The United States Presidential election result marks the end of a Presidency that carries a chaotic imprint in global politics. World at large envisages ‘new dawn’ in U.S internal and external politics. Donald Trump’s fictitious claims and futile refusal is a mockery of U.S democracy and its intrinsic process of periodic elections. Hectic task awaits President-elect Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris, to tweak a system rotten by ravaging tides of Trumpism. Trump’s hustings characterized by economic and military aggression and a toxic polarization mantra could not win him a second term but augmented his support base with 71 million votes keeping the streak of Trumpism alive. The Presidency of a ‘blinkered dealmaker’ witnessed a messy world order, spreading the message of deglobalization, the demonization of multilateralism and its core institutions, and thereby weakening a rule-based international order. In a pandemic struck, polarised scenario, U.S.A and the world at large expects the Biden-Kamala duo to steer a paradigm shift that would result in racial harmony, peaceful bilateralism, and multilateralism, especially at a time when the world is grappling with the twin challenges of the global pandemic and climate change.
Internal havocs inflicted by Trump-era policy-propagandas are severe. Hence, the new administration would prioritize realising their ‘unification call’ and a robust ‘COVID-19’ policy to abate the ordeal erupting out of the pandemic. Joining the global club of Majoritarianism, Trump fueled the embers of white supremacism thrusting the Afro-American community into ghettos. Election of Kamala Haris, the first woman vice president, is a ‘totem of diversity’ holding multiple identities (Afro-American, South Asian origin) and spelling a setback to Trump’s nativist and racial stigma. Her victory also leaves a ‘ray of hope’ that entrenches racial harmony in the country.
Donald Trump compounded the plight of the Afro-American minority in a white majority state. According to the Pew survey, 56 per cent say that Trump has made race relations worse. George Floyd who was asphyxiated by a white policeman has become the symbol of ‘black marginalization’. Protests and pandemonium sparked out of his brutal killing were met with state violence. President Trump was frantic to deploy armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to suppress protestors emblazoning ‘I can’t Breath’. Former Defence Secretary Mark Espers’ rejection of the White House proposal to invoke the ‘insurrection act’ bestowed the President’s unbridled power to send active military troops to quell protest’. Mark Esper says ‘Trump is the first President in his life who doesn’t try to unite the American People, doesn’t even pretend to, instead he tries to divide’. An executive order ‘banning government agencies, contractors, and recipients of federal giants from offering racial sensitivity and diversity training to employees’ bespeak his bigotry encouraging racial sensitivity in workplaces.
Political polarization is also rigid in the U.S.A. The November 2020 election is the first polarized election since the inception of U.S democracy. The Trump camp garnered a potential margin to keep the political environment polarized. Partisanship politics working in America resembles Bill Bishop’s ‘The Big Sort’ theory dividing individual minds in every matter of life. A study conducted by Decision Desk HQ demonstrates spatial polarization in the U.S.A. According to its data, while the rural U.S voted for Trump by a margin of 33 points compared to 32 points in 2016, urban counties preferred Mr Biden as their leader by 29 points. Biden’s promise of ‘healing touch’ to blur the divisive lines entails drudgery in an abysmally polarised ecosystem.
The outbreak of a pandemic exposed the fragility of a crony-capitalist system headed by an imbecile leader. Donald Trump’s unscientific handling of COVID-19 dubbed him a ‘basket case’, making the U.S.A the worst-hit country in the world. The scientific World broke their silence condemning Trump’s ‘pseudoscience’ approach to combat COVID-19. Premier academic journals like Nature and Scientific American openly endorsed Joe Biden. Nature criticised Trump for his anti-science, anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies and for demonising multilateralism by reneging Paris Climate Deal, the Iranian Nuclear Deal, and fund to World Health organisation. ‘Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed opinion leaders and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies’, New England Journal of Medicine lashed out in an editorial titled ‘Dying in a leadership vacuum’. Trumpism equates to Post-truthism. Alt-right movements yielded hatred and bigotry and factoids labelled as anti-minority, anti-science, and anti-truth under his watch.
