Original title: The United States can never go back
Source: Looking at think tanks
in April, the United States ushered in “a very painful two weeks”, and whether it is “the most painful two weeks” is still unknown.
In the past month, the new US pneumonia epidemic has shown an exponential growth. A large number of companies have laid off or forced employees to take unpaid leave, millions of people have been unemployed, the stock market has been hit hard, social life has stalled, and the economy may have fallen into recession.
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced on the 8th that he withdrew from the presidential election Democratic election. This is Sanders ’second consecutive defeat from the Democratic preliminaries. The 78-year-old” left-wing veteran “may be difficult to run in the future, but what can be predicted is that the” progressive “movement he represents will not end. It may also have more influence on the Democratic Party ’s future political program.
After Sanders resigned, former Vice President Joe Biden became the only Democratic presidential candidate. If there are no major accidents, the 2020 US presidential election will be held between 73-year-old Trump and 77-year-old Biden. This may be one of the “oldest” presidential elections in American history.
The new coronary pneumonia epidemic has profoundly changed the US elections. The election process, format, issues and prospects have changed as the epidemic evolves.
Text | Xu Jianmei Lookout think tank researcher in Washington
Sanders: “A battle that cannot be won”
On April 8, Bernie Sanders, a left-wing presidential candidate for the US Democratic Party and a senior independent federal senator from Vermont, announced that he was hopeless to win a nomination Deciding to end the election, there is only one vice president, Joe Biden, the leader of the Democratic Party. US President Trump has locked in the nomination of Republican presidential candidates in mid-March.
This is Sanders’ second election for the president of the United States since 2016. When he announced his withdrawal on the 8th, he stated two reasons. First, after an “honest evaluation,” he believed that it was impossible to reverse Biden’s current lead. Second, he was unwilling to interfere with the overall situation in order to continue “a battle that cannot be won” during the “difficult moment” that swept the country.
Sanders. Why did Sanders admit defeat? The primary reason is that defeating Trump in unity is the overwhelming goal of the Democratic Party in the 2020 election. Who is most likely to defeat Trump and enter the White House, the so-called “optional”, largely controls the Democratic pre-election. Polls show that as a moderate leader of the Democratic Party, Biden is considered to be the safest and most capable option to unite the Democratic Party. At a press conference in Vermont in late March, Sanders lost to Biden because the Democratic voters had made it clear that they thought Biden was the best candidate to defeat Trump. Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said recently that Sanders “won the battle of ideas but lost to Biden in ‘optional'”.
In terms of campaign strategy, some American campaign experts said that as a candidate who mainly operates left-wing ticket positions, Sanders needs to have two prerequisites to win the Democratic nomination. One is that he can obtain at least one third The support of Democratic voters is that there are many competitors who divert votes from other Democratic voters. But in the qualifiers so far, Sanders has only received support from about a quarter of the Democratic voters. Since the beginning of March, the moderate Democrats have quit and united in support of Biden, the second precondition no longer exists.
In this year’s preliminary selection, Sanders also failed to expand his ticket position, and the support rate obtained was significantly lower than the 2016 level. Although Sanders has won the most support from young and Latino voters compared to other Democratic candidates, he still lacks the support of elites, formed factions, moderates, senior voters and African-American voters in the Democratic Party, while young voters are especially Jubilee voters’ enthusiasm for him has clearly cooled. In the swing state of Michigan, a white blue collar with no college degree supported him to challenge Hillary four years ago, but this year he turned to Biden. Due to a dispute with Warren, another progressive candidate, about whether women can be elected president, he also encountered trouble among some female voters.
In addition, the new coronary pneumonia epidemic caused a large-scale shutdown of American society, and also pressed the pause button of the Democratic pre-selection process. Many states have cancelled or postponed the pre-election. Biden, Sanders and even the general election issues of concern to the people have been marginalized. But opinion polls show that during major crisis moments, Democratic voters rely more on Biden, who is experienced in politics, than Sanders. And compared with Biden, Sanders relied on large-scale election rallies to conduct elections, which was even more affected by the epidemic. At the same time, in order to focus on fighting against Trump early and avoid the pre-election being delayed due to the epidemic, the demand for Sanders to withdraw early in the Democratic Party has been increasing since mid-March.
Trump has always been committed to labeling the Democratic Party with “socialism”, and Sanders has gone further on the left wing than he did four years ago. Similar to the ideas of many Republican voters, many independent voters and Democrats also believe that if Sanders confronts Trump and uses radical left to fight radical right, the Democratic Party will lose independent voters and swing the state, giving Trump a greater chance. Win re-election. A CNN commentary believes that too many Democratic voters regard voting for Sanders as a risk, not an opportunity, which is destined for Sanders hopeless to win the nomination battle.
