Donald Trump is a polarising figure. No US president since records began has had such consistently high approval ratings among his own party's supporters - the latest Gallup survey shows 85pc of Republicans give him the thumbs-up. Among Democrats, his approval rating in the same poll was just 5pc.
Here in Ireland there is no polarisation of opinion on the US president. Trump is almost universally unpopular. Most people would like to see the back of him and many support his rival, Joe Biden, in November's presidential election.
Few could argue that a Biden presidency would not be better for Ireland than a second term for the incumbent. On a whole range of issues - from security to climate change and the willingness to build alliances with like-minded countries - the Democratic candidate aligns more closely with Ireland's interests and values.
Nor would Trump's unpredictability be missed if he failed to win a second term. He has generated uncertainties and insecurities in a world that already has more than enough of both. A calmer, more normal president, whose tweets do not cause global shock waves, would come as a welcome relief.
But in two important respects a change of president next January will not herald a return to the past. These policy areas reflect important changes which have taken place in American politics and on which both parties are largely aligned. The first relates to China and the second concerns the benefits of international free trade. Both of these changes will have serious implications for Ireland.
Make no mistake, the world is entering a second Cold War. The power struggle is centred on the Pacific Ocean, with the US and China as its main protagonists.
This intensifying conflict will be different from the one which lasted for four decades from the late 1940s and pitted the world's democracies, led by the United States, against communist regimes centred on the Soviet Union.
China differs from the Soviet Union in that it is not - for now at least - an imperialistic power with puppet regimes in many countries across the world. Nor does its ideology pose a threat to others - support for the imposition of the Chinese model in other countries remains next to non-existent, in contrast to the Soviet era when pro-Moscow sympathisers of various hues were to be found across the democratic world and beyond.
In one respect, however, the current regime in Beijing has an advantage over the old Soviet Union: money. The Soviets had little of it. China has lots, and it is on course to overtake the US as the largest economy in the world within a few years. If the US suffers a much deeper slump than China as a result of the pandemic, as most economic forecasters predict, that will happen even sooner than expected.
Some of China's economic success of recent decades has been as a result of trade with other countries. Its huge market has become important for many countries. Last year China was Ireland's fifth largest export market, with the value of goods sold exceeding earnings from exports to France and Spain combined.
The regime in Beijing has been increasingly willing to use its clout against countries which displease it. Some governments which have excluded China's Huawei from their 5G mobile networks on security grounds have faced open threats from Beijing. Australia has been hit by tariffs on some of its exports to China for seeking an enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.
As the new Cold War intensifies, countries are increasingly likely to be forced to choose the American or Chinese side. That will be the case regardless of who is elected to the White House in November.
The second big change in US politics of direct relevance to Ireland is attitudes to free trade. There is an unshakeable belief among swathes of American opinion that the country's industrial base has been decimated by openness to trade, and that this openness makes the US a less equal place when it comes to incomes and wealth.
These beliefs are at best only partially true. They are usually uninformed by experience elsewhere.
Ireland and most other European countries trade a lot more than the US, and therefore their companies face greater foreign competition. Yet they don't all have rust belts and they haven't all experienced a rise in inequality. In fact, across the developed world, countries which are more open to international trade also tend to have lower income inequality.
Such points will not be made in the coming US presidential campaign. Neither candidate will talk of the opportunities for American workers and American businesses in foreign markets. Instead, the focus of debate will continue to be on the threats posed by foreign companies and foreign workers.
Biden may be personally more favourable to freer trade than his party, but the Democrats have shifted markedly leftwards since he was vice-president. That is reflected among congresspeople and senators who have a vote on international trade issues. As such, the prospects of closer commercial links across the Atlantic under any circumstance have dimmed.
As the anti-free trade impulse is, if anything, stronger among the Democrats than the Republicans, and is becoming stronger, there is a real prospect that transatlantic trade tensions will persist under a Biden administration.
There is even the possibility that the two sides of the ocean will gradually decouple economically as protectionism becomes more prevalent.
Sometimes shocks pass and things return to normal. Sometimes they don't. Trump may be an aberration, but the US has changed in important ways. So, too, has its role in the world. Nobody should expect a return to pre-Trump normality if Biden becomes president at the start of next year.