Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Religion and Global Security, University of Tokyo
It seems certain Mr. Biden is going to be the next president even if President Trump and his supporters continue to claim fraud and irregularities in voting and counting, based on conspiracy theories.
Detested by many for his insensitive manner, Mr. Trump was voted out of office by the record number of 78 million voters to Mr. Biden. Trump himself, however, got another record number of 73 million voters from his strong support bases. The U.S. social divide became further evident after the election, dashing the hope that this election would give a chance to unite the United States again.
We might be better off bracing for the 2024 U.S. presidential election in which, possibly a young Democratic candidate would replace the aged and frail Mr. Biden and a more sophisticated type of Republican candidate succeed Trump campaign and a fiercer battle would be fought and nastier tactics are employed.
What will President Trump’s 4 years term at the White House leave behind? Even if he will be criticized for the large number of coronavirus patients and the deep division of the American society, his achievements in diplomacy, particularly in the Middle East would be recognized, even if they are controversial.
By the day of his departure, he is likely to fulfill his campaign promise to reduce US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan to the minimum. The establishment of the official diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab countries such as UAE, Bahrain and Sudan would be an outstanding, if controversial to some, achievement in his term, which would be unconceivable under other U.S. administrations.
There are deep-rooted criticism and hesitation about getting into the normalization track without waiting for the establishment of the State of Palestine. It is unlikely, however, that the Biden administration will deny and undo this achievement of the Trump administration.
Mr. Trump’s “Deal of the Century” proposal, formally unveiled on 28 January 2020, officially titled “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People” and also known as the “Trump peace plan” was really unprecedented one and would be followed by none other than himself, might be left forgotten in history.
Definitely Mr. Biden will not follow through that plan, though it is difficult for him to offer a better one.
The only policy issue Biden administration might overturn is Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal to which Mr. Biden has suggested during the campaign he would rejoin if elected. This too is difficult to achieve and much depends on the result of Iran’s presidential election in June 2021 in which Iranian people may elect a hardline leader who makes rapprochement with the U.S. inconceivable.