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Biden vs Trump 2024: where does Australia stand?

By Teck Lim - posted Monday, 12 February 2024

Those following the U.S. Republican presidential race will note that the issue of foreign affairs ranks amongst the lowest or is the lowest of the concerns that the American public sees as critical to themselves and their country. A variety of polls held before the recently concluded nomination battles in Iowa and New Hampshire revealed that less than 10% of the supporters of the candidates identified foreign policy as their major concern.

Not surprisingly, domestic concerns related to the economy, jobs, cost of living and inflation rank highest for Republican and Democratic party supporters. Young voters who may be the key deciding group on Election Day, November are expected to focus on issues rather than candidates.

Why US voters' attention is focused on domestic issues rather than the state of the international order that incumbent President Biden and the US dominated MIM (military-industrial-media) complex would like to see dominant in the minds of the American and international public is easy to understand.


American Society and Politics in Disarray

Ordinary Americans - over the past 15 years and especially during Biden's administration - have seen their everyday lives intruded upon and consumed by differences over immigration, abortion, crime in cities, racial bigotry, woke ideology, LGBTQ+, culture fights, fentanyl and opioid related addiction concerns. Also the range of economic issues affecting them appears unresolvable and never ending. The bad news on these dominate the headlines and media coverage with increasing news reports on the court cases against Trump for his business dealings and attempt to reverse the previous election result. Less in the spotlight is Biden's alleged corruption and son's court cases.

On the political front, the US is seen by many American and foreign analysts to have been in democratic decline for at least 10 years now. According to the Economist, the United States now ranks not among the world's "full democracies" but among the "flawed democracies" such as Israel, Poland, and Brazil.

It is likely that the US political division that the world sees and the inability of America's leaders to resolve the country's existential socio-economic and political problems will continue long after this election outcome.

Neither likely presidential contenders, Trump or Biden, are well regarded by the majority of the American public. Both are widely seen as too old and untrustworthy. Both have failed to inspire confidence in handling the myriad challenges on the domestic and international front that the US faces.

According to a recent Pews poll in April 2023, more Americans were very or somewhat pessimistic of the nation's future in the following areas, with the first two areas having a majority of respondents expressing pessimism:

  • Moral and ethical standards (63%)

  • System of education (59%)

  • Ability to ensure racial equality for all people (44%)

  • Ability of the U.S. to get along with other countries of the world (41%)

  • Institution of marriage and family (40%)

Given the current disorder in American society and the perceived hollowness of its advocacy of democracy and human rights, can the outcome of the 2024 election bring change in US foreign policy and the global international order in which the US has set itself up as judge, jury, policeman and sheriff?

U.S.Foreign Policy Going Forward Impact

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About the Author

Lim Teck Ghee, a former graduate of the Australian National University, is a political analyst in Malaysia. He has a regular column called, ‘Another Take’ in The Sun, one of the nation’s print media.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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