by Koo Lap
Under the gloom of the Wuhan virus, both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have concluded. Under the backdrop of the sound of gunshots from racial clashes, Biden and Harris, and Trump and Pence have been nominated by their parties respectively to run for President and Vice-President in the general election in November. As of today, the American voters generally prefer Biden and Harris, while the readers of this newspaper mostly wish that Trump gets re-elected. Lam Hang-chi, commonly regarded as one of the most influential political writers, analyzed economic and geopolitical factors in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, and came to the same preference as the readers of this newspaper, with his bets on Trump being re-elected. Let us Hongkongers wish that he’s right, and aspire that Trump will return to the White House.
Readers of this newspaper identify as Hongkongers and generally lean towards Trump, understandably: Since the opening of Hong Kong as a port, no American President had ever been as supportive of Hong Kong as Trump has; not only has he insisted on “We Stand with Hong Kong”, but also started the precedent of speaking out for the freedom of Hongkongers in the United Nations General Assembly. His support is beyond words, for it is also in action. He has signed bills and imposed administrative sanctions on those in power in Hong Kong and mainland China who have stripped Hongkongers of freedom. Moreover, he has spearheaded the mobilization of other English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, to provide Hongkongers with an immigration lifebuoy. Although Hongkongers are unable to return to favor by casting a vote for Trump, their spiritual support is fathomable, or even reasonable. Will the American voters fulfill the wishes of Hongkongers?
To be fair, Trump is neither perfect nor a saint, and not even a presidential choice in the eyes of ordinary people. The reason that he got to live in the White House was that voters from four years ago would much rather choose a real villain over a hypocrite, to Hillary’s dismay. What is indisputable is that although he has not stopped arguing with China, Canada, Mexico, etc., over trade, his drastic tax reduction, and the elimination of intervention to promote economic development has indeed brought about excellent growth and job opportunities. Investors affirmed his achievements, and the stock market has done so well in a long time. Trump was proud, “love me or hate me, you got to vote for me.”
Yet came the Wuhan virus that reversed all of this. The lockdown of the country and closure of the border led to an economic shutdown. The U.S. economy fell by nearly one-third in the second quarter, the first in 70 years. Under the drag, the unemployment rate rose to the level as that of the financial tsunami, at 10.2%. Coupled with the continuous outbreak of racial clashes, the social atmosphere is turbulent and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. For Trump, who is running for re-election, it cannot be said that the political and economic burden is not heavy. However, as seen in the stock market, since the end of March and as the epidemic stabilized, it has gradually recovered its lost grounds; by the end of August, there were the hopes for the market to return to its historical highs. What made Americans optimistic about the prospects, and thus added to Trump’s political capital?
Fundamental policy changes by the Federal Reserve have helped the economy. For a long time, the Fed has shouldered the dual task of ensuring employment and stabilizing prices. The new approach is employment before prices; even if inflation exceeds 2% from the target, it will not abandon the policy of quantitative easing to lower interest rates so as to boost the economy. Since the financial tsunami, inflation has rarely reached 2%, therefore it can be expected that the easing policy is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. This is a strong reassurance for the investment market, no doubt.
Racial clashes and social turbulence seem unfavorable to Trump who is in power. However, apart from being bleeding-heart liberals, the Democratic Party does not have a solution. On the contrary, Biden and Harris have been leaning heavily on the leftists’ forces within the party. In addition to targeting the bourgeoisie, they also spoke out for the teachers’ union and their shortcomings and tackled parents’ freedom to choose schools for their children; They came for the blood of the middle class, which has done nothing to broaden their voter base for the campaign. Trump’s ethics and behaviors have nothing to sing praises for, but from the perspectives of the voters’ interests, as long as there is a choice, they got to vote for him.
Trump’s re-election and sanctions on those dignitaries who have harmed Hong Kong are mere appetizers in calming Hongkongers, a little something for them to vent their anger. Treating China like the Nazis in history, joining forces with English-speaking countries and Japan are the main course, the real deal. Neighbors like the Philippines and Vietnam, or going as far as the Czech Republic and Norway, countries have noticed that there is an obvious change in the situation, and they have, one by one, stood up against the “Strong Country”. If it stays the course, keeps its barbaric wolf-warrior ways, and does not return to the path of peaceful coexistence, China will find itself increasingly struggling on the international stage. A vote for Trump is not only for the Americans’ own interests, but it is also one that is for the survival of the free world. As such, America’s really got to vote for Trump.
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