US Elections - The Finale
A choice of fate, the soul of America and its people at stake - or electoral fraud, no matter what happens, unless of course, Trump wins. A short, intense election campaign culminates in next Tuesday’s finale.
A Nation of Great Divides
Current national polls show an almost 7 point advantage for Joe Biden over Donald Trump. But it is not the number of votes that counts, it is of course the votes of the electorate. The real battles of the election are carried out within the individual states, especially in the so-called Swing States. A total of 270 electoral votes must be gathered to win. The most important Swing States are Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Still firmly in Democratic hands under Obama's second candidacy in 2012, Hillary Clinton lost one Swing State after the other - each one with an extremely close margin to Donald Trump - but the systems says, the winner takes it all. Just yesterday, it was reported that Florida and Ohio are leaning towards Trump in the latest polls. But once again, how reliable are they. Polls also report that Biden is slightly ahead in Texas, the Republicans' home state. By the way, the last Democrat to win Texas was Jimmy Carter back in 1976.
In recent elections, fundamental divisions have become apparent in the political landscape of the USA. Young, more urban citizens, who have grown up with global thinking and a growing awareness for the importance of protecting the environment, have completely different expectations in life. They would like to see more European positions in the field of social and educational policy. These new demands and interests are also reflected on a national level, with the election of young rebels like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for example. They are also rooted at the local level, where young politicians are increasingly causing a stir, questioning traditional party positions. At the same time, a large part of the white population, especially the working class, feels badly neglected and left behind. Such voters tend to swing towards candidates like Trump but also towards down-to-earth politicians such as Joe Biden.
The New York Times found out as early as 2016, that classic republican states such as Wyoming or West Virginia are moving further and further to the right, while democratic states are moving more towards the centre. Nevertheless, such developments were swept away by candidates such as Barack Obama, who stood for the renewal of the American Dream. The USA are indeed a divided country, longing for hope and a common dream. Neither Biden nor Trump are unifying candidates. Biden, however, has the advantage of being at least morally superior and it could very much work to his advantage. Despite all the nonsense and superficialities, Americans and especially the more rural population, are strongly rooted in traditions, customs and values. The race for Trump is a difficult one anyway. His handling of the "Black Lives Matter" protests, COVID-19, his rush to fill the vacancies at the Supreme Court and also his foreign policies have recently caused more than just astonishment at home.
The times when US Presidents were respected as a person as well as an institution at the head of a world order - the Western world order - are over. Donald Trump has caused more damage to the prestige of the office, the institution and the American Dream than any other president before him. Not necessarily because of his political decisions - there were far more radical ones in the past - but because of his behaviour. Biden's mission will be to restore the institution's reputation, while tackling pressing issues such as COVID-19, a crumbling economy, high unemployment and disgruntled allies. Most likely, Biden will be spending the next four years cleaning up Trump’s mistakes - an Obama Administration 3.0 so to speak - and thus aiming to return to reliability and stability.
It is also presumed that Biden will try to focus much more on domestic issues such as judicial, arms or healthcare reforms and less on international issues. Observers are speculating that Biden is only paving the way for his Vice President Kamala Harris to run for president in 2024. The Democrats have a lot of catching-up to do, particularly in the area of development of young talents, if they wish to remain in power in the long run.
Scenario Trump 2.0
If Trump wins a second term, you can expect a president who will rule unrestrained and with all his might. Because all previous boundaries of custom, tradition and morality have already been crossed. Nevertheless, Trump will also have to devote himself to rebuilding the nation. As a big job creator, he will be required to get the soaring unemployment figures under control and Wall Street will be demanding a stabilisation of the economy. The rest will stay the same and not even the Oracle of Delphi will be able to predict what is to come. One thing is certain though: If Trump should win, there would be only one balancing institution left - the Congress. Because apart from a Republican majority in the Senate, the Conservative majority of the Supreme Court has just been confirmed the day before yesterday – for years to come!
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