ith the stroke of his pen, or leastways 17 signatures appended to executive orders, Joe Biden has begun what may be termed the “detrumpification” of America. Shortly after taking the oath of office, President Biden had America rejoin the Paris Agreement, the World Health Organisation and the international Iran nuclear deal; abolished the Muslim ban on travel to the United States; and placed his country on a “wartime” footing to deal with the Covid crisis and roll out 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. His new team represents a visible change from the old order, masked up and multicultural as they are. America’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, pronounced himself liberated to be able to talk freely about the science of the coronavirus, rather than having to swerve past sometimes bizarre political interference.
The Biden administration already sounds, feels and acts differently – with no more angry tweets, childish tantrums and silly insults. Its earliest acts demonstrate a determination to dismantle some of President Trump’s signature policies just as surely as Trump sought to ditch those of the Obama-Biden administration. Yet just as Trump’s wipe of the palimpsest failed to obliterate all of his predecessor’s achievements, for example in leaving much of Obamacare in place, neither will President Biden be able to extirpate all traces of Trumpism – and nor does he plan to.