LOS ANGLES: Both conventions are in the books. The debates are around the corner. While the media obsesses over conspiracies involving the U.S. Post Office, they ignore substantive issues. Former Vice President Joe Biden is desperate to make the 2020 election about personalities. His central message is that he is nice and President Donald Trump is mean. President Trump is about America, law, and order and accomplishments. Those 2016 promises made and kept.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, race riots, and hurricanes wreaking havoc, the American people deserve substance. Here are 20 serious policy differences that separate the Republican ticket of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from the Democrat ticket of Joe den and Senator Kamala Harris.
Trump-appointed over 200 strict constructionist judges who interpret the constitution literally. The Obama-Biden administration appointed judicial activists who legislated from the bench.
The prime example of a conservative judge is the late Antonin Scalia. He stated that the Constitution is what it says it is, nothing more or less. The prime example of a liberal judge is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She states that European and other foreign laws can be used to render decisions in American cases where no precedent or American constitutional text exists.
Trump seeks to reduce legal immigration, declaring it takes away American jobs. He seeks to eliminate illegal immigration because it is illegal. He seeks to crack down on sanctuary cities because they are illegal. Joe Biden says, if elected, he would immediately give 11,000 illegal immigrants citizenship, access to health care, and welfare program.
The Obama-Biden administration drastically increased legal immigration. They invented programs including DACA and DAPA. The Supreme Court declared DAPA unconstitutional, allowing Trump to reverse the program. The SCOTUS temporarily upheld DACA but also ruled that Trump has the right to revoke it as well, provided he offers a rationale for doing so.
Trump supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Harris compared ICE to the KKK. Biden said that he will not separate immigrant children from parents. He accused Trump of putting kids in cages despite the fact that cages at the border were built and used during the Obama-Biden administration.
Trump favors a Southern border wall. Biden opposes it. Biden did not explicitly say that he favors illegal immigration, but he also never said what he would do to prevent it. Immigrants overwhelmingly vote Democrat.
The Obama-Biden administration passed thousands of new regulations on businesses and individuals. Trump repealed many of them. The Obama-Biden administration drastically increased the administrative state. Trump reduced it. The courts have consistently sided with the Trump administration, ruling that creating new laws is the job of legislatures, not unelected administrators.
Biden has vowed to bring back many of the Obama-Biden regulations that Trump repealed.
COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates:
When the Coronavirus swept the nation, Trump refused to issue a national lockdown. He let all 50 governors try different approaches. Blue-state governors by and large ordered draconian lockdown measures. Red-state governors ranged from issuing more limited lockdowns to staying completely open for business. Trump is still opposed to a national lockdown.
Biden said that if scientists recommend it, he will absolutely shut the country down, though he is trying to reframe that statement now. (Biden says he is willing to ‘shut down’ US to contain Covid-19)
The former Vice President argues that the deadliness of the virus is more important than the economy. Trump countered that lockdowns caused more deaths than COVID itself. Those deaths are the results of dementia, drug overdoses, and suicide.
Trump recommends that people wear masks but opposes a national mask mandate. He prefers federalism, where each governor decides for their own state. Biden announced that if elected, he will immediately order a national mask mandate.
Early in his presidency, Trump issued a travel ban from seven nations. Democrats including Biden declared it a racist Muslim ban. Trump insisted it was only geared toward nations with a history of global terrorism. The Supreme Court eventually sided with Trump.
The Constitution gives the Commander in Chief broad powers with regard to such actions. Trump issued a travel ban against China as the COVID-19 virus swept the world. Biden opposed that as, once again, racist. President Trump also issued travel bans on European countries. Europe is overwhelmingly white, so there were no Democrat objections.
Biden still opposes travel bans as bigoted. Trump still sees them as a matter of national security. Dr. Anthony Fauci clearly stated that the travel bans were vital in keeping COVID-19 from killing many more people than it already has. (Biden accuses Trump of being ‘nakedly xenophobic’ in coronavirus response)
Trump passed massive supply-side tax cuts, resulting in skyrocketing economic growth. Pre-pandemic, America was nearly at full employment. Trump if reelected is offering even more tax cuts. Biden has vowed to raise taxes. He will repeal the Trump tax cuts.
Biden insists that he is only going to raise taxes on those making over $400,000 per year. Biden speaks with a forked tongue.
Biden has proposed a regulation to change the tax structure of 401k programs. This would raise taxes on anyone making at least $82,000 per year and cause Americans to transfer money out of their 401k plans and into Roth IRAs. Biden has not offered a solution to stop rich people from moving their money overseas or passing added costs on to consumers.
