It can be said, with President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, that his attacks on Joe Biden are carrying less weight than they used to. It’s an obvious point. After all, does anyone really care what he calls Biden when more than a thousand Americans are dying everyday? Not to mention the millions that are worried about where they are going to live next week.
Still, much of the country is not that distracted. The only change to their daily routine is sporting a mask and possibly avoiding traffic by working from home. The fact is, pandemic or not, Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden have not, and will not have a meaningful effect on the election in November. The only words that can hurt Biden are his own.
Back in 2016, when Donald Trump’s ideology was hard to interpret and his policies were all over the map, he was able to attack Clinton from every angle. He attacked her from the right on social issues and immigration policies, but Trump also hurt her to the left on foreign policy and trade.
The president’s re-election campaign can’t rely on the same tactics this time around. The Trump administration has been running things for three and half years now. He can no longer lie and get away with it. At least not with the voters who pay attention and have a shred of intellect.
From a progressive, even liberal point a view, Joe Biden is an extremely flawed candidate. Medium created a list, all verifiable, of 125 reasons not to vote for Biden that cover all aspects of his storied career in congress. Many of these points would downright anger or shock the average person, but Trump can’t use them.
In virtually every aspect, Trump is guilty of equal or far worse polices and moral philosophy. At least in the present day. Like him or not, Joe Biden’s political history is littered with racist statements, harsh immigration policies, political corruption, and neo-liberal economic policies. He’s also been a slave to the military industrial complex and the war on drugs. In a sense, Joe Biden has effectively muzzled Trump by being too conservative throughout his career.
With all Biden has done, it did take him forty-four years. Trump has done much of the same damage in less than four. Trump would have no leg to stand on if he decided to attack Biden on any of this. Furthermore, Donald won’t attack Biden on healthcare, not during a pandemic. He can’t attack his free trade or environmental policies anymore either. What’s left?
He can lie. He can and he will. If the President’s nose grew an inch for every time he’s lied during his time in office, it would reach the tip of New York’s One World Trade Center. And that’s why this time around it will fall on deaf ears. Everyone knows he lies, independent voters included. He’s cried wolf throughout his entire presidency and people no longer care.
So far Trump’s go to attack line has been to label Biden as a radical leftist. Which voters of importance are going to believe that? Joe already has the few moderate Republicans that are left in his pocket. Not even Sanders’ is a radical leftist by most standards.
Trump and his campaign have no game, no platform, and no plan. Meanwhile, with no stinging attacks on him, Biden is free to do the opposite of what doomed Clinton in 2016. Instead of going after Trump, Biden has been focusing his advertising on winning back the suburban middle class. It seems Democrats have learned a lesson or two.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we’re in for a ton of attack ads over the next few months by both sides. The thing is, no matter what gun the Trump Campaign pulls out of their heavily funded bags, the ammunition will always be blanks. To hit Joe Biden, Trump will also have to shoot himself.