Goodbye Trump?

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera on November 4, 2020

Everything would indicate that Joseph Biden is going to be victorious in the U.S. elections even though there are no official results yet as I write. The flood of ballots in favor of the Democrat is such that President Trump has run out of trickery to prevent his opponent from winning. Biden, like Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, managed to outperform Trump in the popular vote, where he’s got the highest number of votes for any candidate in history: 67.9 million. It is also the most popular election since 1908, with more than 65 percent of the vote, which is way high for traditional American apathy and speaks to a completely unique electoral process in the United States, probably driven by the polarization generated by Trump’s vulgar racism and authoritarianism.

Uniquely, Biden is not a charismatic candidate, who would arouse the passion of Trump and his followers, nor is he particularly appealing for his overly moderate proposals in economic and social policy.  It has been the anti-Trump vote that has provided him with a flood of votes and it is being felt in the White House, coming from a wide sector of the population fed up with the criminal handling of the issue of the coronavirus, of the economic crisis (this past week another 765,000 US workers applied for unemployment) aggravated by the pro-millionaire policy of the magnate and the abuse and rudeness with which he has performed.

Although the votes are still being counted at the close of this note, it is already highly probable that the former vice president has key states such as Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada. It looks like in the end he will be able to add Pennsylvania, where some two million votes were still to be counted. But only with the votes of Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona, in addition to having retained all the states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, would he reach the magic number of 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College. This, according to the archaic American indirect voting system, which dates back to the 19th century.

Seeing defeat coming, Trump stepped up his attacks on the alleged election fraud mysteriously hidden in the postal vote weeks ago and rushed conservative Judge Amy Coney Barret through the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, as he explained to have more reinforcements there if the election was decided there.

The outcome in favor of the Democrat, of course, would not mean that the new U.S. president is any less imperialistic than his predecessor. In fact, U.S. scholar Adrienne Pine told me that in a Forbes magazine, most billionaires prefer Biden. And she commented, alluding to the climate of international rejection that Trump has achieved, “They don’t want the United States to continue to be a pariah state”. It’s not good for business. However, there would be more political space left for the new and thriving progressive movement within and outside the Democratic Party, of which the rising star is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other young progressive women of color; given this racial tensions fueled by the housing magnate would surely diminish.   Nor can Biden, if he gets to the White House, do much to mitigate the crisis of Washington’s hegemony, which Trump has accelerated, let alone the deep, multi-faceted crisis associated with the previous one, which is crunching the very foundations of the US system.

Far from exhausting the issue of what a Biden foreign policy might look like, it can be anticipated that he would continue the confrontation with China and Russia, probably with less stridency, and would seek to restore relations with the European allies in order to try to get them to collaborate on the anti-Chinese adventure. He would re-establish the nuclear treaty with Iran, although maintaining the sanctions, and has said that he will again put into effect the measures to relax the blockade on Cuba to the level that Obama set towards the end of his presidency.  Latin America and the Caribbean could benefit from a more dialoguing attitude, which is no small thing, without the empire, of course, abandoning the pretensions that it has in its DNA to treat it as a backyard. But also because the second progressive wave can be seen coming that would provide our America with much more negotiating capacity and unity in the face of the revolted and brutal North.