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President-elect Joe Biden speaks about jobs at The Queen theater, Dec. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press

That was strange. Laura Ingraham, host of the Fox News nightly harangue that follows what the left mocks as the “Hannity Insanity” segment, had the very progressive Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna on her show this week. And they hit it off.

Mr. Khanna, a close ally of Bernie Sanders, took a lot of abuse from fellow travellers for going on Fox. Ms. Ingraham was pilloried by righties for inviting him.

She nodded appreciably while Mr. Khanna waxed on about how Joe Biden should follow up on the Trump policy of disengaging America from endless wars. Drawing comparisons to China’s customary war avoidance, he pointedly observed that “China hasn’t been in a war since 1979. We’ve been in over 40. If we want to be a global leader, let’s stop funding endless wars and start investing here at home.”

In pre-Trump times, the Republicans were regarded as the war party. But much to the chagrin of Dick Cheney and equivalents, Mr. Trump tacked in the opposite direction, drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and avoiding new wars.

No one should be surprised if the Biden Democrats follow suit. Here was Mr. Biden in July of last year. “It’s past time to end the forever wars, which have cost us untold blood and treasure. Staying entrenched in unwinnable conflicts drains our capacity to lead on other issues.”

While the general impression is that the Trump Party and the Democrats are miles apart on everything, war and peace is one major area – and it is not the only one – where the two sides can agree.

Mr. Biden will also follow the Trump lead on getting tough on trade with China and on keeping American jobs at home. The Democrats don’t like Mr. Trump’s “America First” phrase but his influence has them turning in a more nationalist direction with trade and government procurement and other policies.

On trade, the left side of the party will be keeping the heat on Mr. Biden. “Our trade policy in America has been broken for decades,” said Elizabeth Warren while campaigning in the primaries, “and it has been broken because it works for giant multinational corporations and not for much of anyone else.”

On China Mr. Biden has sometimes, though not always, sounded hard-edged. “We do need to get tough with China,” he said while campaigning, or “it will keep robbing the U.S. of our technology and intellectual property.”

Another issue where the two parties can certainly find common ground is criminal justice reform. Mr. Trump won praise for his strong reform package and Mr. Biden promises to go further. One of his proposals is to end all incarceration for drug use offences.

In the domain of communications, the president-elect will hopefully pick up on Mr. Trump’s standing up to Big Tech, as he has done with stronger regulatory oversight and threatening rhetoric.

Mr. Trump’s latest move was to threaten to veto a defence bill unless Congress does away with a shield protecting the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

A clause in the Communications Decency Act means that the tech companies aren’t legally liable for what people post on their platforms. Mr. Biden has also spoken of doing away with that protection.

On foreign policy, Mr. Trump’s headstrong approach led to an opening of dialogue – though without concrete dividends – with the leader of North Korea. His aggressive way with foreign leaders saw the return of many American hostages to home soil. He made significant strides in the Middle East. Israel now has improved relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan.

Mr. Biden prides himself on getting things done through personal diplomacy as well but his approach will emphasize collective security as opposed to bullheaded unilateralism.

Mr. Trump’s success in getting NATO allies to pony up with more contributions on defence spending sits well enough with Mr. Biden. But with the U.S. treasury facing the highest national debt levels since World War II, the Democrat will be looking to cut the Pentagon budget. Even though Mr. Trump was cutting back on war expenditures and American defence spending was already higher than the next dozen or so countries combined, he increased it.

In many areas, such as pandemic response, health care, climate change, immigration and taxation, the Biden Democrats will try and set the country on a new course. Stylistically, the new administration will have a completely contrasting approach to Mr. Trump’s reckless, egomaniacal, divisive, truth-fornicating modus operandi.

But Mr. Trump’s shakedown, his skewering of establishment politics, brought with it some needed new thinking that will impact the Biden Democrats going forward and help prevent total gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Even Laura Ingraham sees some hope for collaboration. Democrats, she maintained, are on board with some of the things Mr. Trump did. It’s just that, with the exception of those like Ro Khanna, they won’t admit it.

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