Dan O'Heirity

The American Election Remains a “Dog’s Breakfast”

I’ve been dipping in and out of commenting on the United States presidential election which has, as anyone watching the news will know, been a complete and utter farce. The country is divided into two. Trump has made what can only be called utterly unevidenced claims about widespread voter fraud and it is only in the last few days that the Trump administration has committed to the formal transition process that forms a part of Biden becoming the next president. Reputable news outlets such as The Guardian are stating very clearly that Biden has won and that he will become the next President of the United States. However, Sky News, which is avidly pro-Trump is still seeking to question the outcome of the election.

I followed Sky News closely when posting on Covid-19 because Sky News was about the only media outlet in Australia that was not unquestioningly accepting that the Covid-19 pandemic warranted the severe lockdown that the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews imposed on the state. However, I also did a lot of my own research to determine if what Sky News was reporting was accurate. Ultimately I was satisfied that Sky News was asking legitimate questions about Covid-19 in Australia. I’ve taken the same approach with their reporting on the American election but this time round I just can’t see that these stories – for example, that there has been widespread voter fraud – have any merit. The evidence has just not been provided. Sky News would disagree.

The sad fact is that even if Biden becomes president, or perhaps when Biden becomes president, he may ultimately not be able to wield any real power. There is a story from The Guardian, written by a professor of history at Columbia University, that makes this point very clearly. The argument is that the Democrats will very likely not have a clear majority in Congress which comprises of the House of Representatives and the Senate. A key aspect the control issue seems to be the Senate race in Georgia where Georgia’s two Republican senators will face Democratic challengers in twin runoffs that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Irrespective, the Guardian piece offers the opinion that there will be a divided Unites States government. This being the case, the real question is whether areas of commonality can be found between the Democrats and the Republicans. This has happened historically when the two sides came together over the ending of the cold war. However, matters seem complicated now in terms of where areas of commonality might lie. The Guardian piece offers the opinion that, “the most attractive option for a vocal segment of opinion in both parties is to orientate both US foreign policy and domestic reform around antagonism towards China“. According to the reporter this would lead to a 21st Century Cold War.

First Published November 25th, 2020

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