2020 Biden VS. Trump
"Mourning in America"
There's mourning in America and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker and sicker and poor. And now Americans are asking, if we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?
- [Narrator] The Lincoln Project is responsible for the content of this advertising.
"Mourning in America," The Lincoln Project, 2020
From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2020/mourning-in-america (accessed December 10, 2023).
The 2020 election took place following a year of political, public health, economic, and social crises. On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in relation to his dealings with Ukraine. On February 5, 2020, the Senate voted to acquit him on both charges.
The central campaign issue was the coronavirus pandemic, which hit the United States in early March. On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency, but left decisions about shutdowns of business operations and stay-at-home directives up to the states. By March 26, the United States had the most confirmed cases in the world, and as of September 1, the United States led the world with over 6 million cases and more than 180,000 COVID-19 deaths. A major economic crash soon followed, and by April nearly 10 million Americans were unemployed, with cases and death rates increasing daily. The Biden campaign pointed to the escalation of COVID-19, the lack of a coordinated testing system as evidence, and the frequent presidential disregard for public health recommendations as evidence that Trump failed Americans. Republicans have argued that actions like the bipartisan stimulus plan that President Trump signed into law showed evidence of presidential leadership. Both sides took different public health approaches on the campaign trail as well. The Biden team featured drive-in rallies and promoted mask wearing to adhere to Center for Disease Control guidelines. Despite having contracted COVID-19 after the first presidential debate, President Trump organized rallies across battleground states featuring packed crowds without masks.
The other major issue of the campaign was the growing movement for racial justice. A series of police shootings against unarmed people of color, notably Breonna Taylor in March and George Floyd in May, inspired millions of Americans to join demonstrations for Black Lives Matter across the country to demand an end to police brutality and racial inequality in healthcare, education, housing, and historical commemorations. The Democratic Party made racial justice and criminal justice reform a central issue, lending support to peaceful protesters across the country. In contrast, Donald Trump vilified protesters as a threat to law and order and warned voters about the dangers of a potential “left-wing Democratic takeover” under a Biden administration.
Kamala Harris for vice president
“Build Back Better.”Joseph R. Biden Jr. (b. 1942) was the 47th Vice President of the United States serving under President Barack Obama from 2009–2017. He previously had served as a U.S. Senator representing Delaware for thirty-six years. He has selected Kamala D. Harris as his nominee for Vice President. A lawyer and the current junior U.S. Senator from California, Harris is the first woman of color to secure a VP nomination on a major party ticket. The campaign has emphasized Biden’s character and years of public service, especially during the Obama administration, making the argument that Biden would serve as a transformative figure following the divisive Trump era. In his video announcing his presidential run, he declared, “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Mike Pence for vice president
“Keep America Great.”Donald J. Trump (b. 1946) is the 45th President of the United States, and he ran for a second term with his current Vice President, Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana. The presidency of the former real-estate developer and reality television star has been characterized by divisive rhetoric, unconventional use of social media, and frequent promotion of misinformation. He is the third President in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted in the Senate. His reelection campaign has centered on celebrating the state of the economy before the economic crash in the spring of 2020, and invoking “law and order” to quell the ongoing protests for racial equality.