Donald Trump's defeat is a relief but Joe Biden's election means corporate America is the real winner – Kenny MacAskill

Like most on this Earth I breathed a sigh of relief at Donald Trump's defeat.

US President-elect Joe Biden waves after a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, in which he said he had told several world leaders that "America is back" after his defeat of Donald Trump (Picture: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden waves after a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, in which he said he had told several world leaders that "America is back" after his defeat of Donald Trump (Picture: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

America can rejoin the Paris Agreement, offering at least some hope for our beleaguered planet. Predictability will return to US foreign policy and the risk of nuclear catastrophe lessened for us all. With a US/UK trade deal on the backburner, compromise with the EU’s almost assured.

He’ll not go gracefully but go he will. His base may threaten but it’ll pass. Sporadic local problems there may be, and friends in Texas have told me of what are to all intents and purposes armed militias cruising about. But major threats will be faced down and seen off.

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Proud Boys and ‘Maga’ hats aren’t the institutions or forces of power. Militarised police can unleash their firepower in white trailer parks, just as they do in black ghettoes. The constitution runs deep in the American psyche and as Trump’s power ebbs, establishment forces will ease him out. Corporations, courts, and the military will stand by the new man, not yesterday’s man.

A new sense of bitterness

Which’s why I cannot get enthused by President Joe Biden. I don’t like to rain on his forthcoming parade, but I never warmed to him.

His record on mass incarceration, supporting a low-wage economy and waging war endlessly across the planet by drone strike are not for me.

This mural in Sydney, Australia, by artist Scott Marsh, was inspired by comments made by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper about Donald Trump's refusal to concede to Joe Biden (Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

He may well have been the only guy that could have beaten Trump, though I’m not sure, but it was close. Far closer than any of us can be comfortable with. That too is a problem, for America is a deeply divided land. It has been for many years now, but the bitterness is new.

However, while Trump may soon be gone from the White House, Biden will be in office but not in power. The Democrats were rolled back in Senate and Congress. The 46th President of the USA will be able to change little. He can’t roll back the conservative control of the Supreme Court and policies are likely to require the approval of Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Far from liberal

To be fair, he’s performed well initially. His call for calm and for America to unite, was necessary and the right one. But long term it’s hard to see what he can do. He’s going to have to work closely with, if not be directed by, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who’ve got their party back from Trump. They will disdain the vulgarity of Trump and will offer at least an understanding of where they’re coming from. But it’s far from liberal.

Biden’s manifesto was light but even what liberal aspects there were are now in trouble. There may be a vaccine for Covid on the way, but the economy’s still a mess. As the incumbent, blame will fall on him even though his hands are tied. It could be a difficult four years for him.

Change may have occurred in the Oval Office but it’s corporate America that’s still king. It may be a republic but it’s still “the king is dead, long live the king”.

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