recession of the 21st Century. Meanwhile, Trump was firing people on The Celebrity Apprentice.
Foreign policy? As Obama’s wing-man, he oversaw the dismantling of the largest terrorist organization in the world at the time, Al Qaeda. While Biden was in the Obama administration, he made significant progress in international relations, handling Iran as a nuclear power and tackling that old thorn in our side: climate change. Trump’s foreign policy: Do the opposite of whatever Obama and Biden did. Obama and Biden made an alliance with the Kurds to fight ISIS? Trump pulled US troops from Syria that were defending the Kurds. Obama and Biden joined the Paris climate agreement? That prompted him to leave it. Obama and Biden invested more in diplomacy than military hardware? Trump wanted to ditch the paperwork and handshakes and build a brand new aircraft carrier. The Trump foreign policy philosophy seems to be, ‘if Obama did it, it must be bad.’
Finally, let’s look at the domestic issues. Biden was a cheerleader in Congress for the Affordable Care Act which saw millions of uninsured Americans with some much needed healthcare. Trump has made some honest efforts to make healthcare more affordable, but we have yet to see much progress. However, it would seem Biden has something for everyone. He plans to expand social security benefits for seniors, increase support for childcare, add a public option to the ACA so that poor people do not have to die from something treatable, a plan to invest in education and support students. Trump has… a big, partially-built fence at the border?
I am certain with the way we are today, this piece will not change anybody’s political leanings, and maybe reading this is rage-inducing for the more devoted supporters of Trump, but I would like to think that at least some young, undecided voters can see my perspective. Some will think this piece paints Biden as the ideal man to be president. Make no mistake, I know he is not, but this is an honest comparison and conclusion of the two individuals we are forced to choose between.
Trump is a great talker, a natural sales pitcher and that is just about it. Do not fall for the used-car-salesman charm and the bar-stool political rants. I know Joe Biden has the charisma and appeal of wet dress socks, but he also has substance, he has experience, he has a plan for governing. Vote for a statesman not a salesman. Vote for Joe Biden.