Trump limited the federal tax deductibility to $10,000 for wealthy blue state residents. Biden would reverse that cap, which would be a major tax cut for wealthy liberals. Trump has pointed out that a better solution would be for blue states to lower their own state income tax rates.
Hydraulic fracturing led to America’s recent energy revolution that made America a net energy exporter for the first time. Trump favors fracking. Harris favors banning fracking. Biden insists that he is against banning fracking and that he did not use the word ban. He did, however, use similar words that mean the exact same thing. He explicitly said he would make sure fracking is “eliminated.” (Joe Biden Tries To Clean Up His Fracking Mess)
The Obama-Biden administration issued zero permits for oil drilling on all public lands. They tried to block drilling on private lands but were struck down by the courts. Trump reversed the Obama-Biden policy, and Biden wishes to restore it.
The Obama-Biden administration invested billions of dollars in alternative energy companies such as Solyndra that went bankrupt. Biden listens to the environmentalists, although their predictions have frequently been proven wrong. Trump takes a business approach, preferring energy sources that work. Oil works. The Obama-Biden administration declared a war on coal and did their best to bankrupt the industry. Trump has been a friend to the coal industry.
Trump supports gun rights and has staunchly defended the Second Amendment. Biden has been a gun control advocate for decades, promising to put “I will take your guns Beto” in charge of gun regulations.
Biden and Harris have not said that they will repeal the Second Amendment, but they favor actions that would effectively gut it. They support removing lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers and dealers, which would bankrupt them. Biden – Harris support increased taxes on guns and ammunition. They support using financial institutions to pressure the gun industry by canceling their bank accounts and insurance policies.
When the McCloskey’s, a pair of St. Louis homeowners legally brandished their guns to stop rioters threatening their home and selves, a leftist District Attorney indicted the homeowners and confiscated their guns. Trump sided with the homeowners. Biden did not.
Biden has promised to appoint Beto O’Rourke as his gun czar. O’Rourke favors gun confiscation. Democrats have often said that they only seek to ban assault weapons, but that is a fictional term that has no clear definition. Biden supported the 1994 assault weapons ban, which had no effect on crime. Lawmakers of both parties let it expire in 2004.
In the wake of the George Floyd riots, legal gun sales have skyrocketed. Many of these individuals are first-time gun buyers in liberal areas.
Trump is totally opposed to defunding police departments. He favors hiring more police officers and providing federal resources to increase training. Biden supporters do seek to outright abolish the police. Other Biden supporters insist that the word “defund” does not mean what it explicitly says. Biden says that he supports reallocating resources from police departments to social services. Which is defunding the police. Exactly the same thing.
Slashing police budgets does reduce police departments.
Police officers now have qualified immunity, which protects them lawsuits. Harris favors removing qualified immunity. Trump favors keeping it. The issue fractures Democrats, which is why Biden refuses to take a public position. Major police unions that backed Obama and Biden in 2012 are now supporting Trump.
When a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shot Jacob Blake, Harris issued a curious and dangerous statement. She said that while she did not have the facts of the case, the officer should be prosecuted. Trump is not commenting beyond saying that investigations are going forward. Because he will not denounce Kyle Rittenhouse, this is not acceptable.
Violent crime has skyrocketed in liberal cities. Blue state governors led by Gavin Newsom of California have released thousands of violent felons from prison, citing COVID-19. The elimination of cashless bail has also been a major factor in this drastic increase in the cities. Cashless bail has led recidivists to treat the courts as the very turnstiles they jump in New York City.
Trump opposes cashless bail. Harris now supports cashless bail. Biden has stayed silent on cashless bail.
Biden has followed the prevailing winds on the crime issue. When an anti-crime crackdown was popular, Biden supported the 1994 crime bill that incarcerated a disproportionate number of minorities. As President Trump signed second chance legislation that gave non-violent criminals a new lease on life. This led to the release of many people who had been in jail since that 1994 crime law.
Biden now says he supports criminal justice reform, but he did not act on it as Vice President.
Trump sent in federal law enforcement officers to stop rioters in liberal cities. Biden opposed these federal interventions. Democrats refer to federal law enforcement officers as Nazis, stormtroopers, the KKK, and fascists. Biden and Harris keep insisting that the George Floyd riots have been peaceful. Trump counters that they have been violent. Trump labeles Antifa a terrorist organization. Biden has not.
