President Trump is culpable in the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to the evisceration of environmental protections. The deregulatory attack against the standards on mercury, soot and carbon dioxide alone will lead to 245,500 preventable deaths over a ten-year period—a calculation based on EPA staff estimates. This is more than the population of the city of Norfolk, VA or Boise, ID. The Trump administration—not state governors, not Congress, and not past presidents—is directly responsible for these preventable deaths. These deaths are in addition to the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of other Americans due to Trump’s disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic (see Murderer in Chief: Donald Trump and the Tens of Thousands of Coronavirus Dead).
On March 30th, the Boston Globe editorial board published a statement that concluded, “The months the administration wasted with prevarication about the [coronavirus] threat and its subsequent missteps will amount to exponentially more COVID-19 cases than were necessary. In other words, the president has blood on his hands.” This article will attempt to quantify the number of people this “blood” actually represents. Providing a concrete figure for the number of preventable deaths will illustrate the extent, severity and seriousness of the administration’s policy choices. These are deaths that could have been prevented. Trump is culpable. The question is how to hold him accountable.
It is clear now that Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 barring unforeseen circumstances. And the differences between Biden and Trump will be played up by both sides. And, yes, there are many differences between Biden and Trump especially in terms of social and cultural issues, judicial nominations, the administration of executive departments and agencies, and taxes and regulations. There will also be significant differences in temperament, rhetoric, tone and consistency. However, throughout the coming campaign there will not be much discussion by the candidates or the media about a key issue: Power. And this is a big omission because in our society power is concentrated in the hands of the few thousand corporate executives and billionaires who inhabit Wall Street to the detriment of the many millions of workers and small businesspeople who inhabit Main Street. In the following analysis I will examine the coming general election and its aftermath in terms of its impact on the existing power structure of the U.S. political economy. Specifically, I will focus on the crisis of our democracy; Wall Street’s view of the Biden-Trump contest as a win-win for Wall Street (and its unified opposition to Sanders); what to expect from a Biden or a Trump presidency; and what can be done by progressives to continue the struggle for justice and democracy.
Former Mayor Bloomberg is portrayed by the media and his campaign as a pragmatic, non-ideological centrist and an experienced manager who can get things done. Indeed, his campaign theme is “Mike Will Get It Done.” Columnists and pundits have emphasized a number of themes used to support Bloomberg. He has been characterized as non-ideological, a centrist who can appeal to swing voters such as moderate Democrats, Independents and suburban women, a philanthropist who gives to “good causes,” and an experienced executive who has the resources needed to win. Thomas Friedman, a columnist with the NY Times, summarized his endorsement because Bloomberg stresses “…national unity, personal integrity and a willingness to pursue bipartisanship whenever the other side is ready…. And this candidate knows how to get stuff done.”