HE’S back. Lock up your daughters, the super-spreading POTUS is on the loose again, and he wants to kiss every single one of you. Donald Trump is promising to hold rallies every day between now and doomsday, or the presidential election as it is usually called. God save America.

The polls insist he is heading for retirement, to spend more time with his lawyers fighting his many lawsuits. This certainly looks like his first farewell tour. Media pundits are not writing him off of course – not after last time. But even conservatives seem to think the Trump era is passing. However, he’s going to leave the US and the rest of the world with a hell of a hangover.

He launched his re-election campaign in Florida, in typical Trump style. Marching onto the platform to the thumping beat of the Rocky theme, throwing MAGA masks at the audience, threatening to hug “all the guys, the beautiful women. Give y’all a big fat kiss”. This only hours after he had tested negative for Covid-19.

They love this stuff. Mr Trump supporters know that these antics – like his “Covita” moment when he ripped off his mask on the White House balcony after leaving hospital – are calculated to rile the left. They would have hooted if he’d turned up in that Superman outfit. They want him to be outrageous. To defy the medical moaning minnies and drive CNN anchors to distraction.

Mr Trump is essentially a comic creation: a product of the pre-Covid world when politics didn’t really matter and politicians all seemed out of the same centrist mould. Many middle-American voters wanted something different in 2016: someone who would kick the Washington establishment, challenge political correctness and shamelessly wave the flag. The seriousness of the pandemic has perhaps reminded them that the occupant of the Oval Office actually matters. If you have a cartoon president, don’t be surprised if his policies are a joke.

Mr Trump says he is a gift from God, or at any rate his infection was. He is alluding to a theory on the evangelical right of American politics which holds that, while he is no saint, he was sent to do God’s work. Opposing abortion, placing right-wing judges on the US Supreme Court, demonising Islam and imposing conservative values on American schools.

The Lord moves in mysterious ways. The Supreme Court will be conservative for a generation after his latest nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, is installed alongside Brett Kavanaugh. America is more nationalist and isolationist than at any time since the Second World War. Mr Trump may have honoured his promise to end foreign wars and bring the boys home – mostly – but he has left the world a more dangerous place.

He has withdrawn America from the INF treaty limiting the use of intermediate nuclear weapons. He launched a trade war against China and has accused it of spreading Covid 19. He withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and assassinated the leading Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani. He dismayed Palestinians and defied the UN by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Mr Trump also withdrew America from the Paris Climate Change Change accords; pulled out of Unesco and the World Health Organisation; demanded that European countries pay more for the Nato alliance; and opposed the European Union while making clear that Britain would have to accept American food standards post-Brexit.

However, we may be surprised at how much of Mr Trump’s foreign policy will live on after him. Joe Biden is, if anything more hostile to China than Mr Trump, and has called President Xi a “thug”. Remainers in the UK may be surprised at how protectionist the Democrat leader has become since the pandemic. He has disowned the Green New Deal of Anastasia Ocasio Cortez and the Democrat left.

Like Barack Obama, Mr Biden is not nearly as left-wing as his supporters would like to think. He opposes defunding the police. He has condemned the race riots in American cities, which many Democrats excuse. He does not support Bernie Sanders’ ideas on universal health care. He will not introduce radical gun control.

Biden campaign videos seem designed to show that he is anything but a radical. He is a red-blooded, dog-loving American who loves polluting muscle cars. And he will be putting America First, you betcha, especially in the cold war in south-east Asia.

Under Mr Trump, it is mostly wealthy Americans who’ve come first, thanks to his tax cuts. The policy that may do most to win Mr Biden the presidency is his promise of a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Critics say he will have to control imports to keep America competitive.

Mr Trump presided over an economic boom and a stock market bull run of epic proportions – brought to an end by Covid. It’s not clear that the many jobs generated under his presidency are the well-paid middle class ones he promised. Democrats insist that his economic boom merely continued the economic recovery set in train by Mr Obama, and there is much in that. However, Mr Biden is likely to find that he has to follow Mr Trump’s headline policy of repatriation of industrial production.

It is perhaps the culture war that has most disfigured America under Mr Trump. While he insists he is not a racist, he has flirted with the far right, avoiding condemnation of white supremacists in Charlottesville. He called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate”. His call for the right-wing Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” was at best ambiguous.

The Trump presidency has been marred by riots and division as much as by his erratic and wilfully ignorant approach to the Covid pandemic. Perhaps the culture wall will call a truce when he leaves the White House, but it seems unlikely. This week, even President Lincoln’s statue was trashed in Portland Oregon.

Democrats say he may not leave office at all. It is indeed unlikely that he will concede on polling day. This is because many states will not be declaring on the night, and may continue counting postal votes for several days. November 3 promises to be a suitably chaotic end to America’s craziest presidency.

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