My inbox busts with congratulatory messages. In my typical petulant way I reply to some, “So why didn’t you show your antipathy to Trump earlier?”
The world’s relief at Trump’s defeat is overwhelming. It pisses me off that so many kept this feeling so off-record until now, even though I understand: Foreigners know so much better than Americans that the president of the United States has too much power. Secondly, America never stays on the right track for long: Take it while you can.
“The victory of Joe Biden …is a win for the world,” is the lead editorial in Kenya’s Daily Nation today.
“Under outgoing President Donald Trump, the US lost glory and honour among the comity of nations. America lost values that had stood it in pole position for centuries…
“History has placed on Mr Biden a monumental global assignment; he has to seize the oar and paddle.”
‘Quickly’, the Daily Nation editors should have added, but their sentiment was the best of many that appeared this weekend throughout Africa and around the world.
Many, though, were sanguine:
“Hide the good silverware, Donald Trump’s getting evicted from the people’s house,” began the opinion of South Africa’s Business Insider.
“Trump is still the GOP. And the GOP is Trump…The GOP he hijacked in 2016 has no coalition of principled lawmakers… They all sold out to Dear Orange Man to hold onto their precious seats.
“Trump’s not going to be any more gracious a loser than he’s been as a winner. Thus, he’s got no incentive not to burn down every remaining democratic norm.”
I’ve often wondered why Americans shut their eyes and ears to foreign analysis but after reading editorial after editorial around Africa this weekend, I now know. We Americans fear the truth, because the truth is that we’re screwing up. But we’re so damn powerful that the rest of the world is very reticent giving us the goods … until a moment like this protects them however briefly against retribution.
“I am yet to meet an American who understands the rules of cricket,” writes South African Bruce Whitfield in South Africa’s Financial Mail today. “But I’m willing to bet that if the Republicans were introduced to DLS they would grab onto it with both hands.”
‘DLS’ is a cricket score determination that Whitfield compares to our electoral college: both equally complicated and both manifestly unfair.
No analysis was more sober than from one of the most respected, wise and aged foreign journalists in the world, the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, Lyse Doucet:
On the Sunday midday News Hour Ms. Doucet told the presenter that “The world has been rebuked by the United States” under Trump and that nothing she can imagine a Biden administration can do will reinstate our previous preeminence.
There are some things that cannot be undone.
The question now is will we hang our head and apologize, and then get to work putting our own house back in order. Or continue racing each other towards the cliff edge.
Two preeminent London bookies, Coral and Ladbrokes,have opened betting on the U.S. 2024 election. Here’s how Coral sees it as of 6 p.m., London time, today:
Kamala at 4/1 leads Biden at 7/2.
The next closest is Donald Trump at 10/1. Nikki Haley is at 12/1. Pence is at 16/1. AOC is at 20/1. Ivanka comes in at 25/1. Donald Jr. and Michelle Obama tie at 33/1. Warren is 50/1 and Bernie is 66/1. P.S. Hillary, Chelsea, Oprey and George Clooney are all 100/1.
So sad that the longest odds are on America.