Physically absent from the possession of his successor, former President Donald Trump hovered omnipresent over the first speech of the new American leader, Joe Biden.
In his brief 20-minute speech, a calculated barrage of truism that was lacking during Trump’s turbulent four years in the White House, the Democrat sought to sell the torn idea of national unity.
Defeated, yes, but necessary when the president himself had to remember that two weeks ago this same step had received a pitched war, promoted Trump supporters to invade the Capitol while Biden’s victory was confirmed in plenary.
The Democrat did not directly quote Trump. He made a clear reference to his predecessor when he complained about the field of fake news, which was not born with the Republican, but which has flourished like never before since his massive election campaign in 2016.
Yet Biden’s list of enemies who make America a divided nation undermines the very principle of unifying the country he proposed.
Biden said: Domestic terrorism, extremism and hatred are enemies riding the novel coronavirus crisis, fueling an “uncivil war” of the reds (Republicans) against the blues (Democrats). Above all, the Trumpist shadow of “lie”, being defeated by what he emphatically called “the truth”.
The shame of the fine speech is that the hand he extended to “all Americans” (it would be strange if he said anything different) has little to offer the 75 million compatriots who concluded with the Trump package at the time. of the November election, just 5 million less than those who voted for Biden.
While the ex-president’s future is uncertain, and he even risks losing his political rights, it seems clear that the forces that brought him to the White House will not disappear overnight. Biden himself has repeated it: the achievements of his victory are fragile, democracy is fragile.
In terms of rhetoric, Biden was nearly perfect. He paid tribute to the anti-racism struggle and feminism, doubly embodied in his vice, Kamala Harris. He wore sandals of humility more than once and used common sense when dealing with those who had not voted for him.
His rise, as a cause and not as a candidate, which was highlighted in the speech, is a phenomenon that should inspire fears among Trump nationalists around the world. But it won’t exactly be a walk in the park.
An obvious reference in this group is Jair Bolsonaro, perhaps Trump’s most vocal supporter among the leaders of nations with relative weight in the world. The ex-president is a declared idol of the Brazilian, who is already rehearsing to even mimic the crying and Trumpist coup in case he loses in 2022.
For opponents of the populist wave, the lesson of Biden’s election, who in Brazil would be dismissed as an old-fashioned fox by Bolsonaro before his marriage to the center, is that it doesn’t take a very strong name to dislodge bullies from the gang.
On the contrary: Biden added his support by moving away from extremes, in a calm voice, and aided by the terror of Covid-19 and its assassination under Trump’s negative eyes. Without the plague, with the economy on the right track, the story of the election would be different.
Biden’s foreign policy is expected to continue without major changes from Trump’s in the beginning. Initially, governments are usually exposed to external testing, and not giving a damn seems to be the rule.
Which did not make the Democrat forget to say that “the world is watching” and that the United States will “repair its alliances”, a nod to European and Asian colleagues trampled since the Trump campaign and with many gestures in power.
With a suitably emotional tone, if not unnecessary tears, the new president spoke of the past and present of the pillar of the projection of American power: its armed forces.
He compared the more than 400,000 Americans killed by Covid-19 with the same number of soldiers fallen by the country from 1941 to 1945 during World War II. And he asked for the traditional divine blessing from “our troops” at the end.
Trump’s latest act, denying his presence in the possession of his successor, lived up to his moral stature as President. His specter permeating Biden’s civilizing discourse shows that such a nuisance can take a long time to pass – if it does.