It’s Biden v. Trump, but only one will save democracy | Inquirer
Emil Amok!

It’s Biden v. Trump, but only one will save democracy

The rematch is on and though November may seem far away, lock in your vote now, in your mind and heart
/ 06:30 AM March 14, 2024

Trump and Biden

FILE PHOTO – This combo image shows Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, left, March 9, 2024 and President Joe Biden, right, Jan. 27, 2024. (AP Photo, File)

We are now at a stage where the big rematch for the US presidency is assured  between President Biden and the former president who, at first, wouldn’t go away peacefully but now wants to get re-elected and stay forever.

This time, Donald Trump vows to do things the right way – for his own self-aggrandizement – in order to assure his permanent sense of power. He’s surrounded himself with all the enablers who will help him achieve his stated goal—to be dictator for a day. One day is all he would need to make the decisions and pull the levers to make sure he becomes president for life.

Just like China’s Xi. A dictator. Only Trump would be trumping American democracy for his own gain.

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President Joe Biden has no such desires. He’s thinking about the good of the country.

Biden’s State of the Union Address last week had me at “Hello.”

Or more specifically, “Hitler,” the name the president evoked when he began the speech. Biden started with a quote from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who on January 1941 said, “Hitler was on the march. War was raging in Europe.”


It was a reminder of the threat.

“President Roosevelt’s purpose was to wake up Congress and alert the American people that this was no ordinary moment,” Biden said. “Freedom and democracy were under assault in the world. Tonight, I come to the same chamber to address the nation.”

The president was equating Hitler with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and with Donald Trump’s acquiescence to Putin.


“My predecessor, a former Republican president, tells Putin, ‘Do whatever the hell you want,’” Biden said, quoting Trump. “A former American president actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable.”

So why do the majority of Republicans want Trump to be our next president?

Trump’s role models

And what of you? Are you tired of freedom and democracy? Then by all means, consider Trump, the man who has coddled Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for years, and who just last week entertained Hungarian dictator Victor Orban at Mar-a-Lago. These are Trump’s role models. Not Lincoln, Jefferson, LBJ, or JFK.

If only it were Marcos, senior and not Bongbong in the presidency in the RP. Trump would be all over them. Of course, American presidents from Reagan to Bush have always loved the Marcoses, propping them up until the fall.

Whole new era now, with Trump and the white dictators. That’s how a freedom-loving country like ours finds its Republican party embracing a man who represents the same threat to American democracy as Hitler.

They don’t see themselves as a threat because they see “the rest of us” as the ones who stand as mortal enemies of their vision of America. What’s that America? One where the freedom is to their liking: Lots of guns, no immigrants, everyone pregnant forced to have unwanted babies. And all the history books feature Donald Trump as the best president of all time, for the rest of time.

That brings us to the other line in Biden’s State of the Union address, which may well be the single most powerful one in the speech.

“You can’t just love your country when you win,” Biden said.

Of course, you work together, winners and losers, to make a better America. You find common ground. You’re on the same team.

You don’t stop the peaceful transition of power with an attempted insurrection.

You don’t proclaim as a party that the election was stolen and continue to deny the legitimacy of an election to this very day.

You don’t stop a real compromise on immigration because it makes for a GOP campaign issue.

You don’t balk at any real solutions because it’s better for you to continue to fight and argue about fixing a problem.

Yet that’s what we see from the Republicans. They’ve lost the sense of democratic values.  And once they have full control in a second Trump term, it   just won’t matter what their opponents think anymore. Autocracy, strongman rule, dictatorship by any other name.

Biden’s speech was different. It sought to bring us all together, not just based on ideology, but on class.

Biden boasted about the good economy. The facts are undeniable. He cited historic job growth, 800,000 new manufacturing jobs and small business growth for Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans. (A shout-out to us!)

More people with health insurance than ever before thanks to Obamacare, which Republicans want to ditch. The racial wealth gap is the smallest in 20 years. Inflation dropped from 9 percent to 3 percent, the lowest in the world and trending lower, Biden said.

But most Americans see the economy like the weather forecast. There’s the actual temperature and then there’s the “feels like” temperature. And Americans are having trouble feeling how good things really are.

Biden gave assurances for all. “I’m determined to turn things around so the middle class does well, the poor have a way up and the wealthy still do well. We all do well.”

That’s not what you hear from Republicans, who under Trump enacted a $2 trillion tax cut that Biden said, “overwhelmingly benefits the very wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded the federal deficit.”

The national debt rose by 39 percent under Trump to $27.8 trillion, higher than any other presidency.

And it was tax cuts to the rich that did it. When you cut out income, a nation’s debt rises, and so-called conservative values go out the window. .

Biden promised a fairer tax code where billionaires who pay just 8 percent now will pay their fair share. And he vowed to change the fact that 55 of the biggest companies that made $40 billion in profits paid zero in federal income taxes.

On the economics, Biden gives us options. Trump takes away, while fully focused on being an autocratic strongman like Putin. With democracy’s norms neutralized, he would be a dictator in the White House,  surrounded by “yes men.”

That’s the dark Trump vision. And it’s so anti-American, it’s energized Biden to take his SOTU address on the road.

Oh and the age thing?  Just this week, the GOP ageist strategy was dealt a blow when the special prosecutor in the Biden documents case denied saying Biden was senile. In fact, Robert Hur said Biden had a photographic member.

Add that to the SOTU address and Biden’s showing us all he’s got the stamina, energy and wisdom to defeat the darkness, and fight against the possibility of an American dictator.

The rematch is on and though November may seem far away, lock in your vote now, in your mind and heart now. And don’t change.

There can be no swaying if democracy is to be saved.

At this point, there really is just one vote that makes sense, to stay the course for America.

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. He writes a column for’s US Channel. See his micro-talk show on

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TAGS: Biden, Donald Trump, President Biden, US elections, US presidential election
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