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InvestigationFor the followers of the outgoing president, the elected president embodies the socialist risk and threatens both freedoms and the capitalist model. A caricatural vision revealing the anxieties of the time, partly inherited from the Cold War.
The affable tone and the cordial smile contrast with the brutality of the words. “With Biden, you can say goodbye to America. Welcome to Venezuela! “ It sounds like a joke, but Randy Gilbert is not kidding. No doubt he is pushing the line a little bit, but this Republican from Virginia, local leader of the Grand Old Party (GOP) in Shenandoah County, a rural and conservative stronghold, expresses a fear widely shared in the Republican ranks. after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency on November 3.
Throughout the presidential campaign, the fear that the United States would become “A socialist country, ruled by Marxists and Communists”, sounded like a leitmotif among voters convinced that they had to choose between “Freedom and tyranny”. Live the “Socialist nightmare or the American dream”, as summarized by outgoing President Donald Trump. Among other arguments, these cookie-cutter accusations provided the fuel for an unparalleled mobilization among Republican supporters: Mr. Trump won more than 73 million votes (against his opponent’s nearly 79 million), a record.
“Marxism is anti-capitalism”
These fears, sincere or guided by political opportunism, are expressed in simple words or confused reasoning. But they are one of the cements of the Trumpist base, like the thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators, worried about falling under the yoke of a “Marxist government”, This was demonstrated again during a march organized on Saturday November 14 in Washington.
But what do these Americans fear so much, even though they are used to political alternations between Republican and Democratic administrations? “Among Trump’s voters, socialism and Marxism echo the traditional rejection by part of the population of a strong federal government, which would control their lives and deprive them of their freedoms,” explains Thomas Schwartz, professor of history and political science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
They also associate the expansion of the welfare state, synonymous with taxes deemed undue, and attacks against traditional values, family, religion … “If, in Europe, a distinction exists between socialism and Marxism, here the two words tend to describe the same reality; the term Marxism being just the more aggressive and unpopular version, because it is linked to the USSR and the Cold War ”, specifies the academic.
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