DON’T we all dream of a parallel universe in which states were sovereign and the people didn’t have to care about elections of a country thousands of miles away? Perhaps in a world; not as unipolar, not as divided, not as dependent as ours could we all live – and die – in a world that wasn’t governed by neo-realistic ideals and forces. Mayhap in such a world could all of us be free? Alas! Our dreams are just that, and American politics decides the course of the globalized world. The white man’s burden has embedded its claws in the very soil we decay in and on the very waters, we survive. As non-Americans, we have to care, be aware, and be informed about the political, economic, and social status of the United States because it is essentially our livelihood that is at stake; our lives that are at the stake.
A win, a loss – a legacy, a fall: Putin, in one of his interviews said, “I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go but politics stays the same. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy” and, “changing things is not easy, I say that without irony”. These statements are universal and apply to every democracy – pseudo or otherwise – around the globe. Trump couldn’t deliver on his promise of compelling Mexico to pay for a border wall, nor could he lower the national debt of his country. Perhaps the 46th American President would be able to deliver on promises made during the campaign.
The left on being right: “Make America great again” – in subjective terms, one can say that this slogan was a call to bring the American people back to their roots and help them resurge as a single, united nation altogether. Another perspective could be looking at in purely objective, political and capitalistic terms – to counter the growing threat of another rapidly rising economic power. The same ideals that went into the making of the said slogan in Trump’s era can be seen manifested into Biden’s claims and promises. For instance, Biden’s plans to restore the foreign policy of the States and perhaps take on China, along with his ambitious goals to bring the US economy out of one of the greatest slowdowns in order to create jobs and revenue are exactly in line with the “make America great” agenda. Trump’s era might have been tumultuous, but his unorthodox approach clearly has shown the world what democrats have wanted to sub-due – the right-wing mindset takes over the left in key issues prevalent in the United States and her foreign policy. The only difference is: the left knows just how to flirt with the core leftist ideologies in order to buy apt time to reinforce the right’s agendas.
A dream that is American: Today, the American dream which used to attract millions from around the globe into its promises of providence and good fortune is becoming undone by the inequality – racial, economic, social, political and ethnic – which exists within the very roots that gave rise to the United States of America. As the American dream takes its last breaths, the “first female coloured Vice President” of the country only holds it together with threads intricately woven and thoroughly marred with crimes against the innocent in the war-torn regions of the Middle East.
Pakistan: A wounded warrior: We try to sugar-coat our freedom but are we truly free when our economic ties, structures and functions are controlled by the developments of highly polarized world order? You won’t see a whole lot of changes in the future. According to Biden’s claims of reversing Trump’s draconian immigration policies, a few of us might get our visas approved but beyond that; the FATF, the World Bank and the IMF – all being largely influenced by the superpower won’t be any leaner in their policies towards Pakistan; at least not until China and Pakistan remain close allies. On the topic of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s role in the mediating process, there is a general consensus among the experts that it won’t be as hasty and fast-paced as it was under Trump’s era. On Kashmir, democrats wouldn’t be as dismissive about human rights violations as their predecessors. Yes, they won’t put their long-term bilateral relationship with India on the line, but they won’t necessarily sideline Pakistan’s claim either.
The way forth, dreams and realities: Are countries like us allowed to dream dreams of progress then? Sure we are. Being a citizen of a state which was carved out through a democratic process with intellectuals like Jinnah leading us through times of great tumultuous, we know, more than anyone that dreams can change the course of the world. Let us dream, however, let us not only dream but also let us “do” too. Be it, Biden or Trump, for the sake of our nationalism, our interests should come first. Let us protect them and move forward with a foreign policy that secures the national interests of our country without undermining its sovereignty. Be it, Biden or Trump, Pakistan should look to succeed and to succeed with great honour, privilege and freedom. Be it, Biden or Trump, the world moves forth and hopes that the United States and her great people would understand the sufferings of those around the world; sufferings that they caused, directly or indirectly. Be it, Biden or Trump, let us hope for a better world, a freer, more peaceful world.
—The Islamabad-based writer occasionally contributes to the national press.