Among the many things that President Joe Biden has in common with the formidable Hillary Rodham Clinton is an unshakeable belief that Vladimir Putin sought through devious means in 2020 to deny him the prize that he has coveted for almost the whole of his life, becoming President of the United States. Jill and Joe Biden are wonderful individuals, good hearted and marked by integrity. This was not enough in the past to ensure that Biden entered the White House other than as a visitor. There is a fierce determination in the man that kept him from giving up the quest for the White House. Had it been Biden rather than Hillary Clinton who confronted Donald J. Trump in 2016, he would have won. Perhaps unfairly, the Clintons have the distinction in reverse of having a substantial proportion of US voters allergic to them. Hillary in particular is seen as privileged and aloof, as assuming entitlement to high political office as a matter of right. Although much is written about the “vice-like grip” over the Democratic Party machine of Barack Obama, many of his claimed supporters are closet backers of the Clintons. Once he became President of the US, Obama recognised this by being stingy in the distribution of prize slots to his own team, instead filling the administration with those loyal to the Clintons. This was capped by making Hillary the Secretary of State, a choice that went down poorly with those in Obama’s first presidential campaign, who had worked ceaselessly to fend off the continuous challenge to their leader until it became clear even to her that there was no way that Hillary would replace Obama as the Democratic Party nominee. While the newly-installed President of the US put the bitterness of that encounter behind him, the Clintons never forgot, and in their own way saw to it that as many of the Obama loyalists were excluded from high office as they could manage, even while their own loyalists began to fill up the higher tiers of the government system. Only during his second term was Obama in a mood to induct more of his own loyalists and avoid the packing of the administration by Clinton loyalists that had been a feature of his first term. As for Joe Biden, he had long been a friend of the Clintons, and given his essential good nature, it was no surprise that he stepped aside in the Presidential contest when Hillary made it clear that she wanted to take on an adversary she saw as easy to defeat, Donald J. Trump. Occupying the White House earlier than he finally did may have ensured that Biden avoided some of the blunders of his present term, such as the scurrying away from Afghanistan in 2021 or the way in which he is tossing sanction after sanction at Russia despite the harm several of these are causing to the global economy.
It does not appear obvious that those minds suited to the challenges not of the 20th but the 21st century predominate in the highest ranks of the Biden administration. Any scan of their travel records over the past 15 years would show that the duo that are closest to President Biden, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, still consider Europe and the Atlantic Alliance to remain the centrepoint of global gravity. Although Europeans never consider the US to be anything other than what it is, a separate continent, the Europeanists in Washington, New York and elsewhere in what is still the world’s most consequential country, frame policy on the assumption that the US is a slice of Europe separated only by the waters of the Atlantic. The manner in which the attention of the Biden administration has shifted from the Indo-Pacific and the threat posed by the PRC to the Atlantic and to the effort at ensuring that Putin is humbled by Zelenskyy indicates this clearly. While Russia is a bicontinental country, comprising half of Europe and Asia, the US is in essence a quadri-continental country, having an equal resonance in Asia, Africa and South America as it does in Europe. That several of those who are seen as “liberal” loathe the “right wing” Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter indicates that many of them may be intolerant of those with viewpoints opposed to theirs. That those with a contrarian view have no right to freely express such heresy. Until now, Twitter favoured such individuals over more conservative users, even in matters where they are in error, such as wrongly giving a free pass to certain forms of religious intolerance while correctly condemning others. Calls via Twitter to violence and the promotion of racial or religious supremacy should be blocked, this should not be done selectively, as seems the case with Twitter, but entirely. In a world where Marine le Pen may be elected as the next PM of France, blocking of an elected sitting President of the US does not indicate a neutral platform, which is what Twitter needs to be. Just as religious or racial supremacists, liberal supremacists and exclusivists need to accept that the world has moved towards a multi-opinioned view of reality, which is the way that is emerging in the 21st century.