Before the last general election, Sanders had an insight into the gap between the grassroots of the Democratic Party and the establishment elite. The demand for social inequality has promoted a large number of young voters to participate in the Democratic Party ’s agenda. But in the end, he has not been recognized by the Democratic Party’s establishment and moderates, and twice failed to break through in the Democratic presidential pre-selection.
In the final analysis, although the left wing represented by Sanders has merged into the mainstream of the Democratic Party and continues to grow, it still cannot represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party; and after the social split and political polarization since 2016, before the epidemic occurred, most Democratic voters have shown their right The strong appeal of “unity” does not want the severe tears within the Democratic Party to repeat itself, nor does it hope that this year’s US election will be another “most divisive” election in history. This atmosphere appeared in the Democratic Party before the outbreak, and it should become more intense after the outbreak.
The United States needs healing and restarting, but in the minds of most Democrats and most Americans, Sanders is not suitable for those who master the restart button.
“He has been waiting for people to visit the world he portrayed.”
In the US elections of 2016 and 2020, Sanders twice ran for the Democratic nomination for presidential candidates, both of which ended in second place. Nonetheless, he is considered to be one of the most important figures in American politics over the past decade, and few failed presidential candidates can achieve his achievements.
In the history of American elections, he broke away from the belief that most politicians must have the support of big money holders and launched an unprecedented and successful grassroots micro-donation campaign. many. According to U.S. media reports, in 2019, 1.4 million individual donors in 50 states across the United States donated approximately $ 96 million to the Sanders campaign team. His grassroots mobilization ability, his affinity for ordinary people and his strong appeal to young people are impressive. Federal Senator Warren, who is also a progressive leader, refused to support any candidate since he retired in March, but after Sanders resigned, she also tweeted to thank Sanders for “working tirelessly for American wage earners.” “Your struggle for progressive thinking has promoted dialogue … will change the path of our country and political parties.”
From the 2016 election, the 2018 mid-term elections to this year’s election, Sanders is one of the core figures driving the Democratic Party to turn left. It played an important role in the left-wing proposition and power entering the mainstream of the Democratic Party. His advocates of universal health insurance, public university waiver of tuition fees, and the Green New Deal to comprehensively reform the economy to deal with climate change have dominated the debates in the Democratic presidential candidates since last year. Medical insurance, in particular, hit the pain points of the vast middle class in the United States and became more prominent under the impact of the epidemic. A March poll by The Wall Street Journal / ABC News showed that 67% of Democratic pre-election voters support Sanders’ advocate for the universal medical insurance system.
In front of the epidemic, everyone, every community, every city, every country is seeking self-protection and self-help. People-to-people, land-to-ground, country-to-country, on the one hand, touching stories of mutual help and love are happening every day; on the one hand, mutual protection, exclusion, suspicion, racial and regional discrimination, xenophobia and xenophobia are also increasing.
Before the New York Times reported the outbreak, the 78-year-old Sanders gave a speech to the people who participated in his campaign rally in a riverside park in New York, the world’s most diverse city:
“Look around you, Look for people you do n’t know. Some of them may look different from you, some may have different beliefs from you, or they may come from different countries.
My problem now is that you are willing to know this for you. Are you struggling for yourself? Just as you are willing to fight for yourself? ”
Whether it was when he was unknown before, or when he became famous since the 2016 election, Sanders has always been regarded as an” outsider of the political bureau. ” Proud of independent senators. Hillary ridiculed him as a “dreamer”, and Trump called him “crazy Sanders.” But anyway, among supporters and opponents, Sanders is generally respected, that is, he is not an opportunistic politician who has been on the horizon, but “a person who has been saying the same thing for decades” , “A person who truly has consistent principles for decades.”
As early as the 1970s, he advocated a comprehensive reform of the American medical system, despised the flattery politics of bending over to rich donors, and criticizing money for destroying the United States. Democracy, the strong are plundering the weak. It was only until he participated in the 2016 election that he found and deeply cultivated the social soil that strongly resonated with him, and found the times when he needed and listened to his voice. As a comment from the American media said, Sanders “was not recently converted to liberalism. For many years, he has been waiting for people to visit the world he portrays.”
Sanders said when he withdrew on the 8th, although The campaign will stop, but his name will remain on the ballots of the states that have not yet held the pre-election. He will use the party representative votes he has received to “significantly influence” the Democratic Party’s election program at the Democratic National Congress. He also praised Biden as “a very decent person” and said that he would cooperate with Biden to advance the progressive ideas. He said: “Although the election is coming to an end, our campaign is not over.”
