Trump Fired, Biden Hired: Americas Democratic Reawakening

By Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

The American nightmare under the unhinged, chaotic, incompetent, cruel, crude, corrupt, authoritarian, and exhausting presidency of Trump is over. The United States can now exhale and begin to dig itself out of the abyss of national and global ignominy, a superpower that for four long years was shamelessly led by a pathological liar, an irredeemable narcissist, incorrigible racist, contemptible showman, and reprehensible bully who demeaned and diminished democracies and comforted and cavorted with dictatorships around the world.

The Trump Defeat

Trump will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history, who brutally and blithely exposed the failings and fragilities of American democracy, the enduring polarizations of its body politic, and the deformities of its institutions. Many commentators have bemoaned how the Trump presidency severely damaged American society and global standing. Trump’s transgressions are aptly captured by leading columnists in The New York Times in a series, “What Have We Lost.” [1]

They variously claim, Trump’s shocking election led to the loss of naivety as the country was dragged to the brink of ruin; America was robbed of its innocence and optimism as he extravagantly exposed some of its hideous history and attributes; the perpetual state of emergency impoverished the national imagination, culture, creativity, and thinking; his boorish behavior smashed the decency floor for society; he emboldened moral cynicism that eroded the spirit of generosity as selfishness was normalized and turned into a national credo; his incendiary populist partisanship systematically undermined the social capital of trust, connectivity and community; his perpetual and pervasive outrage, lies, scandals, and incivility sapped national pride and discourse; his corrosive nationalism and belligerence dimmed America’s aura and standing in the world, accelerated the demise of Pax-Americana, tarnished democracy and emboldened autocracies and facilitated China’s great leap past America.

The roots of Trump’s loss lie in the incompatibility of his electoral promises of authoritarian nationalism and economic populism in 2016, and the Republican Party’s fiercely anti-populist economic agenda by which he actually governed. So instead of enacting a popular infrastructure bill, he supported a massive tax cut that benefited the rich. His trade war with China did not revive domestic manufacturing, instead it ravaged farmers, and did little to cut the trade deficit.

Trump inherited a growing economy from the Obama administration, which improved little under his tenure. “The United States grew at an average annual rate of 2.5 percent during Trump’s first three years, almost identical to the 2.4 percent pace during President Barack Obama’s final 36 months.” This made it difficult to distinguish the Trump economy from the Obama economy, notwithstanding Trump’s promises and boasts of his business prowess, which was fake given his history of serial bankruptcies, staggering business incompetence, and tax avoidance revealed in a sensational expose by The New Times in late September and early October.[2] Not surprisingly, voters showed increasing faith in Biden’s ability to rebuild the pandemic ravaged economy.

As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic surged across the country, the Republican Senate balked at passing a new stimulus bill that would have helped millions of people and bolstered Trump’s populist economic agenda. To the delight of Republicans, the Trump administration ended up redistributing “wealth upward even more aggressively than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush did. But for Trump, the political consequences have been dire.”[3]

All too often, the condemnations of the Trump presidency become a deflection when he is depicted as an aberration rather than an embodiment of the profound and long-standing debilities and deficits of American society and democracy. The fact that about 40% of the population consistently supported him throughout his presidency, and he won 70 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, shows he represented a large swath of American society and embraced their values of intolerance, bigotry, and racism. But he also made more inroads than any Republican president among non-white voters, especially Hispanics and Black men gesturing to the appeal of his strutting conservative machismo.

In The New York Times series noted above, some acknowledge the ugly truths of the Trump phenomenon. Jamelle Bouie puts it well: “For many millions of Americans, the presidency of Donald Trump has been a kind of transgression, an endless assault on dignity, decency and decorum… But his transgressions are less a novel assault on American institutions than they are a stark recapitulation of past failure and catastrophe…. What is terrible about Trump is also terrible about the United States. Everything we’ve seen in the last four years — the nativism, the racism, the corruption, the wanton exploitation of the weak and unconcealed contempt for the vulnerable — is as much a part of the American story as our highest ideals and aspirations. The line to Trump runs through the whole of American history…”

But instead of generating a serious reckoning with the uncomfortable realities laid bare by the Trump presidency, another commentator laments, there “has been widespread retreat from revelation, let alone from any subsequent conversion, and a rush back to the comforts of one’s preconceptions and one’s tribe.” The right, left, and center of American politics responded to these revelations “Sometimes with recognition and adaptation, but more often with denial.”[4]

However, it is also true that the breadth and depth of Trump’s perverse omnipresence and invasion of the fractious nation’s political space and discourse shook Americans out of their complacency; it provoked a massive backlash among women, minorities, aggrieved independents and livid liberals that promised to revitalize American democracy.[5]

In the vanguard of the democratic resistance were black women, the unshakeable bedrock of the Democratic Party, the conscience of the beleaguered nation. They marched and mobilized, volunteered and voted overwhelmingly for the Biden-Harris ticket to rescue the country that had oppressed, exploited and marginalized them for centuries from the Trump nightmare.

