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Who Can Beat Trump?

Summary:
Although purchasing political office, as Mike Bloomberg is attempting to do, may be unfair or wrong, President Donald Trump is such an alarming figure that many voters so far appear willing to overlook in Bloomberg what they would never forgive otherwise. And that, perhaps, is the clearest sign yet that American democracy is in crisis. WASHINGTON, DC – The US presidential election in November is the most consequential in modern history. Whether the increasingly authoritarian, vindictive, and dangerous Donald Trump wins another four years in power could define the US for a long time to come. The White Swans of 2020 Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

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Although purchasing political office, as Mike Bloomberg is attempting to do, may be unfair or wrong, President Donald Trump is such an alarming figure that many voters so far appear willing to overlook in Bloomberg what they would never forgive otherwise. And that, perhaps, is the clearest sign yet that American democracy is in crisis.

WASHINGTON, DC – The US presidential election in November is the most consequential in modern history. Whether the increasingly authoritarian, vindictive, and dangerous Donald Trump wins another four years in power could define the US for a long time to come.

This year’s election will be no typical struggle between two parties that differ more in degree than in kind. But first, the Democrats must select their candidate, and this time that contest is exceptionally fluid.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s third attempt to win the country’s top job isn’t going much better than the first two. Biden is a well-liked figure – a decent, empathetic man who lacks a mean streak. But Biden’s very likability might well be his electoral undoing. He lacks what I call presidentialness – a certain dignity and remoteness that conveys the sense that crossing him or her would be unwise. He also lacks a message: reminding Democrats that he was Barack Obama’s vice president tells voters little about how he would govern.

Nor is it surprising that the air has gone out of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. At the outset, she responded to questions by saying, “I have a plan for that.” She’s knowledgeable about domestic government and has attracted a...

Elizabeth Drew
Contributor to New Republic, Daily Beast, Project Syndicate, Nation (book reviews). Fifteen books, including reissue of Washington Journal, Nixon & Watergate.

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