D H
Nov 24 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

Does Joe Biden represent a real change from Donald Trump?

As Trump now shows the first signs of willingness to concede the 2020 election to Joe Biden it seems clear there will be a transition to a Biden government in 2021. However despite Biden representing the antithesis of Trump for many, on paper the two candidates are remarkably similar, and the debates were centred around similar policies, whether it was who would be more hawkish toward China or who supported fracking more. Indeed for some commentators the election was thought to be so close as the candidates were so similar in many ways. So how much of a change from Donald Trump’s presidency will Joe “nothing will fundamentally change” Biden represent? But more importantly can Biden’s key staff hires give us a clue as to what kind of administration we are looking at? nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/joe-biden-donald-trump-similarities-2020.html thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/biden-and-trump-have-more-in-common-on-economic-policy-than-you-might-expect-qwtcw5px9 salon.com/2019/06/19/joe-biden-to-rich-donors-nothing-would-fundamentally-change-if-hes-elected
Stats of Viewpoints
A third Obama term
0 agrees
0 disagrees
No, policies will be largely the same
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Yes
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Viewpoints
Add New Viewpoint

A third Obama term

Biden looks clearly set for another neoliberal term very much in the vein Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as Vice President, and on many fronts, and for many Americans, this is a worse prospect than Trump. While Biden would definitely represent a shift in rhetoric from Trump, if his time as Vice President is anything to go by, American foreign policy looks set to be continually aggressive. On war and foreign policy Obama overall started more conflicts than Trump internationally, however more bombs were dropped during the Trump presidency than ever before, following a clear upward trajectory from his predecessors. There is no indication from Biden that he wishes to undo this pattern he himself had a part in under Obama.

Likewise Trump was known for his “attacks on journalism” but again these attacks were largely rhetorical. Obama on the other hand went after more journalists legally than an other president both before and since, setting a dangerous precedent of using the Espionage act to prosecute journalists as an attack on press freedom. On the big economic issues such as China, Biden looks set to continue Trump's economic legacy, while showing no sign of undoing Trump tax-cuts, addressing stagnating wages or the spiralling cost of healthcare in the country. Under Obama, Biden has the previous track record of bailing out the banks following the 2008 recession, similar to the corporate bailout during the 2020 pandemic under Trump, Biden has never acknowledged the decades of continued deregulation in the US, so is unlikely to regulate the financial sector as president.

The only area that Biden really differs from Obama and is closer to Trump is his long history of racist policy and siding with white supremacists. Biden has often bragged about how he wrote the Comprehensive Control Act and Anti-Drug Abuse Act, as well as Constitutional amendments to stop busing, all of which are now widely regarded to have solidified structural racism in America and continued the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this regard Biden stylistically differs from Trump, shying away from open dog-whistles to rally white supremacist supporters, preferring a different flavour of racism, silent and legislative.

As Biden has repeatedly said himself, "nothing will fundamentally change" [1], he clearly marks a return to the Obama era, which is, most worryingly, the era that gave America Trump in the first place, a far-right populist reaction to the neoliberal status quo. If Biden seriously hopes to undo Trumpism or represent a real change to Trump he needs to undo the truly damaging precedents Trump set as president. Biden should renegotiate a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and undo the madness of ramped up military spending Trump engaged in, clearly gearing up to the suicidal military engagement with China and Russia. Biden could also prove his dedication to the environment by kicking out fossil fuel lobbyists and reverse the very damaging withdrawal from agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal, that have strained global stability and international relations with US allies.

bostonherald.com/2020/12/02/biden-to-usher-in-obamas-third-term cbc.ca/radio/sunday/the-sunday-edition-for-may-5-2019-1.5121509/barack-obama-was-a-greater-enemy-of-the-free-press-than-trump-michael-s-essay-1.5121514 freedom.press/news/obama-used-espionage-act-put-record-number-reporters-sources-jail-and-trump-could-be-even-worse caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/10/28/biden-will-not-be-soft-on-china-hell-continue-trumps-aggressions [1] salon.com/2019/06/19/joe-biden-to-rich-donors-nothing-would-fundamentally-change-if-hes-elected newstalk1130.iheart.com/featured/common-sense-central/content/2020-08-20-joe-bidens-six-decades-of-racism thefreethoughtproject.com/america-drops-bomb-trump-obama-bush

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
D H
Dec 17
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
As Biden has repeatedly said himself, "nothing will fundamentally change" [1], he clearly marks a return to the Obama era, which is, most worryingly, the era that gave America Trump in the first place, a far-right populist reaction to the neoliberal status quo. If Biden seriously hopes to undo Trumpism or represent a real change to Trump he needs to undo the truly damaging precedents Trump set as president. Biden should renegotiate a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and undo the madness of ramped up military spending Trump engaged in, clearly gearing up to the suicidal military engagement with China and Russia. Biden could also prove his dedication to the environment by kicking out fossil fuel lobbyists and reverse the very damaging withdrawal from agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal, that have strained global stability and international relations with US allies.