Trump’s train wreck was brought to a halt by facts he failed to bend to his will, to banish to the fantasies of fake news, to denigrate and deny. He was mauled by the deadly facts of the coronavirus pandemic, the undeniable facts of economic collapse, the haunting facts of tens of millions of lives and livelihoods destroyed, the hideous facts of a country coming apart at the seams, the humbling facts of a superpower surging towards decline in compressed time before the gaze of an incredulous world.

The election represented the repudiation of Trump by a majority of Americans who had never voted for him in the first place; in 2016 he lost to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. He has lost to Biden by more than 4 million votes. However, the election of Trump in 2016 and the nail-biting finish in 2020 showed the inherent flaws of American democracy.

The Biden Victory

The election also represented a resounding affirmation of the Biden-Harris ticket. Six dynamics propelled Biden to victory. First, he captured the mood of the country by campaigning for the “soul of America.” He sold himself as the sober and descent pragmatist who would bring back civility and compromise, pursue national unity and public service, and rescue the country from the abyss of political partisanship, and Trump’s swamp of personal avarice and corruption, and moral nihilism. He successfully made the election a referendum on Trump.

Second, like Obama before him, Biden’s was a crisis candidacy, forged in the burning inferno of the worst health and economic crisis in a century that the Trump presidency squandered through staggering ineptitude. Biden seized the moment as he exuded empathy and competence steeled by personal tragedy and a long political career. He believed in science, facts, collective action, and government capability and intervention as part of the solution, not the enemy of the Republican imagination, to resolving crises and promoting national wellbeing. Unlike Hillary Clinton, after the bruising campaign, he managed to unite the party behind him including the restive left. He also revived the Obama coalition.

Third, he made an inspiring choice for running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. As a Black and Asian woman Harris carried the historic weight of struggles against racism and white supremacy and women’s marginalization in a charged moment of unprecedented national and global protests under the banner of the Black Lives Matter Movement following the murder of George Floyd. At the same time, Trump’s misogyny had revitalized the American women’s movement. As a daughter of immigrant parents from India and Jamaica Harris recreated Obama’s multiracial and migrant appeal and attracted the new African and Asian diasporas at a time of draconian anti-immigration rhetoric and policies.

As a graduate of Howard University, she affirmed the intellectual prowess and transformative power of HBCUs and mobilized the Black middle class produced by HBCUs. The stature of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha soared “and people began to understand precisely what a Black sisterhood is — the strength and support of those bonds. These women, 300,000 strong, organized for the Biden-Harris ticket. And their wondrous blend of accomplishment and poise was writ large.”[6] Harris has become the first woman, first Black woman, and first woman of color to ascend to the highest political office in American history, a monumental achievement that has electrified women across the country.

Fourth, Biden’s campaign skillfully reinstated the blue wall around the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and looked poised to flip the red and rapidly diversifying states of Arizona and Georgia. He was saved by the cities without alienating the suburbs by his reassuring balancing appeals to the anxieties and aspirations of African Americans and other minorities, as well as white workers and white women, who gravitated to him in larger numbers than Hillary Clinton. Particularly challenging was how to address issues of police brutality, law and order, and racial equality and justice.

Fifth, Democrats have progressively won the battle of ideas, so that ideas espoused by the Democratic Party platform in 2020 which would have seemed radical when Obama ran for office suddenly appeared moderate. Over the last century, four major ideological battles have been fought in American politics and society: on the role of the state and the market, social mores and policy, racial equality and justice, and America’s international relations with its allies, rivals, and the developing countries.