In response, Biden praised Sanders’ progressive agenda in a statement that inspired and inspired young American voters to participate in politics, saying Sanders “not only carried out Had a political campaign and launched a powerful movement, which is rare in the history of American elections, which is a good thing for our country and the future. “Biden also called on Sanders and his supporters to join His campaign, “Welcome to you, need you”.
Whenever there is a “crisis” in the country, the president’s approval rating will soar
Biden’s showdown against Trump is the most surprising situation in this year’s US election. Sanders’ cessation of elections has released a strong signal that the Democrats are determined to work together against Trump, and it also gives the Democrats more time to mobilize resources to prepare for elections, which is important for Biden and the Democrats.
Trump still called the epidemic a “Democratic scam” until the end of February, claiming that the number of confirmed cases will approach zero within a few days. The threat of the epidemic was still downplayed in early March. At that time, only 43% of the American people recognized his epidemic response. But since Trump changed his attitude and held a White House outbreak press conference every day, and the federal government and Congress urgently took a series of anti-epidemic and bail-out actions, his public opinion support rate has risen for two weeks in a row. The adjustment reached 49%, the highest level since he took office in January 2017. Some poll experts predict that Trump’s approval rate may exceed 50% in the near future, which means that his work will be recognized by half or more than half of the American public for the first time. This is indeed a major achievement for a president who has consistently adhered to the line of “dividing the country”.
The epidemic is getting more and more serious. Why does Trump’s public opinion support rate increase instead of falling?
In the eyes of most Americans, the new coronary pneumonia epidemic is mainly a “major disaster” and sudden crisis caused by external factors. Many opinion poll experts pointed out that when the country is in a “crisis” state, the American people will spontaneously unite behind the president. This is a normal or tradition in American history. The support rate of successive presidents in the country will rise sharply when there is a “crisis” in the country. For example, when the Iranian occupation of the US embassy seized the hostage in 1979, the support rate of the then Democratic President Jimmy Carter almost doubled; At that time, the popularity of the Republican President George W. Bush soared by about 30 percentage points. In fact, in terms of “crisis gains”, Trump lags behind previous presidents.
The United States is a decentralized government. Not only is the separation of powers at the federal level, but also the weight of state power, the state government has some independence. The federal government, as an administrative branch, has limited powers, but correspondingly, the responsibility for errors in responding to early outbreaks has also been dispersed and reduced. For example, it is generally believed that there were major mistakes in virus detection in the early US epidemic and missed the golden window of prevention and control, but the board first hit the CDC responsible for the development of the kit and the overly strict US Food and Drug Administration (CDC) FDA). An independent voter interviewed by the New York Times believed that Trump had limited control in the early stage of the epidemic and it was excusable.
The Trump administration’s continued “dumping pan” strategy in the epidemic response has also achieved certain results. All along, Trump and his government officials and right-wing media have repeatedly dumped China on the responsibility of the epidemic, constantly boasting about the “foresight” that took the lead in taking a travel ban against China, but avoided the large-scale outbreak in the United States. The main sources of input are Europe and the Middle East. Vice President Pence blamed China and the US Centers for Disease Control on April 1. Senate Republican leader McConnell has recently accused the Democratic Party-led impeachment investigation of distracting the government. The White House and Republicans in Congress also accused the United States of America of strategic stock of medical supplies during Obama’s administration. These remarks were spread and amplified by right-wing media and social media platforms, affecting many Americans.
In the epidemic crisis, solidarity and anti-epidemic have become the main theme of American society. The American people’s sense of solidarity has become prominent, and the party struggle has cooled down, leading to the marginalization of the major hot issues of American social division. Neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party are willing to bear the charge of impeding the response to the epidemic due to the interests of political parties at the time of the crisis. Regardless of the initial US $ 8.3 billion epidemic appropriation or the two trillion-dollar economic stimulus and bailout plan, although the Republican Party emphasizes corporate bailouts for the voters of this party, the Democratic Party emphasizes the priority of the family and the working class, but both parties have played down the line differences. The bills related to the epidemic encountered little resistance in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and were quickly passed with an overwhelming cross-party advantage. This sense of social solidarity and the solidarity of the two parties have reduced many voters’ resentment and hostility towards Trump.
