Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan turned a debate with that question. Since then that has been a question that many of us ask ourselves as we evaluate the candidates in our own minds. As the election nears we can use this question to evaluate both candidates since both have been part of the executive structure of the past two administrations.
So first let’s look at Donald Trump. Are you better off than you were when he took over four years ago? Unless you are one of America’s top 1% the true answer is most likely no. For one thing, no matter who you are your mobility is much more severely limited than it was four years back. Thanks to the corona virus, airplanes are not flying, trains and busses as common transportation are not desirable and even car travel presents challenges.
Can transportation problems be laid at the feet of the current administration? The answer is a resounding YES. As with many parts of our current situation, the lack of any kind of a coherent response from administration to the corona virus has made formerly simple daily activities into potential life threatening exercises.
Going through crowded airports, going through baggage checks and then sitting in tight quarters on a plane for hours a is good opportunity to pick up the corona virus that could be fatal. No matter what form of common carrier you take, that wasn’t a problem before the Trump Administration. Even traveling by car presents some problems such as the use of restrooms or touching common surfaces that was never much of a thought before Trump.
How about health care? As the Trump Administration winds down, the US Senate is in the process of trying to confirm what Republicans believe will most certainly be the fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act. Thus the carefully crafted legislation that was created by the previous administration with Joe Biden as the #2 man will soon become another notch in the right’s legacy of denying health care to Americans. As the fallout from ending the ACA trickles down, most of us will finally realize that we were much better off before Trump.
How about those jobs Trump claims he’s been creating? Even before the corona virus pandemic, job creation was weakening. Since the corona virus pandemic, jobs are crashing month after month. Applications for new unemployment benefits stay near a million a week. When Obama-Biden took over they inherited an economy on the verge of a worldwide collapse. Obama-Biden put together a plan and despite Republican attempts to scuttle the economy, Obama-Biden stuck to the plan and slowly turned a disaster into a huge success.
In just the opposite scenario, the Trump Administration turned an on going success into what is and still may be an epic disaster. Trump is on target to be only the second president who will lose jobs during his term. Iowa’s own Herbert Hoover is the only one to claim that distinction to date.
One area seems to really stick out in this country. The Trump Administration seems hell bent on dividing this country into two or more countries. Divisions in this country do not seem to have been as deep nor as hard set since pre-Civil War. Rather than working to fix common problems, the Trump Administration is tearing America apart over race, wealth, religion and even whether or not we should wear the masks that are essential to stopping the corona virus.
As we talk about division we can also add gender to the mix. The status of women in our society continues to drop as the Administration works hard to get a majority on the Supreme Court to end Roe v. Wade. Speaking of gender, the majority that the Administration is putting together on the Supreme Court will also be targeting gay marriage and decisions that have made both women and gays second class citizens.
Heck, if SCOTUS gets to feeling their power, Brown v. Board of Education may be overturned.
During the Obama-Biden years it felt like all segments of society advanced on the scale of first class citizenship. The Trump Administration has reversed or has plans to reverse nearly all advancement in the past 70 years.
Pick your area to measure and the Obama-Biden Administration years advanced society, whereas the Trump Administration has inhibited and reversed advancement.Even the stock market – the only indicator that Trump seems to care about – has not advanced nearly as much percentage wise as it did in the Obama-Biden years.
About the only area that Trump has advanced is the gap between the wealthy – the 1% – and the rest of us. That is always the sign of a society that is sick. As more and more money accumulates in fewer and fewer hands, economies slow down and are and more go hungry. Soon many of us will no longer have health care and jobs will be coming back much more slowly.
Are you better off than you were four years ago? 99% of us should say no. Are your prospects looking better? In the era of uncontrolled corona virus prospects are almost unknowable.
Will the Trump Administration work to control the corona virus? Their latest plan is to seek “herd immunity” which is a strange concept that involves multiple millions of Americans dying. Or in other words, the Trump Administration plans to do nothing.
When we were asking those same questions in 2012, the answers were nearly 100% that things were better and prospects were good.
Vote where the evidence leads you. Vote for Biden-Harris for America and for yourself.