Following the demise of Keynesian economics and rise of neo-liberalism at the turn of 1980s, Republicans unapologetically favored small government and free markets, while Democrats stuck to their preference for larger government and regulated markets. To quote David Brooks, “That debate ebbed and flowed over the years, but 2020 has turned out to be a pivotal year in the struggle, and it looks now as if we can declare a winner. The Democrats won the big argument of the 20th century. It’s not that everybody has become a Democrat, but even many Republicans are now embracing basic Democratic assumptions. Americans across the board fear economic and physical insecurity more than an overweening state. The era of big government is here.”[7]

If the Great Recession dented the neo-liberal hegemony of limited government and unfettered markets, COVID-19 has buried it. To quote Brooks again, “Covid-19 has pushed voters to the left. It’s made Americans feel vulnerable and more likely to support government efforts to reduce that vulnerability... This greater support for social safety net programs transcends political ideology.” About 60% of Americans now believe government should do more to solve national problems, and two-thirds that it should fight the effects of climate change.

American society has also been moving left on contentious social policies such as gender equality, abortion, and sexuality. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2020, 57% of adult Americans say the U.S. hasn’t gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights with men; the figure is 64% among women and 49% among men, and 76% among Democrats compared to 33% among Republicans. Seventy-seven percent say sexual harassment is a major obstacle to gender equality.[8] On abortion, the majority of Americans, 61%, continued to support legal abortion and 70% opposed overturning Roe vs. Wade.[9] Sixty-one percent supported same sex marriage while 31% opposed, the reverse of attitudes in 2004 when 60% were opposed and 31% were in favor. There are of course variations by political party, religious affiliation, and demographic group.[10]

As for foreign policy, 73% “say that good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace, while 26% say that military strength is the best way to do this. By a similar margin, more Americans say the U.S. should take the interests of allies into account, even if it means making compromises, than think the U.S. should follow its own national interests when allies disagree (68% vs. 31%).” Democrats and Independents score highest at 90% and 83% on the two questions, while Republicans are more evenly split with 53% and 51%. Those younger than 50 are more likely to favor diplomacy and compromise with allies. On the US involvement in the global economy 73% say it is a good thing; an opinion that is highest for those with college education at 86% and drops to 64% to those with high school education or less.[11]

Clearly, notwithstanding the loud fulminations of America’s right wing, inflated by the Trump presidency, the America of 2020 is more liberal than the America of 2016, or 2000, let alone 1950 that conservatives sought to restore in their plaintive cry, “Make America Great Again.” Progressives need to deconstruct the narrative that sees the United States as a naturally conservative country whose authentic overlords are Republicans in which Democrats come to power only as periodic interlopers. This often leads Republicans playing hardball and Democrats playing softball; the former are always ready for combat and the latter for compromise.

Sixth, America is becoming more diverse and destined to become a majority-minority nation in the mid-2040s. The demographic shifts are evident in even comparing the electorate in 2016 to 2020. Demography is of course not destiny. The country changes, and so do political parties. At one time African Americans largely voted Republican, the party of Lincoln, then drifted to the Democrats, the party of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that propelled the Republicans to adopt their Southern Strategy of racist appeals to white voters.

However, trends point to what Fessenden and Gamio call “The relentless shrinking of Trump’s base.” From 1976 to 2018, white voters without college degrees declined from 71% to 39%, while for white voters with college degrees doubled from 17% to 34%, and minority voters more than doubled from 11% to 27%. The shifts in age are no less telling. Between 2016 and 2020, voters among the silent and older generations fell from 30% to 9%, baby boomers from 38% to 29%, Gen X from 26% to 23%, while millennials increased from 6% to 25%, and Gen Z from 0% to 13%.[12]

Notwithstanding the cultural and demographic advantages enjoyed by the Democrats predictions of a blue wave failed to materialize. In the immediate aftermath of the elections panic and cheeriness gripped the Democrats and Republicans, respectively, as Trump bagged Florida and Texas and took an early lead in the polls in the battleground states, and Republicans held on to Senate races that had been expected to flip and won House seats from Democrats. Some feared or hoped for a repeat of 2016, and questioned the accuracy of the polls that had shown Biden and Democrats in a commanding lead. But in an editorial The Washington Post reminded its readers, “Surprise! The election is unfolding as predicted."[13] As the voter counting continued from hours to days, and Biden’s prospects brightened, the narrative and expectations shifted.

The Dysfunctions of American Democracy

Americans are used to getting their projected election results instantly on election night. I teased my African American wife to exercise patience as is common in African and many other countries where election results are often announced several days, even weeks, after the elections. The apparent slowness in declaring the winner of the US presidential election revealed a lot more than American impatience. It reflected the enduring dysfunctions of American democracy. As a member of the new African diaspora in the United States, and a student of international political economy and comparative politics, I have always been struck by the following four structural deficits of the American democratic system.

