On top of all of the other social and economic disruption caused by Covid19, it’s especially unfortunate that, at the same time, we have to bear the instability and craziness of a US Presidential election. I once heard Tom Hanks refer to it as ‘the circus coming to town every four years, with trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns, bright lights and loud music’.
Anyone who has watched “The Loudest Voice” will understand the important role played by Roger Ailes before he died to bolster the conservative side of politics with Fox News which led to the surprise election of President Trump and the nationalism/populism that followed. And so it’s important to understand that, for the next few months, US politics will be dominated by the campaign to get Trump re-elected, or for Biden to take over. Without a booming economy and rising stock market to point to, the Trump campaign needs to stir up his nationalist/conservative base and the tried-and-tested formula of demonising a foreign power (e.g USSR, Saddam Hussein, ‘Axis of evil’, Al Qaeda from past campaigns) is resulting in a full throttle attack against China.
It’s important for the rest of the world to see this for what it is, and to stay out of it, and for China, in particular, to react calmly and rationally. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much of this lately. Former Australian PM, Kevin Rudd sums up the situation well in this article “The Murdoch media’s China coronavirus conspiracy has one aim: get Trump re-elected” which comments on the latest media scoop (the “Wuhan laboratory leak” thesis) but there will no doubt be many more leaks, scandals and accusations to come between now and November. Strap yourself in!
While this madness is going on, it’s important for calm heads to prevail in all Governments around the world, especially in China.