Compass Counterpoint

30 June 2024

That “Debate”

The so-called US presidential debate between the shuffling, incoherent incumbent and his bombastic, hyperbole-soaked opponent was a shocker. The unelectable versus the unspeakable.

In the aftermath, a commentator lamented how appalled America’s allies must have been. He should have also mentioned the doubtless delight of the country’s enemies.

How could the Democrats have imagined it might have been otherwise? Biden has stumbled his way through so many mangled speeches for so long that this car crash of a debate was entirely to be expected. Americans need to watch some of the recent political debates in Europe — as mediocre as many were — to appreciate the breath-taking shallowness of this one. Climate collapse, Gaza and so much else got no more of a mention than the candidates’ argument over their respective golf skills.

Do the Democratic Party managers actually want to win this election? It really doesn’t appear so. The stakes are way too high to risk the inevitable retribution of the anti-democracy convicted felon.

Biden has spent his whole political life as a Washington insider, bereft of original thinking. Even in his best times, he was neither inspired nor inspiring. In the last election, he was seen as a moderate between the bombastic authoritarianism of Trump, and the social democracy of Sanders. It is sometimes argued that the obstruction of the GOP prevented Biden from doing great things. He could nonetheless have done way better.

The US — not to mention the World — is crying out for a robust and articulate defender of democracy itself. If these two are the best that America can come up with, then God help us all.

The decision on whether Biden continues cannot be left to the deluded incumbent himself. His self-certainty that he can win against Trump and get a grip on the complexities of our unprecidented global crises reflects a deeply worrying lack of judgement.

Replacing Biden one way or another is not without risk either. It may even be too late for a new figure to have time to potentially excite the electorate.

It should be pointed out that the Capitol stormers of January 6, 2021 do not broadly represent Trump’s entire social base. His formidable though invisible support also comes from well-educated sections of the social and economic élite, for whom admission of enthusiasm for Trump is inadvisable and uncool. His tax breaks, however, remain irresistable.

A US Political Compass chart will be posted in the near future.

Last updated:
This website copyright © Pace News Ltd 2001-2024. Reproduction in whole or in part in any medium without prior written permission strictly prohibited.