(It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it.) (Oct. 30): Joe Biden isn’t all bad. Neither is Donald Trump.

From the way I’ve usually (but not always) written about each of them, it might be thought that neither the Democratic nor the Republican presidential nominee has any redeeming virtues. That, of course, would not be a fair assessment, even if their vices are plentiful. Please allow, therefore, this recapitulation, from the standpoint of a Madisonian-Reaganite conservative, of Biden’s strengths as he seeks the presidency and of Trump’s strengths as he seeks to retain it.

Joe Biden’s virtues

First, Biden may be the most resilient politician of our lifetimes. When he finds himself flat on the deck, whether due to outlandish fate or his own mistakes, he refuses to stay down…. [Also], while Biden is not a centrist but in truth very liberal, he nonetheless is an old-fashioned liberal still within the American tradition, rather than a radical. ….

Donald Trump’s strengths

First, Trump has kept his word to prioritize the appointment of superbly qualified, textualist judges. Few legacies could be as important for the proper maintenance of our constitutional system.

Second, Trump’s team sometimes has shown a surprisingly deft touch in the Middle East….

Third, Trump has successfuly pursued pro-growth economic policies. His aggressive deregulatory agenda, combined with his support for and signing of Paul Ryan’s tax-cut together, deserve the lion’s share of credit for creating the best top-line economic numbers in 60 years….

Fourth, Trump’s series of executive actions related to healthcare have greatly ameliorated the harms caused by Obamacare, leading to more consumer choice and transparency and pushing premium costs lower for three straight years. Likewise, in education, his team has done well by reinstilling fairness in college disciplinary proceedings while protecting the Title IX women’s sports regime….

[The full column is here.]




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