The Long Divide: Why Division in American Society Will Only Worsen after the Election

As I write, Joe Biden’s chances of defeating Donald Trump look pretty good.* Several electoral votes stand between victory and the Democratic candidate, while Trump needs many more as the results in several key states continue to be counted. To win reelection, Trump needs to win in all the states that have yet to submit their results. That said, the Republican president has already alleged election fraud and claimed victory. So, the process will inevitably be delayed as a result of challenging and checking the results.

But whoever wins the election, the real outcome is that deep social divisions in society have been preserved, something which became apparent during Trump’s victory in 2016. He was supported by various groups of those in American society who did not benefit from “liberal globalization” such as workers, small businesses and certain ethnic minorities and the middle and lower ranks of the military. They were dissatisfied with the departure of jobs overseas, the high taxes, lack of economic opportunity and the desire to fight wars for the American empire. Hillary Clinton, who lost in 2016, could not accept the results until the very last moment, and blamed Russia for what happened.

Like Clinton, Biden believes that the main problem is not the country’s social division, but the failure of its conservative half to adopt the “right” liberal policies. If Clinton had no scruples about calling this part of society deplorable, then the current Democratic candidate must consider them the wrong kind of Americans. In response to Trump’s positions on the economy, immigration and law enforcement, Biden said they were contrary to American values ​​and to who America is. We also know about his statements that African Americans and other minorities should vote for Democrats by default.

Like Clinton, Biden linked the 2016 election results to Russia, and to Vladimir Putin personally. During the election campaign, Biden called Trump the puppet of the Russian president, blaming Putin not only for interference in the U.S. elections but the alleged orders to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. As usual, there was no evidence.

What are the causes and effects of a probable Biden victory? The causes include the dire situation with COVID-19, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans. This situation can only lead to a sharp decline in economic activity in the country. Trump’s somewhat disdainful attitude about immunologists’ recommendations is undoubtedly responsible for the country’s health crisis. With this attitude, he has shown that he is unable to listen to those whose opinions he does not share. Those expressing contrary opinions were at best ignored and at worst publicly insulted. For example, Trump called the country’s chief epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has warned of the dangers of another virus outbreak, an idiot.

Moreover, the media, whose reporting favored Biden, could barely hide their affinity for the Democratic candidate and actively worked to discredit Trump. Public opinion polls turned out to be not much more objective, something that became even more apparent in 2020 than in 2016. Throughout the past weeks, an overwhelming majority of pollsters have engaged in wishful thinking and confidently claimed a decisive 13-point lead by the Democratic candidate. Instead, the election was extremely polarized and the results are close. The votes counted so far indicate Biden leading by 2% to 3%.

With an attitude toward the other half of the population as “deplorable” or “not us,” it is difficult to anticipate that Biden will become America’s president. The social division will endure not only among the lower classes of society, but in the ruling establishment. For example, there remains an important group of Republicans and conservatives in Congress and the Supreme Court who are unwilling to support Biden. The nature of the reforms he is preparing needs further discussion. However, the experience of former liberal governments casts doubt on Biden’s ability to overcome this division in society. Rising economic inequality, racial unrest and even stricter immigration policies existed long before Trump made these problems worse. Not surprisingly, and contrary to Biden’s expectations, a significant portion of Latinos voted for his opponent.

It is difficult to expect a foreign policy from Biden that is in the interests of broad groups of society. Until now, he has demonstrated a commitment to maintaining America’s “leadership” in the world and enforcing global rules that favor Washington. The attitude toward Russia as a No. 1 threat is a prime example. Obviously, to assert itself as the only major superpower, the United States will try to push other countries aside. This policy will run into opposition from the rising major powers and will cost the U.S. taxpayer dearly. Such a course was rejected in 2016 and will only reinforce a social split.

The world is irreversibly changing from a global entity to one that is centered on national and regional issues. Has Biden noticed?

*Editor’s note: Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 7.

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