The policy debates ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election have gotten serious. President Donald Trump of the majority Republican Party has formally announced his intention to seek reelection, and the minority Democratic Party has begun televised debates.
It’s not just the “America First” inward-looking commercial and immigration policies of Trump at issue; the Democratic candidates’ populist pandering with health and environmental policies are also dubious. These might become a dangerous argument that plants seeds of trouble for the future of the superpower.
Trump, who dominated the 2016 election with his slogan “Make America Great Again,” now has a new one: “Keep America Great.” He will return to his original isolationist theme of protectionism and restricting immigration to fire up his base of white voters and the lower and middle classes.
We do not want American policies to be any more warped than this merely to garner popular support for the president. His supporters may be gratified if he targets trade and immigration, and restricts the flow of things and people, but it will retard the growth of the American economy, and the American people will eventually pick up the tab.
It’s not just the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement – it is troubling that Trump keeps turning his back on alliances with many countries. Moreover, he should strictly refrain from desperately trying to score points on diplomacy and security matters by tolerating North Korea’s incomplete denuclearization process, and provoking his opponent, Iran.
Meanwhile, more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates have put themselves forward to take back the administration. The moderate former vice president, Joe Biden, is in the lead, but leftists like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are increasingly making themselves felt, and it could turn into a fierce contest.
The problem is that the left’s promises are unrealistic. An enormous amount of money is needed to realize universal health care, free public universities and the climate change policies known as the “Green New Deal.”
If Democrats target the upper class and large industry as their enemy and raise taxes and strengthen regulations too much, they may impede the recovery of the American economy. The proposal being floated to break up the big American information technology firms like Google and Apple is also troubling.
The outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election will have a great impact on the world. A situation where both parties refuse to acknowledge reality and tilt toward extreme ideas is worrying. We long for a debate that would revive the policies America really needs.