he American presidential polls are only three months away. Republican candidate President Donald Trump and Democratic Party candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden are both on campaign mode. It has been a natural and oft repeated decision for incumbent first term presidents to seek a second term before they walk into retirement. Donald Trump would not leave the scene without a fight anyway. Having been proposed for nomination from the party for a re-run, Trump is struggling to put up a strong fight with his rival, even as his ratings are seen to be dropping consistently. Trump’s image has taken a beating over the handling of the Covid-linked health crisis that saw over 1,50,000 Americans losing their lives and millions testing positive. The US economic downturn and subsequent job loss scenario has gravely impacted the country which is steps away from their biggest voting decision.
The election process has been curtailed this time due to the pandemic’s sway. Trump’s campaign team has been organizing rallies while flouting social distancing norms in a brazen manner even after many positive cases have been detected after the gatherings. It is clear to all, at the very start, that there was clear misjudgment on the part of the President to not take Covid-19 seriously. His attitude has not changed till date. This is visible when he has been insisting on the opening of schools by Fall. In fact, his threat to cut funding of schools if they do not open physically in full strength has compelled some teachers to write their Wills. This act proves the threat perception felt by the American public but blatantly disregarded by their President. Trump’s insistence on not wearing masks and rejecting all scientific and medical advice have encouraged a whole wave of anti-maskers who not only endanger themselves but create risks for others even as the US continues to remain the global leader in number of Covid cases. The erratic behavior of Trump is not limited to his attitude towards administrative decisions alone. In a recent press conference, Trump lamented the popularity and high rankings of Dr Anthony Fauci who is working as the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the Trump administration. The President said that he himself had obtained very low rankings compared to Fauci and complained that ‘Nobody likes me’.
Covid mishandling apart, Trump’s obvious racial bias could jeopardize a portion of his support base. By inflaming the Black Lives Matter (BLM) related movement he might have alienated a certain section of voters. Looking back at the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis, the action against the killer policemen could have been executed sooner. However, the delay incensed the people which resulted in the birth of the BLM movement. Added to the delay in action against the erring policemen were Trump’s constant threats to protestors and accusations against Governors and police chiefs of various states who did not bow to his instructions. This led to widespread violence across the US. BLM has not died down neither has it remained confined within the black community.
Joe Biden is much unlike Trump. To an observer, he may give an impression of a softer man who speaks less. Although only a couple of years older to Trump, his aura seems to be of a much older man, which could be detrimental to his image. Interestingly, if Biden wins, he will be the oldest US President ever at age 78. Amongst the few known prominent stands of Biden are his promise to increase minimum wages to $15 an hour and increase taxation on the affluent class, two years of college free and debt relief program for student loans. In his approach to environmental issues, Biden proposes to tax carbon emission industries that have mostly remained shielded during Trump’s term. On Covid front, a mask-wearing Biden has mostly dished out practical and sensible advice to US citizens.
Trump may be blamed for polarizing the US in a manner never been done before. It was known as a country with great internal stability. That had enabled the US to play the role of the Global Policeman and bring their brand of hideous justice across the world. The peacemaker also posed as the top protector of freedom and democracy, the role which was backed by a powerful military. Today, that image seems to have been dented to some extent. Allegations of external influence in Trump’s first election brought disrepute to that country. However, Trump’s international achievements cannot be ignored. Immediately on assuming power, he took upon himself the task of destroying the Islamic State establishment. His success was complete when US military dogs chased and killed al Baghdadi. Trump also seems to have somewhat confused Kim Jong Un of North Korea temporarily. His assertive behavior has helped littoral countries of the South China Sea to find some peace.
Trump tried to explore the possibility of postponing the presidential polls but has not met with success yet. This has been the mindset of many leaders of the present time across the world. While Xi Jinping has managed to get the CCP to vote him President of China for life, Vladimir Putin of Russia has managed his Parliament to sanction his Presidency till 2036. This desire of today’s leaders is not limited to the few mentioned above. Trump represents a mindset that is unwilling to accept the democratic process and is diffident to face people for a fresh verdict at regular intervals. If Trump wins, this thinking may get strengthened globally. If Trump loses, the free world could expect major changes.