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Biden presidency and what it means for Kenya

By Surjit Flora | November 17th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

US President-elect Joe Biden with his vice Kamala Harris a during a brief appearance before reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, US, November 5, 2020. [Reuters]

After Joe Biden's victory, which put him on the road to becoming the 46th President of the United States, you could almost hear the whole world breathing a sigh of relief and taking in a collective fresh breath of air. 

Just like every storm leaves significant structural damage in its path, the US and its relationship with other nations may never fully be restored after Hurricane Trump. It will take months and years to sort out the consequences.

But everybody knows that changes in government do not bring significant changes to the system of that country.

What will the presidency of Mr Biden bring to Africa? An analyst at the South African Institute of Security said it may do nothing, or it may be somewhat 'respectful'.

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But if we stick with his words during his 2010 visit to Kenya while he was US vice president, Biden said the successful passage of the new constitution in Kenya and other important political reforms would increase America's investment in the country.

Biden said in a speech in Nairobi that American companies are eager to do business in Kenya. He said if political and economic reforms are carried out as promised, there would be more opportunities. So, if he is going to keep his words, he might be a big hope for Kenyans.

Since the election of Donald Trump, the United States has changed less than you think. The sun is still rising and setting. People are still sleeping, eating, working and studying.

The roads are still busy, power is still running, and the cold water is still cold.

As for how the country has changed... well, the economy is still buzzing, and overall, it is still at or below Barack Obama's trend line.

Trump is sabotaging this, but I will repeat that the country is still a mixed bag socially. Racism and homophobia have once again appeared publicly, and Trump's unfortunate comments about the fairer sex has finally made women even more fragmented on social equality.

Internationally, America has also had troubles. Trump has said that our words are worthless, whether for the wrong reasons or being squeezed out of treaties and agreements.

He ridiculed and weakened diplomacy while admiring war, fighting for other people instead of him and his family.

The United States will not lead when it withdraws.

Americans are rapidly abandoning their leadership role globally, and the new trade war they are still engaged in is causing other countries to exclude them from the trade equation. This has had an impact on our economy.

But I also do not doubt that this notion doesn't apply when it comes to the 2020 American elections.

This is because Trump seems to be the darkest spot in America's character.

Whether he started or sanctioned it, the country was separating relief-seeking mothers from their infants and threatening dictatorial actions during racial unrest caused by police.

Brutality and causing a quarter-million deaths of American citizens by having a leader who has failed to take a pandemic with the seriousness it deserves only highlights Trump's attitude.

Very optimistic

Biden may or may not be able to do much about the environment he now inherits. He may or may not be able to bring dramatic changes to America's international policies. He may or may not be able to wipe out racism from the American soil as everyone knows racism is deeply rooted in the human mind.

Some people manage to uproot it with experience and education; some tend to depress it in their minds. In contrast, others carry it out openly around the globe.

But I am very optimistic that Biden will not carry on the policy of separating infants from their mothers, will not praise police force's racist actions or advocate hate against Muslims as Trump did openly.

And above all, he will not stand still and poke fun at the death bulldozer of the coronavirus that is crushing Americans at full speed.

Having all that in mind, I am not so much celebrating Biden's victory in elections as much as I am delighted by the fact that Americans have ousted a racist and a dictator.

Mr Surjit is a veteran journalist based in Canada


Joe Biden US election Donald Trump
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