Did either the Republicans or Democrats present a clear plan?

The conventions are almost over. Did either the Democrats or Republicans present something that could be characterized as a coherent philosophy or clear plan?

I struggle with the use of “left” and “right” in the U.S. because it seems as though these terms presuppose a philosophy of some sort and I haven’t been able to discern any (Group A trying to use government power to grab money from Group B is not a philosophy, but an expedient).

What did either party promise to do? For the Republicans, did they promise to do some stuff starting in 2021? If so, why didn’t they do deliver the promised items back in 2017 when they had a larger share of Congress? For the Democrats, what do they say that they will do?

Finally, did either party essentially make the same promises as Hugo Chavez? As I wrote in this book review:

According to Carroll, Chavez promised the same things as leaders in other countries:

  • To a country that already had a free public health care system for the poor he promised additional health care services/schemes
  • To government workers and people whose skills were not in demand he promised that they would be enriched through taxes on the most successful private sector workers (and that the new higher taxes would not discourage those private sector workers from continuing to work as hard as they formerly had)
  • To most voters he promised that they could enjoy a better standard of living without either working more diligently or learning new skills (i.e., the government would either raise wages or reduce prices).
  • That he would protect citizens from foreign invasion/influence via an expensive military.
  • That he would reduce income inequality.

I’m convinced that Chavez was the greatest politician of our age. He kept getting reelected in fair elections despite the country’s downward economic and social spiral.

12 thoughts on “Did either the Republicans or Democrats present a clear plan?

  1. Plan of the Democrats: Let’s turn our country into Sweden!

    Plan of the Republicans: Only we can prevent the Democrats from turning our country into a socialist nightmare like Sweden! ****

    **** Except during pandemics. During pandemics we want to be like Sweden.

  2. The conventions honestly weren’t that interesting except to the four or five people in the United States who haven’t made up their minds yet, and all of the journalists and pundits who cover them. Everyone else pretty much knows what they’re going to do at this point.

    Great post from 2014 about Chavez, I missed that one back then. Chavez was the greatest individualist of the past half century.

    We’re somewhere between Ragnarök and Eden.


    • I do intend to listen to Trump’s speech tonight, for mostly academic reasons, and to personally document whatever impressions it leaves. I feel that’s my duty as a citizen. I didn’t watch Biden’s speech because I knew what he was going to say, for the most part. But Trump’s speech tonight could at least be interesting as he might say something unexpected.

    • Alex: *might* say something unexpected? I’m hoping someone unplugs the teleprompter and we get a stream of babble..

  3. Some people might think that the mark of a “great politician” is the ability to bring together people of different viewpoints in order to accomplish a common good, like Roosevelt or Churchill for example. Not the ability to con a lot of uneducated voters in order to destroy your country, like Chavez.

  4. If you want a politician presenting a clear plan, you have to look to the Philippines. If only US politicians showed the same candor about what they plan for their country!

  5. The internet has created its own version of what Biden’s plan really is, basically whatever perfection is. Biden’s victory is such a sure thing, no-one needs an idealogy anymore.

  6. Biden at least listed some sort of platform, even through it lacked detail.

    Trump just took credit for all the great things that actually haven’t happened during his reign, and blamed ALL of the bad stuff, like riots and covid, on “weak” governors. And promised that all of this bad stuff will get worse if Biden is elected…even though it’s happening NOW under his regime.

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