There is no knockout. The democrat managed to cross the finish line but without a landslide victory. With pure personalism, Donald Trump conquered a huge electoral base to attack the eventual future government, which he already denounces as illegitimate. Anticipation of difficult times.
Final … by points.
The extraordinary division into two blocks of almost similar magnitude in North American society is the most important fact that reveals these controversial elections in the United States, even above the significance of the eventual result. The Democratic Party, and its candidate Joe Biden, will be forced to celebrate their almost certain victory with trimmed enthusiasm despite the enormous importance of the political change that opens in the world’s greatest power. And it is because, on the other hand, the Republicans of Donald Trump have exhibited an electoral power superior to that expected with a unique capacity for damage and mutation of the rules of the game in the country.
Around, and as a product of this tension pattern, another piece of data of special political value appears. Fed on the inclement personalism of the outgoing president, the polls may have been the birth of a new phenomenon, a “Trumpism” with ideological pretensions no longer as an internal line of the Republican Party but as an exclusive identity.
The allegations of fraud, ignorance of the results and victimization that Trump has multiplied, have had the purpose of dilute the almost certain defeat and install the notion of illegitimacy of origin of the next government. In that he is exhibiting success. As noted by the Financial Times, “All that can be said for sure is that the US is not done with Trump. Maybe it’s the other way around. An election that seemed to purge him from public life as a one-term aberration has given him a central and enduring role in it…. In this way he will become the voice of the republican opposition ”in his image and likeness.
Between the elections and the handover of power on January 20, Trump will have more than two months to machine-gun from power with that toxic charge against Biden that will become a mantra for a large part of his enormous mass of followers. It is the preview of another unprecedented chapter: there will be no peaceful transition, no healthy handover of command, and probably the tycoon will not be there at the time of the transfer as has happened in other scenarios of excessive crack, as in the remembered Argentine case in 2015.
Trump, with this narrative, does nothing but widen the abyss of contempt for the adversary, turned into an enemy, on which he built this enormous electoral support that has absorbed even important segments among minorities such as blacks (12% more than in 2016) and the Latinos (32 percent !!!) despite the fact that they have been the sectors thatwhich with greater viciousness has mistreated. A typical effect of caudillismo on the masses. With that balance, the tycoon imagines a heroic return to the White House, as recently revealed The New York Times that he confessed to his advisers “with his own television network to compete with Fox News and influence the national agenda ”.
He aspires to run for a third term in 2024, when he will be the same age that Biden is about to turn 78. Or be the finger that designates the candidate. The campaign for that attempt is the one he has just launched with his speeches of allegations of fraud without presenting evidences, minor detail this, of the truth of the facts, for the type of leadership that the president practices.
There have certainly been no cases of corruption or manipulation that have influenced the outcome of the elections. The turnaround that changed the registers in some central states was due to the counting of early or postal votes, a record of more than 100 million voters in this election. The president demanded that those votes be rejected, disdaining that this enormous dimension was motivated by the pandemic, which he has also ignored at all times, but which is sweeping the United States.
This strategy, which more than Trump has hinted at, anticipates a problem of enormous gravity for a Joe Biden government and will be so on several levels. The future president you will need bridges according to your future opposition, attentive to how Congress has been, where Democrats grew only one seat in the Senate but reduced their seats in Deputies, although they maintain control of the Chamber. One axis of future management is a tax correction for profits over a million dollars from 20% to 39.6% and for business income from 21% to 28%.
This objective, destined to normalize the country’s accounts and raise resources to alleviate internal social tensions due to the crisis, is not possible without a two-party agreement. But Trump’s message is a warning to the Republican inmate about who is the true owner of that huge mass of voters, half of the national electorate. Enough power to nullify any attempt to turn the page with Trump’s populist experience that has encouraged sectors of the so far ruling party. And especially, a battering ram to intervene in any negotiation.
Trump takes over the party for that purpose and even allowed himself to define what the identity of his strength and that of his adversaries is about. In his speech on Thursday, which was actually the irritated acceptance that the fight was lost, he adjusted the narrative to the new times by describing the Democrats as “the donor party (Wall Street and corporations). The republican, is the party of the workers “. A rhetoric in which he was reincarnated as a Louis Bonaparte of this time, the populist aristocrat who came to power in France promising “no more taxes, down with the rich” to declare himself emperor in 1852. Bonapartism, precisely, is a sign of these precarious times, especially, although not only there, in the great Latin American wasteland.
There is a history in the United States of such absolutist behavior. Republican President Warren Hardin proclaimed as early as 1920 that America “was the kingdom of Americanism, the kingdom of America.” Trump does it now knowing that social tensions will escalate, especially if the next government is born weak, and he will be the one to channel those frustrations. It is possible to imagine, if this invention is not disarmed, legions of legislators and Republican leaders pilgrimage from Washington to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence in Florida, to define strategies, like a dystopian Iron Gate or Olympus where ways to block Biden’s management will be decided.
Just as Republicans must have wondered what happened for a candidate like Trump to take over the party in 2016, now it’s up to the Democrats to find out what they have done, or have not done, so as not to have been able to definitively close this chapter. Biden had, it is true, obvious achievements. He became the most voted candidate in US history, far surpassing Barack Obama’s record with nearly four million votes ahead of the Republican in the overall count. And it prevented the reelection of a president, a rare event, only George Bush Sr. and James Carter, in recent times, had a single term. Trump was condemned to that minority.
They are important numbers and assets, but insufficient, as has been noted in the defining states fought over minimal differences, to exhibit a victory that deactivates this creature that the neoconservative intellectual Robert Kagan, a little more than four years ago, described in a warning tone not heard, like “the republican Frankenstein”.
The Democratic campaign did not clearly connect with the urgencies of a large sector of the population, which due to the crisis, assumed that the economy was the priority even above the damages of the pandemic. The expectation of strong leadership, based on a speech without clear arguments but that promised to return to the boom times before the damage of the disease, largely explains the notable turn towards Trump by Latinos.
That bloc, the largest North American minority, was essential to have built a necessary resounding victory. Certain weaknesses of the candidate and the prejudice of the opposition campaign, in order to stay in a static political center and not face the need for change in a more aggressive way that solves employment, health, education and projection, clearly denouncing the responsibilities of the republican administration for that disaster of inequality, is at the base of this limited victory and from the serpent’s egg that has spawned.
If the results are crowned as it seems, the great challenge of the new government will now be the correct reading of that reality. They will have the instruments for a different construction. This is what those who turned their backs on Trump and managed to impose themselves. The antecedent of Obama’s administration may be key in this regard. That Democrat, who governed two terms since 2008 with Biden as vice president, inherited an economic and financial crisis that took the future away from a great mass of the North American population.