Credit: GreenpeaceMIAMI, Nov 06 (IPS) – The revealed electoral balance is not a passing phenomenon regardless of the end result. The protagonist of Trump’s resistance is not the tenant of the White House for the past four years. The real agent, even though the Constitutional Winner is Biden, is the sector that has been viewed as an anomaly for decades.
The harsh reality is that general perception outside of the United States did not get the 2016 message. And maybe she doesn’t understand them yet. And worse, it will never understand if you ignore the specifics of this society dramatized by Trump.
As soon as the glory of winning World War II faded, America’s obvious national cohesion faded. Some continued to believe that they had monopolized the soul of the land which was based on exceptional cases, “the light of the beacon on the hill”. However, with the suppression of the so-called Hollywood Communists, some alarm signals sounded.
Dissidents silenced themselves as early as the 1960s. Kennedy’s assassination was not seen as a threat to the national consensus. But an underground feeling made it necessary to come out of the closet. Nixon called it the silent majority. It was speechless during the Vietnam tragedy. It got comfortable with the satisfaction of the Cold War’s end … and history drugged.
At that moment, a handful of writers had asked themselves as Zavalita, the supporting character in the novel by Mario Vargas Llosa “Conversation in ‘La Catedral'”: “When was Peru being screwed?” Some daring commentators would attempt too late to point out the reaction to the fall of the Maine in Havana, which led the United States to invade wider Latin America, irritating the Cuban patriots. Half a century later this led to the Castro Revolution.
Joaquín RoyThe Washington establishment barely flinched, believing it would recover with the end of the Cold War and “history,” according to the Fukuyama myth. But this ephemeral fame failed to hide internal problems that successive US presidents failed to fix. Imbalances, discrimination, marginalization, discomfort, and basic grief over the appearance of mistakes in the American dream have been identified.
The problem was that the victims were no longer exclusively the traditional losers (black, Spanish, indigenous), but also part of the former middle classes. In addition, the components of the business elite have been added.
They did not seem satisfied with the tax breaks they had enjoyed. They also tried to control political developments without participating in the election campaigns, an ordinary function that they left to professionals.
The result of the recent presidential election is a clear portrait of three Americas, each in its own way believing that it has the right to be “great again” according to Trump’s slogan. It was already noted in Obama’s double election: the potential electorate had been sharply divided into three parts.
A third always stayed at home. Another third voted in favor of the Democratic Party’s various options. The last remnant has historically sought refuge with the Republicans, sheltered by the sector that seems unresponsive to certain party lines. Now it has all the paraphernalia that received half of the votes in the recent elections.
But the novelty of the last decade after the defenestration of the traditionalism of the bushes is not the appearance of Trump. The news is the consolidation of the third sector leadership that Trump has awakened. It’s not a passing phenomenon. In reality, it has existed since the founding myth of the United States was challenged by that third that remained latent and shy.
Like a sleeping princess, the only thing missing was the kiss of a daring prince who was not bound by partisan conventions. It doesn’t matter that the princess acted like a witch to the other two-thirds of the voters. Trump, who has taken on the role of prince, played no role in this quirk.
Whatever the official result of the election, the truth is that America, previously hidden, will continue to lurk (with greater determination if Trump wins). It will push for the abandonment of the traditional alliances of the United States, it will reject any regional integration program (hardly reduced to a functioning NAFTA), it will continue to reject re-entry into UNESCO, the World Trade Organization (WTO). the World Health Organization (OMS), and it will not even pragmatically take advantage of its privileged place at the United Nations.
In defense, it will not know how to wisely use the “soft” power of military superiority, it will play dangerously with the mission of NATO, it could become embroiled in dangerous operations in the Middle East and fatally confuse its useful allies. Continuing to bet on unconditional support for the current Israeli government would be a zero pay bet.
Any misjudgment with China and Russia could be costly, especially in the face of an American society tired of making bellicose excuses that don’t reverse social returns and only fill the graves available in Arlington.
But in the event of an effective final victory for Biden, the agenda the new president must face would include precisely the latent and enduring presence of an America that has so far been silent, at the grace of Trump.
In this scenario, the new president will be unable to avoid the spectacle of social destruction, the division into incompatible factions and the urgent installation (with a residence permit that tends to sublimate in citizenship) of the large groups of recent immigrants.
And, in general, it should be coldly understood abroad that the new US administration will not differ radically from what is considered essential to virtually immovable US interests. Biden will have to respond not only to the demands of his constituents, but also to the reasonable interests of the country and the resulting pressures from its society.
For example, Europe needs to understand that calling for its governments to be involved in continental defense is not just a whim of the current leader, but rather a restoration of the military fabric. American society will continue to pressurize its government to gain legitimate advantages over the results of the trade deals. Hence, it will be necessary to achieve a beneficial harmony for both parties.
Finally, Latin America must strive to present a minimum common front if it is to reap new benefits that are not based on arbitrary decisions of temporary origin. In dealing with the United States, whether with Biden or Trump, the division will always be detrimental, especially to the interests of Latin American citizens.
Joaquín Roy is Jean Monnet Professor and Director of the Center for the European Union of the European Union at the University of Miami.
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