Joe Biden won the presidency conclusively in November but, as we noted at the time, he was a win on points who left his adversary standing. In the same way, the government that starts today with enormous expectation is unlikely to be destined for sweeping victories.
Everything will have that invisible cost that reconstructions usually include. What this exercise will surely exhibit is a foundational character, unavoidable due to circumstances. Therein lies the main difference of this nascent administration with which it has just died. These limits between one experiment and the other are defined by reality.
Biden faces a colossal internal challenge that is likely to dominate almost entirely his four-year term in office. Two dimensions are combined there that must be addressed. One of them is the precariousness that the presidency of Donald Trump went through, particularly in the last year due to the pandemic that weakened the economy and building public confidence. The other, before that cataclysm, originated in the deepening of the social and political rift and the re-founding of the american racial drama that stimulated the outgoing government.
Joe Biden, the focus on the pandemic, economic crises, racism and the environment. Reuters
Criticism of Trump should focus on that low-flying look and basic that it exhibited, at the same time very destructive, wasting efforts to widen internal divisions to preserve dominance, power. That is precisely what did not work this time.
In the United States, even in its moments of greatest depression, things do not close as in the rest of the world due to the country’s potential. In regions with lower institutional levels and weak economic and political structures, as we see on a daily basis in several South American cases, the rent provided by the rift is usually insurmountable.
Biden starts off with a major artillery that includes control of both houses of Congress. You can now count on a $ 900 billion aid package for Covid social damages that was approved at Christmas. And he has just announced another bailout of 1.9 trillion dollars, which will surely also be accepted by that legislative condition of the new government.
Those united funds, some 2.8 trillion dollars, is what the Democrat had raised to start the path of his governance. A specific axis of what is coming is the urgent need to alleviate the economic costs of the pandemic. Now we will see that this intention does not respond only to a humanitarian issue.
But first let’s see what the context is like. A recent report from Columbia University warned that the percentage of people living in poverty now reaches 16.7% of the general population. These figures make it possible to estimate that the number of poor Americans now amounts to 55 million. As the pandemic is not alleviating, rather the opposite, Biden starts with another vacancy record which is the engine of that crisis.
Donald Trump, a complicated legacy. EFE
There is some confusion as to which markets are coordinating to stop the spectacular state investment planned by the new government. It is not like this. There is something much more complex and profound at play in this dilemma.
The North American establishment acts in self-defense to strengthen the place of the State in an extremely fragile circumstance such as the current one. In this sense, it is a simplification to suppose that what was evidenced by the assault on the Capitol on January 6 is limited to the madness of a band of far-right fundamentalists encouraged by an infatuated and denialist president. There is a lot of that, but that step exhibited a dangerous extreme of the anarchy of the system.
When that happens, when those limits are exceeded, it is because social fabrics are exposed. The fury against the order of things goes to the left or to the right, with the violence of the fundamentalist gangs or of the people in repudiation of the easy trigger of the white police. The synthesis is that something is broken and that threatens the continuity of the system and questions the pure meaning of democracy.
So there is no opposition to state assistance to strengthen these fabrics, quite the contrary. John F. Kennedy, whose inauguration is precisely 60 years old today, said in his speech that day that if “a free society cannot help the many who are poor it will not be able to save the few who are rich”. Biden could repeat that phrase today. It is the mirror in which you look.