This is more than simply cleaning up Trump’s mess.

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It looks like President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Michele Flournoy as his Secretary of Defence. This would be the first time a female has been appointed to the role, so could indicate a broader commitment to diversity and inclusion in his first Cabinet. But hopefully it is more than symbolism. Biden could lead a seismic shift in the way the United States handles its security.

As is often the case when seeking to move on from Trump, it has to be understood that he is a symptom of a changing world “as much as an accelerant”. The opportunity a new administration has, therefore, is party to re-write the wrongs of its predecessor, but party to re-calibrate the priorities of the greatest power on earth to better protect those who need it, and to better allocate its resources to reflect a more robust meaning of security. …


Deep in the 9/11 Commission’s report is a dire warning. An ineffective transition of power weakens the United States.

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There are two concurrent crisis occurring. Firstly, the obstructionist behaviour of the outgoing Trump administration and its consequent failure to work towards a peaceful, effective transition of power. Secondly, the inability of all sane-minded peoples to convey just how dangerous this is.

Trump’s years have been characterised by ally-bashing, dictator-worshiping, and almost weekly warnings from long-serving national security personnel about the risks this President poses. This message has simply not resonated. Over seventy-million people voted again for this man, many of whom I suspect are exhausted — exhausted of being reduced to racists and xenophobes, allegations they simply fail to recognise, and exhausted of hearing “prophets of doom” warn that Trump has weakened, not strengthened, the United States. …


“When the fall is all there is, it matters.”

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Bush vs Gore 2000 is too esoteric to simplify, but that hasn’t stopped the MAGA train from trying. The problem is, even for a legal layman it is clear the comparison doesn’t work.

Since Joe Biden was declared the President elect, several Trump supporting Twitter users have sought to push the hashtag #BushGore. Citing the 2000 presidential election in which Al Gore was declared the President elect for thirty seven days before the Supreme Court ruled in Bush’s favour thus making him President instead. …


Biden should listen to the victims of Trumpism, not its perpetrators.

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When Trump won in 2016, Democrats were expected to enter a four year mea culpa with his supporters. Everytime we turned on the news there appeared some disgruntled Trump voter and his buddies in a rural diner talking about the latest disguised synonym as to why they didn’t like their African American President or that, maybe they could vote for a woman, but not for Hillary, there’s just something about her. This was nothing more than economic anxiety, though. We were told it could only be calmed with a deeper, more empathetic understanding. …


Polls, demographics, election results. It did not go as planned.

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First of all, congratulations to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their team. It looks like, at the moment of writing, he is on course to become President elect to the United States. That was objective number one, and they should achieve that. For nearly a year they have faced pressure to push and pull in every direction, moving resources from state to state at the behest of the latest questionable poll. To stay their course on a path they believed would be successful takes discipline. Replacing Donald Trump with Joe Biden is, in itself, a massive achievement.

I would extend a similar sentiment to all Democrats down the ballot, including — in fact, emphasising — the role of volunteers. It was not their fault polls were hopelessly optimistic. …


The so-called party of law and order should want a fair election. They don’t because it means Trump loses in a landslide.

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I want to do a reverse Marco Rubio. In 2016 he was ridiculed for saying “it’s fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing”. Now, we’re in a completely different world. Whether it’s a failure to focus on his core economic message, a failure to frame his opponent, Joe Biden, or a failure to handle a deadly pandemic, it’s fiction that Donald Trump knows what he’s doing. He hasn’t got a clue. He scrapped to victory against a deeply unpopular Democrat, carrying 75 electoral college votes with an average winning margin of just 0.74%. …


The only way to defeat Trumpism is for it to cannabalise itself.

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The size of the democratic deficit in US electoral politics is huge. The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, amongst other more nefarious things, means that of the nine sitting Justices, six were appointed by Republican presidents, despite the party losing the popular vote six out of the last seven elections.

There are structural reasons why this happens. An electoral college that biases rural, less populous area will be difficult and time consuming to change, although there are efforts being made to redress this. …


Hunter Biden’s laptop doesn’t make it to the kitchen table.

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What happens when an economy adds two hundred thousand jobs a year for seven years in a row? Clue, it’s the same thing that happens when unemployment is cut in half, manufacturing output increases, and yes, even the stock market triples in value.

Now ask, what happens when an economy loses 1.4 million jobs in just eight months? Clue, it’s the same thing that happens when unemployment nearly reaches 15%, manufacturing plumits to pre-2008 levels, and yes, the stock market experiences its biggest drop in history.

One situation allows for a story about a private email account to dominate, and the other makes voters worry about real things: their health, their jobs, their future. …


It produced some pretty scary results

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Everyone has heard of the website 270 to win. If you haven’t, you can check it out HERE. It’s a quick and easy way to make electoral college maps.

The Cook Political Report have taken this to the next level and developed a free to use tool where you can change the voting behaviours — including party ID and turnout — of various demographic groups and see the impact this will have on certain states on the electoral map. You can access that HERE.

I spent some time sifting through what I would refer to as “possibilities, not probabilities”. Or, in other words, scenarios that I could realistically see happening on any given day, but not necessarily ones that I would be willing to bet my own money on. …


You can’t reveal corruption when it is already in plain sight.

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Long-concealed records show Trump’s chronic losses and years of tax avoidance” so reports the New York Times.

But is anyone surprised by this?

Almost four years ago to the day, during his debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump bragged about how not paying taxes makes him smart. This might be horrifying to some, but it clearly isn’t to others. Using the extremely unscientific method of looking at social media comments, the response of “I wouldn’t pay tax either if i could get away with it” is a popular one.

In a similar vein to screaming Republican hypocrisy about how they’re handling the vacant Supreme Court seat, screaming corruption at Donald Trump might be cathartic, but I suspect it will also be ineffective. …

About

George Evans-Jones

Writing on US politics from across the pond. Occasional comments in the build up to the 2020 election week. Views rarely my own. Especially the funny ones.

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