US DECIDES

Trump's racial rhetoric cost him the presidency

If America has had an inexperienced President in the name of Trump, then they seem to have chosen a more experienced pair of hands in Joe.

In Summary

•As Maya Angelou put it, ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

• Over and above embarrassing and tainting the US image globally, majority minorities have returned their collective verdict that they too haven’t forgotten how he has made them feel!

US President Donald Trump at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019
US President Donald Trump at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019
Image: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Joe Biden is clearly on his way to victory. A long-serving legislator, having been in the US Senate for over 36 years, the man was much more experienced and senior, when he accepted to serve as Barack Obama's vice president.

Obama, the relatively young and inexperienced Democratic nominee, went on to become first US black president. Biden is a man who for the longest travelled to and from work via train from his state of Delaware.

Having lost his first wife Neilia and child Hunter way back in 1972, Biden has shown his commitment to his family in a rather admirable way. He, for example, refused to run for President in 2016 after losing his son, Beau, in 2015 to brain cancer.

The father of  four holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Delaware and a Law Degree from the University of Syracuse. He is a true career politician, having started out as councillor in New Castle county, going on to be elected for a record seven times as the Senator for Delaware.

He ran for President in 1988 but withdrew after he was accused of plagiarising speeches. His campaign was also wrought by rivalry amongst the staff. Biden has also been accused of lying his hands inappropriately on several women in public, though no conviction has ever been carried on him.

He has an impressionable track record in foreign relations, often described as a liberal internationalist. Obama sent him to Kenya, in advance to his visit, and he addressed business leaders and students at the KICC.

Born on November 20, 1942, the 78-year-old is poised to become America’s 46th President going by the latest results by the time of writing.

He run against Obama in 2008 but the latter became his running mate, a position he almost declined.

Obama was looking for an experienced hand in his quest to win white collar voters. Biden has been described as a retail street politician, with very good interpersonal skills, and he isn’t a theoretical thinker and academic like his predecessor Obama.

He has prevaricated on issues such as abortion and same sex marriages over time, and has supported women by sponsoring legislation on sexual violence, which he claims is his best so far.

He has also done lots of work in gun control, especially after the Sandy Brook School shooting incident. Biden, who traces his origin to Ireland, is a true salesman and can be trusted to bolster the image of America internationally.

He will be expected to restore confidence in an economy that has been fractured by the mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, a disease that has killed over 232,000 Americans so far.

However, Biden and President Donald Trump seem to share one thing in common. They don’t keep to the message. It’s been observed that Biden talks too much and can go off tangent to the detriment of the core messaging. It remains to be seen if he will be restrained, at least in terms of social media platforms, something that has cost Trump dearly.

If America has had an inexperienced President in the name of Trump, then they seem to have chosen a more experienced pair of hands in Joe.

In fact, some overzealous staffer at the White House had commissioned undercover polling in 2008, to test if Biden could be dropped as vice president in favour of Hillary Clinton. This was, however, shelved as it proved not to add any substantial value and Obama hadn’t sanctioned it either.

Clinton’s women constituency, however, seems to have been rewarded by Biden honouring his pledge to have a woman as vice presidential nominee in the name of Kamal Harris, the junior senator for California.

This coalition of the minorities seems to have worked especially because Kamala’s origin is a mixture of African and Asian descent, coupled with the white working class voter base, and despite the Hispanic dominated state of Florida having voted for Trump  after he converted his Mar A Lago resort to be his campaign base.

The US presidential election has sunk a real low. What with people stockpiling guns, and campaign groups violently confronting each other in some widely shared videos? It's anticipated that there may be post-election violence, with Trump possibly rushing to the Supreme Court, in which out of nine judges, three are his appointees.

But how did Trump lose the presidency? It’s pretty much simple. He chose to use racism as a mobilisation strategy that has seen the contagion catch up in European states such as Germany and the UK. He made many people feel unwanted.

As Maya Angelou put it, ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Over and above embarrassing and tainting the US image globally, majority minorities have returned their collective verdict that they too haven’t forgotten how he has made them feel!