First, the electoral college is an instrument of minority rule that has primarily benefitted Republicans over the last twenty years, first George W. Bush in 2000 in which Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 while losing Florida’s electoral college by 537 votes, and second Donald Trump in 2016 who lost to Clinton by nearly 3 million votes but clinched the electoral college by a whisker in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Altogether, in American history five presidents, three in the 19th century (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in 1888) won the presidency while losing the popular vote.

Over the past 30 years only once, in 2004, did a Republican President win the popular vote, but they have been elected three times. Republican minority rule by the presidency and Senate are baked into the system. The US Senate “gives disproportionate power to older, whiter, more rural and more conservative interests. Right now, states representing just 17% of the nation’s population could elect a majority of senators. By 2040, the 15 most populous states will be home to 67% of Americans yet represented by just 30% of the Senate. Add up the actual votes received in the winning election of every sitting US senator, and Republicans haven’t won a senate majority since the mid-1990s. Yet they’ve controlled the Senate for 10 of the last 20 years, and used that advantage to shape the ideological balance on the federal courts.”[14]

The electoral college system, writes Bob Carr in the Guardian, represents an unenviable form of American exceptionalism. “It confirms the proposition that the US is simply not a democracy, not in the sense Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are democracies.” If America’s systematic voter suppression and rigged elections “were practised against, say, Caribbean or Asian communities in the UK or Sicilians in Italy or M?ori in New Zealand, its peculiarity would be a subject of domestic scandal and international embarrassment. The American electoral system is a shambles defying democratic norms.”[15]

Second, American democracy is haunted by the specter of voter suppression, which goes back to the nation’s founding. In the constitution enslaved Africans were not only deemed three-fifths of a human being, they could not vote, nor could women of any race. After the right to vote was extended in the Fifteenth Amendment that enfranchised all men, but not women, culminating in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, new voter suppression strategies were devised, which were especially targeted at African Americans.

During Jim Crow poll taxes and literacy tests were used to disenfranchise African Americans in the South. In the post-Civil Rights era, voter suppression encompassed the disenfranchisement of ex-felons in some states, purging of voter rolls, placing limitations on early and absentee voting, rampant voting procedures, disinformation, and imposing discriminatory voting identification requirements. Trump’s angry denunciations against absentee voting is rooted in the tattered undemocratic playbook of voter suppression.

Voter suppression makes a mockery of America’s self-image as the world’s leading democracy. Sam Levin laments, “To understand how voter suppression is shaping the 2020 election, just look at Texas. While many states do not require voters to have a reason to vote by mail, Texas only allows voters to do so if they are 65 or older or meet other conditions. The state does not allow people to register to vote online. Even with a flood of Covid cases, Texas has successfully fought tooth and nail in federal and state courts to uphold those restrictions. Last month, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican, abruptly issued an order that limited each county in the state to offer one ballot drop box. The move meant that Democratic-friendly Harris county, which covers more than 1,700 square miles and is home to 2.4 million registered voters, could only offer one place for voters to return their ballots. The state of Rhode Island, which is smaller than Harris county, will have more drop-off locations this year… The battle playing across America is in some ways a continuation of a centuries-long fight over access to the franchise.”[16]

Third, the establishment of electoral boundaries and constituencies through gerrymandering is deployed as a powerful weapon to dilute the voting power of an opposition party and concentrate that of the ruling party in a district. In America’s first-past-the-post electoral system, gerrymandering has been used by the two political parties to reduce competition by maximizing the voting power of supporters and minimizing that of opponents often segmented on the basis of race, class, religion, or ideology.

In effect, in the absence of a neutral or cross-party agency, the party in power that draws the electoral boundaries, chooses its voters. It does so by spreading groups of known or likely opposition voters among several districts or concentrates them in one district to dilute their votes across the state, what political scientists call the wasted vote effect. Gerrymandering is designed to bolster the electoral prospects of incumbents and it undermines descriptive or proportional representation.

Fourth, the American judicial system is highly politicized. At the federal level, the President makes judicial appointments, which are reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee before a vote is taken by the Senate. Presidents nominate individuals who fit and are likely to promote their party’s ideology and interests, while the balance of power in the Senate among the two parties often determines who is appointed. Fights over the appointment of Supreme Court justices are fierce because of the court’s extensive powers of judicial review. In 2000 the electoral contest between Bush and Gore was decided by the Supreme Court.

Trump hopes the Supreme Court will also save him, especially now that it is packed with three of his appointees, and conservatives enjoy a 6-3 advantage. The last appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, was nominated by Trump on September 26, 2020 six days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a revered liberal icon, and confirmed by the Republican-dominated Senate of October 26. The same Republicans suddenly forgot their injunction against considering a nominee in a president’s last year directed at President Obama who sought to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died eight months before the 2016 elections with Merrick Garland.

