2. As parties of the right and former left adopted similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turned to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people were drawn to the anti-politics that Trump seemed to represent.
3. Biden will take the reins just as the pandemic and accompanying economic crisis come to a head. Though he didn’t cause them, he will be blamed. He’s in danger of becoming the 21st Century’s Herbert Hoover.
4. *If* he seeks any substantial political reform, he will be hampered by a (probably) Republican Senate and a definitely hostile Supreme Court.
5. Trump demonstrated the absence of effective checks and balances in the US political system, and blazed a trail for other demagogues to follow.
6. Trump might be power-mad and entirely lacking in conscience and empathy, but he is also chaotic and incompetent and lacked a clear programme. In other words, he was a hopeless would-be dictator. Next time we might not be so lucky.
7. He has opened the door to something much worse: an intelligent psychopath.
8. Because there was no blue wave, Biden, even if so inclined, cannot change the outrageously slanted electoral college system, or the allocation of Senate seats. US elections will continue to grant disproportionate weight to rightwing extremists.
9. Biden will say the right things, but his presidency will be characterised by paralysis. This means that all the issues that led to Trump’s election – disillusionment, frustration, anger, polarisation – could be worse in 2024.
10. There might not be a solution. I fear the US could be intrinsically crocked: constitutionally padlocked, beholden to the power of money, irredeemably divided. But at least we should be honest about the problem.
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