The conventions are over, and now the US presidential election campaign begins in earnest. The 2020 campaign will be like none other before it, coming as it does in the midst of a global pandemic.
Americans are faced with a clear choice. Mind you, that’s what commentators say every four years – and somehow things always seem less clear by voting day.
Mind you, I’m not sure clarity of the choice matters in such a divided society. Many have already made up their minds without giving any thought to the issues or policies.
Donald Trump won in 2016, in part, because he inspired people. He was an anti-politician and iconoclast who railed against the system, even as he was part of the establishment. He touched a nerve, getting the votes of those who were tired of the status quo.
This election is shaping up as a referendum on the past four years of Trump’s presidency. From where I sit, they look like four years of policy disaster followed by policy disaster – but many Americans would disagree profoundly with that assessment.
On the question of leadership, it appears Trump has lowered the standards. What used to be ordinary rules of behavior apparently don’t apply to him. Civil discourse, and the expectations we have for leaders have been lowered. he admits to crimes, and his supporters love him all the more.
Trump’s standing in the polls has been low, and you would think the Democrats would win easily in November. I’m not convinced of that though.
The Democratic candidate, Joe Biden appears to be an honorable man with a long tradition of public service. On a personal level there seems no comparison to Trump – Biden is the better human being.
However, politics is full of with nice guys who fell short on election day. Biden’s biggest problem may be that he is uninspiring – and so is his party.
For the Democrats to win in 2020 they would have been better off with a different candidate. Biden was born during the Second World War. We are in an age when leadership should be being passed from the Baby Boom generation to their successors. Biden is too old to be a Baby Boomer. At 73, Donald Trump can campaign as the voice of youth. You have to wonder if the Democratic Party is trying to self-destruct.
Admittedly, a lot can change between now and election day in November. remember though that four years ago at this time Hillary Clinton was cruising to an easy election win. We know how that turned out.
In 2016 the Democrats nominated the only candidate Trump could beat. With joe Biden, they may have done the same thing in 2020.