While we write this, the United States of America is participating in one of the most unprecedented elections in its history. The election has seen the largest voter turnout in its democratic past. While the difference between the numbers of the two candidates is narrowing down, but the consequences will be wide apart.
The Democrat candidate, Joe Biden and his running mate, Ms Harris seem confident of victory, while the incumbent President Trump has wronged the exit polls yet again. So much so, that he is asking to “Stop the count” of votes.
STOP THE COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
The 2020 US Elections are in a way a process to regain the lost “soul of America”. However, the definition of “soul” is different on the two sides of the aisle. While the red wave of the GOP considers the “soul’ to be predominantly white and Christian, the Democrats stay put on it being liberal and plural.
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United in Division: The Dire State of Affairs
It was during the Vietnam War, that the United States stood so divided. The scenes of shops and other commercial establishments shut down before the election results come in, are reminiscent of a Third World country.
The Trump administration succeeded the Obama-Biden administration. The Obama-Biden administration saw a plethora of global events which helped them shape up and continue the role of the United States as the ‘global policeman’.
However, President Trump has contributed to setting up an image and role quite contrary to what it used to be. There’s no question in pointing out the supremacist and majoritarian ideologies that define the Trump support base. Not only has it eroded the global stature of the USA, but has made the deep-seated political rift more superficial.
The US has seen all sorts of Presidents, from scandalous to controversial. However, the US Presidents through the 20th century presided the role at a time when the “Great American Dream” used to be a thing and the country used to be a land of opportunities. So, the world was ready to tolerate its internal conflicts. However, the Trump-era has been quite successful in making the world question the US constitution used to espouse.
Biden-Harris: Regaining The Lost Stature
The Biden-Harris camp is quite optimistic of the fact that the US shall gain its lost image. For the country to be back as the self-proclaimed and a little pompous title of “the leader of the free world”.
The Biden administration might have to do some damage control in the initial days. It is quite possible that the US might enter the multilateral agreements with dignity. The Paris Climate Change accord, the trans-Atlantic alliance (NATO) and the likes of it.
Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience.
But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that has been the envy of the world.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 5, 2020
However, the Biden presidency’s ideas of a liberal and plural society will be marred by the dusk of globalisation. With protectionism taking over all around the world, the Biden administration will have a much larger role to play in creating a global world order which is economically viable, globally accepted and brings back the country to the centre stage of the world economy.
The US Elects, India Reacts: The Impact on India
During the Cold-War, when India had to choose a team, it chose to stand non-aligned. While down the line, as certain events transpired, the Soviet-Indian bonhomie became conspicuous.
While India had a choice back then, it quite evidently doesn’t have one. India has chosen to incline towards the US because the Xi Jinping leadership has not left them with an option. The Chinese hegemony has pushed much of Asia under the US’s umbrella, while the West has pushed Russia and Iran into China’s.
With India on the verge of becoming a US ally, the election results do complement the future of India’s geopolitical stance. The Trump administration has been fairly good for India in terms of foreign policy. With the COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) and the BECA ( Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) in place, the India-US alliance looks pragmatic from hereon.
However, on the economic side of things, President Trump hasn’t been so soft. If he is re-elected, New Delhi can expect a little some foreseen yet unlikeable policies from the White House. The pressure will be quite evident on trade policies and immigration leniency from the US.
The Bide administration might aim at returning to more liberal policies on trade and immigration. However, New Delhi will expect a more lenient and accommodative stand on Pakistan and China from the USA.
US Elections: More Than Just a President
Trumpism is in one way or another a response to US’s questionable influence and power. While Trump has understood the challenge, he hasn’t been able to make the world enthusiastic about the US being a global leader. The world used to look up to the United States as a country which “liberates” and helped defeat fascism to maintain freedom and equality.
However, it isn’t President Trump alone who helped shape the US policies on the lines of capitalism rather than a stable world order. But, he has surely aggravated the process further.
While Biden-Harris isn’t the most promising of the candidates but they do seem to show the US, an image that it has lost.
And that is why the US elections are more than just a tag of your “social awareness”.
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