Biden accuses Trump of exacerbating the violence with federal troops. Trump counters that the violence has been raging long before those troops were sent in. Issuing an order mandating a 10-year prison sentence for anyone vandalizing federal property, Trump brought statute tearing down to a halt.
Biden opposes Trump’s actions but refuses to say what he would do to stop the violence.
Biden’s convention ignored the violence entirely. Democrats are torn between three factions: denying the violence exists, claiming the violence is justified, and tepidly criticizing the rioters while blaming Trump for the violence.
The violence is only taking place in liberal areas controlled by liberal mayors and governors.
Biden wants the schools to stay closed until COVID-19 is defeated. Trump wants the schools to reopen, citing the danger to children of not going to school. Teachers’ unions are threatening to strike, and are even refusing to do online teaching.
Trump supports school choice and wants to increase vouchers for parents to place their kids in religious and other non-public schools. Biden is against school choice. Biden supports free college and free pre-school, calling them “investments in education.”
Trump is against creating new multi-trillion dollar government boondoggles. Biden and Harris both favor canceling student loan debt. Trump is against it. The Obama-Biden administration passed several education mandates that left male students guilty of sexual assault until proven innocent. Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed these measures.
The Affordable Care Act at this moment does not exist. A federal judge struck down the Obamacare mandate. Without the mandate, the rest of the law is dead. This was because the Obama-Biden administration successfully argued in 2012 that the law had to stand or fall in its entirety. An appeal to the Supreme Court would not result in a decision until well after the election.
Trump remains against the mandate. Biden has vowed to restore it, but the Supreme Court may make that promise undoable.
Both candidates support covering people with preexisting conditions. Trump signed into law the “right to try” legislation that gave people with potentially terminal illnesses the right to try experimental medicines not cleared by the FDA. Biden has not taken a position on the right to try.
In a rare position for a Republican, Trump has aggressively taken on the big pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices. Biden has stayed silent on the issue. (How the Trump Administration Is Browbeating Big Pharma on Drug Prices)
The Obama-Biden administration vowed to thaw relations with Iran, a reversal of the hardline Iran policy of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Under Obama and Biden, America thawed bu Iran maintained a clenched fist. When the people of Iran launched a revolt and begged the Obama-Biden administration for help, the pleas were denied.
On the verge of being toppled, the mullahs brutally put down the Green Revolution without international consequences.
As the Obama-Biden administration was winding down, they secretly funneled $150 billion to Iran that included secret pallets of cash. Iran used that money to fund more terror. The Trump administration split the difference between Bush-Cheney and Obama-Biden. (Iran Deal: $150 Billion to Fund Obama’s War)
Trump is not a Neocon, and regime change was not his plan. However, he did aggressively target individual terror leaders with predator drones.
The heart of dealing with Iran centered around the controversial Iran deal. The Obama-Biden administration sold the Iran deal as a failsafe that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. In reality, the Iran deal put Iran on a glide path to getting nuclear weapons. The deal had no enforcement mechanisms. Obama and Biden insisted that if Iran failed to comply, sanctions that were lifted would “snap back” into place. This proved to be false.
Recent Trump attempts to reimpose the sanctions have been met with fierce objections from European nations desperate to do business with Iran. Trump withdrew from the Iran deal. Biden has vowed to reenter the deal.
Paris Climate Agreement:
The Obama-Biden administration billed this as an environmental accord, but it was actually a global economic redistribution agreement. Wealthy nations including the United States would be required to transfer some of their wealth to poor nations. All in the name of climate hysteria.
China and India, the world’s two biggest polluters, were inexplicably exempt from the deal entirely. The targets were aspirational, not mandatory. Even if achieved, the effect on climate change would be statistically negligible.
Trump withdrew from the agreement. Biden has vowed to reenter the deal.
The Obama-Biden administration saw Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was the key Middle East issue.
Biden has a history of pressuring Israel into making such concessions dating back to his 1982 tussle with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Biden threatened to block loan guarantees to Israel. Begin called his bluff, and Biden backed down.
Trump sees the Palestinians as the obstacle to peace. He also sees Iran as a regional and global threat that is far more important than the Palestinians.
Trump has a very warm relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under pressure from an increasingly-powerful anti-Israel left, Biden and Harris have been boycotting the annual AIPAC gathering. Several Arab nations including Saudi Arabia have taken the Trump view that Iran is the main regional threat.
