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Trump’s Second-Term Opening - WSJ


Democrats nearly exhausted the flattering adjectives in Roget’s Thesaurus last week as they described the kind of man Joe Biden is. Republicans can respond this week by laying out the kind of country America could be, if voters entrust them with another four years of leadership.

Democrats want to make the election a referendum on Donald Trump’s character, but it was striking that over four days last week they had precious little to say about their policies. They offered infomercials on gun violence, immigration, climate change and racial justice that appealed to the young and gentry left. But they offered little detail on how they’d help American workers.

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This opens the door to the GOP to educate voters about the Democratic plans and to offer an alternative economic platform with broader appeal. On the former, the openings are many: hostility to fossil fuels, much higher taxes, and vast new regulation and diktats on health care, energy, education, housing and finance.

But attacking the Biden agenda won’t be enough, especially since Mr. Trump will also want to make the election all about himself. Presidential second terms are notoriously poor. The last successful second term was Ronald Reagan’s, as the economic boom continued and his foreign-policy fortitude cracked the Soviet Union. Voters are right to be skeptical if all Mr. Trump does is offer voters a first-term highlight reel or impeachment grievances. He needs to give voters reasons to take a risk on him for another four years.

So far he hasn’t done so, and he hasn’t had an answer even when he’s been tossed softball questions. To one questioner he replied, “now I know everybody,” which as usual puts himself first. Voters want to know what Mr. Trump and the GOP are going to do for them.

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