Thursday 6 January, Epiphany day, marks a year since the attempted coup by militiamen linked to President Donald Trump in the United States, with the assault on Capitol Hill, the seat of parliament, which left behind seven dead, dozens of wounds, the shame of the allies and the delight of the enemies of the USA, a humiliated nation and on the barricades. The election of President Joe Biden, and the early reactions of the Republican leadership, when Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, a group of senators and deputies led by Romney and Cheney condemned Trump’s support for the coup leaders, calling for a return to the traditional anti-populist republican party, had raised the hope of a new unity, soon faded in a country where, as the philosopher Fukuyama writes, “the worst foreign policy drama is the split in domestic politics.”
Biden’s decline in popularity, minus 25% since last January according to data scholar Nate Silver, stems from inflation, which rises as predicted by economist Larry Summers, from the poorly executed retreat from Kabul, from the epidemic that fails to restraint and by a Democratic party where Senator Manchin’s right crushes climate and welfare state reforms, while MP Ocasio-Cortez’s left appreciates the president “for one thing only, not to be Trump.”
The polls anticipate a ruinous course for the Democrats for the Midterm elections in November, with the loss of the majority in the House and Senate and the end of Biden’s political agenda, until the race for the White House 2024. A year ago, when the seat of American democracy, dreamed of by the founding fathers with the classic constitutional and architectural rigor of Greco-Roman antiquity, was violated by armed militiamen, determined to overturn Biden’s victory at the polls, encouraged by the president’s social media , still in office and with full civil and military powers, it seemed instead that the Trumpian era was over, forever.
Today, while the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the sack of Congress, which will deliver its report before the November vote, continues to file documents showing that the attack on the Epiphany to overturn the electoral result was not a spontaneous raid, but nationally organized paramilitary maneuver, the climate is freezing in the capital, and not just because of the half meter of snow that has fallen in the suburbs. Trump asks the Constitutional Court, which fate made him a friend by allowing him, in four years, to appoint 3 of the 9 judges, not to answer the questions of the Commission, either with an archive file or in person. His grip on the ancient Republican Grand Old Party is total, whoever challenges him must retire or face a Trumpian Doc in the primary. reduction of democratic social programs, a subsidiary philosophy whereby, for example, national school programs leave room for the choices of the local community: but they know that criticizing the former president is fatal and they stay away, without antagonizing him.
Trump works on his social media platform, which he wants to temper in the Midterm vote for the 2024 presidential race, does not embarrass himself to break diplomatic protocol by offering support to the Hungarian nationalist leader Orban, and dreams of returning to the White House of which he believes himself usurped. . In addition to the parliamentary investigation, other legal troubles await him, the Attorney General Letitia James has issued a subpoena against him, with his children Ivanka and Donald jr, for January 7, wants to question him about possible tax fraud in the evaluation of real estate . As always, Trump reacts with a counter complaint, hoping to cover up everything. James’s case is civil, a criminal investigation against the former president is instead conducted by the office of the district attorney Cyrus Vance jr, for tax evasion against the Trump Organization and its financier Allen Weisselberg.
To date, Donald Trump seems to laugh at the magistrates, certain to come out unscathed, as in many years as a businessman, capable of even resorting to bankruptcy, reaching the 2024 revenge at the helm of the Gop. The dying out of Biden’s initiative, the uncertainties of deputy Kamala Harris and a divided and brawling Democratic party seem to pave the way for him. But, as the legendary analyst Ugo “Misha” Stille preached, one year is long in American politics, and three are still missing from the November vote. In February 2020, on its cover, the weekly “The Economist” announced that the match would be between Trump and the socialist Senator Sanders, with the following triumph for the Republicans. He was wrong, as when he predicted the resignation of Bill Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal. He now foresees an authoritarian and undemocratic drift of the republicans, seduced by Trump, with the bleak decline of the American republic: it is possible that he is wrong again this time, provided that the majority of Americans who a year ago found the taking of the Capitol shameful mobilize and react . Time is still there.