Saturday, January 16, 2021-5:50 AM
The coming days of American politics are always dramatic and dangerous. After a shocking storm in the US Capitol last week, Washington is preparing for even more intense protests in the days leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration in the January 20 presidential election. Law enforcement also expects armed protests by all militant groups in the 50 State Capitols, starting January 16 and continuing after taking office.
The big risk for the United States is that political extremism and violence can extend far beyond Mr. Biden’s first day in office. And when Americans prepare for the worst, their allies and enemies are watching very carefully.
The United States must understand the fact that the departure of Donald Trump does not mean that the world simply presses the reset button. That means a new chapter is open-but not something Americans are familiar with.
President Biden must understand the fact that America’s reputation continues to change and it is very difficult to regain the trust and trust in America that was lost during the Trump era. The new US President and his foreign policy team restore US fame in multiple ways, not only within international organizations and traditional alliances, but also on issues that were once central to human rights and democratization. You will find it difficult to find a way to do it. It was valued as the core of US values in US foreign policy.
Even if Mr. Biden proves to be a solid move, long-term questions remain about the credibility of the United States as a long-term partner and ally. American politics has been and will continue to be deeply polarized. And it can get worse, making radicalism a more prominent feature of the political situation. Everyone understands that nothing prevents a president like Trump from taking power in the future. That is, there is little reason for American friends to fund countries that may turn their national interests back on.
Recognizing America’s loss of fame and dysfunctional nation as the world’s major democracy means that its enemies find it easier to ignore Washington’s appeal. And if Mr Biden can’t go home to Trump’s supporters, put their arms on them, and persuade them to respect the rule of law, the consequences will be disastrous. Beijing will be able to more easily claim that its model of governance is much better.
Criticism of Hong Kong’s loss of political freedom will be dispelled. It would be unheard of to tell the world that unstable nations should not possess nuclear weapons. And when elections are stolen in other countries and their leaders turn themselves into demagogy, America is not in a position to criticize. Eventually, Mr Biden will preach to the empty choir.
American losses will prove to be losses for others as well. If the United States continues to drift and is consumed by radicalism, countries across the Indo-Pacific believe that they have no choice but to submit to Beijing or arm themselves more heavily. Europe, which recently signed a large trade deal with China, will increasingly turn to Beijing to improve its economic luck.
Non-liberal leaders, far-right parties, and those who want to be authoritarians of electoral democracy see America in turmoil, and as a result, they further weaken the political and civil rights of the people. I believe we can’t stop trying to make it. In a nutshell, all the ugly tendencies we experienced in Trump’s day will continue even if he is not in command.
The remaining question is whether the United States can recover from this crisis and reverse its decline.
Of course, it depends heavily on how leaders within both Republicans and Democrats decide to move forward. In order for America to be healed, both parties need to reform themselves.
Republicans must deny themselves from Mr Trump and the values he supported. They must also condemn radicalism and, most importantly, reject the type of arrogance and conspiracy theories that poisoned American politics under Mr. Trump. Only then can they act as loyal opponents and work with the Democratic Party to help America heal.
Meanwhile, Democrats need to ask themselves what is the underlying reason why many have come to support Mr. Trump. Democrats need to reflect on and agree on the party’s own failures, rather than expelling them. Until they do so, American politics remains in trouble.
- The writer is an Indonesian politician and was the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs from 2015 to 2016.