the three lessons of Joe Biden’s election

Democratic supporters celebrate Joe Biden's presidential victory at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. On November 7.

Donald Trump is preparing to join a very little popular club: that of presidents unable to be re-elected. Until now, it had four members for modern times: George HW Bush (1989-1993), Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and William Taft (1909-1913). While a particularly uncertain transition will begin in the United States, in the midst of a pandemic, three lessons can already be drawn from the election of Joe Biden.

The first refers to the state of health of American democracy after four years of Trumpism. The historic participation recorded on the occasion of the presidential election, despite the threat maintained by the coronavirus, constitutes an unambiguous response. This is the only victory shared by the two candidates. Both have shown themselves capable of mobilizing their troops.

Donald Trump will ultimately obtain more votes than Barack Obama in 2008, but he will be left behind by more than five million votes, at least, at the end of the ballot counting operations. Joe Biden will be able to claim the largest number of votes ever collected by a presidential candidate in the United States.

Read also US elections 2020: Donald Trump’s appeals against “fraud” are unconvincing

Strength of democratic machinery

The slowness of the count fueled sarcasm, incomprehension and criticism. Yet he provided further proof of the strength of the American democratic machinery. A climate of appalling suspicion had however been maintained by the outgoing president. The latter had actively campaigned for the election to be arbitrated only by the votes collected on the evening of the election, to disqualify a large part of the ballots sent by post, presumed mainly in favor of the Democratic camp.

These preventive pressures from Donald Trump had no effect. County by county, as indifferent to the tumult, both Republican and Democratic officials have fulfilled their mission, sacrificing speed for thoroughness and application. For this reason, the White House’s accusations of massive fraud have been viewed with skepticism, starting with conservative media outlets like Fox News.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also American elections 2020: Fox News is no longer as Trumpist as in 2016

The second lesson refers to the Democratic Party. The choice offered to his voters during the primaries was summed up by the clash between the representatives of a center and those of a more assertive left. The dynamism of the latter, embodied mainly by independent senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders, was not enough to overcome a useful voting reflex in the face of a president as iconoclastic as Donald Trump. Joe Biden, who benefited from it, took into account the weight of this current to distort his program, on health, education or the environment, without adopting the emblematic measures of this left.

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