US and us

That the upcoming American Presidential election is the most important for many generations hardly needs saying; determining as it may well do which of the two major trends in American history until now – the liberal-progressive (in the old European sense of the word ‘liberal’) or the capitalist-authoritarian (tending to fascism) – will prevail over the next several years. OK, that’s an over-simplification of the present American political scene; but it’s one way of looking at the difference between Biden and Trump.

That it could also be crucial for Europe, and for Britain in particular, was pointed out the other day in the Guardian: The argument there is that a Trump victory would vastly encourage the ‘hard’ Brexiters, who would see it as confirming their own analysis of the dominant trend in present-day world history – nationalist, populist and reactionary – and so an encouragement to the proto-fascists in the present government; and to those who – for example – want to snuggle up to the USA over their tasty snacks of chlorinated chicken wings. Johnson’s Brexit deal – unannounced so far – will apparently depend on which of these two sides prevails. If it’s Trump’s, then Britain could very well cede effective economic control to America, so becoming what we imperial historians call an ‘informal colony’ of our former subjects. A Biden win will be more problematical for Boris, but possibly better for the rest of us Brits.

On the other hand, there’s also another view of the Conservatives’ preferences. Huffington Post thinks they’re peeling off over to Biden: That probably relates to the less dogmatic Brexiteers. Which of these two sides will prevail is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, enjoy the razzmatazz and drama which American elections usually put on for us; as an American politics junkie I’ll be sitting up in front of the TV next Tuesday/Wednesday watching it all night, or longer, if it’s not resolved by then. Do remember however that it’s not just for entertainment, but is serious; not only for them, but also for us over on the other side of the pond.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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