M D Nalapat
SENATOR Elizabeth Warren is gaining on the Clinton clique’s lead choice for the Presidency of the United States, former Vice-President Joe Biden. This inoffensive and financially honest member of the once Clinton-dominated (but now just Clinton-influenced) Washington Beltway has had a stellar career in politics, and had a winnable chance of becoming President of the United States in 2016. However, during the 2016 campaign for the Democratic Party nomination, he stepped aside in favour of Hillary Clinton as the challenger to Donald J Trump, in a supreme act of loyalty to the Clinton clique within the Democratic Party. The Clintons believed that it would be an easy matter to defeat Trump, and they ensured through friendly media outlets a stream of reports, most dealing with the personal life of the New York billionaire who in friendlier times had worked together with the Clintons in matters of business.
Although Joe Biden casts himself as the favourite of the still popular Barack Obama, the reality is that Obama refused to endorse a 2016 Biden bid for the Presidency, nor has he – publicly at least – supported his former Vice-President against the nearly two dozen other challengers that he has to be the party nominee for the 2020 polls. While Biden claims that he is the politician closest to Obama on a daily basis, there seems to have been some flaw in the relationship that has thus far prevented the 44rth US President from endorsing Biden as the best 46th President. Despite his well deserved reputation for integrity, it is known that Senator Biden stood foursquare behind the massive financial interests headquartered in Delaware, just across the border from Washington. And that Biden still has a whiff of the ethnic superiority that some individuals of European extraction have when they compare themselves to those with an Asian or an African ethnic background. Some of the unguarded remarks made by Biden on the campaign trail (such as his patronizing comment that some of those children not of European extraction are as good as the latter) give indications that Joe Biden is in some aspects very much a man of the 1950s, a time when segregation was commonplace in states such as Mississippi and Alabama.
That was a time when several European countries still retained their colonies, and when much of South America was governed by the 5-15% of the population of individual countries that had full European ethnicity. At that time, Asia was still far behind Europe in economic development, while in the field of education, Asian countries were far behind their European counterparts. Given the hangover of nearly four centuries of European colonization of much of the world (including the wiping off of most of the native populations of North America and Australia, such attitudes were perhaps no surprise. However, Biden retains some very conservative views on the right to abortion as well as on divorce, being a strict follower of the Church of Rome in his private life. He is therefore not representative of the overwhelming majority of the population of the US, and it shows.
Joe Biden is day before yesterday’s man, so it is not a surprise that his candidacy is being overtaken by a fiercely idealistic Senator, Elizabeth Warren. This US Senator has shown a contempt for the US financial industry ( which almost closed down the world economy in 2008 because of its greed) that has alarmed those who seek to beguile small investors of their savings through misleading claims. Were she to become President of the US, Elizabeth Warren would follow in the footsteps of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who sought to control the moneybags. Because of the manner in which he folded up his 2016 campaign and trotted along (with then President Obama) behind the campaign train of Hillary Clinton, it would appear that Senator Bernie Sanders is fading out of the race. Another idealistic campaigner, California Senator Kamala Harris, seems to have used the political appeal of her adopted family (including children), for fear of diluting her appeal to the African-American community.
Had her adopted family (which is of European ethnicity) been given a central role in her campaign, Senator Harris may not have been trailing behind Clinton favourite Biden (whose appeal seems to be fading by the day) as well as Senators Warren and Sanders. A Joe Biden would get defeated with ease by Donald J Trump. An Elizabeth Warren has the mass appeal needed to overcome the billionaire’s advantages in the 2020 contest. Throughout her career, she has refused to bow to the pressure and the blandishments of Big Money. She is clearly a person of character, which is why more and more voters are flocking around her candidacy. Should she come first in Iowa and New Hampshire, she would be en route to securing the Democratic Party nomination, although she will of course be opposed by the Clintons. This pair represents the Big Money that Senator Warren has battled all her political life against, and there must be hectic backroom games being played to slow down her progress towards front runner status.
During this contest between her and Biden, reports that Hunter Biden (the son of Joe Biden) may have dealt with some dodgy individuals in Ukraine (a country awash in dodgy individuals) are not helping his father. Rather than accept that an investigation into possible corruption by the son of a Vice-President of the US (which Joe Biden was at the time Hunter was in Kiev) is in the US national interest, some Democratic Party hopefuls are seeking to impeach President Trump for daring to ask the Ukrainian authorities for information about possible corruption by a prominent US citizen. Impeaching Trump on such a specious charge will finish off both the Biden campaign as well as the image of integrity that the post-Clinton leadership in the Democratic Party is seeking to create. Impeachment will add to the votes for President Trump, not subtract them. Once again, the Clinton clique is on course to ensure victory for Donald J Trump in 2020, the way they did in 2016.
—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.