Steven Telles, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, recently lamented that “the United States is now two countries.”
On November 14, a massive demonstration broke out in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States. Tens of thousands of Americans poured into the city center, shouting slogans of different opinions such as “Stop theft (election)”, “Trump 2020” or “(Trump) is illegal”. After nightfall, fierce clashes between the extreme right and extreme left groups resulted in one stabbing and more than 20 arrests.
The 2020 U.S. election is regarded as one of the sharpest and most divisive elections in U.S. history. Its stalemate and anomaly reflect the chaos in the governance of the U.S. government over the past 4 years—or even longer. In the three aspects of political system imbalance, economic development imbalance and Coronavirus out of control.
Political system disorder
The governance disorder of the US government is first manifested in the disorder of the political system. As early as September of this year, Trump stated that he would peacefully transfer the power of the president after he refused to lose the election, on the grounds that the surge in mailed votes affected by the Coronavirus would cause “election fraud.” Trump has not yet admitted to losing the election, and despite the failure of his lawsuits on vote-counting disputes in many states, he still insists that he has evidence of the Democratic Party’s “election manipulation”.
With the advancement of the vote-counting process and Biden’s gradual expansion of the lead, Trump has repeatedly stated that “illegal votes” should be excluded and all legitimate votes should be counted. This is actually a challenge to the fairness and legitimacy of this election process, and it also affected the views of American voters to a certain extent.
In addition to the presidential election, this year’s Congressional Senate general election is also extremely stalemate. At present, counting the two independent senators who are consistent with the Democrats, the Democratic Party, as a minority party in the Senate, has won 48 seats out of the 100 seats in the House, narrowing the gap with the Republicans. If the Republican Party wins both seats in Georgia in January next year, it will continue to maintain its majority in the Senate.
But even so, the Republican Party’s representation in the Senate is still about 20 million fewer than the Democrats. The British “Guardian” believes that the equal allocation of two senators to each state by the Senate regardless of population is one of the manifestations of the “deep flaws” of the American democratic system. Similar system flaws have existed for as long as the United States’ history.
The imbalance of the American political system is also seen in the successive political struggles in the executive, legislative, and judicial fields. For example, the new round of economic stimulus plan under the Coronavirus pandemic has been difficult to pass in Congress due to the differences between the two parties. Trump nominated a conservative judge. The appointment of M. Koney Barrett as Justice of the Federal Supreme Court has sparked fierce party disputes.
Wu Xiuming, a professor at Columbia University School of Law, pointed out that in the past four years, the system of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution has repeatedly proved to be invalid, and “partisan loyalty” has surpassed everything.
Economic development imbalance
The chaos in American governance is also reflected in the imbalance of economic development. Take the employment situation as an example. The October unemployment rate data released by the US Department of Labor shows that the US job market is still fragile under the influence of Coronavirus pandemic, and more ethnic minority Americans “cannot breathe” under the weight of Coronavirus pandemic.
The data shows that the employment recovery momentum among different ethnic groups such as African American, Latino, and white is different, with unemployment rates of 10.8%, 8.8% and 6% respectively.
However, Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on a new round of fiscal stimulus, which has greatly restricted the flow of funds to the unemployed and companies affected by the Pandemic. The prospects for a balanced recovery in the employment market continue to be dim.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its recent G20 monitoring report that the global economic recovery may be losing momentum and the Pandemic will leave deep and unequal scars. In fact, Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the survival crisis of the bottom people in the United States, and the middle-class crisis caused by the uneven distribution of wealth in the United States has already existed and is triggering social and political unrest.
Chris Buskerk, editor of the American conservative website “America Great”, believes that no political party in the United States can solve the long-term structural problems of uneven domestic development, and it is likely to create an unsustainable situation. In the future, if the situation persists, the United States may experience more factional conflicts, or class conflicts, ethnic conflicts, and even greater education gaps or spiritual deficits, making the US economic development imbalance or middle-level hollowing trend more severe.
Out of control of the Coronavirus pandemic
This year’s general election was held against the background of a large-scale outbreak of Coronavirus in the United States, which has not been effectively controlled for a long time. The out-of-control Pandemic has not only profoundly reshaped the election process, but has also become another example of the chaos in American governance.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, as of the early morning of November 22, Eastern Time, more than 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with Coronavirus, and more than 250,000 Americans have lost their lives. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since November, the number of confirmed cases in a single day in the United States has continued to surge to more than 100,000, and on the 20th it hit a new high of nearly 200,000.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, it has become a tool of partisan struggle in the United States. The two parties have accused each other of politicizing the Pandemicm,, but failed to take effective measures to control the spread of the virus.
The differences between the two parties in responding to the Pandemic have profoundly affected the trend of public opinion, and aggravated the division and opposition between the two camps. When the Pandemic was severe in April this year, some people in Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia and other places took to the streets to protest because they were dissatisfied with the local government’s home order.
This move was supported by Trump. He continuously posted on social media calling for the “liberation” of the above three states.
However, Democratic voters hold the opposite view. Washington DC voter Karen Davis told our reporter after voting on election day on November 3 that the current government lacks a national anti-Pandemic policy. If Trump is re-elected, she and her husband will leave the United States.