TOPIC – The long shadow of Trumpism

(Biden faces an uphill task in manoeuvring through the legacy of Trump)

As America prepares for the transition from the tumultuous era of Donald Trump to what many hope would be a more sedate and serious Presidency of Joe Biden, there is as much nervousness about the challenges in future as there is a sense of anticipation about impending changes. But while politicians often have the luxury of campaigning in poetry, they have to govern in prose and respond to policy issues of the day in real-time.  Mr. Biden, as much as he would have liked, will neither have complete autonomy from his predecessor nor a clean slate from which his policy options might emerge. He will have to respond to an America which Donald Trump has transformed, for better or for worse, and he will have an international environment, which, too, has been changed in the last few years, partly by Mr. Trump’s policy choices and partly by the strategic realities evolving at an unprecedented speed. Domestically, Mr. Biden has his task cut out to reach out to Mr. Trump’s supporters, a majority of whom still believe that the new President has not been elected by fair means. Such a continuing support base for Mr. Trump will constrain the ability to usher in the transformational agenda that Mr. Biden may like to effectuate in his initial days. And politically, this would make it all the more difficult to govern from the middle ground of American politics. This will have grave implications for Mr. Biden’s foreign policy approach as well. In a number of his foreign policy statements, Mr. Biden has, not surprisingly, harked back to Obama­era policies. But the world has moved on and it is not readily evident if the Obama era template can actually work in a world fundamentally disrupted by forces that post­dated Mr. Obama — Mr. Trump is only one of them. Mr. Biden has an ambitious restorationist agenda wherein he wants the U.S. to rejoin multilateral institutions, work closely with allies and partners, as well as build America’s domestic capacities. Whether he will have enough space to manage this remains to be seen. In an interesting intervention recently, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned that the Biden administration should not return to the old Iranian nuclear deal of 2015 as it can spark an arms race in West Asia. His argument is simple: with Iran’s nuclear capabilities grown and a new window of opportunity with the Abraham Accords, today’s West Asia is not what it was in 2015. The convergence between Israel and Sunni Arab states against the perceived Iranian threat has led to the creation of a new axis with far­ reaching implications for the region’s future. So, while Mr. Biden may like to revive the old Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), other stakeholders are signalling that they are not interested. Mr. Trump has severely restricted Mr. Biden’s space for manoeuvre — he can either continue with Trump­era policies or face political backlash for being soft on China. The Trump legacy will continue to haunt Mr. Biden long after his predecessor has left the White House. It is possible that for all of Mr. Biden’s rhetoric, his next four years would be spent trying to get out of Mr. Trump’s shadow, both at home and abroad.

The Hindu Editorial Words with meanings, synonyms, and antonyms 

Manoeuvre (verb) -Move skilfully or carefully

Synonyms – steer, guide, navigate, operate, tactics

Antonyms – abandon, avoid, disregard, hinder, halt


Sedate (adjective) – Characterized by dignity and propriety

Synonyms – calm, tranquilize, staid, solemn, placid

Antonyms – goofy, boisterous, frivolous, agitated, distressed


Impending (adjective) – About to occur

Synonyms – imminent, approaching, looming, near, menacing

Antonyms – distant, afar, improbable, bygone, bleak


Usher (verb) – Show or guide somewhere

Synonyms – escort, guide, shepherd, attend, chaperone

Antonyms – stop, cease, chase, hound, mentee


Effectuate (verb) – Put into force or operation

Synonyms – achieve, perform, beget, perpetrate, clinch

Antonyms – botch, commence, defer, shelve, abort


Grave (adjective) – Something serious

Synonyms – grievous, critical, tomb, dire, dangerous

Antonyms – silly, frivolous, resurrection, ridiculous, trivial


Hark (verb) – Listen

Synonyms – hearken, attend, mark, heed, eavesdrop

Antonyms – ignore, declaim, discourse, expatiate, jaw


Disrupted (verb) – Interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem

Synonyms – distort, damage, overwrought, heckled, boggles

Antonyms – continuous, brought forth, readied, efficient


Restorationist (noun) – One who believes in a temporary future punishment and presence of God

Synonyms – universalist


Perceive (verb) – Become aware or conscious of something

Synonyms – discern, recognize, notice, consider, cognate

Antonyms – ignore, concrete, dodged, intrinsic


Rhetoric (noun) – The power of persuasion or attraction

Synonyms – oratory, eloquence, bombast, grandiloquence, magniloquence

Antonyms – quiet, gibberish, dialect, jargon, patois