By Hugh Hewitt
The Washington Post
The best commentators on the presidential race who are also partisans —
and that includes about 99 percent of all reporters, hosts, analysts, in my view — should nonetheless be able to fairly articulate the motivations of each coalition backing either President Trump or former vice president Joe Biden.
I will be voting for Trump. He believes in the Constitution, as proved most obviously by his two Supreme Court Justices and
53 federal circuit court judges.
Trump will continue his military buildup, especially his expansion of the Navy, where
he aims to reach 355 ships. Trump has confronted the Chinese Communist Party on its numerous crimes in a way no president has since the bilateral thaw begun by Mao Zedong and President Richard M. Nixon in 1972, and yet is willing to deal with its hard-line leadership short of war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo almost daily articulates and advances Trump’s understanding of the new Cold War with China we find ourselves in. If there is any doubt about that, consider a recent speech by Robert C. O’Brien, in which the president’s national security adviser declared, “The Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization. The Party General Secretary Xi Jinping sees himself as Joseph Stalin’s successor.”
Attorney General William P. Barr is a deeply intelligent, experienced and relentless force for the rule of law. Trump’s supporters hope he oversees the rapid conclusion of U.S. Attorney
John Durham’s investigation into the interference with the peaceful transition of power after Trump’s surprise 2016 win and a cleansing from government of those who refuse to honor the people’s votes.
Trump has pushed through a massive deregulation of the American economy, and his supporters want more of this shrinking of federal control.
Support for Biden rests on many pillars. He is genuinely pleasant and amiable, a calm and welcoming presence. Many of his supporters simply yearn for an era of domestic good will, of reborn “civility,” and believe Biden will be gracious and kind to all.
Biden’s supporters want taxes raised, significantly, to
build infrastructure and to raise up long underserved Americans. Biden will defend and expand President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement in health care. Biden’s judges will be the opposite of Trump’s, ready to leave the job of umpiring and eager to participate in a long overdue injection of their understandings of equality into American institutions. Biden judges will almost certainly see nothing wrong with the return of race-based rewards or in limiting the newly invigorated “Free Exercise” clause. The return of “ goals and timetables,” if not explicit quotas, will likely be assured. Reparations will not just be “on the table,” they may wind up in law. Teacher unions expect a massive infusion of federal funding, and public employee unions generally expect the same for their beleaguered state-administered pension funds.
Though Biden has said he is against it, his supporters may expect him to sign any bill that increases the number of Supreme Court justices, in a successful replay of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s failed 1937 plan to pack the court. Indeed, most of Biden’s supporters will want a new-millennium version of FDR, relentlessly experimenting with new agencies and programs, changing everything, often, in the name of social justice. His appointees will be from the left and the far left. This lurch to the left will be a feature, not a bug, as the Democratic coalition has moved well to the left of Bill Clinton’s or Obama’s supporters. A Green New Deal will be law, and the United States will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the Europeans committed to reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran Deal. Trump’s proposed peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be withdrawn.
Biden supporters hope he will use “soft power” to coax the People’s Republic of China into renewed amicable relations with the West. They expect from Biden a return to national security administered, as it had been until Trump, by the standing, though informal, central committee of foreign policy grandees of New York and Washington.
Amnesty for people in the country without permission will be a “first 100 days” goal for some and the hated border wall will likely be defunded or stopped. A Democratic Congress could impose universal voting by mail on the states in the name of ending voter suppression.
That’s a fair statement of the
expectations of both coalitions on this weekend celebrating our shared freedoms. They should begin debating their visions across a stage, facilitated by fair moderators, soon.
Hugh Hewitt, a Post contributing columnist, hosts a nationally syndicated radio show on the Salem Network. The author of 14 books about politics, history and faith, he is also a political analyst for NBC, a professor of law at Chapman University Law School and president of the Nixon Foundation. Follow
Cartoon by Bob Englehart