In a recent speech, President Joe Biden hinted at the possibility of not running for president if Donald Trump had not entered the race. This statement underscores Biden’s increasingly desperate bid to secure the Democratic nomination. As he positions himself against Trump once again, his aim is clear: shoring up his diminishing support base. However, the President faces challenges with declining approval ratings, attributed to flawed policies in Afghanistan, lackluster economic strategies, and concerns about his advancing age leading to erratic behavior.
Donald Trump’s Resurgence
Contrastingly, Donald Trump, the 45th President, is making a strong comeback, leading the polls among Republican nominees. His political base remains robust, and supporters from his previous victory have rallied behind him. Trump’s presidency marked a departure from the norm, shifting focus from international conflicts to internal reforms and economic development. This stands in stark contrast to the legacies of Bush and Obama, marked by military interventions and conflicts.
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Compared to Bush’s legacy of invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama’s legacy of destroying Libya and plunging the Middle East into chaos and anarchy; the Trump years were surprisingly peaceful and almost completely devoid of conflict (with a few exceptions).
Upcoming Election a Defining Moment
The United States of America is less than a year away from its 60thpresidential election and from casting its vote on who will be its 47th president. As the superpower nears November, the stark polarization in American society becomes evident again. For a nation whose election outcome has a global influence across multiple paradigms; it is crucial to analyze past presidencies and see how each US president influenced global geopolitics and history. Manifest Destiny, a guiding principle for U.S. presidents, has played a crucial role in shaping their approaches to international affairs.
Trump’s Surprising Pacifism
The United States has always been labeled as a nation with a proclivity for war and Interventionism. It has been at war with one force or nation for 92% of its entire lifetime, punctured by only 15 years of peace. For a nation that’s 247 years old, that is a lot of time spent on conflict and bloodshed.
Unlike Obama and Bush, Trump focused internally instead of applying US might in foreign interventions or wars. He correctly identified the key causes and issues that were plaguing the US Economy.His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again (MAGA)” transcended beyond a campaign slogan and became a movement in its own right. The campaign deviated from the usual claims by his predecessors of “American exceptionalism and greatness” and instead tacitly admitted one crucial aspect- America was no longer great and he wished to change that and restore American Prestige. This departure from traditional claims of American exceptionalism set Trump apart, emphasizing a shift towards internal problem-solving.
Legacy of Blood: Bush and Obama
- Casualties of the Iraq Invasion:
- Total Estimated Deaths: 601,027 – 654,965
- Civilian Deaths(Estimated): 200,000
- Us Military Deaths: 4,492
The influence of US policy Interventionism is discernible in the actions and rhetoric during the presidency of George W. Bush, particularly evident in the context of the Iraq War.
In the early 2000s, the Bush administration, citing the need to eliminate weapons of mass destruction (that were later proven to be false) and promote democracy, justified the invasion of Iraq. The US Invasion of Iraq eventually led to the country receding in all aspects. With regions succumbing to sectarian violence and vast regions plagued with lawlessness.
Obama’s Policy of “Death from Above”
- Casualties from Obama’s Drone Campaign (2008 – 2016)
- Total Number of Strikes: 962
- Civilian Casualties: 1300
- Militant Casualties: 7400
- Total Casualties: 8700
In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided that the Nobel Peace Prize would go to a Harvard Law School graduate, an elected junior senator of Illinois, and the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama. The very same year, Obama embraced a policy of constant drone strikes against several sovereign nations; proving the committee chose poorly.
Continuing Bush’s legacy of bloodshed, Barak Obama engaged in an open campaign of drone attacks, concentrated around Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Eventually, this extended to Syria during the Syrian civil war.While reducing direct US ground involvement, Obama carried out ten times more drone strikes than his predecessor.Allegedly telling his advisors that he was “surprisingly good at killing people.”
Obama’s bloody legacy continued as he authorized drone strikes in Libya to oust Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and strikes in Syria to support forces opposing Bashar Al Assad. The policies resulted in the entire region plunging into anarchy. Consequentially, the power vacuum created by Obama’s policies gave birth to ISIS; a horrifying terrorist behemoth that unleashed a campaign of, conquest, murder, rape, bombing and oppression.
The current Biden Administration
The current Biden administration has been mired by failures. The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Biden administration as the Afghan National Army collapsed brought back familiar, frightening memories of the fall of Saigon. As the lastAmerican air force jets lifted off from Kabul, they took back with them the bodies of dead American servicemen within their cargo holds while desperate Afghanis clung to the fuselage outside, only to be ripped off in midair.
The Biden administration’s economic policies have been criticized even by members of the Democratic Party. Ilhan Omar, the U.S. representative for Minnesota, argued that Trump’s stimulus package (targeted as relief from Covid-19 pandemic related economic damages) did more for Americans than Biden’s. Such open criticism from within Biden’s own party members underscores Biden’s failure in economic policymaking.
Danger to Global Freedom and Democracy
The Biden administration maintains the tradition of drone strikes and military interventions, previously seen during the Obama and Bush eras. However, they have escalated these actions by incorporating economic sanctions. The administration frequently employs the sanction threat to coerce nations into compliance or to overthrow governments opposing its agenda. While the Biden administration has attempted to justify such actions as an attempt to ensure democratic practices in the targeted country; the fact that the same administration is prosecuting Donald Trum on numerous legal cases underscores the fact that this is an administration that is determined to stamp out opposing voices and democratic practices.
The result has been a decline in American influence as nations seek to not only diplomatically distance themselves from the US, but the adoption of alternative currencies in order to counter the dominance of the US dollar.
US elections have always had global resonating effects. When Donald Trump was declared as the winner of the US presidential elections, US and global stock markets soared anticipating investment friendly policies. As the 60th U.S. Presidential elections approach, the world awaits seismic effects. If Biden retains power, expectations lean towards interventionism and sanctions, potentially disrupting global sovereignty and putting a severe strain on domestic economic reforms. The contrast between the two candidates underscores the gravity of this defining moment in American history.