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The US will not Change its Ways Overnight

Maariv, Israel, November 5

Everyone, calm down! A dramatic shift in US domestic policy, let alone foreign affairs, is highly unlikely. It doesn’t really matter who will end up winning the election. For the past four years, Donald Trump has been so omnipresent in everyday American life that his large base of supporters fears a different America in his absence. In contrast, those who hope to see Biden elected president believe that his ascendance will symbolize an immediate inflection point for America. Both of these scenarios are equally unrealistic. Another term with Donald Trump will bring more of the same to America: disrespect for the rule of law, contempt for the establishment and deep divisions within society along ethnic, racial and religious lines. In contrast, a Biden presidency will likely get off to a slow start. Joe Biden is no Winston Churchill; he is well aware of his shortcomings and the difficulties he will face in bringing about real change. But he will listen to advisers and make it a priority to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. According to several reports, one of the first things Trump will do if he ends up winning reelection is to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s number one expert on communicable diseases. Biden will likely take the opposite approach of promoting scientists and physicians to key positions in government. Those who voted for Biden simply want a return to normalcy. They’re not craving dramatic changes or a new global order; they simply want to be reminded of America’s old-fashioned, orderly days. But the truth is that neither Trump nor Biden will be able to dramatically change the status quo right off the bat. For Trump, it’s because he has no interest in changing anything; he is content with the havoc he has wreaked upon his country. For Biden, it’s because he will lack the power to do so right away. Yes, there’s hope that he can put America back on the right track, but it will surely take time. – Shlomo Shamir (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)