Miami – The election tie, regardless of the end result, that was revealed is not a temporary phenomenon. The protagonist of Trump’s resistance is not the tenant of the White House for the past four years. The real agent, although Biden is the constitutional winner, is the sector that has been considered an abnormality for decades.
The harsh reality is that the general perception outside the United States did not understand the 2016 message. And maybe it still does not understand it. And, worse, it will never understand if one does not pay attention to the peculiarities of this society, dramatized by Trump.
Once the glory of winning World War II disappeared, America’s apparent national cohesion disappeared. Some continued to believe that they had monopolized the soul of the land, based on exceptionality, ‘the light of the beacon on the hill’. But some alarm signals began to sound with the oppression of the so-called Hollywood communists.
Disgruntled people had silenced themselves as early as the 1960s, Kennedy’s assassination was not seen as a danger to the national consensus. But an underground feeling demanded to come out of the closet. Nixon calls it the silent majority. It was speechless during the Vietnamese tragedy. It comfortably intoxicated itself with the satisfaction of the end of the Cold War … and of history.
Just then, a handful of novelists like Zavalita, the secondary character in Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel, ‘Conversation in’ La Catedral ‘, wondered: “at what point did Peru get the screw”. Some daring commentators would try to hint at the reaction to the downfall of Maine in Havana, which prompted the United States to invade further Latin America, which irritates Cuban patriots. The result half a century later yielded the Castro Revolution.
According to the myth of Fukuyama, the Washington institution would hardly have been frightened and believed that it would recover with the end of the Cold War and also ‘of history’. But that short-lived glory did not hide the internal problems that successive American presidents could not possibly fix. Imbalances, discrimination, marginalization, discomfort and basic grief over the occurrence of defects in the American dream have been detected.
The problem was that the victims were no longer exclusively the traditional losers (black, Spanish, indigenous), but also components of the earlier middle classes of society. In addition, the components of the economic elite were added.
They do not seem to be satisfied with the tax benefits they have enjoyed. They also tried to control political evolution without getting involved in the election campaigns, a common function that left them in the hands of professionals.
The result of recent presidential elections is a clear portrait of three Americans, each believing in his own way that he has the right to be ‘big’ again, according to Trump’s slogan. This has already been noted with Obama’s double election: the potential voters are sharply divided into three.
A third always stayed at home. Another third voted for the various Democratic Party options. The last rest has historically taken refuge in the Republicans, sheltered by the sector that apparently does not respond to specific party lines. Now it has equipped itself with all the equipment that garnered half the votes in the recent election.
But the novelty of the past decade, after the destruction of the traditionalism of the bushes, is not the appearance of Trump. The news is the consolidation of third-party leadership that has awakened Trump. This is not a temporary phenomenon. In fact, it has existed since the founding myth of the United States was questioned by the third who remained latent, timid.
Like a sleeping princess, she just missed the kiss of a daring prince, who was not bound to partisan gatherings. It does not matter that the princess behaved like a witch to the other two thirds of the electorate. The peculiarity does not matter to Trump, who has taken on the role of the prince.
Regardless of the official outcome of the election, the truth is that the previously hidden America will continue to hide (with more determination if Trump wins). It will insist on the abolition of traditional alliances in the United States, it will reject any regional integration scheme (hardly reduced to a functional NAFTA), and it will continue to reject accession to UNESCO, the World Trade Organization (WTO). the World Health Organization (WHO), and it will not even pragmatically benefit from its privileged place at the UN.
On the defensive field, he will not know how to use the “soft” power of military superiority wisely; it will play dangerously with the abandonment of NATO, it could engage in dangerous operations in the Middle East, which its useful allies are fatally mistaken. Continuing the bet of unconditional support to the current Israeli government would be a zero-pay bet.
Any miscalculation with China and Russia could entail a high cost, especially in the face of an American society that is fed up with war excuses that do not reverse social returns and only fill the graves in Arlington.
But in the event of an effective final victory for Biden, the agenda facing the new president will include the latent and permanent presence of an America that has hitherto been silent by the grace of Trump.
In this scenario, the new president will not avoid the spectacle of social destruction, the division into irreconcilable factions, the urgent installation (with a residence permit that tends to glorify themselves in citizenship) of the large groups of recent immigrants.
And in general, it must be coldly understood abroad that the new American government will not differ radically from what is considered essential to the virtually immovable American interests. Biden will not only have to respond to the demands of his constituents, but also to the reasonable interests of the country and the consequent pressures of his society.
Europe, for example, needs to understand that the demand for its governments’ involvement in continental defense is not merely responding to the whims of the current leader, but not to a reconstitution of the military structure. American society will continue to press its government to obtain legal benefits in terms of the results of the trade agreements. Therefore, it will be necessary to bring about a beneficial harmony for both parties.
Finally, Latin America must strive to offer a minimum common front if it wants to gain new benefits, not based on arbitrary decisions of temporary origin. If you are 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 European Union Center of the European Union at the University of Miami.