The United States has elected Democrat Joseph Robinette Biden Jr (Joe Biden) as the 46th president of the country, marking a move back to the way it has traditionally been governed, bidding adieu to a ‘disruptor’ who had made a foray into the political world from the domain of business, Donald Trump. Or so the American media is saying.
Biden promises a more empathetic and scientific approach to the COVID pandemic. The Democrat pledged to ‘stabilise’ American politics after four years of candour, at times over the top, by Donald Trump.
Biden turns 78 at the end of this month. He will be the oldest president when he assumes office in January — if not the Trump campaign goes all the way to the Supreme Court of the country where Republican judges dominate.
The US has meanwhile seen the deepest economic slump since the 1930s.
On the social front, while the Democrats and the American mainstream media together projected Trump as racist, non-Whites voted more for the Republicans than the challengers.
The American media is calling the election in Biden’s favour after he won Pennsylvania, where he had spent his boyhood, making him cross the 270 electoral vote mark necessary out of 538 to send either candidate to the White House.
Trump ‘lost’ the huge lead over Biden till the night of the election but lost when election officials allowed hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots, where a majority preferred the Democrat candidate. Trump says it’s not over, but the supreme courts of various states are not likely to accept his contention of bogus voting or allegation of more votes than voters.
“The Trump campaign also said it would demand a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden led Trump by some 20,000 votes, even though historically a margin of that magnitude is unlikely to be reversed,” CNN reported.
The Keystone State was the last obstacle in Biden’s path to the White House. He had cultivated his image as a “middle-class Joe” from Scranton further by visiting his childhood home in the city on Election Day. However, rather than his campaign promise to prioritise the livelihoods of the working-class voters who had dumped Hillary Clinton in 2016, it’s the ageing White population that voted for him overwhelmingly while the workers preferred Trump, disturbed by the anarchical elements, especially the activists under the banner Black Lives Matter, that Democrats had been promoting.
But of course, Biden wrote on one of the living room walls in the house where he grew up, “From this House to the White House with the Grace of God,” signing his name and the date, “11.3.2020.”
In the last phase of the campaign, Team Biden intensified their efforts to rebuild the Democrats’ “blue wall” (Republicans are marked by the colour red). The challenger succeeded in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin even as they held Minnesota, which Trump failed to wrest.
Making the point that the POTUS ought to be the president of every American, Biden had delivered the message, “There will not be blue states and red states when we win. Just the United States of America,” the day before yesterday. “We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart,” he said.
Yesterday, Biden was calm and composed, confident of his win. He told his supporters, “Stay calm. The process is working,” in Wilmington, Delaware. “Each ballot must be counted. … Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience, as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that is the envy of the world,” Biden said.
As explained in Sirf News earlier, the Republican campaign strategy to hold back “hidden Trump voters” did work, making the race a much tighter contest than pre-election polls suggested, but it was not enough to deny Biden most of the states that Clinton had won and add Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The outcomes of Nevada and Arizona are awaited.
Biden, the veteran
Joe Biden has been a senator for 50 years and vice president from his Delaware homestead. More than 30 years after his first presidential campaign, he will move to the White House, with his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, becoming the first woman and the first Black person (she had suddenly remembered she was part Indian too during this campaign).
Biden had lost his first wife, first daughter and adult son Beau, who died in 2015. He survived two brain aneurysms but stayed in politics after two failed White House campaigns. His, the American media says, is the right shoulder for a nation that lost more than 234,000 citizens to Covid-19 to cry on. The casualty figure could go up to 400,000 by the time the Democrat leader swears in, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project says.
However, any government investment into healthcare would need congressional approval, where the Democrats don’t have the adequate numbers. Politically, in Biden’s honeymoon year, vaccines to fight Covid-19 will mitigate the disaster.
Biden has to take care of the struggling economy that a right-wing government often leaves behind by limiting competition in the market as though they were leftists. In a bid to reserve jobs for Americans, Trump ended up turning many businesses into unviable propositions, in effect rendering millions unemployed inadvertently.
In foreign affairs, Trump took on China, causing a trade war that is now at least three years old. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 turning into a global pandemic, the administration of the 45th POTUS initiated a probe into the existence and activities of Chinese moles in the country, reaching no lesser than the Harvard University to catch a spy.
Biden may re-hhyphenate India and Pakistan, dithering on proposals of acting against terrorism. US delegates are once again likely to visit India on their way to Pakistan or vice versa in every trip. The sale of military hardware to Pakistan may resume, following a show of reluctance to do so.
While the US-China relations may return to just bytes against each other as the pre-Trump era had seen, Biden may also mark an end to the straight talk on Islamic terrorism. Certainly, Biden would not refer to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” either — all evidence in support of the allegation notwithstanding.
Where Trump was certainly right wing and Biden will be more than definitely left wing is in the tax policy. Trump was reducing them. Biden will increase them.
At the same time, Biden’s pledge to restore America’s “soul” by purging President Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and rebuilding the US’s traditional position of global leadership is ambiguous. While Trump has been damned as a “nationalist”, a negative term in the West, from the Vietnam War up to Kosovo, Democrat governments have always committed more American troops to military campaigns overseas, much as the media and Hollywood propaganda tells the world otherwise. That gives India a faint hope that the US Navy could be more forthcoming in the South China Sea to stop Chinese transgressions.