1) Resistance to Biden is likely
The result of the election made it clear America has not rejected ‘Trumpism’ and remains deeply polarized. Donald Trump remains an important figure within the Republican Party, and perhaps even its leader.
Some senior figures in the party support his efforts to convey the impression the election was ‘stolen’ from them, and analysts such as Max Boot and Timothy Snyder are even comparing this to the Dolchstosslegende (myth of a stab in the back) in Germany after World War I.
Assuming Joe Biden does take over as president on 20 January, the question is what form any ‘resistance’ to his administration takes. Many opponents of the Trump administration saw themselves as the ‘resistance’ but that situation is now reversed as conservative opponents of Biden form their own movement against what they see as an illegitimate government.
As the number of coronavirus cases soars in the US, Biden is likely to immediately take measures that go further than the Trump administration did, which will increase opposition from conservatives who see such a move as restricting their freedom as Americans. And it is almost inevitable there will be a battle between the Biden administration and the conservative-dominated Supreme Court — whether over abortion, healthcare, or other issues.
The question is whether opponents of Biden can become a powerful movement as the proto-Trumpian Tea Party did after Barack Obama became president in 2008 — which was partly based on opposition to his economic stimulus measures, and partly on racial .
Opposition to Biden comes from senior Republicans in Congress at one end of the spectrum, and armed militia groups on the streets at the other end. Each opposes Biden for different reasons — in particular, they are divided between social conservatives and libertarians — and it is not certain they will come together. Ultimately, much may still depend on Trump himself, whether — and how — he leads this resistance to Biden.
2) Biden’s ability to deliver key policies may depend on China
To read more, visit ChathamHouse.org