Lessons from Trump’s Defeat
Donald Trump became the first president in 28 years to lose reelection. Trump’s fall wasn’t caused by the pandemic but by Americans getting weary of Trump’s arrogance, lies, tantrums and unwillingness to listen to others. The Trump era did have several positives. The economy overall improved. He succeeded in bringing back much needed blue-collar jobs. But, while many believed in Trump’s ability to handle the economy better, his presidency was full of petty battles in which he seemed to relish, as chaos reigned around him.
His willingness to lie so habitually and the shocking lack of empathy for others finally led him to his downfall. To many Americans his apparent lack of seriousness or interest in the substance of the job, the blatant contempt for the rules, norms, laws and basic institutions of democracy, and his divisive, appeals to racism and White Supremacy led to his downfall, whilst Biden, never strayed from a message of unity and reconciliation shifted millions away from Trump.
Had Trump only managed the pandemic differently from the start and followed the science and advice of experts, without lying to the country about the threat and the sacrifices it required, America could have survived the crisis better and Trump would have won the reelection handsomely. Trump unfortunately had not heard of a word called humility and empathy.
Trump’s ambition saw no boundaries, he amassed a war chest before even before Democrats started running. The economy was strong enough for voters to keep faith in Trump’s handling of it. His advisers exuded over confidence that he would coast to victory. When, the coronavirus hit hard they took it for granted and made a mockery of the virus.
Trump advisers misled him miserably to retain their jobs. Classic case of what goes on in the third world. Bureaucracy misleading leaders to safeguard their jobs. His Advisers wanted Trump, like Richard Nixon in 1968, to ride a wave of white racial angst over race riots to a presidential victory. But to most Americans, Floyd’s death was a wake-up call that the country remained mired in systemic racism. People were genuinely alarmed by his death, alongside the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the ever-growing list of Black people killed by the police.
They were further alarmed by images of excessive force against protesters, including an elderly man whom Buffalo police shoved to the ground and left bleeding from the head. This is all going to change now. People world over are relived. They are once again going to see a shift towards democracy, decency and shift towards the center.
Trump’s biggest failure was his inability to build a competent team. A country of America’s size and significance can’t be run without one. Trump is still to concede to president-elect Biden, instead promising unspecified legal challenges to try to overturn the outcome of the race. Gradually his castle is collapsing and people are now distancing themselves from him. Biden’s work is cut out. For a start world leaders want him to restore America’s leadership in the world and build democracies around the world and provide leadership to climate change. Joe Biden must surely live up to that expectation, because there was joyful eruptions when Biden’s victory was announced.