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Trump or Biden… Does it Matter?

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, November 6

Finally, the American elections are behind us. They took over our lives and occupied our attention for months. They entered our homes, leading us to espouse opinions and positions on the two candidates as if we even had a say in determining the outcome of this race. And although the official results have not yet been published at the time these lines are written, one thing is already certain: The division in American society has grown wider and wider, and it is here to stay – regardless of who wins. The US is likely to enter a state of instability that won’t simply disappear when one of the two candidates is declared triumphant. The country might enter a constitutional or legal crisis that will increase political instability and, by extension, lead to further economic instability. Personally, I prefer that Biden wins for two main reasons. The first is that I had never been satisfied with the prevailing opinion among us that Trump remaining in office would be better for Egypt or that Biden’s rise to power would pave the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to return to the Egyptian political scene. The world changed in recent years and its priorities shifted. So, too, did the American conciliatory approach toward political Islam. Furthermore, a Trump victory would mean the continuation of his erratic and unexpected foreign policy, which has only one constant: a blind support for Israel and the protection of America’s narrow economic interests in the Middle East. The second reason is my belief that a Trump victory will lead to the continued obstruction of international trade and push the world toward more division at a time when urgent cooperation is needed on crucial issues, including epidemics, immigration regulation, economic downturns and the environment. American elections, by their nature, have an international character because their outcome affects the whole world. But they have an increasing importance in light of the current circumstances and the current economic, health and demographic challenges – because they all require exceptional international cooperation, which I do not think the Trump Administration has been capable of adhering to. It also worries me that a Trump victory would serve as the final nail in the coffin of America’s values system, marking the demise of such issues as justice, rule of law and civil rights. In any case, the American elections have ended and the result will be announced soon. We can only hope that whoever steps into office in January, be it Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden, the next American president will be able to cultivate international cooperation and stability, which we so desperately need at this moment. – Ziad Bahaa El-Din (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)