Written by Tarant Bramley.
With the United States going to the polls on the 3rd of November 2020, in what could be, the election of the century, we thought it would be a good idea to run through the key candidates and some of their policies.
President Donald J Trump
Current incumbent, President Trump, is looking to continue his policies of his first term, including the cutting of taxes, standing up to international organisations and nations.
Interestingly however, Trump doesn’t seem to be trying to fight a re-election campaign in the traditional way. During the first Presidential Debate on the 29th of September, Trump’s main goal was to repeatedly interrupt opponent Joe Biden, and attack him. Most elections are fought on policies, and while Biden was attempting to criticise Trump’s record, President Trump would repeatedly respond with soundbites and scathing attacks, in order to dis-credit his opposition.
Trump doesn’t really have policies in a traditional sense, in 2012, President Obama successfully campaigned on the policy of negotiating new trade deals, and creating around a million new jobs, while Trump campaigns on ideals. For example, Trump has campaigned on “America First” when it comes to Foreign Policy, while there is no specific policy here, it can be seen by his actions, such as, pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, or from the World Health Organisation and pushing for more NATO spending.
Much like 2016, President Trump will likely rely on a series of soundbites and an active voter-base to get him over the line, all we know currently, is that it will be an up-hill battle for him.
The man chosen by the Democratic Party to oppose Trump, is former Vice President (VP), Joe Biden. Joe Biden was the VP to President Barack Obama from January 2009 to January 2017, when Trump’s VP Mike Pence replaced him.
Unlike Trump, Biden has some very clear and specific policies that he will implement, if he wins in November.
Firstly, he plans on implementing a national test and trace programme, similar to those in Europe, in order to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic in the US, which he has been extremely critical of Trump over.
Secondly, he plans on raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, while also investing $2 trillion in renewable green energy. He simultaneously has attempted an interesting move, by pledging to use $400bn in order to buy American made goods, and to promote “Buy American”, a pledge that could be attempting to undercut President Trump’s similar policies.
Biden has also pledged to expand Obamacare, with plans to insure 97% of Americans, he has promised to restore America’s relationships with NATO and other international partners, undo Trump policies on immigration and finally expand free college and pre-school access.
The last time there was a non-Republican/Democrat President was the Whig Party’s Millard Fillmore in 1853. However, The Libertarian Parties university lecturer, Jo Jorgensen, is the only other candidate beyond the big two to get onto the ballot in every single state.
Jorgenson has a variety of policies, including: eliminating federal licensing law requirements, eliminate medical red tape in order to speed up the possibility of a vaccine for Covid-19, end all energy subsidies, whilst also reducing barriers to entry that entrench existing energy sources, and finally create a true ‘free-market’ healthcare system.
The polling pundits have Biden in a large lead, with his Solid Democrat and Leaning Democrat states enough to take him over the line of 270 electoral college votes needed, while Trump is currently on 125 electoral college votes with his Solid and Leaning Republican states, which, most notably does not include the Republican heartland state of Texas, making this starting to be set up as one of the most one sided elections in US Presidential history.
Overall, the choice seems unparalleled, with Trump and Biden being the only real choice, the United States citizens are in a situation where one of these two will be leading their nation come January, in an election that could be the most impactful of the 21st Century so far, and while he is on the backfoot, it wouldn’t be wise to write off Trump completely, as this isn’t the first time he’s been the underdog.