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Tuesday night’s televised cage match between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was less of a debate than a debasement—a 90-minute stretch of boorishness, belligerence, and petulant interruption that left much of its audience annoyed. But worse than that: It left too many essential questions unanswered, less than five weeks before the election.
As is always the case, American voters want different things from their government—and no election can or will satisfy everyone. What Wall Street executives crave from policymakers is not likely to be the same as what unemployed restaurant workers want; Silicon Valley titans may well argue for a different set of laws than privacy advocates. But then, as a team of Fortune reporters discovered, there is surprising common ground—even among those with uncommon backgrounds—on a host of critical financial and business issues facing the country today.
While views on taxes differ sharply across the social and political landscape, most Americans—small business owners, unemployed workers, pin-striped execs—want more fiscal stimulus and more economic relief for those hardest hit by the pandemic and shutdowns. Businesses, in general, are eager for more stability (not continued uncertainty over trade and public policy); they want long-term solutions for infrastructure development and job growth and helping the unemployed. As Bernhard Warner writes, “there is actually plenty of bipartisan support for vast spending measures to rebuild America.”
That rebuilding, of course, has to include restitching the social fabric that holds America together—the ties of civility and, hopefully, shared success that bind one neighbor to another. If the unpresidential debate in Cleveland showed us anything, it is that the national conversation can no longer afford to mirror the one that took place on stage Tuesday night.
And so, with that in mind, let us open a serious and respectful discussion about what business—and those who drive it—need over the next four years from the President of the United States and Congress. Read our full package of stories in this special report.
We want to hear from readers, too. So please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you need most from the 2020 election.
More from Fortune‘s special report on what business needs from the 2020 election:
- What business needs from the 2020 election
- What unemployed Americans need from the 2020 election
- What small-business owners need from the 2020 election
- What unions need from the 2020 election
- What unbanked Americans need from the 2020 election
- What low-wage workers need from the 2020 election
- What working parents need from the 2020 election