Democracy is fragile. It is more fragile that the window panes of the Congress that were smashed by the mob unleashed by President Donald Trump. It is the ultimate symbol of the desecration of American democracy.
The Valley of the Sun is a vast, flat stretch of Sonoran Desert, etched by arroyos and studded with small, jagged peaks. It spans about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west to east and 40 miles (64 kilometers) north to south in south-central Arizona (the state that borders southern California to the east). After cruising through southward on one of the tangle of freeways that vein the expanse, we can leadfoot it another 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast to Tucson across much the same hardscape, only gradually gaining elevation. The saguaro cacti grow more thickly, but the higher cordilleras maintain a discreet distance most of the way.
When the “year in which we lived dangerously” has ended, let’s ask about a “new era”, once the defeat of Donald Trump has been confirmed.
The incoming Biden administration is under tremendous pressure to demonstrate better US economic management. Trade negotiations normally take years to conclude, if at all. Unsurprisingly, lobbyists are already urging the next US administration to quickly embrace and deliver a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Supporters of President Donald Trump, following his encouragement, stormed the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, disrupting the certification
of Joe Biden’s election victory. Waving Trump banners, hundreds of people
broke through barricades and smashed windows to enter the building where Congress convenes. One rioter died
and several police officers were hospitalized
in the clash. Congress went on lockdown.
When it comes to international environmental diplomacy, America has a chequered past. It stood at the forefront of the international battle to fix the ozone hole and has shaped many key international agreements.
Sadly, US positions are not always built on solid political ground at home. Twice, in the climate change process, this has led to the United States forging an agreement, only to then walk away. This happened with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which then Vice-President Gore flew to Japan to sign in the full knowledge that a Republican dominated Senate would never ratify the deal. It happened again five years ago, with former President Obama closing that landmark deal (and John Kerry signing at the UN), only for President Trump to tear it up a few weeks later.
In a powerful address at the Hungry Club Forum on 10 May 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about US’s so-called “three original sins”, the evils of slavery, poverty and war or, more generally, racism, materialism and militarism.
Covid-19 is on track to be the deadliest and one of the most catastrophic epidemics since the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which infected about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population at the time. The number of deaths was estimated somewhere between 17 and 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million worldwide.
Donald Trump will have to leave the White House in January. Although there will be a few skirmishes in the US courts in the coming weeks to sort out whether some votes were legitimate or not, the outcome won’t change.
The 2020 election has revealed a deeply divided nation, perhaps at its most divided since the Civil War. Many Americans are still uncertain about how the transition to the new administration will be achieved with a minimum of disruption and perhaps even violence. However, the split between pro and anti-Trump voters is not based on two sets of facts, but on facts and “alternative facts” or falsehoods.
I’m part of a research team
that has been following more than 800 Black American families for almost 25 years. We found that people who had reported experiencing high levels of racial discrimination when they were young teenagers had significantly higher levels of depression in their 20s
than those who hadn’t. This elevated depression, in turn, showed up in their blood samples, which revealed accelerated aging on a cellular level.
American democracy has survived a dangerous virus, and it has even come off the ventilator, but whether it will be restored to full health or will suffer for a long time (like a long Covid) from the negative effects of the virus of personality cult, chauvinism, populism, racism, militarism and, yes let’s say it, fascism, remains to be seen.
Now it is clear that Joe Biden is the new president of the United States. It is unlikely that Donald Trump’s legal manoeuvring will change the election results, as when a conservative Supreme Court in 2000 decided in favour of George Bush over Al Gore, who lost by 535 votes.
To believe that Biden's triumph is the end of the drama that has unfolded since January 2016 is an example of a mirage with fatal consequences. Pretending that those more than 70 million voters who have followed Trump to the end will disappear from the map on January 20 with the inauguration of Biden and Harris reveals a blindness to how much America has changed in recent generations.
The election tie, whatever the end result, that has been revealed is not a temporary phenomenon. The protagonist of Trump's resistance is not the tenant of the White House of the last four years. The real agent, although the constitutional winner is Biden, is that sector that for decades was considered an abnormality.
US third quarter GDP numbers released two weeks ago delighted stock markets and President Trump. Output had picked up by 7.4%, annualised as 33.1%, the largest quarterly economic growth on record, almost double the old record of 3.9% (annualised as 16.7%) in the first quarter of 1950, seven decades ago.
Greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, international trade can play a key role in the economic recovery, but it must overcome obstacles, such as protectionism and commercial disputes, especially between the United States and China.
For Europe, the region closest by culture and political tradition to the United States, the mood of the day after the presidential election may be very different from that assumed a priori depending on the verdict.
US Christian right groups, many with close links to the Trump administration, have spent at least $280m in ‘dark money’ fuelling campaigns against the rights of women and LGBTIQ people across five continents, openDemocracy can reveal today.
The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues: as more people around the world lose their livelihoods, human trafficking is on the rise. Support services for survivors have been shut, and past gains to combat it have been reversed. Funding has dried up.