Whoever prevails in the presidential election this November will face a historically daunting set of challenges. In the immediate term, the United States will need to commit enormous resources to address the devastating economic and social harm wrought by COVID-19. In addition to containing the virus itself, the federal government will need to act swiftly to secure workers’ economic livelihoods, restart the economy, and initiate an overdue process of reshoring critical supply chains. But beyond the crisis of the pandemic, the next administration will also need to address a range of longstanding social inequities and failures of political leadership that have been festering for decades, such as deep and persistent racism, pervasive economic insecurity, excessive concentration in the private sector, and the exogenous shocks of climate change. Nor will things be any easier on the foreign policy front: Global confidence in the United States has dropped precipitously since 2016, especially among democratic allies, and the country’s dismal response to COVID-19 has only made the situation worse. If the next administration hopes to restore U.S. global leadership and strengthen democratic governance, they will have their work cut out for them.
The above excerpt was originally published in Democracy.
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