The renowned economist, Paul Krugman wonders, “Is America becoming a failed state?” His answer is not reassuring. Even with a Biden victory, “it seems likely that the Senate — which is wildly unrepresentative of the American people — will remain in the hands of an extremist party that will sabotage Biden in every way it can... Every state, of course, has two senators — which means that Wyoming’s 579,000 residents have as much weight as California’s 39 million… An analysis by the website found that the Senate in effect represents an electorate almost seven percentage points more Republican than the average voter.”[17]

Larry Diamond, a theorist of democracy, warns in Foreign Affairs, “A new Administration Won’t Heal American Democracy” because the “rot in U.S. political institutions runs deeper than Trump.” He argues, “the broad signs of political decay are familiar—and alarming—to comparative scholars of democracy: the growing polarization, distrust, and intolerance among supporters of the main opposing parties; the increasing tendency to view partisan attachments as a kind of tribal identity; the intertwining of partisan affiliations with racial, ethnic, or religious identities; and the inability to forge political compromises across partisan divides—and hence to mount effective policy responses to national issues.”[18]

Baskar Sunkara concludes ruefully, “America is a failing state… In 2020, America has shown itself to be exceptional in the worst possible ways… Winning mass support for a program of Medicare for All, green jobs, affordable housing, and more seems within reach. But the left must find a way to not just popularize our goals, but secure the means – institutional reform – to achieve them... But we can’t just stop at the abolition of the electoral college and the Senate filibuster, or even full Congressional representation for Washington DC residents. We must more fundamentally fight to transform the pre-modern political system that we’ve grafted on to our modern economy and society. For progressives, that’s a battle far more daunting than just getting Trump out of the White House – but it’s just as necessary.”[19]

Trump will of course do everything to subvert the will of the people, including inciting his tens of millions of supporters. As one columnist in The Washington Post put it, there was no “resounding rejection of Trump and Trumpism.” Even with Trump evicted from the White House, “Trumpism will not have been swept into the dustbin of history; it will remain all over the furniture. It’s part of the furniture. Unsweepable.”[20] Another commentator in The Atlantic reminds us, “A large portion of the electorate chose the sociopath. America will have to contend with that fact.”[21]

Zeynep Tufecki warns, compared to Trump who was ineffective and easily beaten because of his incompetence, “America’s next authoritarian will be much more competent” like the current politically talented autocratic populists of India, Brazil, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and elsewhere who have mastered winning elections.[22] Trumpism, which represents the reincarnation of the Republican Party’s Southern Strategy reconfigured to incorporate digitalized angry populism, and the laager of white supremacy and racial capitalism, is likely to survive and cast a shadow over the Biden presidency.

Others are more hopeful that American democracy has survived “its brush with death.”[23] Nell Irvin Painter, the distinguished African American scholar, concedes the election shouldn’t have been this close, but she sees hope “in the long lines of voters,” in the indelible images of “Americans in 2020 re-enacting the South African voters of 1994” as they voted the ghost of apartheid into the dustbin of history.[24]

Jonathan Freedland notes sadly, “It’s a form of progressive masochism to search for the defeat contained in a victory... Yes, in a high-turnout election, Trump got more votes than he did in 2016 – but Biden got more votes than any presidential candidate in history, more even than the once-in-a-generation phenomenon that was Barack Obama. What’s more, Biden looks to have done something extremely difficult and vanishingly rare, taking on and defeating a first-term president. That would ensure that Donald Trump becomes only the third elected president since Herbert Hoover in 1932 to try and fail to win re-election. Trump would take his place alongside Jimmy Carter and George Bush the elder in the small club of rejected, one-term presidents.”[25]

America’s Return to the World

Biden’s victory has been greeted with great relief by many democracies around the world, and some consternation by authoritarian populists and autocratic rivals who reveled in America’s democratic recession and descent under Trump. “U.S. allies stressed the need to rebuild ties and multilateral cooperation after President Trump’s ‘America First’ approach upended decades of U.S. foreign policy. For traditional allies who endured sharp criticism, unpredictable behavior and new tariffs under Trump, the election of Biden offered a return to normalcy.”[26]

In the global environmental movement and health sector, many anticipate the quick return of the US to the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization to combat COVID-19 and other long-standing and future global health threats. Multilateralism seems poised to enjoy a new burst of diplomatic energy. But the hegemonic rivalry between China and the United States is fated to continue, and the decline of the American model is unlikely to be reversed. The Trump saga and his expulsion from power has exposed both the fragility and resilience of American institutions. In that sense, it has made the United States ordinary.

