AN AMERICAN YEAR
On the eve of Joe’s inauguration Biden as President of the United States, Humanity takes stock of the presidential elections and takes stock of America in a special issue devoted to this year in which Donald Trump was defeated.
A special 48-page issue, sold for 4.80 euros,
at order here.
Kamala Harris, first female vice-president and future president?
At 56, she is the first woman to hold the post of vice-president. Many observers predict an even more unique destiny for her: the first woman president of the United States. The news teaches us every day that American policy does not resemble a long calm river and that too long-term projections are often perilous. The fact remains that Joe Biden, 78, has made no secret that he would be a transitional president. One mandate, at most. However, this daughter of an Indian oncologist and a Jamaican economist will probably not have the leisure to use the years to come for purposes of serene repetition. The context of political tension and the weak majority in Congress (notably with perfect equality in the Senate, where she will have a casting vote as president of the upper house) will force the former attorney general then senator of California to put the hands in Washington sludge, as Joe Biden did with Barack Obama.
John Kerry, the green bond to break with the climatocynics
This nomination alone is worth a green declaration. First, because the very function of the president’s special envoy for the climate is unprecedented. Then because John Kerry, 76, heavyweight of the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State for Obama, ideally embodies the climate change that Joe Biden promises to take in the United States. Engaged on the subject since the 1990s, Kerry, a senator for twenty-eight years, has tried several times to advance environmental legislation. It was also him, who, in 2016, his granddaughter Isabel on his knees, formally signed the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the United States, offering the cameras an image loaded with symbols.
In 2017, the unsuccessful former candidate for the White House (losing to Bush in 2004) left the State Department when Trump arrived. Last year, he came back to the task by initiating a coalition of personalities against the climate crisis, dubbed “World War Zero”. The pacifist hero engaged fifty years ago against the Vietnam War, now has a new battle to win: to convince that the United States has indeed emerged from ultraliberal climatocynism and ready to take its part in the multilateral fight against reheating.
Merrick Garland, a “moderate” judge at the bedside
He should have sat for life on the Supreme Court, here he is, at 68, attorney general for a period, by definition, indefinite. In 2016, after the death of the conservative judge Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama proposed the name of this former major of promotion at Harvard, former prosecutor in the cases of the bombing of Oklahoma City and Unabomber and judge in the court of US call for District of Columbia circuit. It was counting without the obstruction of the Republicans. The primary mission of this “centrist” will be to “depoliticize” a ministry traditionally independent of the White House but which has become its transmission belt under the presidency of Donald Trump. He has already displayed two priorities: the reform of a deeply repressive and unjust penal system in order to restore “racial equity” and the fight against “violent extremists”. The legalization of marijuana and the abolition of the federal death penalty will eventually fill its agenda.
Xavier Becerra, a health novice
The former California attorney general – a position he came to after Kamala Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016 – was expected to be on the Biden team, but not in that position. Rather than Justice, it will be Health, a field in which he is new. The choice of this former deputy, rather classified on the left even if he had supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, is explained by his involvement in the defense of Obamacare before the Supreme Court. In this position, he will above all have to implement the strategy of the new administration in the fight against the pandemic. If Joe Biden keeps his promise to improve Barack Obama’s reform by creating a “public option” for policyholders, who would thus be able to exit private contracts, this son of Mexican immigrants would also find himself on the front line.
Anthony Blinken, the warmonger and Francophile diplomat
A familiar figure in diplomatic circles in the United States, a member of the National Security Council under Bill Clinton and then a close associate of Joe Biden during Barack Obama’s two terms, Anthony Blinken is to succeed Mike Pompeo, the crude embodiment of aggressive and isolationist foreign policy by Donald Trump. Polite and Francophile (he lived and studied in Paris), Blinken nonetheless remains a fervent supporter of military expeditions carried out in the name of human rights, democracy, and Washington’s almost divine claim to guide world affairs. He thus successively spoke out for the invasion of Iraq in 2002, the destruction of Libya in 2011, and pleaded in vain for an armed intervention in Syria to oust Bashar Al Assad from power. An activism which had not convinced Barack Obama, and whose failure will haunt him “for the rest of (his) days,” says Blinken, completely impervious to the catastrophic results of the wars that he perpetually calls for.
Janet Yellen, commissioned to “reassure” Wall Street
Hearing on Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee, Janet Yellen will take the head of the Treasury (the equivalent in France of the Ministry of the Economy) with the mission of “reassuring” Wall Street and the stock markets which have broken records under the Trump administration, despite the pandemic. The time is not for budgetary austerity in the United States with the planned adoption of a stimulus plan of 1.9 trillion dollars, justified by “historically low interest rates”, says Janet Yellen, first President of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018. A valued student of the Nobel Prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz, the Yale graduate is nonetheless committed to neoliberal orthodoxy, and her profile, highly appreciated in business circles. business, gives all the guarantees of a continuity of the main orientations of US capitalism, inflexible despite the political alternations between Democrats and Republicans.