On November 8, 2016 the world held its breath in disbelief as Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Since then it has been a presidential journey unlike any other in modern history. Almost every week the president made news that fundamentally changed the way in which the American politics work. From the notorious Muslim ban to separating children from their parents in the border, what haven’t we seen in the first term of Donald Trump!
It’s true that very few people predicted that Donald Trump would be elected in the first place as his campaign was overwhelmed with controversies and outlandish propaganda. But in the end, Donald Trump proved himself to be victorious posing serious doubts in the various pre-election polls which said Trump was never going to win.
As we enter into a new decade where Donald Trump’s first term in office is soon coming to an end it is worthwhile to delve into the issues that will dominate the U.S. presidential election in 2020.
The Impeachment trial
Donald Trump is the 3rd president in US history to be impeached after two votes in the Democratic party dominated House of Representatives. But his removal from white house requires 20 Republican votes in the Republican dominated Senate which will take place after a historic senate trial. While it is clear as daylight that the Republican votes will be much shorter than 20 yet it has failed to reduce any enthusiasm in the Democrats to commit to this impeachment process.
It seems that the Democrats are trying to create as big of a spectacle as they can. This can be used as a campaign narrative against Donald Trump and the Republican party as a whole. It is a tool which the Democrats are planning to use to create a media narrative which portrays how biased and unlawful the Republicans are if they choose to vote in favor of trump.
The trials are expected to begin in January and surely this will be a major player in the 2020 Presidential election.
Reforming the immigration system has been the bread and butter for Trump presidency. He tried to build a wall to keep the Mexican immigrants out. The Trump administration perpetuated racist stereotypes in the name of American nationalism and separated immigrant children from their parents in the border which resembles similar tactics used by Nazi Germany. His administration also cut the number of legal asylums, made it difficult for people to get legal asylum and began deporting people of colour left and right. All these desperate attempts to make immigration difficult and inaccessible had far reaching effects in the American society. In some places these inhuman, racist, xenophobic policies were championed and in other places they were hated beyond words.
These controversies regarding immigration defined the nature and characteristics of his presidency. And these will surely be the dominant force in the upcoming election of 2020.
While the economy of US grew under president Donald Trump, wealth and income inequality is now at an all time high. Fewer than 1% of the people own most of the wealth while most people at the bottom lives paycheck to paycheck. This condition has caused utmost unrest in people’s minds. Interestingly President Trump did address this problem in a very different way. In his worldview the reason why working people are struggling is because of the higher tax rates. So he gave a huge tax cut to wealthy corporations in the hope that in return these companies would hire more people and raise wages and benefits. But reality could not be farther away from such “imaginative” hope. The inequality doesn’t seem to go away.
This creates an opening for the Democrats. Each and every Democratic presidential candidate is addressing income inequality and their version of the solution. Some of the notable ones are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
This will be another defining feature of the election.
Trump’s tax returns
This might sound silly but this could be a devastating blow for Trump. He has been refusing to release his tax returns since the beginning of his campaign. Lots of controversies spewn, narratives and counter narratives were thrown regarding Trump’s tax returns. Many speculate that he has avoided paying taxes for a long time and many claim that its his constitutional right not to show his tax returns.
But the supreme court is set to give a ruling whether or not Trump must reveal his tax returns.
In the event that he must and it turns out that there are shady stuff in his tax returns his re-election could be under heavy fire.
The Democratic Nominee
It cannot be stretched enough how important Trump’s opponent from the Democratic party is. It looks like there are four potential candidates who are headed towards a fierce clash in the upcoming primaries starting from February. They are former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and the impressive millennial mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg. Let’s take a brief look at each one of their cases.
As of now 77 years old former Vice President Joe Biden is at number one in the polls. He represents the traditional establishment of the Democrat ideology, which is capitalist in its nature with a hint of progress and virtue of unity. Joe Biden’s campaign is yet to make bold policy claims and goals. Rather Joe Biden claims he is the one who can unite the country against Donald Trump. The extent to which this unity is defined is still unclear. Joe Biden caters to mostly centrist voters. These are people who are mostly white working class and who want to re-establish the Obama era status quo. Many pundits speculate these voters are the majority in number.
It is getting increasingly difficult to differentiate between Senator Warren and Bernie Sanders. Both represent the far left portion of the political spectrum. Both address the wealth inequality, student loan problems and the broken health care system. Both claim boldly to reform the country’s economic and political structure in a socialist way where corporations will not have unchecked power to do business. A few years back these wide scale socialist policies were considered radical and unacceptable but now they have gained positive momentum in various parts of the country. Whether or not these are enough to face Donald Trump is up for debate.
Now the case for Pete Buttigieg is out of the ordinary. He is the mayor of the fourth largest city in Indiana. He had to win only eight thousand votes to be re-elected as mayor. That is basically all the political achievements that he has. His campaign is quite unthinkable to be taken seriously in a presidential run with such inadequate support. But the unthinkable has somehow happened. As he started running he gained quick popularity with his charm as a speaker and his vibrant millennial energy. And the left leaning media seems to support him at all stages. But if this charm and support will hold in the upcoming primaries or not is everyone’s question.
These are the key issues that will dominate the much anticipated presidential elections of 2020, and will be crucial in deciding the political fate of Donald Trump.
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