US POLITICS

Biden should build back all that Trump destroyed

In Summary

• Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appear to be fairly principled and practical in their leadership approach

• This is a polar opposite of the absurdism that Trump vended during his four-year tenure.

Biden should build back all that Trump destroyed
Biden should build back all that Trump destroyed
Image: OZONE

Americas have spoken. It was a competitive and fair democratic process in the face of a disruptive pandemic and President Donald Trump's piddling away with unfounded, toxic and "third-worldist" claims.

The defeat of Trump sounded out a good riddance to bad rubbish that also makes him the first incumbent American president to not return to office in nearly 30 years.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appear to be fairly principled and practical in their leadership approach, which is a polar opposite of the absurdism that Trump vended during his four-year tenure.

 

Harris makes history as the first female and African-Asian US vice president in what further inspires women and people of colour to dream and achieve more.

Coming against the background that engulfed America in the last four years, there is a great deal of optimism and expectation on the newly elected pair even though they are not as liberal and progressive as their fellow Democratic nomination contender Bernie Sanders had been in his campaign.

That notwithstanding, there seems to be a general consensus that the first urgent business for Biden and Harris ought to be the healing and restoration of everything good that Trump damaged with his corrosive politics — from national unity and multiculturalism to the stability of the American economy and its place at the global stage. 

Definitely and admittedly, this will not be an easy task for the duo.

The substantial votes that Trump got is a pointer in itself to the deeply pervading effects of his Make America Great Again ideological infrastructure, which is a function of negative and destructive race and identity politics that guarantees White privilege.

We also recall other unfortunate victims of the same White privilege through acts of police brutality such as the separate chilling cases of murder to George Floyd and Breoyona Taylor.

Trump's legacy again included a perilous inefficiency to contain the pandemic as well as his constant attack of mainstream media; flooding islamophobia, populism, economic introversion and unpredictability that were often disgracefully captured in his curt and incendiary sound bites and social media posts.

Africa was also further marginalised in US economic calculations under the Trump presidency— save for the area of shared interests in security and counterterrorism— owing to his pejoratively stated jaundiced view of the continent as one of the "shithole" places.

The net results of his antipathetic stances have had a severe detrimental toll on inclusivity and diversity and has as well significantly upended the established norm for American politics and global governance on issues such as democracy and human rights, international law and development, climate change, immigration and human conflicts. 

Just late last year at the G-7 summit, Trump referred to Egyptian leader Abdel Al-Sisi as his "favourite dictator" while on the other hand he had repeatedly tried to silence and profile genuine critics of his administration like 'The squad' congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

These are people who are evidently inspiring a new band of activists and leaders as seen in the latest campaign and results that brought in additional Muslims and people of colour to various positions.

Earlier in the year, Trump similarly took America to the brink of an unnecessary full-scale war with Iran just because of not personally liking the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal­ that was midwifed by his predecessor Barack Obama. By all standards, this deal had proved to be a good and working containment strategy for Iran's nuclear power ambitions.

The departure of Trump also coincides with his deceptive and transactional deal-making among Arab countries in the hope of ending the Palestinian dream of freedom and stateship at the behest of Israel, which has always unfairly enjoyed US patronage. This is even when it is often detrimental to America's own economic and security interests as pointed out by various analysts, including Prof Marc Lamont Hill and former top CIA officer Micheal Scheuer.

My hope and prayer is that Biden will not continue with that partial appeasement policy and instead would earnestly pursue what would be equally beneficial to both states as a way of calming the Middle East and the global security landscape at large.

I also hope and pray that the Biden presidency will not be tempted to launch any new war in the world.  Professor Ali Mazrui observed that it has been an a la mode ever since the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s for every American president to feel that the way to "feel really presidential" is to be "ordering an army into action on another society".

With all these issues in the in-tray of the new president and his vice president, I want to believe that healing and positive change and transformation would be the new focus and order in Washington in the next four years.

Mohamed is a governance analyst in Garissa county