In the midst of all the preparations for the Royal Funeral, it seems an appropriate time to lift our horizons a bit and have a look at events away from these shores. It may not seem like it with the media doing nothing but wall to wall, 24/7, coverage of the funeral arrangements and constant reheating of the same tributes to a life well lived, but there are things happening across the globe and some of them will have a major impact on our lives.
In the US, it seemed just a few months ago that President Biden and the Democrats were heading for a pretty catastrophic mid term election night. There was considerable unease, to say the least, at his performance, the economy wasn’t perceived as being in a good place and the Republicans were riding high in the polls.
Then strangely enough came the prospect of partial salvation at least in the form of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court. The decision to strike down virtually all of Roe v Wade enraged not only feminists but a huge section of American society, male and female, which thought that the abortion battle had been fought and won 50 years ago and was now a settled issue. This decision can only be viewed as being ideological in nature because there certainly was no broad clamour to revisit the issue outside the fringes of the evangelical right and the wilder shores of the Republican Party. If ever there was a classic case of people having a mouth full of scripture and a heart full of hate, here it was in all it’s repulsive ugliness. At last, the Democrats had an issue where they were standing four square with huge parts of America.
Next came the fall in oil prices which is a vastly more important issue in the US than it is here given the distances people travel and how accustomed the American motorist has become to cheap fuel. For the best part of 100 days now, the price at the pumps in the US has been falling daily. You might well wonder how that is when we’ve not seen a corresponding fall in the UK and you would be right to do so but it seems that corporate greed in the US is not the “market leader” after all.
Gift number 3 came from the mind blowingly bad tactics adopted by Trump and his lackeys to the FBI search warrant being executed at Mar-a-Lago. It’s worth remembering that this revolves around a very simple question; why did the former President take documents which should have been in the National Archives and keep them in his house?
The controversy around “classification” is a red herring, why did he have them? Why did he not return them? Why did his lawyers claim that they had all been returned when they hadn’t?
The FBI had gone out of its way to give him time and space, they waited months before going there at all, they wrote and asked for everything to be returned, they even waited till he was in New York to avoid embarrassment to a former President. And Trump’s reaction, as usual he just wanted to wage war and rile up his base. They demanded transparency and more information and oh boy did they get it! You know that old saying about being careful what you wish for! Every time the FBI were forced to give more information, the worse the situation became for Trump. Now even his lawyers are facing professional disqualification if not jail, because of the misinformation peddled and “that” picture of the classified document covers really allowed the average Joe to see why the FBI acted and the potential risks posed to the US security. Rumour has it that at least one foreign agent has been arrested “trespassing” at the Mar-A-Lago estate, which is not a private home but a leisure complex with members, and their guests, able to access it.
Finally, Biden saw the opportunity to separate the traditional Republican, who valued law and order etc from the Trump base. His campaign to divorce the average Republican from the “MAGA Republicans” seems to be paying off as Trump’s legal issues increase and his influence might just be tailing off. The fact that Sarah Palin lost in Alaska may well be one of the early signs of this. Many Republican primaries were won by “MAGA” supporters and if the current polling movement continues this may well not only save the Democrats from a hiding, but they may even hold on to the Senate and perhaps also the House.
How does this impact us? Well, it may well be enough to keep Trump off the ballot. I suspect that his fragile ego couldn’t handle losing again and if that’s the case the world will be a safer place. Would he still have influence in his Party? Yes, but he would struggle to explain why he wasn’t on the ballot and that would reduce his influence and open the doors for others. A divided Republican Party would make the fight a bit easier for whoever runs in Biden’s place. The Democrats are far from perfect but a heck of a lot better that the current GOP.