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The Economist Endorses Joe Biden

The Economist, a conservative publication, has endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president and asked the American people to resoundingly reject President Donald Trump.

The country, the magazine says, has been “desecrated” by Trump, and that while Biden is imperfect, the former vice president has what it takes to help undo the damage from the last four years.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“THE COUNTRY that elected Donald Trump in 2016 was unhappy and divided. The country he is asking to re-elect him is more unhappy and more divided. After almost four years of his leadership, politics is even angrier than it was and partisanship even less constrained. Daily life is consumed by a pandemic that has registered almost 230,000 deaths amid bickering, buck-passing and lies. Much of that is Mr Trump’s doing, and his victory on November 3rd would endorse it all,” the endorsement began.

“Joe Biden is not a miracle cure for what ails America. But he is a good man who would restore steadiness and civility to the White House. He is equipped to begin the long, difficult task of putting a fractured country back together again. That is why, if we had a vote, it would go to Joe,” the publication said.

Trump has “dismally failed to measure up to the task” of running the United States, The Economist said, noting his disastrous mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed 230,000 American lives and is getting worse by the day.

Although Trump’s economic policies were controversial, the paper wrote, the economy was growing before the coronavirus outbreak hit. But the president’s vindictive character and disrespect for American institutions has been devastating, the writers said.

“In the past four years he has repeatedly desecrated the values, principles and practices that made America a haven for its own people and a beacon to the world. Those who accuse Mr Biden of the same or worse should stop and think. Those who breezily dismiss Mr Trump’s bullying and lies as so much tweeting are ignoring the harm he has wrought,” they continued.

Trump has aligned his own toxicity, such as his unabashed racism, “central to his office,” the magazine charged, adding that Trump’s “contempt for the truth” is the most dangerous aspect of his presidency.

“All politicians prevaricate, but his administration has given America “alternative facts.” Nothing Mr Trump says can be believed – including his claims that Mr Biden is corrupt,” The Economist said. “His cheerleaders in the Republican Party feel obliged to defend him regardless, as they did in an impeachment that, bar one vote, went along party lines.”

Under Trump, “America’s system of checks and balances suffers. This president calls for his opponents to be locked up; he uses the Department of Justice to conduct vendettas; he commutes the sentences of supporters convicted of serious crimes; he gives his family plum jobs in the White House; and he offers foreign governments protection in exchange for dirt on a rival,” said the magazine. “When a president casts doubt on the integrity of an election just because it might help him win, he undermines the democracy he has sworn to defend.”

Trump’s catastrophic COVID-19 negligence has been his undoing:

Mr Trump had a chance to unite his country around a well organised response—and win re-election on the back of it, as other leaders have. Instead he saw Democratic governors as rivals or scapegoats. He muzzled and belittled America’s world-class institutions, such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. As so often, he sneered at science, including over masks. And, unable to see beyond his own re-election, he has continued to misrepresent the evident truth about the epidemic and its consequences. America has many of the world’s best scientists. It also has one of world’s highest covid-19 fatality rates.

Trump has abused the US’s international relationships and alienated our allies, and if he wins a second term, The Economist predicted, our standing in the world will continue to erode:

Four more years of a historically bad president like Mr Trump would deepen all these harms—and more. In 2016 American voters did not know whom they were getting. Now they do. They would be voting for division and lying. They would be endorsing the trampling of norms and the shrinking of national institutions into personal fiefs. They would be ushering in climate change that threatens not only distant lands but Florida, California and America’s heartlands. They would be signalling that the champion of freedom and democracy for all should be just another big country throwing its weight around. Re-election would put a democratic seal on all the harm Mr Trump has done.

Why Joe? Because he is competent, experienced, and pragmatic – Trump’s “antithesis,” as The Economist put it.

A Biden victory “would also benefit the Republicans… because a close contest would tempt them into divisive, racially polarising tactics, a dead end in a country that is growing more diverse. As anti-Trump Republicans argue, Trumpism is morally bankrupt (see Lexington). Their party needs a renaissance. Mr Trump must be soundly rejected.”

Democracy itself is on the ballot, The Economist stressed.

“In this election America faces a fateful choice. At stake is the nature of its democracy. One path leads to a fractious, personalised rule, dominated by a head of state who scorns decency and truth. The other leads to something better—something truer to what this newspaper sees as the values that originally made America an inspiration around the world,” the magazine said.

“In his first term, Mr Trump has been a destructive president,” the endorsement concluded. “He would start his second affirmed in all his worst instincts. Mr Biden is his antithesis. Were he to be elected, success would not be guaranteed—how could it be? But he would enter the White House with the promise of the most precious gift that democracies can bestow: renewal.”

Five days until the election.



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