A revolution in the United States?
If Donald Trump were a man of the left, no one would hesitate to consider him the leader of a powerful revolution destined to transform the American political system. Trumpists not only question the credibility of the venerated US elections, but also the legitimacy of the presidency, Congress and the legal body of that country, the three powers that serve as the political standard of the world capitalist model. Even more serious, they have shown that they are willing to use violence to impose their positions, as occurred with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
They are almost half of the voters in a country that is consumed by its own contradictions. Ethnic and racial fractionation, social differences and the demographic mosaic that characterizes the various regions, controlled by one party or another, are not a new phenomena in North American society, but trumpism has exacerbated them to levels that recall the worst moments of breakdown of national unity. The cracks are even evident in the political architecture that has sustained the national consensus since the Civil War in the mid-19th century. It is no small problem that twenty-five states, led by Texas, rebel against federal immigration directives endorsed by the Supreme Court.
Although many of their criticisms of the system are justified, the problem with the “Trumpist revolution” is that the changes they propose are for the worse, since they are based on the exacerbation of the most selfish and primitive tendencies of American society. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of discrimination, packaged in the myth of American exceptionalism, are at the center of an ideology that only idolizes money and the supremacy of white Anglo-Saxon men. At the level of foreign policy, they are the standard-bearers of unilateralism and contempt for the international order, although trumpist chauvinism appears to be less warlike than what has been demonstrated by Joe Biden’s government.
Many interests tremble in the face of this possible restructuring of US political power and the attempts of sectors of the establishment to stop the trumpist offensive are noticeable, including more than 90 legal proceedings, which cover all types of crimes, including insurrection against the constitutional order. No other American politician would have survived the discredit of being accused, with good reason, of being a thief, a liar or a rapist, but Trump’s followers reinforce his leadership, because at best they consider him a victim of the system who pays the price of rebelling against a corrupt regime, which these people also want to transform.
Paradoxically, at the same time that Trump is the main strength of the Republican Party, he constitutes its great weakness, since his figure generates the rejection of most of the rest of the US population. The calculation of those who bet on a Democratic victory in the next elections is based on the vote against Trump will decide the race, regardless of the candidate who opposes him, just as happened in the 2020 election.
Indeed, not only Democratic voters, but also the majority of those considered independent, who are located towards the center of the national political spectrum, react with horror against Trump. If this logic works again, Trump has no chance of winning the election. The dilemma is whether it will work, since the abstention of a good part of these people would be enough for the results to be different.
In another sense, the prominent Canadian intellectual of Jewish origin, Naomi Klein, believes that “only Biden’s resignation can stop Donald Trump.” According to her, the discontent generated by the president’s complicity with the Israeli genocide in the Gaza Strip has alienated him from the possible vote of the most progressive sector of the party, especially the young people. She could talk about other issues that also distance these voters, such as the war in Ukraine, where the Biden family is accused of being involved for their own interests; the management of immigration or the state of the economy, despite the fact that the government insists on its recovery.
“Biden against the Devil” was the option used to keep the progressive sector tied to the discipline of the party. However, maintaining the loyalty of this sector, also essential for Democratic aspirations in 2024, which means promoting its cadres and assuming its political agenda, constitutes another problem for the Democratic leadership. Just like Donald Trump, although for other reasons, these people are a threat to the Democratic establishment, which still carries its imperialist vocation and is terrified, as well as antipathetic, of being accused of being “socialists” with all the vagueness of the term in the US political spectrum.
Joe Biden is the great beneficiary of the belief that anti-Trumpist logic will work, which explains why he remains on the ballot, even though he gives the impression that he barely knows what he is doing. His political capital is being the opposite of Donald Trump and having defeated him in 2020, although now he has it more difficult and would surely lose against any other Republican candidate. Republican candidate Nikki Haley is right when she assures that the party that decides to have a candidate under 80 years of age would win the election. Republicans do not have this option due to Trump’s popularity, but Democrats do have other alternatives. Why then do the forces that dominate the Democratic party insist on Biden’s candidacy?
Because he is the repository of a “political investment” which is yielding very good results from the government. It doesn’t matter that the world is upside down, the ‘Biden wars’, where others provide the victims, American taxpayers pay the investment and transnational businessmen line their pockets, as well as other aspects of his foreign policy, have been a boon for business for sectors that dominate the country’s economy.
Trump is right when he accuses Biden of being a “globalist,” to the detriment of American national interests, but it is difficult to believe that, beyond chauvinist demagoguery, he would act otherwise. The interests that support this policy are very powerful and imperialism would have to stop being imperialism to modify its essence, regardless of the president of the country.
In favor of Biden within the Democratic Party, opportunism also works, which generally advises not opposing a sitting president of one’s own party. Boldness can be very expensive and the results are always uncertain. In short, for the Democratic leadership it does not seem like a good deal to change horses in the middle of the race, although they run the risk of it breaking down in the face of the obstacles it will have to overcome.
The next US elections may be governed by the perverse logic that opponents of the status quo, whether from the right or the left, unwittingly ally themselves to hand over power to the worst possible candidate. Only then would Donald Trump win the next US elections. If this happens we should not be surprised; United, the dissatisfied are the majority, and this reflects a larger problem: the deep crisis that the US hegemonic system is going through, something that no election will solve.