At the moment of crisis, due to legal authorizations such as “state of emergency”, the power and importance of the federal government have greatly increased compared to normal times. It can be seen from the US epidemic response process that the specific prevention and control measures such as restricting business activities and social activities are mainly carried out by the states under the guidance of professional institutions. For example, the White House issues “guidance”, and each state punishes those who violate the state’s “home order” according to the state law . Federal government agencies and Congress focus on mobilizing national laws (such as the National Defense Production Law), allocating national resources (such as declaring a national emergency to use disaster relief funds and budget allocations, leading negotiations with large enterprises, etc.), and adjusting national policies (such as relaxation State supervision, medical insurance policies for the epidemic situation, unemployment relief, etc.) and take measures to stabilize and protect the economy. Although many national initiatives require legislation from Congress or authorization from existing laws, the President, as the country ’s top leader, is regarded by the public as the leader, main promoter, and voice of national-level measures, which benefits his personal image.
In addition, Trump himself also received very high media exposure in the epidemic crisis. Normally, many Americans do not care about Washington political news, but under the spread of the epidemic, the information provided by government leaders has received high attention because of its authoritative and overall nature. Trump personally hosted the epidemic press conference at the White House, which lasted for two hours every day, live on national television, radio and social media, released the latest national epidemic information and the latest government response considerations, answered reporters ’questions, and social media daily The specific time of the press conference was announced in advance for the convenience of the public. Justin Penn, a Pittsburgh independent voter and bank security officer interviewed by The New York Times, said that he watched the Trump press conference on Facebook after work every day and thought Trump tried to keep the people calm. The epidemic was handled very well. ” Before the outbreak, Payne supported Biden, the former vice president of the Democratic Party, and now said he would likely support Trump’s re-election.
The New York Times report pointed out that Republican voters ’support for Trump has reached its highest point and remained stable, but independent voters like Payne and some Democratic voters have improved their views on Trump and become boosters. The main factor for the rise in the support of Lampe. In particular, many voters in the Democratic Party disliked Trump. In the past, they mainly received information from anti-Trump liberal media. Now they directly listen to the Trump press conference, and their perception has changed. In the Gallup polls at the end of March, the support rate of independent voters for Trump increased by 8 percentage points from the beginning of March, and the support rate of Democratic voters increased by 6 percentage points.
It should be pointed out that public opinion changes, and the results of the polls also change accordingly. Predicting Trump’s re-election prospects based solely on the rise in Trump’s current approval rating is too narrow. For example, Democratic President Carter’s approval rating rose sharply after the incident of Iranian detention of American hostages, but he still suffered a fiasco in seeking re-election.
epidemic reshapes the US elections and exposes many problems of national governance.
Due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, the atmosphere of the US elections has changed dramatically and the pre-election process has stalled. Start talking about the possibility of holding a “virtual congress”. Usually, the bipartisan congress is held in the summer, nominating presidential and vice presidential candidates, and formally adopting the party platform, that is, the election platform. After the Labor Day in early September, the election campaign officially began, but if the epidemic is still serious or a comeback, how will Biden and Trump launch the election campaign? How can the two parties compete for seats in Congress and the State Assembly? How will the US general election vote on November 3? As the epidemic is highly uncertain, these are currently unknown. Unlike the bipartisan pre-elections, the amendment of the polling day of the general election requires the passage of legislative legislation in both houses of Congress.
In any case, the trend of the epidemic will have a decisive impact on the 2020 US election, and it has been and is reshaping the face of the election and bringing about many variables.
First, the epidemic will cause Biden and Trump to readjust their campaign strategies. Before the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States, Biden played the “Unity” card and promised to build a bridge to bridge social divisions. His talk at election rallies always seemed to miss the “old days” of the United States during the Obama administration. The lack of a vision for change is considered to be an important reason for his early campaign weakness. Due to factors such as age, many Democrats also only hope that Biden will lead the United States to “return to normal” and regard him as a helpless transitional politician. As for Trump, before the epidemic, he always regarded economy and employment as his trump card. Some analysts pointed out that in the history of the United States, no president can be re-elected with the unemployment rate reaching double digits.
With the development of the epidemic, there are more and more voices in the US media and social networks-the United States and the world will not return to the past, the new crown epidemic has ended the “911 era” in the United States, and voters’ expectations of presidential candidates It will not be the same as before the outbreak.
Biden seems to have sensed this. In an interview with CNN on April 7, he claimed that the economic challenges posed by the epidemic will be “the greatest challenges in modern history”. To deal with the epidemic, it is an opportunity for the United States to carry out structural reforms. In order to fight for Sanders supporters, he also constantly threw out the olive branch of intentional acceptance of progressive policies. Some analysts believe that this is a signal for Biden to adjust its campaign strategy and consider transforming “changing candidates”. As for Trump, due to the stock market meltdown, the unemployment rate has soared, and the re-election ace is tarnished, and the Democrats must be held accountable for the responsibility for the epidemic. The Trump administration’s response to the new crown epidemic and economic recession will have an important impact on voters’ votes. The trend of the US epidemic and whether the economy can rebound quickly before the election date are of great importance to Trump’s election prospects.
