America’s Grand Post Election Re-Set
The Transitional Healer
For America at this time & place Joe Biden represents the caretaker, healing, fatherly figure who has a broad and rather deep appeal. That’s the good news.
The not so good news is that, assuming Biden wins the November presidential election, he’ll enter the presidency one year older at just over 78 years old than Ronald Reagan who was the oldest US president to leave office.
Worse yet he’ll face four unrelenting brutal years against the backdrop of a continuing pandemic, global recession with historic debt, mass unemployment and social unrest. To say he’ll have an overwhelming agenda is an under-statement but at his age he’s willing to make the ultimate public service sacrifice.
For this reason his vice-president must be president-ready from the get go; someone ultra-savvy, dynamic, energetic, and an internationalist because it’s a one term gig for Biden. In other words his vice president will be the Democratic candidate in 2024.
The simultaneous international and domestic objectives for the Democrats are as follows:
Repair & Reassessment
Re-establish American global political credibility with its allies against growing encroachment by the Russians, Chinese, Iranians and their respective proxies and non-state actors.
Diplomatic Re-Connection with the World
The immediate task of filling long vacant ambassadorial and diplomatic positions. According to the US Ambassadors by American Foreign Service Association as of 23 June 2020, here is a list of many vacant ambassadorial posts:
· European Union
· Japan (nomination pending)
· Jordan (nomination pending)
· UN Human Rights Council
· UN Political Affairs
Long Term Dictators
Chinese President Xi (leader of the world’s # 2 economy) and more recently Russian President Putin (the world’s # 2 nuclear weapons arsenal) secured their legacy in their respective countries enabling them to legally rule forever outside of an internal coup or health issues. Both have achieved numerous objectives under a US presidency that acted more of an ally than an adversary.
Nonetheless both Xi and Putin are anticipating a Democratic victory with its one-term Biden presidency. Regardless because of their leadership lifetime status, they can afford to wait four more years during this global socio-economic-political transitional adjustment period to better assess America’s strategic policies and objectives.
Global Institutional Engagement
Biden must undertake a deep-dive reassessment of how and to what extent America will engage with international institutions: political, economic and public health. This requires redefining America’s role and level of engagement in a New World Order.
In a counter-intuitive twist, Biden may take some pages from Trump’s book of non-diplomacy in reassessing, discussing and negotiating to what extent other members have contributed to each global organization’s objectives particularly relative to America’s historical financial and resource contribution.
Big Business Setting the Agenda
A 21st century Economic Reconstruction is already underway unofficially led by Big Business and coordinated by Big Tech. The government’s anti-trust efforts are merely a beau geste because the emerging new economy and information technology structure are designed to favor behemoth corporations. With far less resources than big business, the government will prefer to deal with devils they know even if the pandemic and subsequent global lockdown has crushed small businesses and created oligopolies across many industries.
THE COMEBACK KID
With respect to the political opposition, the GOP will have several years to cleanse itself of Trump’s toxic political waste – an aberration that should have never happened - and reinvent itself as a strong & viable party. Americans have short memories so this task is well within their grasp.
Restructuring & Rebranding the GOP
It’s the proverbial and ironic “elephant in the room”. The GOP will reinvigorate itself with a massive overhaul and re-branding for the 2024 presidential election by removing the Trump’s sycophants. With a fresh start and clean slate by 2024 the GOP will be unrecognizable from today.
Presidential Re-Election Scuttling
By every indicator it seems as if Joe Biden will be the next US president. (Of course that was said of Hillary Clinton at this point in the campaign in 2016). For Trump failure is indeed an option. Why? His administration’s handling of the pandemic has failed disastrously and has pushed his credibility over the edge. Instead of trying to repair the damage Trump’s statements are evermore outrageous and might seem like the unraveling of a madman.
But these statements are not from someone who’s psychologically unraveling, rather a carefully crafted strategy from a street-savvy malignant narcissist. He knows that he’s in a lose-lose situation and is more than likely deliberately setting himself up to fail so as to lose the presidential election – on his terms – and then conveniently blame everyone for his failures.
I believe that Trump now realizes that pandemic is a profound and long-term crisis that he can’t handle. For this reason he has created an atmosphere so toxic that there are public fissures in his inner circle as well as non-governmental, retired, prominent GOP members openly stating that they won’t vote for him. The dismal campaign rally in Tulsa from his grass-roots supporters was probably the clearest harbinger of his political future and for that reason he has since initiated his escape plan.
His worst nightmare that oddly no one, not even himself, wants is to get re-elected like the sure-thing Broadway flop in The Producers (1968) in which the duo of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom created a situation that “failure” was guaranteed.
As John Bolton former Ambassador to the UN and author of the new controversial book “The Room Where It Happened” adroitly said during a webinar 2 July 2020 sponsored by the Foreign Press Association, 2 July 2020, “A one term Trump presidency is reparable.” Should Trump get re-elected, the real nightmare will just be starting.
[Originally published 4 July 2020].
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The Cerulean Council is a NYC-based think-tank that provides prescient, beyond-the-horizon, contrarian perspectives and risk assessments on geopolitical dynamics and global urban security.