“Biden does not have a serious programme, there is only hatred for Trump”
The US presidential election has long been no less interesting to Russians than the election of their own head of state, given the frequent presence of the White House on the news agenda. The phase of official identification of candidates for the main post in the country has started this week in the United States, and the first to name their candidate was members of the Democratic Party at the convention in Wisconsin — it is Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States under Barack Obama. Mikhail Taratuta, well-known journalist and Americanist, told Realnoe Vremya about why, despite his age and many other disadvantages, the Democratic candidate has a good chance of defeating the current occupant of the Oval Office of Donald Trump.
“Biden is sitting in the basement of his own house and conducting his election campaign from there”
Mr Taratuta, why has the Democrats preferred to see a candidate for the post of the head of the American administration rather elderly, although experienced person — 77-year-old Joe Biden? Are the Democrats having big difficulties with young cadres?
The problem here is that all the other contenders are either unknown to the general public or they take a too left-wing position that would not be accepted by centrists among the democratic voters, so Biden has decided to become a compromise figure. Besides, you need to understand that the US Democratic Party cannot be called a typical party — usually parties reflect the interests of a certain group of people or class, but the Democratic Party now consists of a coalition of completely different groups with completely different interests and views on life: financial capital, that is, Wall Street banks, high-tech companies, the black minority of the country, Latino Americans, women's organisations, and so on.
And it is very difficult to find a balance between all these groups, and in the last 4-5 years the situation has been complicated by that the role of the left wing in the Democratic Party has become very noticeable, which has actually become the socialist wing — its most prominent representatives are Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and even more left-wing groups of this wing.
Thus, in this difficult situation, Joe Biden looked the most compromise figure, and the nomination of Kamala Harris, who is significantly to the left of Biden, as Democrats hope, will be able to balance the interests of Democratic voters and attract those groups that are opposed to Trump.
The problem here is that all the other contenders are either unknown to the general public or they take a too left-wing position that would not be accepted by centrists among the democratic voters, so Biden has decided to become a compromise figure
Biden was the vice-president under Obama, who is the most respected American politician to date on a par with Trump. Is Obama's support an important factor for both Biden's nomination and his victory?
I don't think that this is an important factor — Biden and Obama occupy approximately the same centrist positions, and Barack Obama made nothing new in the attitude of voters to Biden. It is clear that Obama supports him, and although there were rumours that Obama told someone in a private conversation that you cannot underestimate the ability of Joe to spoil any thing, any undertaking, publicly he supported him and nothing new happened here.
The silent majority of voters are scared of BLM
Polling data back in June showed Biden's lead over Trump (55% vs. 41%), but according to the latest data, the advantage of the former vice president over the head of the White House has decreased to 4% — 50% would vote for Biden, and 46% — for Trump. Is this a wake-up call for Democrats?
This is a very disturbing signal. But at the same time, we should not forget about the silent majority: the situation with social censorship in America in 2020 has become more heated than ever, and political correctness has already begun to develop into social censorship — now for some misspoken words, people begin to bully people in social networks, write denunciations of them to the authorities, and the authorities are afraid of problems and try to get rid of this person. Such phenomena are especially common in American universities, and many other places, and due to that people do not like this situation, they are silent — they are afraid to express their views even in the polls about the presidential election.
I talked to a university professor, and he told me that his colleagues even refused to answer such questions because it could turn out that among the interviewers could be a student studying with this teacher, who could “rat” on him, and he could have problems. Therefore, people try not to express their views.
By the way, according to research, as many as 62 per cent of Americans are afraid to openly talk about their views, and 77 per cent of those are Republicans: this is what social censorship has brought to from political correctness.
Trump clumsily snaps and irritates people who like him, but Trump came to politics from a different environment, where there are other rules and other norms of behaviour
As I understand it, such censorship has increased after the protests against police violence caused in May by the death of black Floyd in police custody. But the Democrats supported the movement Black Lives Matter, and Biden knelt in solidarity with the protesters, and can we say in this case that we have gained a lot of points?
The protests rather worked against the Democrats, and I think we will see this on November 3. The thing is that these protests primarily scared white people — including among Democrats, and — attention — among undecided, and undecided are about 25 per cent of American voters. They were scared of looting and arson, but they were also scared of the so-called “culture of prohibitions” — the same social censorship of views that, as I said, many people suffer because of: one professor said that it was about privileges for blacks and he was fired, and one scientist committed suicide because of harassment — it all looks like a version of the Soviet 1937, and it is unlikely that the Democrats will continue to support the protests.
“If Biden is elected, America will face big problems”
At the end of 2019, one of the experts of Realnoe Vremya said that Biden's rival Donald Trump would keep his presidential post if he does not make major mistakes. His unflattering, blunt rhetoric about Biden (“a puppet of the ultra-left”) and his running mate Harris (“more disgusting than other candidates”, “she tells lies”) are not the candidate's mistakes?
Donald Trump speaks in his usual rhetoric and does not bring anything new. You see, Trump has been declared a real war by the media since the moment of his election, and the country has even created an unofficial movement against the president “Resist!”, which united representatives of many professions — from human rights defenders, media and university environment to some prosecutors and judges. And if Trump is able to withstand all this, then we must give him credit here — few people would have the willpower and mental strength to withstand such a restraint. Yes, Trump clumsily snaps and irritates people who like him, but Trump came to politics from a different environment, where there are other rules and other norms of behaviour. But as a president and candidate, he looks worthy.
Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is very left-wing, and if you know that the current situation is such that there is a strong movement to the left, America will face big problems when Biden is elected
Does Biden have any trumps against Trump?
Biden has very few trumps — playing with the left electorate of the party, he loses the centrists, and if Biden works for the centrists, he will lose the left electorate. Besides, Biden does not have any serious programme, platform, so to speak — there is only hatred for Trump.
An interesting detail — all those delegates who spoke at the Democratic Party convention did not talk about what the Democrats should do if they won, did not say how they would restore the economy after the coronavirus pandemic: they only talked about how terrible Trump is, and God forbid if America plunges into this trumpism for another 4 years, and we must do everything possible to prevent this from happening. But what happens if Biden comes to power in the White House, it turns out, is a big question! Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is very left-wing, and if you know that the current situation is such that there is a strong movement to the left, America will face big problems when Biden is elected.
The Democrats have only socialist ideas — to forgive the huge debt for student tuition, to pay reparations in the amount of tens of trillions of dollars to African-Americans (through investment in infrastructure, free higher education, and so on), which in general is a huge amount, in addition, the left are offering universal free healthcare, cancelling private one. All these are fantasies that are almost impossible to implement in the conditions of America.
Personally I expect no good with the coming of people like Biden and Harris. Yes, Biden has few trumps, but his coming is possible
The only thing that Biden promised was to repeal the tax reform that Trump introduced in 2017 (according to it, most of the main tax rates were lowered — editor's note) and which has given an impetus to the economic boom, and in addition, created many jobs, and the income of the low-income strata has increased significantly — especially among African-Americans. And if Biden cancels this tax reform, all the positive that it has given to society will end — new taxes will be introduced, and businesses will look for other tax jurisdictions, and I personally do not expect good things with coming of people like Biden and Harris. Yes, Biden has few trumps, but his coming is possible. Besides, I do not exclude that any of the parties may not recognise the elections on November 3, and other street conflicts may arise in the country on this basis.