It may sound nutty on the surface to suggest this, but oddly enough, some issues of common ground seem to exist between the Biden and Trump administrations in a few important policy areas. One is on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. A second may be on a trade policy that restores some fairness between the agreements we have with our trading partners. With all the big differences on social policy, guns, taxes, and the overall tone between Trump and Biden, there are a few areas where Trump-advocated policies may well end up being seen through.
Of course, the Biden administration has lurched far left on a number of issues and the aforementioned common ground is only on a handful of things. There will be little common ground on some big issues for conservatives such as the Biden approach to infrastructure, guns, and most social issues. The biggest gap may be on the policies going forward to combat the coronavirus pandemic with most Republicans pushing for a more open society with kids being back in school, businesses being allowed to operate more normally at a faster pace, the mask debate, and so forth. But I’ll take a small pool of issues where the populist-conservative Trump ideas intersect with the progressive direction of the Biden administration over nothing. I mean, we’re stuck with him for at least the next few years, right?
One area where there seems to be some common ground is foreign policy (with exceptions, especially the glaring issue of Israel, where Trump absolutely triumphed, and Biden’s behavior has been absolutely embarrassing—and dangerous). President Trump signed an agreement to get troops out of Afghanistan by May of this year. Biden has extended the deadline into September, yet if he follows through, this will be a great achievement, long overdue. Ukraine is becoming a hot area again with the threat most recently posed by Russian troops escalating the conflict by massing at the border. Biden has engaged in some tough talk about Russian President Putin and seems unafraid to talk honestly about the many threats and looming challenges that emanate from the Chinese Communist Party leadership. (On trade, in particular, Biden is so close to the union lobby that we should expect a hard line to be taken on trade relations with China.)
Speaking of Ukraine, though we generally like them and want to see them thrive and someday even join NATO, strange things still go on there that we need to be checking them on. For example, behavior like the brewing controversy over a Canadian solar company being shut out of access to the power grid being allowed to happen due to the wishes of one wealthy Ukrainian. This is classic protectionism, for a foreign-based company to be targeted by a domestic, politically connected, financial interest. Protectionism, partnered with the use of government power to hammer foreign companies, is a clear case of unfair trade practices and Ukraine should be called to the carpet for that infraction, especially because the foreign company in question is our neighbor and one of our closest allies. And if it can happen to their companies, it can happen ours. And no nation will want to help Ukraine gain full independence from Russian energy if their companies trying to serve the Ukrainian populace can’t do so with confidence that they will be treated in a fair manner.
Biden, who says he has aspirations to be a uniter, has an opportunity to reach out beyond his traditional base with common-sense, solid, and popular America First-style foreign and trade policy. I am not holding my breath that Biden’s far-left manipulators will understand or even care about said opportunities as they seem to only want to amplify poorly crafted, knee-jerk policies that actually alienate middle America in general, including many in their own party. God willing, steadier hands and Biden’s own more commonsense instincts in these areas will ultimately prevail.