It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy time for US politics in recent months. Even before the coronavirus pandemic sent shockwaves around the world and created hysteria in politics, the US were dealing with the bitter impeachment charges which had been brought against President Trump.
Now, with the coronavirus still a major issue that needs constant attention, there is the reality of another presidential election, even if it does feel like a blink of an eye since Trump upset the odds to defeat Hillary Clinton and claim the White House.
And Trump will face another uphill battle, it seems, if he is to earn another four years in office. He had looked to be in a relatively strong position before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but since then, his at-times controversial handling of the crisis has meant that he has slipped somewhat in the US election 2020 odds, with Democratic challenger Joe Biden currently placed as the bookmakers’ favourite, albeit by a hair’s breadth.
There has rarely been a greater tumult heading into a presidential election than there is this year. The biggest issue is the coronavirus, with whoever does get elected facing the unenviable task of controlling and slowing the rate of infections, and indeed charting a path towards economic recovery, after thousands of business have been hit by the effects of the virus. When a vaccine does come along, that will be another important policy to get right, in terms of how the vaccine is distributed.
Combine that with the increasing disconnect between many sections of the public and the White House, and there is a major operation ahead to heal the divisions which have been amplified in the States over the last decade or so.
The question is, will the result of the election bring a greater sense of calm to the US, or will it only serve to increase the divisions which are already having harmful effects on the public? When Trump was elected in 2016, there was great controversy and protests over the result, and his first term in office has been one defined by difficulties and opposition. Were he to be re-elected, it’s perhaps difficult to see any change in that regard.
Trump does have a loyal support base, and an extremely large support base, and so even if Biden were elected it’s unlikely that it would serve to alleviate the bitterness affecting political discussion in the US. Biden would at least represent a fresh start for the country’s political regime, which could help to heal the divisions which exist in the country, but you feel that his and Trump’s respective policies are too far apart to bring the other’s supporters onto their own side.
It will be fascinating to see how the next couple of months play out. It’s a unique scenario for a presidential election to be playing out in, with the coronavirus situation dominating headlines all over the world. That will make it vitally important for each candidate to come up with a clear plan to defeat the virus and restore the economy – a tall order for any politician. Whether it’s Trump or Biden who wins in the end, it’s unlikely that the USA’s political rollercoaster will slow down anytime soon.