Peace in the Middle-East
The Trump approach of pressuring Iran and sidelining the Palestinians led to a breakthrough peace agreement with Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
American Jews are largely split along religious lines, with secular and non-Orthodox Jews staunchly backing Biden and religious and traditional Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly supporting Trump. Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israelis in Israel overwhelmingly back Trump and even have towns named after him.
The Trump administration through Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria were legal. The Obama-Biden administration declared them illegal.
Complicating matters for Biden are new congressional freshmen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. They have made statements that cross the line from legitimate criticism of Israel to outright Jew-hatred. Support for Israel used to be bipartisan. Democrats have been aggressively targeting Pro-Israel Jewish Democrats in primary elections. Jewish Democrat Eliot Engel was defeated in his primary by a leftist more sympathetic to Palestinians than Israel.
Trump opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. Harris has supported BDS. Biden has not taken a stand.
As a private businessman in New York, Trump was pro-choice. When he ran for the presidency in 2015, he said he was now pro-life. He explained his conversion as one of meeting religious leaders and getting educated on the issue. Biden began his career as ardently pro-life, citing his Catholic faith. He then shifted his position to being pro-choice while supporting the Hyde Amendment prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions overseas.
After decades of supporting the Hyde Amendment, Biden shifted further.
In June of 2019 under heavy pressure from his left flank, Biden reversed himself and declared his opposition to the Hyde Amendment. The main battle over abortion revolves around the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade. Biden clearly stated that the will only appoint judges who support Roe vs. Wade.
Trump promised when he ran in 2015 to only appoint strict constructionist judges. That promise has been kept, with judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh being traditional pro-life judges. Biden supports controversial third-trimester abortions. Trump opposes them.
Charges and counter-charges by both campaigns should not paper over serious policy differences to surveillance. Trump is not a spy for the Russian government. The Obama-Biden administration did not wiretap Trump’s home and office, that we know of, but they did spy on his campaign. The Obama-Biden administration had a history of spying. They were caught spying on foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They were caught spying on American journalists, including James Risen and James Rosen.
Trump is demanding reforms to FISA courts but is not seeking to eliminate FISA courts entirely. Biden has not taken a position. Obama and Biden favored keeping as many documents classified as possible. Trump’s Director of National Intelligence has been declassifying documents at a decent clip.
The Bush-Cheney administration waged an aggressive Global War on Terror that focused on the threat of radical Islam. The Obama-Biden administration banned the use of the term radical Islam. It was removed from all military and government handbooks and policy manuals.
On Obama’s watch, Islamist attacks on American soil were a regular occurrence. They were reclassified for the sake of public relations. The Fort Hood Shooting was labeled “workplace violence.” The Pulse nightclub shooting was considered an attack on gay people with no mention of the Islamist angle. The San Bernardino shooting ignored the Islamist angle as well.
Biden was against the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, but Obama eventually overruled him. The Obama-Biden administration sought to treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter with full constitutional rights for the accused. This meant civilian trials in American courtrooms and American jails for confinement.
The Obama-Biden administration opposed military tribunals and placing terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. Trump has continued the Bush and Obama policy of using predator drones and other military strikes against Islamist leaders.
Trump taking down Isis
This led to the Trump administration successfully killing Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The divergence comes for captured terrorists. The Obama-Biden law enforcement approach was exposed when Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death penalty conviction was overturned on a technicality. Trump’s Department of Justice is retrying the case but prefers holding terrorists at Gitmo.
The Obama-Biden decision to pull out of Iraq directly led to the creation of ISIS. While ISIS flourished under Obama and Biden, Trump kept his promise to smash ISIS to bits. Obama and Biden funneled money to the Palestinians, and those funds led to Hamas and Hezbollah launching terrorist attacks against Israel.
Trump has cut off the flow of funds to the Palestinians.
Green New Deal:
Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a plan billed as an environmental initiative, but it is more an economic redistribution plan. AOC’s plan would involve massive regulations and approximately $100 trillion dollars, more than the total global economies in existence combined.
When put to a vote in the Senate, it received zero affirmative votes.
Trump is opposed to the Green New Deal. Harris came out in favor of it. Biden says that while he does not favor the deal, he favors something very similar to it that should satisfy the Bernie Sanders wing of his party. Biden will spend several trillion dollars, but not $100 trillion. (The Biden-Sanders Manifesto – Voters should examine how far left the former vice president has moved since winning the primaries.)
The Obama-Biden administration gave the EPA broad powers to regulate businesses. Trump curbed those powers, citing abuses toward innocent businesses. Biden has vowed to reimpose the EPA’s regulatory power.