The assault on the Capitol failed to change anything, because Joe Biden has become the 46th president of the United States, but nothing will be the same after January 6 because it showed how damaging Donald Trump’s four years in the White House have been . Biden finds a country at a very dangerous time, perhaps the most fraught since the civil rights movement, in the mid-1960s. And it is not just the 400,000 deaths from covid-19, with a pandemic unleashed and ignored by the outgoing Administration. Like then, the US is experiencing profound social change, symbolized by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and the first non-white person to hold this position; but at the same time it is met, as at that time, with stiff resistance, embodied by Trump himself and the mob of supremacists that assaulted Congress.
Nor the pathetic exit from the White House of the tycoon, who faces a new impeachment and all kinds of legal problems, not even the insane appearance of any of the characters who starred in the attempted coup d’etat can hide the fact that the refusal to accept the electoral result and the militias, with more or less complicity in the Armed Forces and security , represent a real problem for American democracy.
During his speech, Biden made many references to that decisive and dangerous moment. “The answer is not that we divide into two competing sides. We have to end this non-civil war, ”he exclaimed. “Do not tell me that things cannot change,” he said in a few words that became a plea against division and lies. The huge military deployment, typical of a country in conflict, only underscored the extent to which the situation is volatile in the US His biggest nod to Trump’s electorate was not in his words, but in the choice of one of the artists : Garth Brooks, a singer country from Oklahoma, a nod to rural and republican America.
Brooks’s performance, who sang Amazing grace, had provoked protests from some conservative groups. Trump has transformed any matter of division: music country, the masks – in the lengthy january article by Lawrence Wright, which occupied a whole number of the magazine The New Yorker, an epidemiologist explained that “there is nothing more stupid” in the middle of a pandemic than to turn it into a reason for division. But above all, he embodies white supremacism. And unfortunately, it is a feeling that is not going to be lost in time like tears in the rain.
Many of the slogans that were heard during the assault on the Capitol were racist, as were numerous statements by the former president, as well as an indisputable fact: the police double standards between the Capitol nuts and the anti-racist protesters of Black Lives Matter. Biden and Harris, a Senate and a Congress more diverse than ever, the inauguration ceremony itself, reflect the profound change in the United States. They symbolize the optimism of a new era, but Trump, the guy with the horns, and the congresswoman from QAnon reflect the dangerous resistance of a worldview that will be all too present during the four years of hope, but also fear, that begin now.
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