Former president Donald Trump continues to insist that the November 2020 election was ‘stolen’, without any real evidence. Further, recent comments around Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, in which Trump argued that he’d beat him, were he to stand against Trump in 2024, allude to another possible run for Donald Trump in the 2024 poll.
Trump also continues to loom large over Republican politics, with senators, governors and congressional officials continually seeking his approval.
Biden, meanwhile, has been facing some stumbling blocks. His messy withdrawal from Afghanistan was criticised in spite of wide-spread support for the withdrawal itself, while a government shutdown looms large as some Democrats express scepticism over his infrastructure spending plan and budget reconciliation.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington DC), and the Transitional Institute (Amsterdam), argued that Trump continues to influence the countries politics, both in terms of policy and action. Significantly in this regard, the three conservative judges Trump appointed to the Supreme Court will soon rule on a Texas case, which may inhibit the right to abortion in many US states. Further, article 42, which was used by Trump to deport immigrants, was recently used by the Biden administration to deport over 10 000 Haitians.
Bennis also noted his fund-raising ability, and the current lack of accountability. Significantly, in relation to his continued influence it should be noted that 74 million people voted for him in the 2020 poll, one of the largest vote tallies in US history.
Bennis did point out that as of now, Trump has not formally stepped into the 2024 ring, but that were he to do so, revenge, and the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection will be used to increase his appeal. It does need to be noted that he did fulfil some promises, especially in relation to the appointment of conservative judges, the wall on the US-Mexico wall which was partially built, and the ‘Muslim’ ban, which saw citizens from seven, mostly Muslim countries, banned from traveling to the US.
Bennis argued that especially in the Foreign Policy realm, Biden’s actions were very similar to Trump. Drone usage continues, sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continue to be implemented, and the rhetoric on China has not yet changed. Further, although Biden criticised Trump’s actions in support of Israel, which included moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, he has not adopted actions to reverse such, making these policies now his. She praised his withdrawal from Afghanistan, which again was started by Trump, but criticised the nature of the withdrawal, which was categorised by chaos and dysfunction.
Regarding domestic politics, Bennis noted that issues around care, have infiltrated into the mainstream, but climate and racial justice seem to have taken a back seat, with immigrants still being gravely impacted. She did allude to the fact that Trump’s partial obscurity was largely a result of the Facebook and Twitter ban, but noted that he continues to be popular.