According to Ram Madhav, Member, Board of Governors, India Foundation, the latest presidential election in the United States “was about President Trump”.
The results indicate that the people of America did not support the Republican nominee for another term. That brings Trump the dubious distinction of being the first president in the last hundred years to have failed to get a second term for the Republican Party.
“Trump put up a spirited fight. He fought not just against the Democratic Party, but a negative perception created by a range of adversaries including the hostile media and intelligentsia,” writes Madhav. “Biden fought not so much on his own policies as on Trump’s perceived failures”.
The Trump era did have several positives. The economy has improved. He succeeded in bringing back much needed blue-collar jobs. But, while many believed in Trump’s ability to handle the economy better, they suspected his credentials to fight the pandemic, which caused the loss of over 11 million American jobs in the last eight months.
“Trump’s biggest failure was his inability to build a team. A country of America’s size and significance can’t be run without one,” states Madhav.
The office of the secretary of defence saw five incumbents in the last four years, the shortest tenure being that of Richard Spencer, who was acting secretary of defence for just eight days. There were a record six national security advisors in the last four years, two of them having tenures of seven and eight days respectively. Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, was the only person to be in office for a full term.
This loneliness at the top led Trump to depend more on his family, to the dislike of many.
Will Biden’s America be different?
“Domestic issues like the pandemic, race relations and economic challenges will naturally be their priority but the Biden-Harris regime is also expected to effect important changes in the international relations arena. On China, a bipartisan consensus, witnessed during the run-up to elections, could continue. However, their major challenge would be to reverse the downward spiral of America. They have to repair relations with many countries, especially in the trans-Atlantic region. The NATO and the TPP are likely to be back on the table. Restoring America’s leadership in the UN bodies would be another priority. In the last four years, Trump had walked out of at least a dozen multilateral bodies or threatened to do so. Most significant of them was the Paris Climate Agreement. In his eagerness to make America great locally, Trump ended up making America weak globally,” he states.
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