Donald Trump has desecrated America’s values. Joe Biden offers the prospect of repair and renewal
The country that elected Donald Trump in 2016 was unhappy and divided . The country he is asking to re-elect him is more unhappy and more divided. After almost four years of his leadership, politics is even angrier than it was and partisanship even less constrained. Daily life is consumed by a pandemic that has registered almost 230,000 deaths amid bickering, buck-passing and lies. Much of that is Mr Trump’s doing, and his victory on November 3rd would endorse it all.
Joe Biden is not a miracle cure for what ails America. But he is a good man who would restore steadiness and civility to the White House. He is equipped to begin the long, difficult task of putting a fractured country back together again. That is why, if we had a vote, it would go to Joe.
Mr Trump has fallen short less in his role as the head of America’s government than as the head of state. He and his administration can claim their share of political wins and losses, just like administrations before them. But as the guardian of America’s values, the conscience of the nation and America’s voice in the world, he has dismally failed to measure up to the task.
Without covid-19, Mr Trump’s policies could well have won him a second term (see first Briefing). His record at home includes tax cuts, deregulation and the appointment of bench loads of conservative judges. Before the pandemic, wages among the poorest quarter of workers were growing by 4.7% a year. Small-business confidence was near a 30-year peak. By restricting immigration, he gave his voters what they wanted. Abroad, his disruptive approach has brought some welcome change (see second Briefing). America has hammered Islamic State and brokered peace deals between Israel and a trio of Muslim countries. Some allies in nato are at last spending more on defence. China’s government knows that the White House now recognises it as a formidable adversary.
This tally contains plenty to object to. The tax cuts were regressive. Some of the deregulation was harmful, especially to the environment. The attempt at health-care reform has been a debacle. Immigration officials cruelly separated migrant children from their parents and limits on new entrants will drain America’s vitality. On the hard problems—on North Korea and Iran, and on bringing peace to the Middle East—Mr Trump has fared no better than the Washington establishment he loves to ridicule.
这一系列政绩中，包含很多值得反对的地方。税费减免政策是回归的。一些放松管制是有害的，尤其是对环境。医疗改革的尝试已经失败。移民官员残忍的将移民子女和他们的父母分开，对新移民的限制将会耗尽美国的活力。在最棘手的问题上——朝鲜、伊朗 以及中东和平 —— 特朗普并不他喜欢嘲笑的华盛顿建制派强多少。
However, our bigger dispute with Mr Trump is over something more fundamental. In the past four years he has repeatedly desecrated the values, principles and practices that made America a haven for its own people and a beacon to the world. Those who accuse Mr Biden of the same or worse should stop and think. Those who breezily dismiss Mr Trump’s bullying and lies as so much tweeting are ignoring the harm he has wrought.
It starts with America’s democratic culture. Tribal politics predated Mr Trump. The host of “The Apprentice” exploited it to take himself from the green room to the White House. Yet, whereas most recent presidents have seen toxic partisanship as bad for America, Mr Trump made it central to his office. He has never sought to represent the majority of Americans who did not vote for him. Faced by an outpouring of peaceful protest after the killing of George Floyd, his instinct was not to heal, but to depict it as an orgy of looting and left-wing violence—part of a pattern of stoking racial tension. Today, 40% of the electorate believes the other side is not just misguided, but evil.
它始于美国民主文化。部落政治在特朗普之前就存在了。The Apprentice 节目的主持人 利用这一点，把自己从播音室带到了白宫。然而，尽管大多数近期总统都认为党派偏见对美国不利，特朗普仍把它作为自己政策核心。他从未试图去代表那些没有给他投票的大多数美国人。George Floyd 被杀后，面对汹涌而来的和平抗议，他并没有反思，反而将其描述为一场洗劫和左翼暴力的狂欢——这是加剧种族紧张局势的方案的一部分。今天，40%的选民认为，对方不仅是被误导的，而是用心险恶的。
The most head-spinning feature of the Trump presidency is his contempt for the truth. All politicians prevaricate, but his administration has given America “alternative facts”. Nothing Mr Trump says can be believed—including his claims that Mr Biden is corrupt (see United States section). His cheerleaders in the Republican Party feel obliged to defend him regardless, as they did in an impeachment that, bar one vote, went along party lines.
Taking meeting minutes.
A: Hey Richard , could you please give me some tips on taking meeting minutes ?
B: Sure . Have a look at this copy of last week’s meeting minutes . Notice the formatting?
A: So it’s ok if i take notes by hand ?
B: Sure is . It’s actually preferred most of the time because it’s easier to jot side notes down.
A: OK . So I should take attendance and note decisions made about each agenda item , right ?
B: That’s right . Oh , and don’t forget to write down the date and time of the meeting .
A: Of course . I take it that I have to get a final draft approved before distributing it to the team ?
B: You got it . Once it’s been approved , just convert it to a PDF file and email it to everyone .