US President-Elect Joe Biden will have to Confront Road Blocks

The incoming President will have to confront many domestic and foreign policy challenges.
Keywords: US | Biden | Trump | Elections | Defeat | Rigging | Supreme Court | State | Electoral College | Constitution | Democrats | Republicans
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President Donald Trump is still nurturing the illusion that his manipulations (which, he personally took as his single-minded mission) for securing a second term, will eventually fructify. Even now, he fails to see the reading on the wall.

Trump’s refusal to concede his defeat was described by Chuck Schumer (Democrat) who is the Senate Minority leader as “extremely dangerous, extremely poisonous to our democracy”. 

Attorney General William Barr, prior to the Presidential election did echo President Trump’s fear that voters who chose to vote through postal ballots due to the pandemic – given the suspicion that postal ballot votes lend themselves to rigging – could be victims of malpractices. Yet, even he, a Trump appointee didn’t suspect the sort of large-scale rigging which Trump, his counsels and many of his high-ranking supporters allege, sometimes with substantial sworn and visual evidence.

The state of Texas petitioned the US Supreme Court contending that the four battleground states of Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin should be charged with electoral malfeasance and that electoral results there, which declare Joe Biden the winner, should be overturned. However, the Texas judiciary’s observation which states Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections has shaken the confidence and resolve of Donald Trump and his camp.

This is in complete consonance with the US Constitution, which makes it unequivocally clear that each state is endowed with its own electoral system, quite independent from any other.

To add insult to an already politically bruised Donald Trump, the US Supreme Court has also dismissed the lawsuit that sought to overturn President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the above-mentioned battleground states. The Supreme Court declared “the state of Texas motion for leave to file a complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution”. The Supreme Court’s verdict made a frustrated President Trump tweet “The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom. No Courage “

The pro-Trump camp is organizing street protests including one in Washington DC with the theme “Stop the Steal Rally “which was attended by President Trump.                                                                     

Are Setbacks for Trump his Political Obituary?

The aforesaid setbacks for Donald Trump do not amount to his political obituary. Nothing could be more misleading than the above notion.

There are multiple reasons for that.

Firstly, though President-Elect Biden secured 306 electoral college votes as against 232 casts for President Trump, and Biden’s lead was 7 million votes more than that of his rival, Donald Trump continues to be a blue-eyed boy among a sizable cross-section of Americans including business barons, big corporate houses and the wealthy as well as many in the working class and rural population, especially in the ‘heartland (Red|) states’.

Secondly, there is no denying that White Supremacists, who number in millions still regard Trump as their Saviour.

Thirdly, courtesy Trump’s America First policy 6.4 million new jobs were created and millions were able to retain their existing jobs. 

Prior to the pandemic, the level of unemployment in the US at 3.5 per cent was the lowest in half a century.

Steel plants in Michigan came back into full steam, in turn even helping the auto industry. It is no surprise, therefore, that this constituency of beneficiaries is beholden to Trump.                                                                                               

Fourthly, the powerful Gun Lobby hasn’t been restrained by Donald Trump, despite the bloodshed firearms cause. The legitimacy given to this lobby from the Second Amendment bolsters the position taken by the Trump camp. and any repeal of it is, therefore, inconceivable. The National Rifle Association has been the backbone for Trump’s 2016 election campaign funding.

Fifthly, the pro-Jew Lobby has over the centuries influenced American political thinking, predominantly that of the Republican Party even though the majority of American Jews vote for the Democrats and did it again this year. There are more Jewish federal legislators among the Democrats than in the GOP ranks. The lobby has many political aims. First and foremost, to stem the growing tide of anti-Semitic sentiments mainly influenced by the pro-Palestinian Left-Wing Democrats. Secondly, to ensure that the US foreign policy is Israel friendly. For example, pro-Israel donors spent over $ 22 million on lobbying and contributions in 2018. In 2015 it made desperate efforts to refrain the USA from signing on the JCPOA with Iran. The pro-Israel lobby formalizes its stated objectives through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. 

Donald Trump may be down, but by no means out. A lot will depend upon the two run-off Senate elections in Georgia, scheduled for January 2021.  Even if the Republicans win one of the two, they will retain control of the Senate and this could well be put a spanner in the future governance of the Biden administration.

The incoming President will have to confront many domestic and foreign policy challenges. As regards the domestic bugbears the most serious one relates to the pandemic impacted economy. The US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about $ 21.4 trillion in 2019-if an anticipated 15 per cent decline is confirmed, the GDP would approximate $ 18 trillion. Many small and medium businesses have been wiped out. The adverse impact is almost like that of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

One leading reason why the Trump Campaign failed to reach out to the middle class, the lower middle class and the poor has been highlighted very graphically in former President Barack Obama’s memoirs A Promised Land. Referring to the then prevailing health care system he says “More than 43 million Americans remained uninsured; premiums for family coverage had risen 97 per cent since 2000”.                                                                          

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V B N Ram

Mr V.B.N. Ram is a Researcher on contemporary social, political, economic and geo-strategic issues and has written for many newspapers and journals circulated within India and outside.

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