Updated: Nov 22, 2020
By Tony Mcilwraith
Joe Biden has won the Presidency. Although the results will be contested in court, it appears to be rather resolute that the former Vice-President will remain the victor.
So, what does this mean for America?
Despite claims that this election was going to be a landslide – with some pollsters, rather hilariously, predicting Biden to win 400+ electoral votes – and despite the media frothing at the mouth for Joe Biden over the past several months, the election was much closer than anticipated. Amid the hysteria, the results should be much more worrying for Democrat supporters than they are making it out to be. The Democrats were expecting to sweep State Legislatures; they did not gain one. The control of State Legislatures is incredibly important this election cycle, as in 2022, the districts are re-drawn. This usually leads to some form of implicit gerrymandering, of which both parties partake.
The Democrats were predicted to expand their control of the house; the Republicans, in fact, picked up seats in the house. It appears, on the current trajectory, that the Republicans could likely take back the House of Representatives in the 2022 mid-terms: history not being on the side of the incumbent President.
The Democrats were hoping and, indeed, expecting to take control of the Senate; this appears unlikely. The Democrats would need to win both Georgia Senate seats – which looks implausible – to just get a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice-President Kamala Harris having to break the split in votes. That is excluding the unsavoury reality for Democrats that some of their Senators, Joe Manchin of Virginia comes to mind, are not on board with much of their agenda. However, that is assuming that the Senate is locked in a 50-50 tie; the most likely outcome is that Democrats win 1 of the Georgia Senate seats, leaving the Senate with a 51-49 Republican majority. This is not to mention the strong 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
It seems, therefore, that it will be a rather difficult time for the incoming President.
The major problem for the Biden Presidency is that the government will be in gridlock. Obama had control of congress for the first 2 years of his presidency; as did Donald Trump. The mid-term elections, in 2010 and 2018, changed that for the 44th and 45th Presidents. Leaving most policies, agendas, plans and reforms up to the dictum of executive order; a rather unsatisfactory outcome for everyone.
Joe Biden will be in this position for his entire first term. He will be welcomed to D.C. with a rebellious house, a Republican-controlled Senate, and a conservative majority on the court. One thing is clear: all those policy proposals – Public Option Healthcare, a Green New Deal, the possibility of packing the Supreme Court and ending Judicial Review – are now firmly off the table. They are gone.
The left-wing of the Democratic party, although occupied with a celebration at the defeat of President Trump, may not in fact enjoy the next 4 years. This is not to say that Biden will have no power. There is one area where he can, and will, have huge sway: foreign policy.
President Trump abolished the consensus view of the Middle-East: that the Israeli embassy could never be moved to Jerusalem, that the Palestinians are central to peace, that you must pay billions of dollars to the Iranians just so they don’t sponsor terrorism throughout the region. In the past year alone, Trump has brokered peace-deals with Israel and The United Arab Emirates, and Israel and Bahrain. Biden will almost certainly re-enter the Iran deal and the Paris Climate accords; both of which will cost the United States billions of dollars. Some Democrats may also, or rather should, be discouraged at Biden’s credentials on foreign wars: Biden voted for the Iraq war and supports much of America’s involvement in - although the saying is now cliché - endless wars.
I for one was disappointed that the skies did not open up with the second coming of Christ when Donald Trump lost; although I am still waiting on the cleansing of souls that Biden promised (no I’m not making that up). Journalists and Democrats, although I repeat myself, promised a resurgence of American Democracy, the restoration of liberty and the return of peace and justice – whatever that means – with the defeat of Donald Trump. I am told that the days of peace, harmony, love, and jubilee will come on inauguration day: at least we have that to look forward to.
However, in the unlikely scenario that peace, unity and justice do not all ring throughout America at the election of 77-year-old Joe Biden, what will be the outcome? Some regulations imposed by executive order here, billions of dollars to the Iranian mullahs there, and some good old-fashioned platitudes about unity and bipartisanship.
A gridlocked Congress, a divided nation and a mentally deteriorating President, what more could America want?