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Joe Biden's election offers lessons for Europe on how to deal with far-right populism

Research output: Other contribution

Publication date21/11/2020
DescriptionOpinion piece
<mark>Original language</mark>English


As President Trump and his cadre still refuse to concede the American presidential election, even going so far as to begin vetting new appointees for a regime that will never govern, the reaction from Joe Biden’s team has been instructive. That is to say, they have largely ignored the mess playing out on Pennsylvania Avenue and the many abrasive Trumpian provocations, instead focusing on the task in hand and assembling the teams that will take on the big tasks facing the Biden presidency: COVID-19 and its fallout.

It’s particularly notable because it is a continuation of the strategy Biden had pursued throughout his presidential campaign. While anti-Trump campaigners worried that Biden’s campaign was sedate, lacking in passion, and too fearful of attacking Trump, Biden was fighting a successful campaign based on the one thing that is anathema to far-right populists: rules of engagement and dialogue. Instead of triggering aggression and divisiveness, Biden strived to unify people also across the traditional left-right cleavages in order to set out his agenda.