How do you translate “shitshow”? Around the world, media organisations have been struggling to render into their national languages some of the more colourful English terms used to describe the first US Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. As Politico reports:
The debate set foreign media outlets scrambling to decode Americans’ own, often colorful, denunciations of the debate. For Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese newspaper, the challenge was translating ‘shitshow.’ Their answer: ‘a show that is like shit,’ part of an article headlined, ‘The worst debate ever.’ Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public broadcaster for global audiences, felt the need to define ‘clusterfuck’ as ‘a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation: a muddled mess.’
Early voting is already underway in some states. Americans are now being asked to make their minds up on whether Donald Trump has fulfilled his 2016 campaign promise to “Make America Great Again”. Will Trump’s pre-pandemic record on the economy and his push to confirm conservative justices to the Supreme Court sway voters? Or, with more than 200,000 people dead from the virus and millions now unemployed, will his mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis ultimately decide his fate in November?
What happened to the wall? During his 2016 campaign, Trump said he would force Mexico to pay for the construction of an impenetrable concrete wall covering 1,000 miles of the 1,900 mile southern border. Once in office, that was quietly downgraded to roughly 30 miles of new border fence, plus refurbishing 245 miles of existing barriers, entirely paid for (to the tune of $15 billion) by the US taxpayer.
What about healthcare? Trump had promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something much better, though his administration has had difficulty articulating precisely what the replacement would look like in practice. After dramatically failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the Senate in 2017 (despite the Republican Party controlling both houses of Congress), Trump has attempted to chip away at Obamacare through the courts (and the Supreme Court is due to hear the latest case the week after the election in November).
What about the economy? Donald Trump won the Presidency in 2016 partly based on his celebrity and reputation (cultivated through the hit TV show “The Apprentice”) as a savvy businessman and dealmaker. That reputation has taken a bit of a knock recently following a report by the New York Times on his tax returns, showing a decade of chronic business losses and mounting debts. Nevertheless, the US economy had been booming before the pandemic (albeit with a record national debt and skyrocketing federal borrowing).
Has President Trump made America great again? Or will his mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis ultimately decide his fate in November? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!