President-Elect Joe Biden knows to whom he and his government are accountable. He understands that a democratic government is elected by the public and is employed by others.
In USA, power is in the hands of large corporations and their financial partners and associates, and it is delivered via Wall Street and The Pentagon in a two-laned channel of instruction to the White House and to Congress. Biden’s lifetime of ‘public service’ ensures he won’t need any coaching on who pays and on what the payers demand and expect.
Consequences of a change of presidency will be limited in USA. There will be cosmetic changes to healthcare provision – in the election campaign Biden emphasised his opposition to socialised healthcare, and there will be miniscule pullback on Trump’s destruction of environmental protections. The infrastructure of systemic inequality accompanied by physical control (violent racist policing) will remain wholly intact.
Outside USA, diplomacy with political allies will be restored, including rejoining a variety of international agreements – Paris Climate Accord, World Health Organisation, etc. Relationships with other countries, those that the US government defines as not allies, will deteriorate.
Big enemies of USA are needed to justify spending citizens’ taxes on the arms industry. The two biggest so-called enemies will remain Russia and China. Iran and North Korea will retain their ‘pariah’ status. There will be no reduction of the possibility of armed conflict between USA and Iran; it may become more likely.
The people who should fear the Biden presidency the most are people who live in Central and South America. Trump’s government tried and failed to stage a coup in Venezuela but succeeded, temporarily, in Bolivia. The new USA government will ramp up military interference in democratic countries south of its border. There will be further attempts to remove governments in Bolivia, Venezuela and elsewhere alongside tactical and military support for right-wing governments.
Suppression of left-of-centre governments coupled with ravenous greed of the arms industry make it imperative for Biden to go on a spree of violence.
Biden’s demeanor is more well-mannered than his predecessor’s vulgarity but he is no less inhumane. If Trump intended to bomb someone he’d state his plan proudly in advance. Biden will carry on smiling, wordlessly, as he presses the button.
Sarah Lazare on Biden’s pro-war transition team