The ‘big picture’ and prospects for US politics in 2020 remain similar to the previous three years but represent the culmination of the post-2016 experience: tension, political turbulence, polarisation, social fractures, and division…but also the strengthening of socialistic tendencies in public opinion and in the Congress.
Rising geopolitical tensions – in the Far East, in Central Europe, Middle East and North Africa, in Latin America, a new nuclear arms race focused on hypersonic missiles with Russia and China, tensions over China’s rising economic muscle and self-confidence – present opportunities for Trump personal agendas as well as for ramping up military spending to record levels.
Just following recent Iran, China and Russian naval exercises in the Gulf, the targeted killing of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani by US drones ratchets up tensions and the threat of another regional war with global implications,
Still, there remains hope in the face of those threatening tensions in the form of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QI). Less known, although potentially-significant, it is the Security Policy Reform Institute (SPRI) that aims to develop a fresh new foreign policy based on US working-class interests.
Viewed through such lenses the fault-lines in US party politics realign the major candidates. Pete Buttigieg and Joseph Biden align with one another as well as closer to mainstream traditional Republicans: steeped in Big Money politics, attendant political agendas and liberal interventionism abroad. Their programme necessitates hard borders, corporate power, increased state power over civilian life, and a continued strategy of global militarism and war.