America’s Trump vs. the World’s Biden

In another barrage of offensive remarks recently, Donald Trump promised a blood bath in the United States if he loses the election. His attitude and shocking language are not just alarmist anymore; they are menacing and appalling! His approach has ravaged America’s political culture in a way we’ve never seen before, particularly when he was president. But to put it bluntly, his behavior is deliberate.

First, in the Super Tuesday primaries several days ago, Trump steamrolled over his only opponent, Nikki Haley, by a huge margin and is arrogantly and confidently claimed he will be the Republican presidential nominee. In addition, since Trump continually emphasizes — and many of his fans believe — that the last election was stolen, there is a great deal of accumulated negative energy that could randomly bubble if there’s some mistake in this election. Third, populism is on the rise worldwide, characterized as being against elitism, the status quo and history. This is primarily because current political figures are unpopular, and the country is polarized and fragmented. People want different leaders.

What’s more, as Americans face domestic and international challenges, many seek a strongman to right the country and lead it out of the crisis. This fits with the Trump’s slogan of Make America Great Again. Trump is straightforward, never equivocates and ends matters when he wants to end them. For example, he has said that he will resolve the Russia-Ukraine war the day after he takes office. Such words are indeed welcome to some and more forceful than those of Biden, who has let the situation drag on. More importantly, according to current polls, the gap between the two candidates is narrow, which increases the chance of unrest in the U.S. Prompted by Trump’s approach, Biden has begun speaking more harshly, bluntly asserting that Trump will destroy American democracy. This kind of sharp, confrontational language is unprecedented.

In short, Trump’s line of reasoning is that America comes first. The government should use its limited resources domestically and refrain from intervening in international affairs, even to the point of isolationism. By contrast, Biden takes a broader view of the world and is uniting the forces of justice to fight those who invade other countries.

This recalls the fall of the British Empire. Great Britain was once a glorious nation with singular achievements, but its vitality was diminished after World War II, and finally, following the Suez Crisis in 1956, its power receded back to the British Isles. So wrote Johan Galtung in his 2009 book, “The Fall of the US Empire — And Then What?” After the British Empire fell, the Soviet Union followed, and it would be hard for the U.S. not to follow suit. At the time, as the world’s largest economy, it was in a difficult spot.

Opposition to support for Ukraine within the Republican Party is increasing daily. If the U.S. retreats, it will leave a regional power vacuum. If this happens, the effect on Taiwan will be particularly worth paying attention to.

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