The Economist says its election prediction model gives Donald Trump only a 10% chance of winning in November. That doesn’t mean a free pass for Joe Biden. Weird things rise up and bite candidates in the final days of an election year.
Biden has that son who seems to put making money ahead making careful friendships. And he’s got a Washington legislative record full of mistakes going back to when Elvis Presley was filming Blue Hawaii on Kauai.
He’s quite old for the job, has a record as a centrist in a time of restless young voters. He stumbles on words and facts. But compared to Trump he’s politically normal, and that’s a big plus this year.
He’ll need to move a bit left to win while not alarming all those folks on the marginal right wing and on the fence.
But I think mainly he needs to address voters who are not pleased with all that willy-nilly statue defacing, defunding of police, establishment of “autonomous zones” in cities by street protestors, and what sometimes seems like China’s Cultural Revolution, which outed anyone not “with it” or “woke,” as they now say.
He needs to be very clear that while he’s okay with national health insurance, he also wants a provision that anyone who wants his own insurance can have it — but will have to pay into the government insurance fund as well as to the private provider. Anything less than that leaves all the issues we have with Obamacare.
He needs to get us back on top- notch alliance terms with Britain, France and Germany. They are friends. He needs to make it clear to Russia that Eastern Europe is not up for grabs. And we don’t want Europe looking to China for best friends. Politico reports that “As Germany reappraises its longstanding reliance on the United States amid growing tensions with Washington over security and trade, there is less doubt among the country’s leaders about the necessity to reenergize its partnership with China, Germany’s largest trading partner.”
We need to gradually back out of the Middle East. Yes, it will be messy and leave room for Iran and Russia to create a personal playground, but it’s already a mess for us like Vietnam was. You can’t win every one you decide to fight. Even Joe Louis lost — to Max Schmeling in 1936.
We need to get back to eliminating all those tax loopholes that let corporations pay zero. The whole tax system needs a rewrite, preferably with a graduated, flat tax that eliminates deductions but will also lower tax rates.
He also needs to reaffirm that our ancient Monroe Doctrine is out of date. We cannot set the agenda or pick the alliances for nations in our hemisphere to coincide with our national interests. He should re-engage Cuba by going back to the Obama policy there. We can’t tell people of Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua what government they can have or face sanctions that mainly hurt poor people.
If we did keep the Monroe Doctrine, then we’d have no credibility for telling China they can’t mess with the countries in its hemisphere with the aim of enforcing national interest. It would be logical for China to take over the South China Sea and keep our aircraft carriers, subs and airplanes out.
Mainly, Biden needs to pledge to settle us down while promoting diversity and equality. He could start that process by naming former U.N. ambassador and Obama adviser Susan Rice as his vice president candidate. She’s smart, knows the ropes, and is black. No other woman under consideration has her chops.