With the 2020 US election now upon us, Our writers look at the ramifications both outcomes would have on both America and international politics.
A Biden Win - Callum Sawyers
It’s been four years since Trump shocked political commentators by beating Hillary Clinton to the presidency. If Biden can succeed where Hillary failed, will the next four years be more or less positive for both America and the world compared to the last four?
First off, let’s look at how a Biden win would affect the international community regarding world peace. Biden would re-join the Paris Agreement and attempt to revive the Iran nuclear deal after Trump’s withdrawal and the later attack on the country. These Biden policies are both revivals of Obama-era foreign policy and aim at furthering peace and co-operation between the United States and other nations.
However, a Biden presidency will not only bring about the co-operative foreign policy from the Obama administration but also the aggressive sabre rattling with nations the United States has historically been at odds with that has cooled under Trump. Biden described North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un as a “thug” and said that if he became president that the DPRK would have to “play by [America's] rules” in the final debate with Trump. With this type of aggressive rhetoric, Biden is promising a return to tensions on the Korean peninsula that have quietened under Trump.
Biden has also promised the US embassy in Israel will not return to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem which puts a major barrier in the way of any peace process in the Israel-Palestine conflict. While Biden's policies regarding Iran and climate change are steps towards peace on the international stage, his policies regarding the Holy Land and the DPRK are actively jeopardising peace in those regions.
Most of his policies do not inspire people with any dramatic changes and can be best summed up as not being Donald Trump and returning America to the Obama years.
Domestically, Biden’s one major policy, his watered-down ‘Green New Deal,’ is certainly the exception and not the rule. Most of his policies do not inspire people with any dramatic changes and can be best summed up as not being Donald Trump and returning America to the Obama years.
Even Biden’s promises regarding police reform are lacklustre at best, despite seeming promising on the surface. Many reforms are, once again, returning the prison system to its pre-Trump condition while ignoring the outpouring of support for more radical criminal justice reform seen throughout America this past year.
It was Obama/Biden style neoliberalism that helped create the anger and frustration that Donald Trump came out of.
Biden also rules out healthcare-for-all, even during a pandemic, promising just a reskinned Obamacare. This is the perfect microcosm for the Biden campaign on both the domestic and international stage. Nothing new, just the promise of ‘normality; the way things were before Trump’s time in office. But this is exactly the problem. It was Obama/Biden style neoliberalism that helped create the anger and frustration that Donald Trump came out of. By simply returning to these conditions, which alienates a largely white, rural working-class contingent of the country, the Democrats are merely paving the way for another right-wing, populist demagogue to sweep to power.
To conclude, a Biden presidency will see a slight increase in the quality of life for the average American by returning to a pre-Trump ‘normal.’ However, not only will this ‘normal’ breed the conditions for a new Trump to take advantage of; Biden’s foreign policies will needlessly revive old tensions with old enemies while failing to reverse damaging Trump-era policies which pose a threat to world peace.
A Biden presidency, while slightly better for the average American, fails to answer many questions, and only raises more, as we continue further into uncharted waters for an increasingly fractious United States.
A Trump Win - Faye Navesay
A lot can be said about the last four years of Trump’s presidency but the main takeaway is both the utter cruelty and bumbling incompetence. Make no mistake, this election is pivotal. If Trump wins another term, it will have disastrous consequences on the condition of American politics, how America treats its citizens and how it interacts with its allies across the world.
Another four years of this administration would lead to the Supreme Court completely changing for an entire generation. Recently, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a hardline conservative committed to anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ legislation. This was hardly surprising, considering he earlier appointed a justice who stood accused of having sexually assaulted someone. Many of the current Justices are ageing so it is highly likely that another term will allow him to further shape the Supreme Court, transforming it from a judiciary to an ideological weapon.
The list of his outright hostility towards oppressed people is too long to describe.
The past four years have been depressing when it comes to equality and justice. At every opportunity, Trump has chosen to strip away the rights of people of colour, women and LGBTQ people. The list of his outright hostility towards oppressed people is too long to describe. He separated immigrant children from their parents and kept them in detention facilities, he refused to disavow white supremacists, and his administration has done everything in their power to repeal anti-discrimination laws.
Another particularly pressing issue is the ongoing pandemic. So far over 231,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus and the virus has far from run its course. Trump’s delayed response, shambolic organisation and science denial has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Another term would only allow him to worsen the crisis and cause even more unnecessary pain for thousands of Americans when they have already suffered so much.
Whether he’s calling African countries shitholes or starting trade wars with China that no-one can win, he will undoubtedly worsen the mess he has created if allowed another term
One of the most concerning things about Trump’s presidency is the way he views and interacts with the rest of the world. His foreign policy has been disastrous from start to finish. Whether he’s calling African countries shitholes or starting trade wars with China that no-one can win, he will undoubtedly worsen the mess he has created if allowed another term. His strongman tactics have failed and cannot be allowed to continue.
The first election of Donald Trump was a display of frustration with established politicians. However, it is now clear he is a lied to get elected and has not stopped since. He has exposed himself as nothing more than an incompetent charlatan. To give him another chance to plunge America into further chaos and turmoil, rather than seeing his presidency as a cautionary tale about what happens when voters feel ignored, would be a critical mistake.