March 7th 2020

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Beyond the Great Divide

EDITORIAL Holden, China, covid19: Time for industry reset

CANBERRA OBSERVED Political promises on the Never Never never never work well for the nation

CLIMATE POLITICS Business joins in climate change chorus

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Divided Democrats will help re-elect Donald Trump

GENDER POLITICS Project Nettie: Science takes on ideology

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Myth-busting China's 'soft power'

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Covid19 outbreak hits China's growth, imperils Communist Party

POLITICS AND SOCIETY What should the champions of democracy care about?

HISTORY Putting Lenin on the train: History's biggest blunder

NCC CONFERENCE 2020 Strengthening family, freedom, and sovereignty in a hostile world

HUMOUR Hooray for our premiers

MUSIC Handel: A composer who knew the value of a quick turnaround

CINEMA Emma: Handsome, clever, rich

BOOK REVIEW Useful but limited analysis of the breakdown of distinctions today

BOOK REVIEW The successive possessors of the West's first printed book




NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal in the High Court this week

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Divided Democrats will help re-elect Donald Trump

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, March 7, 2020

Deep divisions between Democrat contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination have helped position Donald Trump in the race, to be decided at the election on the first Tuesday of November 2020.

Socialist Bernie Sanders has not been getting
the votes he needs to have 
a clear majority
at the Democratic 

As the incumbent President who has just been strengthened by a failed impeachment, President Trump is unchallenged for the Republican Party nomination, while the Democrats are tearing one another apart in the primaries.

For the past year, the frontrunner has been Joe Biden, the 77-year-old former Vice-President who is the favoured candidate of the Democratic party machine.

But Biden’s performance in town hall debates has been poor, and he failed to get traction in the early primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, coming in third or fourth in each contest for delegates to the 2020 Democratic Convention.

The momentum has shifted to the left-wing Bernie Sanders, a self-styled socialist who wants to tax the rich to pay for universal medical care, close down coal-fired power stations, support the United Nations, and implement the IPCC’s climate-change agenda.

The latest polling has put Sanders well ahead of his rivals, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-Mayor of New York, Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is supported by the feminist lobby, and Pete Buttigieg, who has the support of the GLBTI lobby.


In the run-up to the Nevada primary, the blowtorch was applied to Bloomberg, who has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on television and online advertisements, with all the other candidates describing him as a rich man who is buying his way to the Democratic nomination.

Bernie Sanders’ problem is that he has been winning only a quarter of available votes and, if this continues, he will not garner enough votes in the primaries to have a clear majority going into the Democratic Convention.

He needs nearly 2,000 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to ensure he gets the nomination.

If he fails to get the numbers in the first ballot at the convention, the party rules allow an additional 771 “superdelegates”, appointed by leaders of the party, to vote in subsequent ballots.

These will be overwhelmingly against Sanders, who is widely regarded as unelectable, feeding into Donald Trump’s rhetoric that the Democratic Party machine is determined to defeat Bernie Sanders.

The next big test will be “Super Tuesday”, March 3, when primaries will be held in 15 states, and 1,344 pledged delegates to the convention will be selected. A big win for Sanders will put him in the box seat to capture the Democratic Party nomination. A less than convincing win will likely see the nomination determined at the convention.

Primaries for the other 2,500 votes will be held from March to June, before the convention, which is scheduled for mid-July in the midwest state of Wisconsin, near the Great Lakes.

In the meantime, Donald Trump has a unified party behind him, and an extraordinary record to take to the next election, including a booming economy, record low unemployment (3.5 per cent), which is far lower than that in Australia and other Western countries, and the strong support of Evangelical Christians, his election base.

Even his critics have acknowledged he will be hard to beat in November.

Paul Kelly of The Australian wrote: “After surviving the impeachment process, Trump returned fire in his ‘Great American Comeback’ manifesto delivered as his State of the Union address – a speech that infuriated Trump’s critics but was rhetorically devastating. It shows how powerful and effective will be the Trump pitch for re-election.” (February 16, 2020)

Kelly added: “It is still early days in this presidential contest. Yet it is hard to identify any Democratic Party contender who inspires confidence that they can actually defeat Trump. Indeed, Trump’s favouritism is an indictment of the American left and the Democrats …

“The further brutal truth is their frontrunner, the 78-year-old Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, runs on a platform that will do more economic damage to ordinary Americans and their society than can be expected from Trump’s re-election. Presumably Sanders will be halted at some point, but who knows?”

If Trump is re-elected President, it is possible that the Republicans will again secure a majority in the House of Representatives, where all 435 positions are up for grabs, as well as retain control of the Senate.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm