The world has witnessed three presidential transitions thus far in the current millennium: Clinton to Bush; Bush to Obama and Obama to Trump. A fourth, Trump to Biden, is stumbling along as President Donald Trump, like a rejected lover in an old time movie, clings to legs of the presidency as it stalks out the door. In each transition, the world has watched the most powerful office in the land, and possibly in the world, move from one oligarch to another.
As an election approaches, the script is always the same; it is only the actors that are different, although some have recurring roles. The basic premise, held by the Republicans and the Democrats, is this: The nation is at a critical turning point. If I (fill in the name of any candidate of either party) am not elected, there will be a drastic change in your way of life.
From that point, the scripts diverge. We will look at them here:
Republican candidates: “My opponent will end the sacred United States as we know it. He/she will close all churches and ban Christianity, establish Sharia law, enshrine the gay agenda, open the borders to every criminal and deviant who wants to enter, and disband the military to enable our enemies to conquer us.”
Democratic candidates: “If my opponent is elected, anyone who didn’t vote for him/her will be identified and penalized. Marshall Law will be implemented to prevent any dissent. A ‘white only’ policy will be enabled for employers coast to coast”.
These wild cries, in colorful variations, are repeated in debates, social media, press briefings and every time and at every event where a candidate opens his or her mouth. The truth, however, apparently resides on a different planet. But we will enlighten the reader to the reality of the unsaid truth of both parties:
Democratic and Republican candidates: “It doesn’t really matter who you vote for. Yes, I (insert any name) am power-hungry and I want you to vote for me, but regardless of who you vote for, the military budget will increase at the expense of everything else; wars will continue and new ones will be waged; the rich will be taxed less under the ridiculous guise, which most of you are sufficiently gullible to believe, that doing so will somehow benefit you. I will govern not for your good, but for the good of the corporate lobbies, both domestic and international, that have been so generous to my campaigns over the years. And all the time that I campaign, I will threaten darkly that disaster awaits should my opponent be victorious.”
In the most recent farce that passes for the main pillar of democracy in the United States, former Vice President Joe Biden received over 81 million votes; Trump received over 74 million. Yes, 81 million people bought into the Democratic myth of total disaster if Trump were re-elected, and 74 million bought into the Republican fairy tale. Is this writer the only person who is disturbed by the repression of viable third-party candidates, and the media-fueled fantasy that if they exist at all, they are fringe groups with nothing valuable to add to the debate?
As a U.S. citizen who fled that country for Canada (yes, he knows Canada is not Utopia, but at least his taxes now go to health care rather than to war) following the election of George Bush in 2004, he has voted for third-party candidates in the U.S. for the past two elections (Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation both times). He has repented of the ‘lesser of two evils’ philosophy that he bought into for so long, recognizing that the lesser of two evils is still evil.
As of this writing, the Electoral College, an antiquated institution that has long since outlived any usefulness it may have once had, has voted, and affirmed the voice of the 150+ million people who voted: former Vice-President Joe Biden has been elected president. Next month, Congress will meet to certify this vote, which current Vice-President Mike Pence will have the difficult challenge of ratifying; difficult, because never has Trump had such a toady (even Bill Barr could not exceed his level of sycophancy, hard as he tried). The hapless Pence will be required by law to say that Biden did, in fact, win the presidency.
Around the globe there has been an almost tangible sigh of relief that Trump is finally on his way out the White House door. What can the U.S. and the world expect from a Biden presidency? Here are some possibilities.
On the plus side:
+ A possible rejoining of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
+ Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.
+ Some level of dignity returning to the presidency; Biden will, in all likelihood, never mock physical disabilities, refer to women who disagree with him as ‘dogs’, call Mexican immigrants rapists or demand that Muslims no longer enter the country.
On the negative side:
+ Continued support for all of Israel’s crimes against humanity.
+ Completely ignoring India’s current, ongoing atrocities in Kashmi.
+ Consideration first and foremost of the demands of corporate and international lobbies before any thought is given to the needs of the citizenry.
+ Constant increases to the already bloated military budget.
+ Lip service and nothing else to the Black Lives Matter movement.
+ A steady flow of weaponry to Saudi Arabia as it continues to slaughter the people of Yemen.
+ Continued support for anti-government terrorists in Syria.
+ Continued war-mongering and war-making around the world.
This writer, like at least 71 million other U.S. citizens, is very happy to see the end of the Trump Administration. But one is naïve indeed to think of his successor as anything more than ‘not as bad’; a savior for the U.S. or the world he definitely is not.
Of course, this writer’s crystal ball has never been too clear; Biden could surprise us all. However, this writer is more confident banking on whatever he sees in his fogged crystal ball than he is on relying on substantive changes resulting from a Biden Administration.