Democrats this week formalized the candidacy of Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, for the November presidential election. The party convention has at times taken on the appearance of a long infomercial because of the use of pre-recorded messages from the party’s headliners. The exercise is nonetheless useful, because it allowed the stake in the next election to be established. Yes, democracy is at stake.
If there is a common thread to the Democratic convention, it is the hope that the United States will regain its momentum at the national and international level by involving citizens of all origins, while respecting their right to equality and dignity. There is something refreshing in the speech of the candidates: they refuse to have their country summed up to the sum of its divisions.
The Biden-Harris tandem is the bearer of a unifying political project, unlike the outgoing president. Donald Trump has failed to rise to the job because he is unable to do so, as former President Barack Obama said. His personal interests and those of those around him, as well as his insatiable ego, come first. Even before the democratic institutions and the citizens it is supposed to protect.
In parallel with the Democratic convention, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a damning report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The bipartisan committee goes even further than Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Russia succeeded in its plan to sabotage the 2016 election thanks to the immorality of President Trump and his henchmen. Trump’s campaign has maintained close ties with representatives of the government of Vladimir Putin, determined to elect a grotesque buffoon to the White House.
Donald Trump has always minimized the ties of his entourage with the Russians, repeatedly deploring a shocking “witch hunt”. In fact, Trump’s campaign officials accepted a foreign power’s offer of help. They sent sensitive electoral tally data to the Russians in secret. They coordinated the spread of embarrassing information about the schism in the Democratic camp between candidate Hillary Clinton and disappointed rival Bernie Sanders, information illegally obtained by Russian agents as a result of hacking into Democratic Party servers. The Republican-majority committee finally confirms that Trump perjured himself in a statement to Prosecutor Mueller, wrongly claiming that he did not discuss the leaking of Democratic campaign documents with his adviser, Roger Stone. The case looks like collusion, concludes the Democratic minority. The Republican majority refutes this claim, stressing that there was no tacit understanding between Russian officials and those in Trump’s campaign. It’s a very thin line of defense.
The American intelligence services have also issued warnings on the inclinations of Russia to interfere again in the 2020 election. Trump spits on Twitter the venom of Russian disinformation about Joe Biden without the slightest remorse of conscience . He has become the slavish spokesperson for Russian propaganda, laments Mark Warner, the most influential Democratic senator on the Intelligence Committee.
All of these disturbing revelations went like a star in the sky in the news. The “fatigue” with regard to Trump’s escapades and the health crisis that claimed the lives of more than 173,000 American citizens surely had something to do with it. The build-up of Trump’s ethical drifts erodes the capacity for collective outrage against a background of polarization and division in society.
The lines of demarcation between Democratic and Republican supporters are more rigid than ever. The majority of voters have made their choice between Trump and Biden, the undecided are shrinking (between 12 and 16% of the electorate, polls) and a handful of key states could tip the scales again this year .
Throughout the Democratic convention, past and current party leaders emphasized the importance of voting and encouraging citizen participation in saving American democracy. One can imagine their concern at the risk of the black and Latin vote disintegrating by an excess of cynicism and weariness, feelings which reveal a loss of confidence in democracy beneficial to Donald Trump.
Joe Biden will need all the votes. He faces not only a crooked, compulsive liar and demagogue opponent, but a cheeky foreign power pushing for Trump’s re-election, all amid an electoral system flawed by vote suppression tactics and the inequities generated. by the archaic election of an electoral college.
The hope for unity sparked by Joe Biden’s candidacy is precious, but so fragile in the face of President Trump’s work to demolish democratic institutions.