Trump and his Republican allies have been trying to brand Biden as a socialist since he emerged as the Democratic nominee from a pack of primary candidates that featured a self-described democratic socialist (not Biden). And Biden and his allies have been calling Trump a racist since Biden launched his campaign.
On Tuesday, each candidate will have a prime-time opportunity to debate the policies and rhetoric underlying each argument.
Biden, who has long positioned himself to the center of his party's most liberal positions, has embraced plans to enlarge the government's role in health care, education and the environment. Such policies are hardly socialist, but they would represent a significant shift to the left and require tax increases.
Trump has a well-established pattern of using racist rhetoric and favoring policies that disproportionately favor white people. For example, Trump has used the power of his office to crack down on Black Lives Matter protesters fighting for civil rights, calling them “terrorists” and warning that violent mobs of such protesters are invading largely white suburbs.
While the candidates' personalities may draw more attention than their policies, it's their policies that will touch the lives of virtually every American voter.