Incumbents generally are judged on their record, although they and their parties usually present platforms of goals and promises they hope will attract votes to their cause.
That isn’t the case this year with the Republican Party; they have chosen to base their entire campaign on President Trump’s personality and his performance during his first term.
In fact, the Republican National Committee on Aug. 22, ahead of this past week’s nominating convention, passed a resolution that said in part: “…WHEREAS, the RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it …
“RESOLVED, that the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention ….”
The president’s personal reelection campaign on Aug. 23 issued its own list of promises, which included:
>> Create 10 million new jobs in 10 months. This should be easily obtainable. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in February, more than 50 million Americans have lost their jobs. When the economy rebounds, tens of millions of those jobs should open back up.
>> Cut taxes to boost take-home pay. President Trump has enacted two highly-publicized tax cuts. For some Americans, however, those cuts reduced the amounts taken from their paychecks but not their tax rate. Many didn’t realize that until they encountered unexpectedly high assessments when they prepared their income tax statements. We’ll have to see the nature of any future action here.
>> Make all critical medicines and supplies for healthcare workers in the United States. Given international patent protections on new drugs and technologies, this mandate, which Trump already signed this month, could make many vital new drugs unavailable in this country.
>> Cut prescription drug prices and lower healthcare insurance premiums. Artificial controls on private medical and insurance are always risky. When the Affordable Care Act imposed such mandates, companies simply reduced production of drugs and stopped offering the affected coverage.
>> Prohibit U.S. companies from replacing U.S. citizens with lowercost foreign workers. This could hurt DACA workers and other qualified immigrant workers and the companies that wish to hire them. It also could limit further advancement of workers who have earned higher wages through performance and seniority — if they can’t be replaced, they can’t be promoted.
>> Immigration policies that are largely unchanged from the current status.
>> Stop endless wars and bring our troops home. Trump promised to do this as soon as he took office; we hope it happens before he leaves.
>> Wipe out global terrorists who threaten to harm Americans. This policy is what has led to our endless wars.
The RNC is right; this election primarily is a referendum on President Trump’s performance. Given his list of goals, we can expect little change from a second Trump term.