The enormous challenges Biden faces if he defeats Trump in November

The enormous challenges Biden faces if he defeats Trump in November
Credit: Gage Skidmore
Election '20

Recent polls have been looking very good for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee — and some of them have found President Donald Trump trailing him by double digits. Of course, a lot could happen politically between now and November. If Biden’s lead holds up and he defeats Trump, that’s when the really heavy lifting for the former VP will begin. And attorney Richard North Patterson, in an article for the conservative anti-Trump website The Bulwark, stresses that the challenges Biden will be facing should he win the election will be enormous.

Patterson, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former chairman of Common Cause, asserts, “Reality has presented Donald Trump with a past-due bill in the form of a deadly pandemic and an incendiary racial reckoning…. Fortuitously, the Democratic primaries yielded a candidate who is Trump’s temperamental opposite: seasoned, empathic, conciliatory, inclusive and, when appropriate, modest.”

According to Patterson, coronavirus is “the reckoning Trump cannot escape” — and Biden has a much better track record when it comes to pandemics. For example, on October 25, 2019 — before the media, in December 2019, started reporting on the emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China — Biden tweeted, “We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.”

Then, in late January, Biden wrote an op-ed for USA Today warning of coronavirus’ deadly potential. Biden’s warnings — the one about pandemics in general in October 2019 and the one about COVID-19 specifically in late January — make it clear that he is much better equipped than Trump to lead the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Less than five months after Biden’s (late January) admonition,” Patterson writes, “we have lost over 120,000 Americans and counting.”

The U.S., Patterson notes, is being battered by an economic crisis and a health crisis at the same time — and Biden will have to deal with both if he defeats Trump.

“Moreover, COVID-19 exacerbates a critical and persistent area of weakness for Trump: healthcare,” Patterson observes. “The massive unemployment caused by the pandemic has left medical care unaffordable for all too many. Trump has no answer.”

On top of all that, Patterson writes, Biden will be dealing with the widespread calls for criminal justice reform that have been rocking the U.S. since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

“Biden is well positioned on issues of race — politically and morally,” Patterson contends. “The looming question is whether he will select an African-American woman to be his running mate. The right answer is yes; the right choice may turn out to be Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida.”

Patterson wraps up his article by noting that Biden has mentioned President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a lot — and that if Biden wins, he will be guiding the U.S. through very difficult times, not unlike FDR after he was sworn in as president in 1933.

“Biden has taken to citing Franklin Roosevelt, whose optimism and proactivity guided America through a depression and a global conflict against tyranny,” Patterson writes. “This is a salutary reminder that America has seen dark days before — including a Civil War, economic collapse, the McCarthy era, the social divisions of the ’60s, and, during Watergate, a president who broke our laws, dishonored our constitution, and abused the powers of his office. In the end, Americans chose hope over despair, decency over dishonor, renewal over regression. In 2020, that’s the only bet worth making.”

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