Tom Ellis TOM ELLIS

After the US election, American unity at home, country’s role abroad

COMMENT

TAGS: US Elections, Politics

There were, obviously, many parameters to Tuesday's election, which was arguably the most critical in modern US history. Obviously, the result – which, given how close the election was in several states, might not be known for a while – primarily concerns the Americans themselves, but given the size and the global influence of the US, also the entire world.

These concerns have to do with tackling the pandemic, managing the US economy – which, being the world’s largest, also concerns the global economy as well – international trade, relations with China, Russia and Europe, and developments in the Middle East.

Each region of the planet has its own problems and different countries seek different solutions. And in most cases America’s role, whether positive or negative, is crucial. Each country focuses on the issues that concern it. Greece is no exception, expecting the support, or at least the understanding, of the world’s superpower in its relations with Turkey, especially at this time when tensions in the Aegean are running so dangerously high.

The recent messages conveyed by both major US parties include direct criticism of Ankara’s provocative actions and praise for Athens for its commitment to dialogue and the principles of international law.

The next US administration will play an important role in the complex equation that concerns not just Greek-Turkish relations, but the entire East Mediterranean puzzle. Washington will, most likely, need to make decisions and undertake initiatives. What’s more, in the wake of the escalation in recent weeks, with the deadly attacks by Islamist extremists, the US president’s approach to the sensitive issue of the coexistence of different religions in the international community takes on even more significance and value.

The same holds true with regard to the internal cohesion of American society – perhaps the most important issue – which has been tested to a dangerous degree in recent years. Indeed, the situation got even worse during the pre-election period. After a protracted period of unprecedented polarization, the coming days, starting from today, will be an important and difficult test of peaceful coexistence.

The institutions, which are society’s strongest cohesive links – the executive, the legislature, but also the judiciary – are being called upon to take actions, symbolic and substantive, that will ensure that Americans are not racially, ethnically and religiously in conflict with one another.

This is the bet for this important country of 350 million. To overcome the deep divisions, to heal the wounds, and to carve out, soberly and in a spirit of consensus and cooperation, “the day after,” not only for itself, but, to a significant degree, for the rest of the world too.

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