“If they want to become the leader of the free world again, the United States must restore their democratic image”

Donald Trump, in his office at the White House, December 3.

Chronic. For those who saw the November 3 presidential election in the United States as the most important test for democracy since the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the result is not straightforward. Unless we use a phrase that Americans love: at the end of the day, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that Donald Trump is going to leave; the bad news is that it will always be there.

Draw ? It depends on the coming year.

The good news, then, is that democracy has won. The famous checks and balances of the American system, these checks and balances intended, precisely, to preserve institutions, rights and freedoms, have worked. Judges, including those President Trump appointed for their loyalty, have dismissed some 40 ballot annulment appeals brought by the Republican Party lawyer battalions for the simple reason that no fraud could be established.

Extreme polarization of society

The lawyers are starting to desert. Republican governors and state officials resisted presidential imprecations to stick to the law. Civil society mobilized, first by voting massively, then by sending countless volunteers to hold the ballot boxes, count and recount the ballots. The media have played their part; even Fox News ended up seeing the light and countering the president’s conspiracy rhetoric.

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The bad news is that the building is seriously shaken. Even beaten, a president of the United States who, a month after the election, continues to tweet daily “I WON THE ELECTION, BIG! “ (“I won the election, serious”) and compare this ” shame “ to that of a ” third World countries “, that’s a concern. Especially when he has managed to get 73 million votes in his name, more than any Republican candidate before him, and when, according to polls, a large majority of them are convinced that the victory has been stolen from them.

In this part of opinion, the legitimacy of the election of Joe Biden is open; no one knows when it will be closed. The mobilization of Donald Trump’s electoral base shows that if the exceptionally high level of participation in the November 3 elections can be seen as a salutary civic leap, it can also be seen as a sign of the extreme polarization of society: c is less encouraging. The 2016 election was undermined by Russian interference; that of 2020 was, quite simply, from the inside.

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