Trump has a good chance of re-election. Polls suggest he is not far below the 46 per cent vote that gave him victory in 2016. And if he loses in November, what happens to those tens of millions of Americans who are devoted to his destructive style of political leadership? They’ll still be there. The seeds of America’s long-term decline have germinated and it’s hard to see how Joe Biden will have the standing or the energy to reverse that.
The US in 2020 resembles a failed state, with a fabulist for a leader and political polarities that cannot be reconciled even by an untreatable pandemic that has already killed 80,000 citizens and is certain to kill many tens of thousands more. Knowing this, whether Australia can afford to continue to place so much trust and reliance on America is an open question, given that the disparity between the two countries’ values is becoming greater.
We’ve learnt that we have less in common with America and Americans than we thought. These first few months of the COVID-19 era have demonstrated that Australia has a stronger polity. Australians have behaved better, for longer, than Americans. For all our shortcomings and the stresses of the past two months, we’ve maintained a spirit of solidarity and a firm notion of what’s best for ourselves and our community.