As the race nears its end, the incumbent’s chances look poor
The American presidential election is around the corner. Although this is merely an American election, the entire world is paying close attention to this election as if it is a global election, simply because the US is the world’s largest economy with GDP of $20.8 trillion, accounting for 23.6% of the total global economy. One question is up in the air: Can Donald Trump defeat Joe Biden and be re-elected?
Trump’s inaction on coronavirus brings his poor leadership into the spotlight. 226,000 people died of coronavirus, and more than eight million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, according to the database of The New York Times.
While other developed countries like New Zealand and Australia are responding to the pandemic in a far better way, this poor response seems quite disappointing. This puts forward his failure in leading the country from the front, especially at a time when the world is undergoing a global health crisis.
What’s even worse is that Trump’s tax fraud has been unearthed. According to data obtained and reported by The New York Times, Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, and Trump paid $0 in federal income tax in last 11 of 18 years. Breaking the federal tax laws, the president sends one message: Avoid tax and be a rich businessman.
Trump’s tax avoidance is a national disgrace, don’t let him blame “the system,” said Nathan Robinson, a Guardian US columnist. One of my American friends, Carol Ashley, said: “Trump did not pay a nickel to the federal income tax in last 10 of 15 years; even I paid more taxes than Trump.”
Furthermore, Trump’s diplomatic knowledge is questionable to many. He has destroyed America’s relationship with allies, destroyed the nuclear arms deal with Iran, and caters to the likes of Putin. He has created tension with historically close US allies while reaching out to adversaries like North Korea and Russia.
While these will put Trump on the back foot when it comes to being re-elected, he has some bright achievements as a president which keep his chances of being president again alive. Under the Trump Administration, the US surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil in 2018.
Interestingly, Trump signed a bill to require airports to provide spaces for breastfeeding moms. He, along with Congress, deserves credit for the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2017. In addition to that, he signed into a law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers for the first time in the history of America.
Plus, the US stock market continually hits all-time record highs. It will, of course, serve as a turning point in order for him to be back to the White House again.
On the flip side, Trump’s opponent Joe Biden’s down-to-earth style and sound political background make him popular as a presidential candidate. He was a US senator for 36 years and vice-president for eight years. Hence, his prior experience has undoubtedly strengthened his diplomatic knowledge, which many Americans think will help America to accelerate its economic progress.
It is worth noting that Joe Biden’s top priority is a full-court press to repair strained relationships, especially in NATO, and rejoin global alliances. A Biden administration would return to the World Health Organization and seek to lead an international coronavirus response.
Apart from that, Biden’s strategies to fight climate change are noteworthy. Speaking of substance, Joe Biden would make fighting climate change a priority and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which is one of the international accords that Donald Trump dumped. The two men are polar opposites on this issue. Trump sees tackling global warming as a threat to the economy -- he has promoted fossil fuels and rolled back scores of environmental protections and climate regulations.
However, Biden is promoting an ambitious $2 trillion dollar plan to achieve Paris goals for cutting emissions. He claims that he would do this by building a clean energy economy, creating millions of jobs in the process.
Biden’s peace-loving, kind, and compassionate attitude multiplies the likelihood of him being the 46th president. As part of his policy, he has announced that he would end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The high civilian death toll has built strong opposition to US involvement from the left wing of the party, and a growing number of law-makers in Congress.
Most remarkably, Biden’s choice of his vice-presidential candidate could bring about a massive breakthrough in the forthcoming election. He has picked Kamala Harris as a vice-presidential candidate. Interestingly, Kamala Harris has a background of “firsts”: First Black elected attorney general in California, first South Asian American to serve in the United States Senate, and first American or Black woman nominated by a major US political party.
Admittedly, for the sake of her, myriads of voters could be supporting Biden. As a consequence, being one of the youngest men ever elected to the US Senate, he could become the oldest man ever elected as president.
Electoral analysts have been increasing their odds that Trump will lose his re-election bid. Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight.com blog currently has Biden with an 87% chance of winning, while Decision Desk HQ puts him at 83.5%. According to CNN, many deep Republican states are also in favour of Biden now.
Nevertheless, depending solely on the polls may not always reveal the truth, as was observed in the 2016 election, where Hillary Clinton was far ahead of Donald Trump before the election. But when, just before the election, the FBI announced that it would investigate Clinton’s emails, the atmosphere radically changed.
As it stands, while as per the polls Biden is way ahead in the race, Trump’s possibility winning again cannot be brushed aside.
Mahde Hassan works as a faculty member IELTS at Saifur’s Private Ltd. He can be reached at [email protected]