It was early morning in Sydney, Australia when America welcomed their 46th President to the White House. Billions of people around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief as Joseph Robinette Biden Jr was sworn in to power—but not Dr Jim Sternhell. He sat sipping coffee on Bondi Beach and scowled at the newspaper in his hands.
“It’s nauseating,” said the 60-year-old dentist. “My wife is pretty furious about what’s going on. I would’ve thought there’d be an arrest by now. You can’t wait too late because once the paper is signed, it’s all over.”
Donning a “Hillary for Prison 2016” shirt, an Uncle Sam hat, and American flag boardies and shoes, Sternhell had graciously paused his inauguration viewing for our interview at the beach.
Before leaving the house, he’d told his wife (who has matching his-and-hers American flag shoes) to give him a “tingle if anything exciting happens.” And by exciting, he meant a takedown.
“I had a dream that 42 hours before [the inauguration] there would be a takedown,” he told VICE World News. “They wouldn’t do it on the day of, as conservatives are smarter than that. It was a dream that some people who needed to be arrested would finally be taken down—Obama, the Clintons, Shumer, Pelosi, Biden, then Hunter Biden.”
But there were no arrests. With 25,000 National Guard troops manning the streets of Washington D.C., the ceremony ended up running as peacefully as Friday night at a nursing home. Americans had been told to watch the proceedings from home and security had been tightened to avoid a repeat of the recent Capitol riot.
Pro-Trump rallies aren’t confined to the United States, though. Sternhell was one of 30 people who gathered at Martin Place in Sydney late last year to show their support for the outgoing President. Dressed as Uncle Sam and holding the same Trump figurine as when we spoke to him, Sternhell claimed Trump was a “tactical genius” and insisted, without evidence, that the election had been “stolen” by Biden.
“It’s so obvious, some of the counties they had vastly more votes than voters—well that’s obviously voter fraud… it was a giant sting,” he claimed.
“The envelopes weren’t folded correctly, that alone says ding ding ding… I’ve been involved with elections for 40 years with running polling booths, polling officials… that makes the entire election invalid.”
Sternhell has been heavily into U.S. politics for at least the past five years, but his firm views can be traced back to childhood.
“I was always conservative; even at age 12 I knew Whitlam getting in was a bad thing,” he said. “At that age, we were at Karl Marx’s birthplace in Germany and even then I knew this is where all the problems began. Dad was a socialist but he woke up.”
One family member who didn’t “wake up”, according to Sternhell, is his own son, whose girlfriend’s parents live in Wuhan.
“They’re members of the Communist party,” he claimed, baselessly. “Deadset, Robert’s girlfriend would have to be a Chinese sleeper. She’d have to be, she’s pressuring Robert to apply for a job in the government. Like yeah right.”
As Biden inherits a raft of problems from the previous administration, one of the most volatile is that of China. In his waning days as commander-in-chief, Trump fired his final shots at Beijing—declaring the country was committing genocide against Uighurs and organising a video conference between one of America’s top envoys and the Taiwanese president.
China retaliated instantly, imposing sanctions against several top officials in the Trump administration. It’s not clear whether Biden will reverse some of Trump’s decisions or stand strong against China as he previously advocated—although Sternhell has his own theories.
“Biden will say China can have Australia. Here in Australia, we have everything China needs. We’ve got minerals, land, potential for agriculture, we have absolutely everything they want. We know that America doesn’t have a very good human rights record, so they wouldn’t lift a finger to defend us. China would just take us.”
In any case, Sternhell is generally not impressed with Biden.
“It’s quite obvious he’s a crook. And we’re gonna have that running supposedly the most powerful position in the entire world?,” he said. “His income suddenly went up from $600,000 to $16 million. Like okay, yeah right. There’s something really dodgy here, Quid Pro Quo Joe. They’re putting in a known criminal as a president of the United States? You’ve gotta be kidding. That cannot end well.”
What Sternhell doesn’t seem to realise is that, according to Forbes, those millions of dollars that the Biden’s earned in 2017 were attributed mainly to speaking engagements, book payments and S-corporations—legitimate tax and transparency-avoidance vehicles that allow individuals to receive mainly tax-free distributions.
As 2020 proved, absolutely anything could happen. Like a ginger-haired cat with nine lives, Trump could very well reemerge in politics. And despite two impeachments, millions more Americans out of work than when he was sworn in, and nearly half a million coronavirus deaths under his watch, Trump’s loyalists are adamant it’s not the last we’ll see of him. Least of all Sternhell.
“I suspect 30 days for the military to determine there was fraud in the election, install Trump as interim president, then supervise a new election,” he said, defiantly. “The Democrats will be destroyed completely. The military knows the election was stolen—they will not support a fake president.”
And with that, Sternhell hurried home to angrily watch the rest of the inauguration.
For many Australians, his opinions might raise a chuckle, but it’s worth noting the FBI have made over 100 arrests of Capitol rioters who feel just like him.
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