The newly elected president of America gave a speech about bipartisanship and unity recently. Although he hasn’t bridged the yawning partisan divide after his one week into the office, he is reasonably off to a great start. This is too much a bigger expectation if his exhortations have bridged the gap but as per the public opinion, he is working towards a path of expanded potential support.
In comparison with the former President Donald Trump, both the current President and former President have had their initial step and starting point instructive contrasts.
Former President Trump started his presidential journey and finished it in the same way – with the support of a minority of Americans as a chief executive. His first act got him this position. His first big decision in the president’s office was to issue a Muslim ban – he announced against Muslims from seven Muslim majority countries entering in the U.S. four years ago. This sudden order created havoc at the airports as many such people who had just entered at that time didn’t know what to do. He signalled that his two Steves have ascended as Trump calls them. His top two advisors were Stephen Miller and K. Bannon.
K. Bannon did not serve the Trump Government last year as a strategist in the White House but the majority of the strategies laid out by him had already set the pattern with which the former President ran America. His core strategy was to ‘Play to the base’. Donald Trump relentlessly rewarded his loyalty who were with him throughout his tenure and those against him had to suffer the consequences of his silent anger and unforgivable nature.
As we can see four years later, we all know how this turned out to be. Everything almost worked for him.
Former President’s voter turnout was very well beyond a level than what was possible in 2016. He got a whopping 74 million votes in the election of 2020. But at the same time this strategy failed too as the voter turnout of his opponent, Joe Biden was 81 million. His strategies, on the contrary, motivated many people to vote against him.
On the other hand, President Joe Biden has chosen a different way. On his first day as a President, he withdrew the travel ban that was quite unpopular. Further, he pulled back some other decisions taken by the Trump Government. But he has channelized most of his energy on constructive decisions like supporting more vaccinations, increasing the minimum wage, more funds for schools to reopen which have a bipartisan appeal.
While taking those positive decisions, he didn’t listen to several demands made by his party’s activists. He avoided taking some controversial decisions like whether one should abolish the Senate filibuster that has been a primary goal of Democratic party leaders and he steered clear of the topic of whether Trump should be convicted by the Senate at the impeachment trial that will be held next month.
A poll was conducted by an independent agency which stated that Biden was comfortably able to achieve modest public expectations. About three fourth of Americans probably or definitely expect that Biden’s administration will get blocked from achieving its goals by the polarisation and partisan gridlock at Washington.
This view is shared by many across the partisan divide. As per Trump voters 33% of them believe that this gridlock will be blocking Biden’s goals and 43% of the people predict this probability. President Biden’s voters don’t disagree much. 28% of the President’s supporters expect the gridlock to block Biden’s goals and 54% express the probability. But 82% of voters believe Biden believes the compromise to be possible and 53% of Trump supporters believe this is not possible.