Model Citizen and Model Citizens Magazine Columnist Robert Zabbia on the 2020 Presidential Election.
The way I see it, our country is divided into three groups. There are the die-hard Democrats, the die-hard Republicans, and then the undecided or swing voters. Since the Bush/Gore election, our country has become increasingly polarized. It really began with Clinton and the impeachment and both sides sticking to their guns, but the contested election is what got us to where we are today.
Going into the debate, I made a comment that if Biden fumbles his way through the debate, this is all over. The swing voters will be uncomfortable with a President who has questionable stamina and the ability to think on his feet. If you use the fact that Joe Biden didn’t completely stumble, then he came out ahead. Like the experienced politician that he is, Biden didn’t answer the questions that he didn’t want to and instead spoke directly to the audience.
Trump was Trump. He was direct, disregarded the moderator, and went after Joe Biden directly. In some cases, he was debating both the moderator and his opponent, and never showed a sweat. He relied on his record, avoided answering a few of the questions that he didn’t want to address, and was in full-on attack mode. Some polls show that this was a good tactic for some audiences.
So as far as the debate goes, I think Joe pacified those who were worried about his mental state and solidified his base that may have been wavering. Trump scored points with the Trump crowd, and his followers were going after the bias that they felt that the moderator had against him.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this one debate swayed many people to change anything as far as the outcome of the election goes. Many hate Trump and will vote for anyone but him. But I do feel that Trump has the momentum. In a down economy and with us coming out of a pandemic (being very optimistic here), Biden should have maintained his double-digit lead that he had coming out of the Convention.
When you look at all of the public support, and the way the electoral college works, I feel that Trump is going to pull of the same type of win as last time. He will win a clear majority of the Electoral College but lose the popular vote again. There is no energy in the Democratic Party right now. It is all about bashing Trump. I can’t tell you how many sales I have made, just because I showed the prospects what a great product or service I offered, and my competition just compared themselves to me or my company.
The Democrats took a hard left turn, and unless Biden can show them that he is really in charge, and that even though he originally signed off on the Green New Deal, and the Bernie Sanders economic platform, I think people will get in that voting booth, hold their nose, and re-elect Trump. There are two different Trump supporters out there. The ones waving the flags, think he is the greatest President of all time (that would be Ronald Reagan in modern times at least) and making it clearly known that they are a Trump supporter.
But there is a silent Trump voter out there. The ones who are the union workers, and are conservative, police loving patriots who can’t back what is going on in these Democratically run states. They are quiet about there their support, because it isn’t popular in their workplace or neighborhoods. There are others who are afraid to show support. They see cars with Trump flags get vandalized, and they don’t want their neighbors to know because they don’t want to be unjustly labeled as racist or a NAZI.
In order to overcome this, Biden needs to show the middle that went for Trump in the last election that he isn’t beholden to the left-wing of his party. The anti-police movement has rattled the middle, and when I speak to lifelong Democrats who voted for Hillary, many confide that they can’t vote for Biden. Many police officers have been lifelong Democrats and are switching parties. The police unions usually split evenly between parties, and I am not aware of one that is voting for Biden.
Biden also needs to show the manufacturing base that he won’t go too far back to the Obama years with regulations. I believe that the economy took off when Trump became President because of these changes. He took the shackles off of the businesses, and they were able to compete with imports for the first time in a generation. Manufacturing has boomed over the past three years, and the workers wouldn’t want to go back to jobs being shipped back overseas. The past two administrations let it happen and shrugged their shoulders, blaming low wages.
Trump needs to be stronger in showing he isn’t going to condone violence from the right-wing organizations like he condemns ANTIFA. He claims to not know who the Proud Boys are (to be honest, I never heard of them until the incident in Kenosha) But he needs to disavow violence of any kind, from both sides of the aisle. I wish he would also get a filter on his Twitter account. Somebody, please take away his phone for the next few years.
Both sides need to stop with the partisan bickering and come up with a better solution for our education system. I picked my house based on the school district that I wanted to have my kids grow up in and learn. There are too many of our citizens who are stuck in the worst school systems without an option to get out. Charter schools have been doing amazing work, but the teacher’s unions are doing everything to stop them. That is fine, they want to look out for the interest of their members. But they need to offer an alternative to keeping these kids locked into failing schools. Teachers are the most giving people, and I know they could come together and offer better solutions than the politicians will.
This country has gone off the rails when it comes to politics. So much hate is spewed just because of your political affiliation. I blame our leaders and the media for this. Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer need to stop with the back and forth. They are all wrong in their talking points pointing to the other side. Look at the history of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil. They couldn’t be more opposite as far as politics were concerned but found a middle ground to kick off one of the most successful 8 years of our country’s history.
This election can go either way, and I’m sure that there are people on both sides that think it is a lock for their camp. I just hope we can get through this and start healing. I think the only way that will happen is if there is a decisive win for either side. If this is another contested election, it will take a much longer time for us to come together as a country again. The last thing we need is for these riots, burning, and looting to continue. The citizens who have the most challenges in this country are the ones who pay the most for this behavior. Businesses are fleeing these districts and going to safer climates, which means fewer jobs, and tax revenue for these communities to use to recover.