Like most people over the last days, I have been anchored to CNN, awaiting the results of the US Presidential election. Pitted against the Pumpkin-headed incumbent, Donald Trump, was the Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The result, according to polls before the election, were indicating a whitewash in favour of Biden, and although the favourite has prevailed, it hasn’t actually played out that way.
Trump, if nothing else, is a fighter. He’ll do anything and say anything to win. He doesn’t see himself as a loser. That moniker is set aside for lesser mortals, not the Don. This time, however, the American public have sounded the final klaxon on Trump’s Presidency, the first time a sitting President hasn’t been re-elected since George H. W. Bush in 1992.
There could be many reasons why the voters kicked Trumpism into the bin. The response to the present Coronavirus pandemic may be chief among them. His playing down of the problem, inactions and flippancy have resulted in over 230,000 American deaths to date. His language when referring to the virus has sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, calling it the ‘kung flu’ on occasions. But as we all know, his language is ‘beautiful’, not!
Over the last years his claims have kept many fact-checkers in work. Biden’s ascendency to the Oval Office must surely put some of those people out of work, adding to the rising unemployment roll in the US because of his policies.
His torrent of posts on social media, such as Twitter, have kept news cycles turning day by day. Often stating inaccuracies, or vindictively abusing opponents. Who, I wonder, will miss those morning Presidential outpourings, beyond Fox News viewers?
Trumps well-known misogyny and racism had been on display well before his shock election win in 2016. You just have to Google Trump’s words and reports churn out unendingly. I remember full well the taped conversation with Billy Bush released just before the election in 2016. How a woman could have voted for him after that, I have no idea. But many did, and probably did this time too.
For a candidate in 2016 he had a long history of racism. Even that didn’t stop him being elected. For a non-American it’s baffling to understand how the man’s past statements didn’t make him unelectable.
And his refusal to admit that Putin’s Russia didn’t meddle in his election victory, despite the assurances of his own officials, still didn’t dent his popularity too much. The idea that an American President would act like that would have the likes of Reagan turning in their graves.
Alongside the things I’ve mentioned above, and I’m by no means an expert on US politics, it will be the shear relentlessness I won’t miss. The last four years have been a whirlwind of Trump, Trump, Trump. Dominating the news cycles day in and day out with his crazy claims of collusion, outlandish behaviour, lies and complete disregard for America, its allies or the rest of the world: it’s been exhausting to watch and hear. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t tell it like it is, he tells you what he wants you to believe; that he is beautiful, and that the world is better with him at the helm.
Well, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief. I can tell you that the world will be shot of Trump in January next year. The time for Trumps nationalism and insularity is over. The divisions in the US caused by Trump and his rhetoric must be healed. Of course, his influence will take time to wain but hopefully a more co-operative world will rise from his defeat. One where countries will work together on trade, climate change, peace and in other areas.
Biden and Kamela Harris, his Vice-President Elect, have to rebuild the trust that both American people and the world have lost under Trump. It’s a tall order. Let’s hope they’re up to it.