His endeavour to scrap the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care, a health insurance Programme covering about 23 million Americans came as an ‘awestruck move’ particularly when the country was fumbling to combat the worst health crisis since World War II. To regain the global image of America which is in regression because of the role of a leader in dealing with a pandemic, robust health and COVID-19 policy would be on the anvil of the new administration.
Trump-era external policies are adventurism that incurred a detrimental effect on a ‘multilateral world order’. Starting from Trump’s walkout from the Paris Climate Accord to halting WHO Fund – it all reveals his blatant insolence for multilateral institutions. Many of the Obama wrapped deals were unsealed by his successor. Climate warriors are flummoxed by Trump’s unilateral exit from the Paris Climate Accord critical in the battle against global climate change. Pettifogging ‘blame game’ and ‘tirades’, placing developing South in the dock is the legacy of Trump in the ‘Climate Change Campaign’. The Biden Plan assures a semblance of the Obama era in the Climate sector, to reverse the policy rollbacks, to host a World Climate Change Summit and to unveil a ‘Green New Deal’. The appointment of John Kerry as Climate envoy is a sign of bounce back.
Another blow to Obama’s legacy came after the U.S withdrawal from the hard negotiated Joint Comprehensive Action Plan or Iran Nuclear Deal. Irrespective of American intelligence citation of Iran’s 100 per cent compliance to the plan provisions, the filip to step back hovers around the geopolitical interest of Israel-U.S-Saudi axis. Biden has a tough road ahead to rescue the deal as Iran is on the brink of ‘rattle the saber’ to avenge the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohasen Fakhrizadeh. Abraham Accords without ‘Palasthenian Peace’ is faux. Even though promises are made to resolve the crisis, the U.S tryst with Israel is likely to thwart progress in that direction. Kamala Harris is an ardent votary of Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ and Biden in 1986 said ‘were there not an Israel, the U.S.A would have to invent an Israel to protect its national interest’. Most importantly, Trump’s zero-tolerance immigrant policy and Islamaphobic blockade might mellow down in coming years.
The fallout of economic aggression piqued out of ‘anti-China’ rhetoric resulting in an internecine trade war. Experts speculated a Cold War 2.0, more economic timbre between the two powerful economies. The U.S retreat from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INC) signed between the U.S and then the Soviet Union to check nuclear escalation wounded the fault lines existing between U.S. and Russia. Biden is likely to drift towards a hardline approach to keep a ‘soft-pragmatic-smart’ eye on China’s economic activities and relations between the communist world. But the U.S stand on human rights issues, Hong Kong crisis etc. might remain unchanged.
Though a new administration is good for India to unlock the trade logjam by settling the Generalised system of preference, WTO imbroglio, and undo Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAASTA) restrictions, India’s right-wing government wished Trump 2.0. Democratic backlash is probable in the human rights violations case in Kashmir, new citizenship law, and Modi’s vile political canvassing for Trump during Howdy Modi. Notwithstanding differences, U.S.A is cognizant of India’s role in strategic coalitions and compacts to prevent ‘Chinese Thrasalocracy’ in Indo-Pacific.
A red to blue transition would not destroy the neo-imperialist temper of the U.S.A. U.S foreign policy is coupled with ultra vires military interventions and intrusions to maintain its pedestal in an unequal power structure. In his historic anti-war speech, Martin Luther King called the government of the U.S ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world’. Bizarre cowardice lurks in the most powerful nation in the universe to maintain about 800 formal military bases in 80 countries. The ghost of American war crimes and invasions still haunt the streets of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. Neo-realistic depiction of the U.S.A as a bellwether to lead the holy war against terrorism was a facade. Evil hands of CIA and its masters to coup d’etat democracy in Iran in 1953, creating Osama as an ally to counter Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and later declared a ‘global threat’ highlights a pharisaic. Politics of ‘otherisation’ sowing the seed of Islamophobia in an attempt to fudge the atrocities of the Whitehouse threatens world peace and tranquillity. For world peace, it is inevitable to exterminate religious terrorism advocated by the Islamic state and state terrorism harboured by the U.S.A and other nations. Presidents from different hues assumed and left the office, but the U.S remained as a ‘hegemonic vulture’ and ‘hyperpuissance’ in international politics. Pessimistically, let’s wait and see, will the Biden-Kamala duo rectify the pitfalls of ‘American Fallacy’?
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