DC Edit | Will it be Biden or Trump?

It is all but formally sealed that the November 2020 race for the White House will be between the incumbent US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. They make a more elderly pairing than four years ago and many voters of both the Democratic and Republican parties may be contemptuous of them. They still have to choose between the two in a contest that will have major implications far beyond Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.

The election will be less about the popularity of the candidates and more a referendum on who is perceived as the less unfavourable option. In such a head-on clash of personalities beyond their parties, it is not only their records in office but also what they may mean for America in the conflicted world of today that should matter.

Along with a sense of anticipation there would also be traces of trepidation as the pollsters seem to believe that Mr Trump has the edge in a contest that could reshape not only United States but the world. And yet, as the Blue and the Red states are spread somewhat unevenly across the US, it may be the smaller swing states that could decide the outcome, perhaps more than young voters and voters of colour, or urban and suburban versus rural voters.

Questions hover around both candidates, over Mr Biden’s age and cognitive abilities on the incumbent side and about the contender against whom 91 criminal cases are pending on the other. Mr Trump was impeached twice when President and since leaving office has been charged already in four criminal cases, two related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election that he lost and yet spread misinformation that the election had been stolen from him.

Mr Trump was once declared as the “most flawed person I’ve ever met” by his chief of staff whereas Mr Biden has been described in an official probe as “an elderly man with a poor memory” by a special investigator. The voters may have issues with both candidates and yet the winner will be tasked with protecting the First Amendment and the basic principles of democracy.

It reflects on where the US stands in the deeply polarised world of today that there are reasons to doubt how democratic the US will remain in a second Trump term or how much of a role the Republic would go on to play in global politics as a bulwark of democracy in a second Biden term. It’s on to November 5 then.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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