Imagine Donald Trump had won the 2020 election. As repugnant as that prospect is, here’s a synopsis of where we would be in an alternate “Trump-won” universe.
A second Trump Administration, unfettered by any accountability to the American public, accelerates his abhorrent policies. His hubris, lies and ethical shortcomings continue unabated and without recourse. He continues to mismanage the country’s public health and economic crises brought on by the COVID pandemic and is directly responsible for the death of many more Americans and the spiraling of the economy into a deep recession.
Trump’s unrealistic goal of increasing fossil fuel production, especially coal, with no real incentives for installing alternative sources of energy, places us far behind in the race to protect the environment from climate change.
A January 6 insurrection does not occur. But Trump’s autocratic rule diminishes the legislative branch. Moreover, Mike Pence, not Kamala Harris, is breaking ties in the U.S. Senate, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is continuing to pack the nation’s courts with ultra-conservative judges.
Meanwhile, the theocratic, authoritarian march to trample reproductive rights, marriage-equality rights, voting rights, and personal freedoms continue — with the blessings of the Senate, the Executive Branch, and the U.S. Supreme Court. It inspires Republican state legislatures across the land to double down, unchecked, on Christofascist policies.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives is the lone bulwark against Trump. But the congressional stalemate between the House and Senate divides the country further, preventing the federal government from operating effectively. Congressional impotence allows an unshackled Trump to hollow out the Executive Branch — including the Department of Justice — and replace career federal workers with Trumpian acolytes.
Beyond our shores, Trump’s cavalier treatment of our NATO allies convinces Putin that Russia can invade Ukraine with only an anemic pushback. A crippled international alliance, without the leadership or even participation of the United States, is not able to rally effectively to Ukraine’s cause. A weakened NATO can’t stop Russia from prevailing, threatening the security and sovereignty of European nations — especially those that border Ukraine and its conqueror.
Meanwhile, despots other than Vladimir Putin take notice of our nation’s plight. North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Viktor Orbán of Hungary and other autocrats are heartened that America has willingly elected its first autocrat. Democracy and freedom around the globe are in retreat.
What We Can Do in 2022
In spite of Trump’s miserable record, he may announce, perhaps as early as September, he’s running again in 2024. Thankfully, early polling for 2024 shows Biden leading Trump among American voters in a rematch. So, let’s focus on what we can do now, in 2022, to bolster Joe Biden and his Democratic agenda:
- President Biden has been in office for less than two years. In that time, he has overseen the passage of major legislation, including the American Rescue Plan Act and the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Joe Biden attacked COVID head-on, leading to a consistent reduction of infected Americans — even when they faced variants of the virus.
- The president’s patience and persistence have led him to an important legislative threshold, with major bills lowering the prices we pay for prescriptions, subsidies for chip manufacturers, and preserving same-sex marriage awaiting likely congressional approval.
- Overseas, Joe Biden has rejuvenated NATO and led the world against Russia’s inhumane attempt to conquer Ukraine. He has also reestablished the United States as a beacon of hope for democratic nations around the globe.
We need to continue supporting Biden and Democrats at all levels as we approach the November election. If we do, we won’t have to imagine a return of Trump to the White House in 2024, and we can take heart that Congress will remain in the hands of Democrats until then and beyond.