USA: The moderate versus the extreme – Politics

USA: The moderate versus the extreme – Politics

Joe Biden was not at a loss for clear words during the 2020 election campaign. President Donald Trump’s asylum policy is “dangerous, inhumane, and it goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants,” Biden wrote. That was in March 2020, the Covid emergency was already in effect in large parts of Europe, and shortly afterwards the USA also sank into the pandemic chaos.

Now, however, President Biden is pursuing an immigration policy that candidate Biden would have criticized in a similarly harsh manner three years ago. It just became public that he is considering reintroducing the detention of families on the southern border – one of Trump’s measures that Biden immediately lifted after taking office.

Such volts show that Joe Biden has started the campaign for the 2024 presidential election, even though he has not yet officially declared his candidacy.

Donald Trump, who first has to win the Republican primaries, throws all sorts of provocations around so that the television cameras stay on him and his competitors receive as little attention as possible.

Symbolic politics against carjacking

Biden, on the other hand, is following a tried-and-tested strategy of a number of previous pre-election US presidents, from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama: he moves politically to the center. Biden can more or less count on the support of the party left. He has already given her a few treats, such as his commitment to a national abortion law and the waiver of student debt.

But in order to win a majority of the votes, it is necessary to win over the predominantly white middle class, the moderate voters. Biden focuses on them, and the President promises them fewer worries, lower costs and good job prospects.

Take crime, Biden last week helped congressional Republicans block a legislative reform in Washington that has become a symbol of crime-handling. The capital’s parliament wanted to lower the maximum penalties, including for carjacking, the violent car theft that is rampant in Washington.

Biden’s toughness on migrants

The penalties imposed would hardly have decreased with the technical reform. However, the Republicans accused the Democrats of disregarding the security needs of the population. In Congress, which oversees Washington, they blocked legislative reform. Biden could have rushed to help his party friends with a veto – but he refused.

In times when rising murder rates characterize the political discussion, Biden does not want to show any weaknesses on the subject, even if the crime statistics show a downward trend overall. Even before the midterm elections last year, he even launched a program with 37 billion additional expenditures for public safety, although the party left demanded that the money be cut off for the police.

Biden had sharply criticized Trump for sending migrants back to Mexico and imprisoning families. Last week, however, word got out that Biden himself is investigating whether to lock up irregular immigrant families. He also continued Trump’s Covid rules: migrants are sent away by the border guard, they cannot apply for asylum. Biden is trying to abolish the practice. As a replacement, however, he proposes a system that human rights organizations say is only slightly better.

Now Biden also wants migrants to stay in Mexico and only be allowed to apply for asylum at the border if they register in advance. The number of appointments is so low that the system resembles a lottery. Biden wants to crack down on irregular immigrants and turn them back to Mexico, which diametrically contradicts demands from his left-wing party.

He promises investments for America

With the promise of new, well-paid jobs, Biden is also campaigning. In order to boost the US economy, he had already presented a legislative package last year intended to lure manufacturers of semiconductor chips back to the USA, as well as a plan worth billions to renew the ailing infrastructure and to promote the energy industry.

Biden has now supplemented his economic program with the most expensive defense budget in peacetime. He doesn’t make any friends with the party left. He is also criticized for this by Trump’s isolationist group. Yet with all of this spending being sold as an investment benefiting American workers, Biden is getting applause from moderate Democrats and Republicans alike.

The increasing health care costs burden the middle class in the USA more than almost any other issue. Biden also pledged with Thursday’s budget to allocate more money to Medicare, health insurance for retirees. He intends to wrest lower drug prices from the pharmaceutical industry.

Among other things, he wants to limit the cost of the excessively expensive diabetes medicine insulin to $35 a month, a demand that is popular with broad sections of the electorate. For the left wing of the party, he proposes more funds for education and childcare – knowing that he will run into the Republicans in the House of Representatives. In return, he hopes to score non-partisan investments in the fight against cancer, the opioid epidemic and mental health problems.

In addition, Biden promised on Thursday to reduce the federal deficit. The mountain of debt of more than 30 trillion dollars would continue to grow with his budget proposal, but not quite as quickly. This should hit the headlines, especially in the middle of the political spectrum.

The advocate of healthy mediocrity

However, the recipes come from left-wing tools: Biden calls for a minimum tax for billionaires, he wants to partially reverse Trump’s tax cuts for companies, as well as tax privileges for oil and gas companies. To save, Biden only wants to reduce Covid spending. Biden knows full well that his budget plans will fall through with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. But he positions himself in such a way that he can then present himself as an advocate of healthy mediocrity against extreme Republicans.

All in all, Biden is moving into the middle politically and is emphasizing his reputation as “Scranton Joe”, as an average American, for whom he will improve the economic situation. On the other hand, he ignores important campaign concerns of left-wing Democrats – from a broad police reform to a renewal of the right to vote to a resolute rejection of the Kulturkampf that the Republicans are waging. According to the quip of James Carville, Bill Clinton’s adviser, who was elected to the White House in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Source link