Both Trump and Biden regard the upcoming elections as a fateful choice between rejuvenation and rot, with each promising to restore American greatness in their own way while warning that their opponent will only accelerate the country’s internal collapse, but the US’ sharp partisan differences and the ongoing systemic transitions across the world strongly suggest that the fading unipolar hegemon will seriously struggle across the coming years irrespective of whoever wins.
Rejuvenation vs. Rot
It is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty who the next US President will be. Polls have proven to be unreliable indicators in the past, and there’s way too much information warfare being waged by both sides to get an accurate idea of the real state of the race. The Democrats’ unprecedented pressure campaign upon Trump, fully coordinated with their allies in the media and permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”), hint that his political prospects are much better than they are being publicly portrayed as being by their camp. Still, anything can technically happen, especially with mail-in ballots playing a pivotal role in this election. It is therefore, more accurate for observers to talk about what’s at stake in this race than to make a prediction about how it’ll turn out, and it’s that one can talk about the primary choice being between rejuvenation and rot.
Both parties regard the upcoming elections as a fateful choice between these two extremes, with each promising to restore American greatness in their own way while warning that their opponent will only accelerate its internal decline. There’s no middle ground and a compromise on America’s future is impossible to reach as a result of society’s sharp partisan differences. Trump wants to continue with this vision to “Make America Great Again” by returning to the more traditional socio-economic and political models that characterized the pre-globalization age prior to the end of the Old Cold War.
Biden’s handlers (since few truly believe that he’s capable of independent decision making given his advanced senility that’s on full display during almost every one of his public appearances), meanwhile, want to pick up where Obama left off by taking the country in a vastly different direction of radical socio-economic and political change.
The global systemic transitions
Nevertheless, the simultaneous ongoing systemic transitions across the world might throw a wrench in both camps’ plans and strongly suggest that the US will seriously struggle across the coming years irrespective of whoever wins.
On the home front, havoc is all but assured due to intense partisan differences within the country.
As it stands, the world is moving from unipolarity to multipolarity, is in the midst of a New Cold War between the American and Chinese superpowers, caught in a Hobbesian competition that the author describes as World War C which was catalyzed by the uncoordinated attempts to contain COVID-19, and at the dawn of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR) which has been called “The Great Reset” by some and might even be accompanied by a “Great Social/Civilizational Reset” too. These external factors, which aren’t under the full control of any country let alone the US exclusively, will greatly shape the context in which the next President attempts to implement their policies, perhaps even making them impossible to totally achieve.
Read more: Trump vs Biden: Race to the White House
“New Détentes” & “Deep State” wars
Even so, it’s still possible to predict how each candidate will generally attempt to tackle these challenges. Trump would double down on the New Cold War while seeking a “New Détente” with Russia in the hopes that Moscow could be persuaded through sanctions relief and other incentives to distance itself from China. At the same time, the incumbent would continue to restructure global supply chains and attract more businesses back to America’s shores.
Be it Trump or Biden, America’s next leader will probably resort to a fascist leadership style to solidify their control over the country
Biden, by contrast, would attempt to pursue a “New Détente” with China in the hopes of distancing it from Russia, which his team is completely obsessed with, while doing his utmost to return as much of the global economy as possible back to the pre-Trump days of unrestricted globalization.
Both possible presidents would face accusations that their respective “New Détentes” are corrupt capitulations and not pragmatic compromises, and they’d have to fight against hostile “deep state” actors to implement their agenda.
Home front havoc
On the home front, havoc is all but assured due to intense partisan differences within the country. Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” (BLM), which function as the Democrat Party’s unofficial militias, will almost surely raise hell if Trump wins or appears to be on the cusp of doing so while America waits for the final tally (which might take weeks because of the tens of millions of mail-in ballots). Trump would be pressed to invoke martial law in the most affected areas, while Americans could expect Antifa and BLM to eventually replace their local law enforcement officers under the guise of being “social workers” if Biden ends up winning exactly as the Democrats envision.
Either way, some form or another of civil war (which importantly does not refer to a repeat of the large-scale conventional conflict of the 1860s) is likely, and the country is already arguably in a low-intensity incipient phase of one as it is.
Is America fated for fascism?
Be it Trump or Biden, America’s next leader will probably resort to a fascist leadership style to solidify their control over the country and restore order following the chaos that’s likely to break out following the elections. To be clear, fascism in this context doesn’t refer to the racism that this term is usually associated with as a result of Hitler’s genocidal regime but simply describes an ultra-authoritarian leader who envisions implementing far-reaching changes in society through heavy-handed and oftentimes violent means.
Each possible leader will also struggle with their “deep state” to actualize their envisioned “New Détente” with either Russia or China, all the while the two “Great Resets” will continue apace
Unlike what his critics fearmongered about for the past four years, Trump has yet to become a fascist in this sense since he sat back and let America burn for nearly the past half-year as the Hybrid War that was decades in the making finally turned kinetic. He’ll likely declare martial law if he’s re-elected, while Biden would impose his own fascist dictatorship via Antifa, Big Tech, BLM, and the “deep state”, with their respective supporters cheering them on.
Whoever the next President turns out to be, they’ll do their utmost to completely crush their enemies on the pretext of ending the country’s unofficial civil war but in reality, ushering in their own type of fascist dictatorship.
Each possible leader will also struggle with their “deep state” to actualize their envisioned “New Détente” with either Russia or China, all the while the two “Great Resets” will continue apace. The 2020s will therefore be transformational for the entire world, not just America, though the outcome of the former unipolar hegemon’s ongoing Hybrid War will greatly shape the general dynamics for the rest of the international community. The unprecedented chaos that’s frighteningly becoming the “new normal” also creates plenty of opportunities at home and abroad for both responsible and radical actors, some of which will certainly exploit everything for their own ends. This makes it impossible to predict what the world will look like by mid-decade.
Andrew Korybko is a political analyst, radio host, and regular contributor to several online outlets. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.