Sakset/Fra hofta

Folk feirer på Times Square i New York etter at Joe Biden er utropt som vinner av presidentvalget 2020. Foto: AP Photo/Seth Wenig/NTB

Joe Biden er slettes ikke død, politisk sett, slik mange trodde, og – dersom han ikke dør fysisk i mellomtida – vil han den 20. januar 2021 bli USAs 46. president, skriver Freddy Gray, redaktør i The Spectator.

Da har en mann fra provinsen i Pennsylvania som stammer og ofte ikke helt vet hvor han befinner seg, kommet svært langt, skriver Gray:

He ain’t dead, politically. Assuming he doesn’t die, physically, he will on 20 January become the 46th president of the United States of America. Not bad for a 78-year old boy from Scranton, Pennsylvania with a lifelong speech impediment and a worrying tendency to forget where he is.

Biden har ikke blitt unisont og entusiastisk heiet fram, akkurat, han har blitt latterliggjort som både senil, en zombie og et fossil. Så var det akkurat det flertallet av amerikanerne likevel ønsket seg:

People said that Biden would be too old and senile to beat the political weather system that is Donald J. Trump. He has proved them wrong — just. He has been called a Democratic fossil, demented, his campaign a ‘zombie effort’. Yet it turns out, in this morbid year of disease and crisis, a zombie candidate is exactly what the majority of Americans wanted.

Trumps styrke som politiker er å være offensiv og direkte, men det har ikke fungert mot Biden. Biden trakk seg unna, og pandemien fungerte som perfekt unnskyldning. «He ran a campaign that didn’t actually campaign,» som Gray treffende skriver, og Trump hadde ingen å slåss mot.

Valget ble en folkeavstemming for eller imot Trump. Og flertallet har aldri vært Trump-fans i USA.

The strategy was obvious: withdraw from the public eye and turn the election into a referendum on Trump, who, though loved by fans, has never been popular with the American electorate as a whole. It was brilliant in its way: the President’s nuclear ego means he can’t help but grab everyone’s attention all the time. And a lot of people really don’t like having to see Donald Trump everywhere they look. Trump’s great skill is his political jujitsu: using his opponents’ strengths against them. But he struggled to grapple with a frail older man who seemed to be avoiding the fray.

Trump hadde ingen i ringen å bokse med. Da er det ikke lett å framstå som champion.

Lær alt om klimasaken og hysteriet rundt den. Kjøp Kents bok her!

Biden vant på å være ikke-Trump, og han vant også på å være ikke-Hillary Clinton, som ble oppfattet som arrogant og upålitelig.

But Biden has won not because of he is but who he isn’t. He isn’t Trump. He also isn’t Hillary Clinton. He won because people generally think he’s a decent and caring man.

Bidens godmodige image viste seg å være nok – ikke minst fordi mediene hjalp til, både ved å ikke stille ham vanskelige spørsmål og dels holde noen tema helt unna spaltene. «The Trump machine threw all sorts of dirt at him, none of it stuck,» mener Gray.

Gray legger ikke skjul på hvor partiske de aller fleste mediene i USA har vært. De skrev for eksempel ikke om skandalene rundt sønnen, Hunter Biden.

Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal — and the emails suggesting Joe Biden was involved in his son’s shady business dealings with foreign governments — did not turn out to be as devastating as Team Trump hoped, partly because large chunks of the media refused to cover it, partly because people just didn’t want to believe that sweet old Joe could be so corrupt. They were much more inclined to think that Hillary was up to no good. She just had that effect on people. Sexism, perhaps.

Ikke minst unge mennesker og kvinner stemte Biden fram. Men Gray legger også vekt på et annet poeng, nemlig at Trumps angrep på Bidens alder og reduserte kapasitet kanskje reduserte oppslutningen i sin egen sterkeste velgerbase, nemlig eldre, hvite mennesker uten universitetsgrad:

More crucially, however, in terms of scraping victory in the electoral college, the Democratic nominee also appeared to eat into Trump’s advantage with non-college educated whites and seniors in critical states. Perhaps it was foolish of Trump to spend so much time mocking Joe’s fading mental faculties, given that nearly a quarter of the American electorate is over 65 years old and probably sensitive about dementia.

I tillegg hadde demokratene mer penger enn Trump.

Men først og fremst ble Trump massivt motarbeidet av mediene, med unntak av Fox News og New York Post:

But nothing helped Biden more than the partisanship of most of the media — both traditional and social. With the exception of Fox News, which as Trump often has pointed out was hardly a reliable Republican cheerleader this year, all the major TV networks were almost relentlessly negative towards Trump. So were most newspapers, with the exception of the New York Post, and most popular media websites. Even the Drudge Report, a hugely successful news aggregator and major Trump booster in 2016, turned against the President. The media failed or refused to scrutinise Biden or ask him challenging questions. Journalists also colluded — to use the word so often employed in relation to Trump and Russia — with the Biden campaign to not run that Hunter Biden story. Twitter and Facebook went even further, blocking accounts which linked to the New York Post’s big scoop revealing emails that suggested Biden may have been compromised by a significant business deal with the Chinese.

Mediene kan dermed si: mission accomplished.

Trump er ute i januar. Nøkkelfigurer fra Obama-tiden vil komme tilbake. Klimapolitikk vil igjen bli viktig. Iranavtalen kan gjenoppstå, nevner Gray, som slutter kommentaren med resignasjon: det er ikke Obamas hope and change Biden bringer med seg til Det hvite hus:

But Biden’s victory isn’t a triumph of hope and change. It is in many ways the opposite.

 

Freddy Gray er redaktør for Spectator USA og viseredaktør i The Spectator.

Biden sleepwalks to The White House 

 

Kjøp Halvor Foslis klassiker her!