Thursday, May 6, 2021

With Joe Biden, the bet of the restoration of an American model

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By replacing “values” at the center of United States diplomacy, after a four-year eclipse, Joe Biden wants to become the salesman of an American model summarized by the rule of law, representative democracy, respect. individual rights, to which are added the market economy and the call for multilateralism. In doing so, the president revives in some the memory of an American hegemon determined to export his conception of democracy, including by force. The fear of the return of neoconservative-inspired crusades is fueled by the support given, in 2002, by the then senator, to the invasion of Iraq, or by that of his former right-hand man who became Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, at the war in Libya.

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The interventionist temptation attributed to the new administration is opposed to Donald Trump’s visceral refusal of any adventurism outside the borders of the United States, as well as to his disdain for an American exceptionalism which would have preserved his country from its worst instincts. The risk of anachronism is however great for those who want to tackle the situation which prevailed two decades earlier to the reality of today. First of all because American democracy has been damaged by the exercise of power by Donald Trump, follower of an imperial presidency, disdainful of “Checks and balances” planned to allow the institutions to function satisfactorily for all.

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This degradation was amplified by his challenge to the results of the presidential election and his refusal of a peaceful transfer of power, not to mention the images of the assault of some of his supporters against Congress on January 6. The laws passed in the Republican States to multiply the obstacles to the voting of minorities because they are mainly favorable to the Democrats today accentuate a crisis which Joe Biden inherited by settling in the White House.

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American influence was also weakened by two decades of “Endless wars” which fueled a “fatigue” of interventionism deeply rooted in public opinion. The emphasis on “values” and the denunciation of the treatment of the Uighur minority in China, the crushing of the pro-democracy movement by Beijing in Hong Kong, or the imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexeï Navalny, does not therefore mean that “the democracy first ”is the main course that the new administration is now setting itself outside its borders.

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