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The Biden Conundrum

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Joe Biden for President
Joe Biden for President
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Anytime you forget how dangerous Donald Trump is to both the Republic and Democracy, he reminds you. He will not let you forget for an instant, a nanosecond, how important it is to rescue the presidency from his megalomaniacal greed and incompetence.

It is difficult but essential to remember that no matter how bad Trump is, however high the stakes may be for removing him from office, Trump is not the problem, he is a manifestation of the problem.

The problem is corruption. It is the stage on which Trump stands. You can rid the nation of Trump by removing him from office, but without systemic change, you cannot eliminate the conditions that brought him to power and allow him to remain in power.

In 2015 both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders emerged as anti-establishment candidates. Sanders rarely appeared on cable news broadcasts, and those appearances were limited to very brief soundbites. Trump, on the other hand, got more on-air coverage than any other presidential candidate in history. Why?

Sanders threatened the systemic corruption; Trump reveled in it, embodied it. Sure Trump was charismatic, quotable, and compelling, in a dark and sadistic way, but he was something the corporate media understood and did not feel threatened by in the same way they felt threatened by Sanders's message of reform.

Enter Joe Biden

At a point when Sanders seemed poised to capture the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination, there were voices on Democratic-leaning cable broadcasts bluntly saying that Trump would be preferable to Sanders. Defeating Sanders was a mission.

The candidate Democratic broadcasting really preferred was Joe Biden. He represented the promise of a return to the corporate-friendly Democratic Party policies of the eighties and nineties. A promise that indecently cannot be kept.

Is Joe Biden better than Trump? Yes. Biden is clearly the better man and better for the country. But Biden brings significant problems of his own.

Biden repairs the transatlantic relationship between the US and its traditional European partners, but he aggravates tensions between Russia and its global partners.

Biden understands economic matters better than Trump, and you can expect a more robust and stable economic climate in the US, but a fundamental realignment of the US economy to make it more competitive in a global economy probably isn't going to happen.

On race relations, you can expect a quantum leap forward should Biden replace Trump. Trump's incendiary ethnic rhetoric is unlike anything that has ever emerged from the White House, ever. He isn't the first racist in the Oval Office, but he is by far the most vocal and strident. Biden easily beats Trump on race relations. But does he really have a meaningful long-term impact? It's not likely. His old-school Democratic Party North-South synergy mindset lends itself better to maintaining the status quo than to the fundamental change and real progress on race relations that would break new ground for generations to come.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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