Secondly, the epidemic itself is also changing the prospects of Biden and Trump’s campaign. The public’s mentality may change at any time as the epidemic continues. Many US poll experts pointed out that when the country is in a “crisis” state, the people will spontaneously unite behind the president. Although many government initiatives require legislation from Congress or obtain existing legal authority, the president, as the country ’s top leader, is regarded by the public as the leader of government initiatives. In addition to the intensive media exposure, personal image is easy to benefit. In contrast, candidates for opposition parties are often marginalized in the epidemic. As space is limited, media exposure is greatly reduced. For Biden, he not only needs to adjust his campaign strategy to maximize the unity of the broad spectrum of Democratic voters and independent voters, but also needs to show his image as much as possible in the epidemic, make a difference, and reshape his campaign momentum.
Biden is seen as a “safe” choice for Democrats, but that does not mean he will win. In the absence of the epidemic, Biden faced various issues such as supporters whose enthusiasm was significantly weaker than that of Trump voters, lack of an infectious vision for change, and various political prisons left over from long-term politics. Biden is far from Trump’s opponent in the dissemination of information on social media. At present, Biden has only about 4.6 million Twitter fans, and Trump has 75 million; Biden has only 1.7 million fans, and Trump has 28 million. Under the epidemic, virtual campaigns and online campaigns are even more important, which is obviously bad for Biden.
Finally, the epidemic has changed the lives of every American. It is highlighting the economic, social and ethnic inequalities in the United States and exposing many problems of American national governance. According to Sanders, the pandemic of the New Coronavirus “reveals the ugliest inequality in American life in the harshest way.” Even if there is no epidemic, the progressive voice represented by Sanders will not This year’s election and the future of American politics will disappear, and the trend will be amplified in the epidemic response and the election process, and will be further integrated into the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Of course, at the same time, his withdrawal will not end the differences between the positions of the left and the moderates in the Democratic Party. Whether Sanders ’supporters and the Democratic moderates will unite behind Biden for the common goal of defeating Trump will require more time to test.
At present, the epidemic in the United States is still rising rapidly, lacking stable expectations, and when normal life can return is unknown. The public’s mentality will change with the ups and downs of the epidemic and the duration of the epidemic. In addition, the damage to the American society and economy caused by the epidemic is constantly deepening. It is difficult to properly assess the depth and breadth, but the phenomenon of social polarization between the rich and the poor has shown a growing momentum. At present, both parties have not canceled the National Congress that was originally scheduled to be held in July and August. Can the U.S. election campaign be officially launched after the Labor Day in early September as usual? Can the election vote be normal on the legal November 3 polling day? It is currently unknown.
Or the only certainty is that the new crown epidemic has reshaped the US election. At a time when the epidemic is getting worse, the two parties, the media and the public in the United States have focused their attention on the response rather than accountability. But the Democratic Party and the liberal media cannot easily pass Trump on responsibility for the outbreak. Now that Trump ’s extra points in response to the epidemic do not mean that he will be able to reduce points when he is held accountable in the future. From the end of January to the beginning of March, Trump’s large number of public statements about the epidemic in the “lost month” in the United States were serious mistakes in judgment if they were not lies. During this golden window of prevention and control, the US epidemic preparedness was seriously insufficient.
In addition, Trump has drastically cut the budget of the US Centers for Disease Control, canceled the White House National Security Committee ’s global epidemic response team since he took office, and weakened Obama ’s medical reforms, leading to a large increase in the number of Americans without health insurance. These measures will not be easily forgotten. Trump’s “big government” philosophy and approach are closer to the Democratic Party and the liberals. He is not happy with the conservatives who insist on the “limited government” and worry about budget deficits and national debt. The biggest trump card for his re-election campaign, the economic prosperity, has disappeared into the “Trump Meltdown” that created the history of US stock trading. As for his 2016 campaign promise to drain the corrupt “Washington Marsh”, it was almost empty talk in the US Senator epidemic “stock door” transaction.
The pause button pressed by the United States due to the epidemic also includes the pause button between the two parties to launch a fierce contest around the election. The epidemic situation is constantly evolving and changing. Trump in the epidemic situation has political gains and losses, and the proper moment to take stock has not yet arrived.