Following their declaration of the United States presidential election results for Joe Biden, there has been great surprise expressed by the mainstream media that anticipated civil unrest has not eventuated. What they clearly do not understand is that conservative-minded people are generally not those who stoke division or resort to violence, but they work with, not against the institutions of the country. Hence the action to be taken by Republicans is through the courts, not by force.
Of course, if Trump were to retain the presidency, that is when Democrat supporters, the very same who speak of unity, would be rioting on the street. How can we be so certain? Because we had a preview earlier this year of the violence brought to the Black Lives Matter protests by the very same Democrat supporters.
The message Democrats have been so successful at spinning is that Trump himself caused division in the US and Biden is the only person able to unite the country. But it is Democrat supporters who first created disunity with what seems to be a campaign agenda of blaming and undermining Trump for purely political purposes.
There are many instances of this. From the moment Trump was elected, Democrats together with mainstream media undermined his presidency on character grounds, jumping on Trump’s sometimes undisciplined tweets or non-political class vernacular to suggest that he was unfit. They pursued impeachment relentlessly and ultimately unsuccessfully. And now, hypocritically, the mainstream media say that Trump is being childish to take legal action in relation to the election result.
The line which Democrats found early on worked with voters was the idea that Trump is essentially a racist megalomaniac. His television role on The Apprentice and use of straight talk coming from a background in business rather than the familiar political rhetoric voters are acclimatised to, helped to feed this narrative. In contrast, after 48 years in the political swamp, Biden is a master of using virtuous sounding words that make everyone think that his agenda is aligned with their interests without actually saying anything of substance or committing to anything at all.
Just as the Nazis said, if you repeat a lie enough, it becomes the truth. And this is just what the Democrats did with the line “Trump is racist”. It ignores the fact that Trump has many non-white supporters, he proudly endorsed non-white Republican candidates and guests to his own wedding to the First Lady included P. Diddy, Don King, Russell Simmons, Shaquille O’Neal, Star Jones, Julie Chen and other people of colour – a strange thing for an alleged racist.
In Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, she ran this attack line that Trump was divisive and racist saying: ‘This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.’
This election, the Democrats could not get away with suggesting that Trump would take the US to war as the reality over the last four years is that Trump never started a war. What Trump has done is hold a historic meeting with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, last year to begin discussions on nuclear disarmament, and he was able to attain Chinese and Russian support in this endeavour. In February, he made a deal with the Taliban to bring peace to Afghanistan, and if the Taliban upholds the historic deal and do not allow al-Qaeda or another extremist group to operate in their controlled areas, Trump would withdraw all US troops by April 2021.
Last month, Trump made history again brokering peace deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. For his groundbreaking work, he has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite all the negative propaganda, Trump’s actions tell us an astonishingly different story – that Trump could in fact be the most peace-loving, egalitarian president in US history.
Pre-pandemic, under Trump 10 million people were lifted off welfare, he achieved the lowest African-American youth unemployment rate ever and the unemployment rate for women also reached an all-time low in almost 70 years.
By contrast it is timely to remember that, though the Obama-Biden ticket in 2009 campaigned on peace and unity, their rhetoric never matched their actions. Theirs was the administration under which US troops were at war for their entire eight years in power; the same administration which launched airstrikes or military raids in at least 7 countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
The tragic killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota police officer provided an opportunity to foster the Democrat’s clearest campaign message that Trump was a racist who was dividing the nation. A message that was built on innuendo: take the fact that Trump could be a hot head and say things that were inappropriate or unbecoming of a President, and couple this with the perception that those on the political right are natural bigots.
This election, a new symbol was needed to rally around for the attack line of Trump being “racist” to resonate. What the Democrats cleverly did was blame Trump for George Floyd’s murder by a police officer, even though the Trump administration had no authority over a state police department, their actions, their personnel or the subsequent handling of the case by a state court.
It was entirely dishonest to protest against Trump for police brutality by state police over which he had no control nor could a president exert any meaningful control. But Democrats took the opportunity to make Trump the villain and suggest that the solution to end racial tension arising out of George Floyd’s killing was to vote Trump out of office. Presenting himself as a man with a solution, Biden campaigned on an ambiguous plan, in true seasoned politician style, to “reimagine policing” – meaningless rhetoric that wins over voters as they can interpret this phrase as they wish.
And as a first win to demonstrate Biden’s capacity to unite, the protests and violence surrounding Black Lives Matter will indeed end with a Biden presidency as the solution the movement run by Democrat supporters was looking for is a political one of removing Trump as president, not so much reform at the state level to combat police brutality.
The question for us is, what does a Biden presidency mean for Australia? The health of the US economy has the greatest impact on the world economy and Australia’s prospects of post-pandemic economic recovery will inevitably be affected by how the US fares. The US is Australia’s biggest investor. When their economy does well, this is positive for Australia. The early warning signs immediately following the closing of polls were that every time Biden was leading in the vote count, the US stock market went down and every time Trump regained a lead, the stock market went up.
Just as importantly, when the US President takes a bold stand, whether this be calling out China on its need to shoulder responsibility for the Coronavirus outbreak or challenging negative globalism, it gives other countries, including Australia, the courage to do likewise.
Like the US, Australia called for an investigation by the World Health Organisation into the origin of COVID-19. At a news conference in May, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said that: “We stand with Australia and the more than 120 nations now who have taken up the American call for an inquiry into the origins of the virus, so we can understand what went wrong and save lives now and in the future”. Such support, no doubt gave confidence to the Australian government to be resolute in its stand.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that, on the day of the US election with polls showing a landslide win for Biden, China began imposing trade sanctions on Australia – it would be a good time to send a message when Australia would likely no longer have the same support in its position against China from the US under a Biden administration. As former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull said: ‘what the Chinese government is trying to do is to make Australia more compliant. Its trade sanctions … is entirely instrumental. It’s designed to get us to change our position.’
Karina Okotel is a lawyer, lecturer and former Vice President of the Liberal Party of Australia
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