Instant Opinion: ‘Trump may lose, but Trumpism will go on’

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph

on voters scared to reveal their political allegiance

Trump may lose the election, but the American culture war will continue to rage

“A section of the electorate genuinely loves Trump, but his relationship with most voters has always been transactional: they backed him in 2016 less for who he was than who he wasn’t. The Democrats don’t understand this. They had an easy shot at the White House this time – with Trump driving even his own supporters away, they could’ve run Biden as a moderate alternative and walked it. Instead, they chose to embrace the protests and the toxic politics that go with them. The delusions of this strategy were summed up by a tweet Biden put out arguing that the Confederate flag should be banned from military bases, and that it should be possible to fly the gay pride flag instead. It begs the question, who do you vote for if you don’t have some weird obsession with flags? The pollster Robert Cahaly, one of the most accurate in 2016, talks about a ‘social desirability bias’, which means people lie about who they are going to vote for because they are frightened of being ostracised.”

2. Trevor Phillips in The Times

on the idea we all need to ‘stay in our lane’

Woke warriors threaten our sense of identity

“Singing ‘glad to be gay’ does not demean heterosexuality any more than declaring ‘I am woman’ suggests that men are a bad lot. It is true that while most great jazz trumpeters are black I’ll never be one of them. I once ran very fast but I was always a duffer with a cricket ball. Neither fact prevents me from identifying with the success of American jazz musicians and West Indian fast bowlers; pride in my identity does not have to imply criticism of anyone else’s. But increasingly, the woke are turning what should be the very basis of solidarity – pleasure in what people who share your background bring to the world – into a source of suffering, misery and fear. If the left wants to defeat nationalism, it needs to change its tune on belonging. Discrimination on the basis of gender, race or sexual orientation has caused us all much grief. Let’s not make the joy of belonging to a tribe a fresh casualty of the culture wars.”

3. Peter Beinart in The New York Times

on what Biden has that Clinton did not

The Real Reason Biden Is Winning? He’s a Man

“What has changed radically over the past four years isn’t Americans’ perception of Mr. Trump. It’s their perception of his opponent. According to Real Clear Politics’s polling average, Joe Biden’s net approval rating is about -1 point. At this point in the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton’s net approval rating was -17 points. For much of the 2016 general election, Mr. Trump faced a Democratic nominee who was also deeply unpopular. Today, he enjoys no such luck. Why was Mrs. Clinton so much more unpopular than Mr. Biden is now? There’s good reason to believe that gender plays a key role. For starters, Mrs. Clinton wasn’t just far less popular than Mr. Biden. She was far less popular than every male Democratic nominee since at least 1992. Neither Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry nor Barack Obama faced overwhelming public disapproval throughout their general election campaigns. Hillary Clinton did.”

4. James Millward, professor of history at Georgetown University, in The Guardian

on acting to prevent genocide in Xinjiang

The Uighurs’ suffering deserves targeted solutions, not anti-Chinese posturing

“A number of democratic nations have already denounced the Xinjiang atrocities in the UN Human Rights Council – a body from which Trump rashly withdrew the US, clearing the way for cynical PRC perversion of the council’s purpose. Although these 22 nations (including Britain, much of Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) were outnumbered by a cadre of states lined up behind Beijing, the joint statement condemning Xinjiang mass detentions matters, as will future such moves. At the same time, whatever can be done to slow the runaway, off-the-rails train of Trumpian China policy more generally, and resolutely oppose racism and indiscriminate China-bashing, is equally necessary. If the UK, EU and other democratic allies are caught near the beginning of a US-China cold war, the Huawei tiff will be just the beginning. Maintaining cultural and academic relations with the PRC is now more important than ever, as White House xenophobes seek to exclude Chinese people from American soil.”

5. Sean O’Grady in The Independent

on the shockwaves of ‘Megxit’

The Meghan and Harry drama is just like Brexit – there’s no cherry picking and it’ll all end in tears

“Megxit is turning out to be more than a bit like Brexit. It has become apparent that there is no soft version of either after all, no happy halfway house, no grand compromise that would allow all sides to have their cake and eat it. You’re either in the EU or you’re out, so far as Britain is concerned; you’re either royal or you ain’t, in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It ends in tears. The only thing left are the recriminations, and to sort out who gets the blame… From what I’ve seen of the curiously named Finding Freedom, a book which puts the Sussexes’ case with suspiciously well-informed partisanship, we’re now well into blame game territory. I’d quite forgotten that Megxit was still at the ‘pilot scheme’ stage, to see how things were coming along. It seems there is no way back to royal ‘normality’ for Harry and Meghan. Their quarantine, though comfortable, is permanent.”


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