For the past few months, I’ve watched way too much TV dealing with the U.S. presidential election.
I tried to keep a reasonable balance by watching CNN and Fox. I often saw their diverse reports on the same item and you would think they were talking about two different stories taking place in two different countries!
Both presidential candidates brought out strong feelings. For some, victory by Republican incumbent Donald Trump would mean a further conservative destruction of the American way of life. For others, a victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden would mean turning the United States into a socialist society.
Few people don’t have harsh opinions. You rarely hear anyone say, “Trump, he’s okay.” He’s generally great or awful, and the same sentiments are associated with Biden.
I like many of Trump’s policies but his personality leaves much to be desired. With Biden, you’re dealing with a candidate who is more moderate and presidential in the traditional sense. His ideas for vast new taxes and government intervention are hard to accept, however.
Who will win?
If you follow the opinion polls, it should be Biden.
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The U.S. is in the middle of a pandemic. This disease has caused over 235,000 deaths, with vast monetary losses and great suffering. To paraphrase the old saying, “If you’re the captain of the Titanic, and the ship hits an iceberg and sinks, you get blamed regardless of fault!”
Trump didn’t cause the pandemic but he’s the captain – and his treatment of it has left much to be desired.
That being said, each U.S. state only gets so many electoral votes based on population – and smaller states get far more electoral votes as a total number. Biden will likely receive at least five million more popular votes in New York and California, but there are quite a few smaller states Trump will win – and needs to win. However, it’s unlikely that Trump can get the 270 electoral votes needed to win the electoral college.
Will the results be accepted peacefully?
There are probably thousands of lawyers waiting on pins and needles to start court proceedings. It doesn’t take much to start a court action in the U.S., and there may be some political and legal turmoil for a while. Hopefully not too much – and not for too long.
Stanley Taube is a lawyer and author who was a special lecturer in political science at the University of Toronto. He contributed these thoughts about the United States election. He is also the father of Troy Media columnist Michael Taube.