While the Democrats’ Joe Biden lacks the charisma of Barack Obama or the gravitas of Dwight D Eisenhower, he has one thing in his favour that should override all other concerns: he is not Trump. He should have won by a landslide.
Instead, tens of millions of Americans have voted for a president who has brought shame to this once-exalted office.
Many did so, or rather said that they did so, because of his economic record. However, leaving aside the pandemic’s turmoil, during his first three years in office, Trump oversaw an annual average growth in GDP of 2.5 per cent, which is remarkably similar to the average growth during Obama’s final three years of 2.3 per cent.
Trump may have claimed to have built the “greatest economy in the history of the world” but, like so many of his boasts, it’s simply not true.
And stacked against that is a litany of most serious failings, including:
On Covid, he admitted in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward that he deliberately downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic; for months, he dismissed the idea of wearing face masks and mocked Biden for doing so; he declared himself to be naturally talented at virology and then idiotically suggested people should inject bleach, a potentially fatal mistake, then obviously lied by claiming this was a “sarcastic” remark.
On the far-right, he refused to condemn former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s pre-2016 election endorsement for days; claimed there were “very fine people” on a 2017 march in Charlottesville, Virginia, that included neo-Nazis and armed militias; and told one militia group, the Proud Boys, to “stand by” ahead of the 2020 vote. His go-to lie when caught failing to condemn white supremacists is to plead ignorance before belatedly disavowing them.
On democracy, he has called for rival politicians to be prosecuted and jailed for entirely spurious reasons, threatened to ignore the results, and claimed without evidence, in 2016 and now, that he is a victim of voting fraud.
Trump is no true Republican. Instead, he is a racist, sexist, serial liar who poses a clear and present danger to democracy itself.