In the aftermath of the vote, an America under tension, and more divided than ever, still awaited Wednesday, November 4, to know who the outgoing Donald Trump or his Democratic opponent Joe Biden would rule the country for the next four years. The director of the London counterpoint research center, specializing in the question of populism, Catherine Fieschi, analyzes this American presidential election with an uncertain outcome. For her, “a victory for Trump or a narrow victory for Biden will accelerate”, at least “a seizure of independence of certain states vis-à-vis Washington”.
We do not yet know who won the presidential election in the United States. But a first observation is obvious: Donald Trump, even if he were to lose, did not collapse. What can we learn from this?
CATHERINE FIESCHI. It shows that America is polarized and divided like never before and that the populist electorate has not disappeared. Trump kept his base, he even widened it. For Biden, not only is victory not won, but the Senate is lost and Democrats are doing worse in the House of Representatives than in the last midterm elections of 2018. Even if he did not come to power , Trump will put pressure on the political agenda and be a formidable strain on power.
How did Trump manage not to collapse with such dire handling of the Covid-19 epidemic?
Outsourcing responsibility for the Covid by calling it a “Chinese virus” made it seem more like a victim than an incompetent. His brave political style, in the “don’t be afraid of it” mode, worked very well and galvanized his base. And besides, he himself had it and the fact that he got out of it made him stronger.
Whether it is Biden or Trump, the country will be difficult to govern?
Yes, the country will be difficult to govern. If Biden is elected, he will have to deal with a vindictive Republican Senate like never before. It will therefore face a real problem of governance. This will also have consequences in foreign policy since the adversaries of the United States, like Russia, could be tempted to take advantage of this form of internal paralysis. A victory for Trump or a narrow victory for Biden will accelerate, I would not say a secessionist process, but at least a seizure of independence by certain states vis-à-vis Washington. This will be observed in several areas, from policy related to the fight against climate change to budget management. There is a risk of witnessing a sort of disintegration of the United States.
What lessons can be learned for populist movements around the world?
While in Italy Matteo Salvini is marginalized and early elections could take place in Poland, one would have thought that the last populist domino would fall. If Trump had been thoroughly beaten, it could have sent a message to all populist movements and told them that this was the end of their cycle. But that’s not the case at all. Even if Biden is elected, populism remains alive and well.
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Original article by : www.leparisien.fr