America Divided: Can Biden bring it back together?

  • November 13, 2020
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America Divided: Can Biden bring it back together? – Democratic Article

As Biden’s final votes dribble in, he will be the most voted for President of all time. Over 77 million votes. His competitor, Trump, also has well over 70 million votes. For democracy, this is a success. The highest turnout in an election for years; an increasing number of people taking to the polls and performing their civic duty. The issue lies in the division between the two. The polarised nature of America will have long-lasting effects; both Biden and Trump are on completely different sides of the political spectrum and both have huge levels of support. Biden will be the next President, but can he convince any Trump voters that he’s their President too? I think he will struggle.

It looks as if the beginning of Biden’s presidency will be spent on undoing the Trump administrations executive orders and attempting to bring American back to the international table. This is key to moving America forward in many respects, however, this will not help unite anyone. Therefore, if Biden is to have any chance of reunification he must get this done quickly and try not to draw too much attention to the matter. If he allows popular Republicans to criticise early there may be no way back to the centre for Trump voters. Some will never be convinced, but the more inroads Biden can make on the 72 million Trump votes the better.

Obviously, Biden could just ignore those Trump voters and just attempt to restore the nation to greatness by forging ahead with his own agenda. However, whilst he could do some great things for America this way, the country would remain divided and on the cliff edge. It is true there were not the riots expected after the election, but this does not mean we have got away with anything. It is a tough task to bring those potentially alienated voters closer, but if he can, there are several benefits. This will help the Democrats in four years time ensure there cannot be a return of another Trump (or Trump himself!) and provide a strong domestic front on the international stage.

In order to unite, Biden must first understand the reasons why these voters turned to Trump. There are obvious voting patterns and if Biden can target some of these areas, and support them, he has a chance. Rural areas are heavily Republican; many continue to feel left behind, and that the traditional establishment does not care about them. That globalisation has left America behind as countries such as China surge ahead. By using this discontent, and over-exaggerating the narrative, Trump won votes. If Biden can really show them he does care and is listening, he could unify the country.

For those alienated voters, Biden stands for everything that they stood up against in the 2016 election. If he could get their support, however monumental a task, he could change the political landscape forever. It would also make America a stronger force than ever.

Ultimately though, the real answer as to whether America can be united is down to President Trump. If he continues to be divisive and stay politically active through Biden’s term, the country will remain broken. For the good of America, he must finally accept defeat and bow out. Voter fraud is serious. I do not wish to downplay this but there is little evidence that it occurred or occurred on a level that would have swung the election. Therefore, Trump needs to move on. By not doing so he is only pulling the country further apart; even he must know that being internally divided is only detrimental externally. Only a united front has the capability to “Make America Great Again”; if he is as patriotic as he claims, this should be his ultimate goal.

Written by Democratic Writer, Fletcher Kipps

Point of Information

No. – Republican Response

The short answer? No.

This decrepit old man will not be “forging ahead” anywhere. He shall need to pick a good team, as they will be doing most of the heavy lifting. Harris, despite some skeletons, is a fiercely effective individual; a good pick from Joe.

There’s also the small-handed question of one President Trump. He and the campaign have been filing lawsuits, left, right, and centre. With the recounts and the legal proceedings, Mr Trump will still be a thorn in the side of Biden long past January 20th.

On the other hand, if the term ‘Biden’ is extended to his administration, then yes, perhaps I would agree more with Fletcher. The administration will benefit from both social and economic momentum coming out of COVID. If this is properly utilised (as outlined above), could spur some positive change.

The Democrats will be somewhat hamstrung by the possibility of a Republican Senate majority; if it does not play ball, that’s two years down the pan at once.

Having said all of the above, I’m not sure that it is possible for anyone to unify the US. With the two-party political system; the informational civil war between the likes of Fox & CNN; the echo-chambers created by tech; and the sheer variance between states, how can it be done? Every four years we see the two camps perform the same ritual bludgeoning of one another; they form up on either side of the line and scream.

It all conspires to annihilate any middle ground or sanity. Forgive me for being unconvinced that “Sleepy Joe” will even make a dent.

Written by Republican Writer, Alexander Dennis

Sleepy Joe will struggle with the mammoth task ahead – A Foreign Perspective

I could not agree more with Fletcher’s response. Joe Biden has a mammoth task ahead of him with a divided country. He has done well thus far in his first speech as President-Elect calling for unity between the Democrats and the Republicans. As Fletcher has stated, it will be extremely difficult to pluck the heartstrings of those who have been left behind in society. Biden cannot just press on with his agenda if he wants to achieve unity. He is going to have to make plenty of amends to rebuild the country that he loves and to appeal to the masses.

Plenty of foreign territories will be relieved that Trump is no longer in power. Perhaps the Paris Climate Change Agreement will be re-signed. The United State’s relationship with Canada could be repaired and trust amongst NATO will be re-established. However, Biden is known to have a staunch foreign policy agenda so the US’ relationship with North Korea might be put into question again. This is despite Trump’s best efforts to build a strong relationship, which I commend him for doing.

Not only will his foreign policy be questioned but his ability to act as a President when it comes to agenda-setting. The Senate is held by the Republicans and the House of Representatives is held by the Democrats. It will be fascinating to see whether Biden is true to his word by calling for unity and making amendments. But he could make great use of the veto and executive orders to get his agenda through Congress. The next two years will be a plethora of government lockdowns as both sides will not agree on bills. The Republicans will most likely keep power in the Senate after the midterms.

Overall, Biden needs to appeal to the masses to succeed!

Written by Foreign Writer, Max Jablonowski

Fletcher Kipps
Chief Conservative political writer at | Website

I am an incoming third year undergraduate currently studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative editor here at POI. I have been fascinated by politics for many years, from PMQs to late night election results all which has led to the desire to study this at university.

Alexander Dennis
Alexander Dennis
Political writer at | Website

Hello, I’m Alexander Dennis, and I am going into my third undergraduate year at the University of Exeter. I study Politics & International Relations, with a possible year abroad hanging in the balance. My particular interest in politics really started in early 2016: yes, it was ‘Brexit’. I was at once intrigued, and confused, by something so critical. From that baptism, I have become somewhat addicted to political discussion, intrigued by issues ranging from drugs policy to taxation. So I followed my nose: I applied for a degree in the subject.

Max Jablonowski
Max Jablonowski
Conservative Writer at | Website

I am Max Jablonowski, a second year student studying French and Politics at the University of Exeter, and I am about to go on my year abroad to Paris to complete two internships. I was Academic Events Manager of the Politics Society in Exeter and I was privileged enough to organize events such as Question Time, co-host the 2019 General Election Hustings with MWEXE and host the Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP, the current Minister of State for Security.

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