For Africa, the US can be expected to return to its traditional diplomatic preoccupations of economic development, human rights, anti-terrorism, and competition with China. But the Biden administration will encounter a different continent from that of the Obama years, one that has lived without serious engagement with the departing Trump administration and demands more respect, a continent whose economies have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and require productive and transformative relationships.

For me personally, it has been fascinating to watch the elections in the two countries whose citizenship I carry, Malawi and the United States. Earlier this year the Malawi Supreme Court annulled the Presidential election of May 2019 because of irregularities by the Malawi Electoral Commission. The opposition proceeded to win the election rerun in June. What I have learned from the two elections is that the notion that American democracy is more mature than that of an African country like Malawi is false.

The Malawian Supreme Court exercised judicial independence unlikely to come from the highly politicized American Supreme Court. Moreover, the losing ruling party demonstrated maturity not demonstrated by the infantile, irascible and entitled Trump administration and his unprincipled Republican sycophants. This underscores a sobering and empowering fact: democracy is not a monopoly of developed countries and it is always a work in progress that needs to be jealously guarded.

First Written November 8, 2020.

[1] “What Have We Lost?” The New York Times, October 30, 2020.

[2] Russ Buettner, Susan Craig and Mike McIntire, “The President’s Taxes: Long Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance,” The New York Times, September 27, 2020.

[3] Peter Beinart, “How Trump Lost,” The New York Review of Books, November 7, 2020.

[4] Ross Douhat, “Have we learned nothing after four years of Trump,” The New Times, October 30, 2020.

[5] Farhad Manjoo, “The Fury Against Trump Has Begun a Great Democratic Awakening,” The New York Times, October 30, 2020.

[6] Robin Givhan, “Kamala Harris made history, with quiet exquisite power,” The Washington Post, November 8, 2020.

[7] David Brooks, “How Democrats won the war of Ideas,” The New York Times, October 22, 2020.

[8] Amanda Barroso, “Key takeaways on Americans views on gender equality a century after U.S. women gained the right to vote,” Pew Research Center, August 13, 2020.

[9] Pew Research Center, “U.S. Public continues to favor legal abortion, Oppose overturning Roe vs. Wade,” August 29, 2019.

[10] Pew Research Center, “Majority of Public Favors Same Sex Marriage, but Divisions Persist,” May 14, 2019.

[11] Pew Research Center, “Views of Foreign Policy,” December 17, 2019.

[12] Ford Fessenden and Lazaro Gamio, “The Relentless Shrinking of Trump’s Base,” The New York Times, October 22, 2020.

[13] Editorial, “Surprise! The election is unfolding as predicted,” The Washington Post, November 5, 2020.

[14] David Daley, “Getting rid of Trump won’t be enough to fix America’s broken democracy,” Guardian, November 7, 2020.

[15] Bob Carr, “The US electoral system is a shambles. They could learn a lot from Australia,” Guardian, October 29, 2020.

[16] Sam Levine, “Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy,” Guardian, October 30, 2020.

[17] Paul Krugman, “Is America becoming a failed state,” The New York Times, November 5, 2020.

[18] Larry Diamond, “A new Administration Won’t Heal American Democracy,” Foreign Affairs, November 5, 2020.

[19] Bhaskar Sunkara, “America is a failing state. And establishment politics can’t solve the crisis,” Guardian, November 1, 2020.

[20] Monica Hesse, “The fantasy of repudiating Trumpism is dead,” The Washington Post, November 4, 2020.

[21] Tom Nichols, “A large portion of the electorate chose the sociopath,” The Atlantic, November 4, 2020.

[22] Zeynep Tufekci, “”America’s Next Authoritarian Will be Much More Competent,” The Atlantic, November 6, 2020.

[23] Timothy Egan, “American Democracy Survives its Brush with Death,” The New York Times, November 6, 2020.

[24] Nell Irvin Painter, “It Shouldn’t be this Close. But There’s Hope, Too,” The New York Times, November 5, 2020.

[25] Jonathan Freedland, “Donald Trump’s malignant spell could soon be broken,” Guardian, November 6, 2020.

[26] Paul Schemm and Adam Taylor, “‘Welcome Back,’” America’s allies celebrate Biden win, hope for a U.S. return to global cooperation,” The Washington Post, November 8, 2016.

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