No, policies will be largely the same

If Biden's staff picks are anything to go by, his presidency will be much of the same as Trump's. When Donald Trump entered the White House he famously ran on a the populist message, claiming he would “drain the swamp” of Washington careerists that move back and forth between the corporate and government world’s and side-line any effective political change. However many have pointed out that most Trump appointees were actually the same lobbyist and corporate interests that he indicated were the problem, hiring Rex Tillerson from ExxonMobil, disgraced Reagan adviser Elliott Abrams, and war hawk and regime change advocate John Bolton. Now Joe Biden looks set to go down the same path, hiring from much the same swamp with many of his hires demonstrating a similar conflict of interest to Trump's.

Biden seems set to hire a suite of fossil-fuel-friendly war-hawks with their fair share of corporate ties, people such as Antony Blinken, Michele Flournoy, Cedric Richmond, Steve Richetti, Janet Yellen, and Michael McCabe to name a few. Blinken and Flournoy have shown a worrying level of support for failed US regime change efforts that have led to prolonged humanitarian crisis, such as the Iraq war, the bombing of Libya and Yemen, the arming of Al-Qaeda in Syria, the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine. While in between government roles Blinken has worked at a private equity firm, Ricchetti as a Big Pharma lobbyist, McCabe as a consultant for Pharmceutical giant DuPont and Rep. Richmond has direct ties to the oil and gas industry. With these people taking up important positions in the Biden administration, writing policies that are again friendlier to private interests and big business, Biden's presidency looks set to be plagued by the same conflicts of interest, a further continuation of the swamp.

thecanary.co/us/us-analysis/2020/08/09/in-another-sign-that-biden-is-the-true-neocon-candidate-his-inner-circle-reads-like-a-whos-who-of-us-imperialism commondreams.org/news/2020/11/25/disdain-and-disbelief-after-biden-claims-significant-progressive-presence rt.com/usa/507552-antony-blinken-twitter-defends

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
D H
Dec 17
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
If Biden's staff picks are anything to go by, his presidency will be much of the same as Trump's. When Donald Trump entered the White House he famously ran on a the populist message, claiming he would “drain the swamp” of Washington careerists that move back and forth between the corporate and government world’s and side-line any effective political change. However many have pointed out that most Trump appointees were actually the same lobbyist and corporate interests that he indicated were the problem, hiring Rex Tillerson from ExxonMobil, disgraced Reagan adviser Elliott Abrams, and war hawk and regime change advocate John Bolton. Now Joe Biden looks set to go down the same path, hiring from much the same swamp with many of his hires demonstrating a similar conflict of interest to Trump's.

Yes

Biden delivered seemingly heart felt pledges prior to the election that look set to help America veer widely away from the Trump trajectory. Biden claimed climate change to be the number one issue facing the country, and earmarked more taxes for high earners and the ultra-wealthy, while openly taking the on going pandemic very seriously. Biden has also backtracked and apologised for many of his former comments and policies that seem 'Trumpian' or racially insensitive, such as a Constitutional amendment to stop busing. While Trump sticks to a strict doubling down policy, Biden seems willing and able to change his mind on many issues.

From his staffing picks we can already see that Biden will take a different route on national security - ending the America first mentality, while there has been a clear effort to embrace diversity in his cabinet, a clear contrast to the nepotism and dog-whistles of Trump's picks. Biden has planned executive actions including ending Trumps 'Muslim ban' and re-joining the WHO and Paris Climate Accord, while his pick of John Kerry as new 'climate envoy' also makes this commitment to tackling climate change seem genuine. These issues stand in clear contrast to Trump; Biden seems to take the position more seriously at least and will not behave like the petulant child that Trump often channelled during his presidency.

oregonlive.com/politics/2020/11/biden-signals-shift-from-trump-with-national-security-picks.html fool.com/taxes/2020/10/25/3-huge-tax-changes-joe-biden-wants-to-make cnbc.com/2020/10/24/joe-biden-climate-change-is-number-one-issue-facing-humanity.html nytimes.com/2019/07/06/us/politics/joe-biden-barack-obama-south-carolina.html msn.com/en-us/news/politics/he-apologized-biden-acknowledges-obama-admin-made-a-mistake-in-immigration-policy/vi-BB1al1nN nytimes.com/2020/05/22/us/politics/joe-biden-black-breakfast-club.html forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/11/08/biden-plans-these-5-executive-orders/?sh=4f72b254346b

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
D H
Dec 17
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
From his staffing picks we can already see that Biden will take a different route on national security - ending the America first mentality, while there has been a clear effort to embrace diversity in his cabinet, a clear contrast to the nepotism and dog-whistles of Trump's picks. Biden has planned executive actions including ending Trumps 'Muslim ban' and re-joining the WHO and Paris Climate Accord, while his pick of John Kerry as new 'climate envoy' also makes this commitment to tackling climate change seem genuine. These issues stand in clear contrast to Trump; Biden seems to take the position more seriously at least and will not behave like the petulant child that Trump often channelled during his presidency.
Translate