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America’s Dystopian Future?

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Many people believe that a Biden victory next week will put an end to the conditions and mindsets that led to Donald Trump’s election in 2016. 

I believe that, if elected, he will face challenges in trying to reverse the damage that Donald Trump has done to the reputation of the U.S. at home and abroad. As well, in Trump’s fomenting the distrust of many people both in their own institutions as well as in the truth and in facts. Trump has legitimized hatred, racism, and ignorance, and the results have created a new reality on the ground that Biden will have to face. As well, he has eviscerated the professional public service and will indeed leave his own “deep state” with which a President Biden will have to deal.

Even a strong Biden victory at the polls and a smooth transition would solve few, if any, of the fundamental systemic problems that have plagued the U.S. for centuries. That may well take many years and many administrations.

Racism is global however with the open nature of their media, it is much more visible in the U.S. Even though Americans fought a civil war at least in part over racism, it took about a hundred years for them to finally pass massive civil rights legislation. Despite this, one only has to see how the justice system treats non-white criminals as opposed to white criminals, or how police brutality across the United States is aimed at African Americans, to understand that much remains to be changed.

One may argue that the selection of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate will help mitigate racism. Yet the election of Barack Obama, who is still very popular, exacerbated racist polarization among a number of Americans. The reach and influence of fringe extremist conspiracy groups such as Q-anon along with and a variety of white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys have benefitted from Trump’s “oxygen”, his repeated legitimizations and, through their silence, those of the Republican leadership.

Now, the country is more deeply divided than any time since the Civil War, and the Republicans appear to be systematically trying to disenfranchise black voters.

Republican attacks on the institutions of democracy and the mainstream media continue apace. This, along with media fragmentation and unchecked social media have allowed many fringe groups to broaden their reach and influence with divisive messaging. 

The reluctance of the Republican leadership to take Trump head-on leaves me to question their political and personal courage. If the Tea-Party revolution of 2010 is any indication, attempts by moderate Republicans to change their party from within could well result in even greater divisions within the party. Absent a total victory by Democrats in the House and the Senate, this could well hinder any dialogue between the Biden administration and the Congress.

Trump supporters and the extreme right wing will continue to have powerful megaphones through which to express their views and actively encourage divisiveness in the country. 

Fox News and Breitbart, together with the right-wing talk radio shows and fundamentalist Christian networks enjoy tens of millions of followers – making any attempt to modify or mollify divisions within the U.S. quite difficult for a President Biden or for any other moderate leader.

So, a President Biden will face many difficult challenges in a divided society. 

Regardless of his limited chances to affect fundamental change within U.S. society, there is no doubt that he is a positive option compared to four more years of Donald Trump. 

A Biden presidency could well address some of these challenges using common sense and generosity of spirit along with an empowered base of U.S. moderates to temper the destructive efforts of the extreme right and to start correcting some of the inequities and injustices that currently plague the United States.

Let’s see, and let’s hope!

[email protected]

Edición: Ana Ordaz

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