I suspect that like me you have had at least half an eye on the Tv and radio. I’ve been out delivering for a couple of hours and came straight back straight to the TV. “Surely”, I thought “it must be over by now!” But it wasn’t. It wasn’t over until 4.30 on Saturday when the media unitedly ‘called’ Pennsylvania which means that Biden and Harris crossed the magic 270 line and cannot now be beaten.
In 6 states the count is not yet concluded. Even in Pennsylvania the count continues but it is clear that with each tranche of results the Biden lead just grows has reached a point where the result is really unchallengeable.
Trump will leave the White House in the same loathsome manner that he entered it. His first action as President was to lie. For reasons best known to himself he insisted that the crowds at his inauguration were bigger than those for Obama. This was so clearly a lie that the World shook its heads and wiped its eyes in disbelief. There was a slight hope that the Presidential would change the habit of a lifetime and become….. well Presidential. Some hope. The lies continued, the angry Tweets, the sackings of his own staff who couldn’t put with him.
Even now, in true American style the matter will proceed to the Courts. But there are too many states to take on. Too few votes are challengeable. Obama fights on like Hitler in his Bunker as the 1,000-year Reich shrank to an empire the size of Luxemburg.
We have watched and I comment now because America matters more than any other Country in the Western World. It does not lead the Western World and the President of the USA is not the ‘Leader of the Free World. However, the USA is clearly the first amongst equals. It is rich and powerful. Under Obama it was a force for good, fighting extremism and fighting climate change. It healed divisions abroad and gave a chance for poor people within the USA to get health care which unbelievably in the richest economy of the World just did not provide.
Under Trump the USA became a force against decency. The Trumps have taught the Tories all about being a kleptocracy. They tried to roll back Obamacare. They were prepared to let their own people die from Covid. Even his own campaign rallies killed people with no social distancing or masking.
What does this mean for us here in the UK?
It blows out of the water the idea that there will be an easy trade deal with the USA to replace the trade losses with the EU. The Democrats have made clear that they will not have a trade deal if the UK Government breaks the Good Friday Agreement. We will break the Good Friday Agreement, which has brought peace to the island of Ireland, if we proceed with the proposals that Johnson has for the way goods will flow around the island. What’s it to do with them you might ask. The fact is that they were signatories to the GFA as a guarantor. They have a legal duty to ensure that it works.
However, almost everything else I can see is good for us:
He will support NATO which is where we are most effective in trying to defeat the still considerable pressures of Russia and China.
He will fight climate change and sign up to the Paris Accord on which the future of our planet depends.
He will reinstate the Iraq Agreement on Nuclear development which is causing so much grief in the Middle East.
He will rejoin the World Health Organisation and join the global fight against not only the Coronavirus but all illnesses which threaten the world.
In his own Country he will try to heal the appalling racial disquiet which has been so stoked by Trump. He will defend and expand Obamacare. He will fight against inequality and to raise the living standards of the deprived.
Let’s have a word too for the Vice-President elect Kamala Harris. The most powerful woman of colour in the USA and possibly the World. She must be the top choice for the Democrats to be the 47th President. She’s perhaps a little more left wing than the President-elect but no socialist.
However, in the short term I join with the millions who are overjoyed at the person who will be the 46th President, President-elect Joe Biden. You have allies throughout the world who respect you and who will urge their own Governments to support you.