Hard for Biden to change Trumpization and US division

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By Mu Lu Source: Global Times

US president-elect Joe Biden Photo: AFP

The Electoral College, a group of the US’ most important voters, on Monday decisively confirmed Joe Biden as the next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost, the Associate Press reported on Tuesday.

During Trump’s four-year presidency, the US has been deeply branded as “Trumpization,” and these marks are likely to be very difficult to erase even in Biden’s entire tenure. Adjustments will work, but they can hardly uproot something that is already deep-rooted in US society. After all, it is the US that has nourished Trump’s policies.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that relatively pragmatic in handling foreign and domestic affairs, Biden is more likely to make a corresponding choice after screening the actual needs with regard to the issue of de-Trumpization.

“He won’t completely overthrow the so-called political legacies of Trump,” Li noted. For example, Biden could partly agree with Trump’s phase-1 trade deal with China and the high tariffs the US imposed on others, while remaking the approach to issues like “America First” and Obamacare.

After four years of radical and reckless policies, a seasoned centrist and pragmatic person like Biden could be an ideal choice for the US to meet the nation’s demands. But Biden is not capable of substantially eradicating the US’ chronicle problems, such as fierce antagonism between Democrats and Republicans.

Intensifying bipartisan struggles will continue to be an outstanding political characteristic of the US. Although some Republicans are not fans of Trumpization and some didn’t follow Trump’s moves to question the election result, this doesn’t mean they would prefer returning to bipartisan governance.

As early as December 2019, the Wall Street Journal said that “tribalization of politics becomes almost complete” in the US. So the frictions within the tribe of Republicans haven’t and won’t affect politicians’ determination to act by party. And this has been intensified in a Trumpized society.

Against the backdrop where Trumpization is unlikely to be uprooted, the split and political antagonism between the two parties will only continue to be highly escalated and deepened, with no side compromising.

The 2020 US presidential election can be seen as a reflection of the US self-correction mechanism. But is such mechanism functioning well? Given what has happened with the US in the past few years, many people are reluctant to say “Yes.”

The US is severely divided. It is very hard, and maybe even impossible, for Biden to change the status quo and unite the states again.

Not long after the election result was revealed in November, many speculated about what Trump would do after leaving the White House. Becoming a media mogul was a guess. Trump is no stranger to media – he once starred in The Apprentice, a reality TV show that ran for 15 seasons.

“He’ll definitely have a potential audience,” Henry Schafer, executive vice-president at Q Scores Company, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

But if US public opinion is really radically Trumpized, then it will be frightening to even imagine what the US will be like, won’t it?

US political elites are trying their best to prevent their country from continuing on the downward track, be it Biden’s election or de-Trumpization measures. But how effective will the measures be? Only time will tell.

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