President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak from Texas on Thursday about racism and police violence after largely avoiding the subject for weeks that shook America.
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If he praised, repetitive tweets in support, of “law and order” and praised the work of the police and the army, he remained very discreet about the indignation, the anger and the urge for change that seized tens of millions of Americans after the death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer.
Notoriously silent Tuesday at the time of his funeral in Houston, where his democratic rival Joe Biden expressed himself in a very personal tone by video, Donald Trump, who has always refused to put on rallying clothes, is much more discreet about his election campaign.
Lagging behind in polls less than five months before the poll, the White House tenant announced Wednesday a series of upcoming campaign meetings: Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina.
“There will be a huge one in Florida, they will all be huge,” he said, visibly enthusiastic about finding the stands and the scent of his victorious 2016 campaign to which he regularly refers.
His handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 113,000 people in the United States, as well as his response to huge “Black lives matter” protests across the country, have been judged negatively by a majority of Americans.
According to the average poll conducted by the FiveThirtyEight site, the proportion of Americans with a favorable opinion of him has been declining steadily for three weeks. It now stands at 41.1%, down from 44.1% on May 15.
The ballot is still far, recalls Geoffrey Skelley, analyst of the site, and the republican billionaire can hope for a “rebound”, as he has already known.
“But the closer his popularity rating remains to the 40% mark, the more difficult it is to imagine how he will be able to attract enough votes to be re-elected,” he added.
” Listen! ”
Washington has been buzzing for several days with a strong presidential initiative to regain control. Solemn speech on racial discrimination? Decree for better police supervision?
Different avenues have been mentioned but none has been confirmed at this stage. And the mystery remains about the possible announcements that the American president could make during the round table scheduled in Dallas at 3:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT).
“For weeks, the president has avoided at all costs a fundamental conversation on systemic racism and police brutality,” lamented Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent for the presidential election on November 3.
“The trip to Texas will not change anything,” he added, regretting that the 45th president of history had at no time sought “to offer a message of healing to a country in mourning”.
Calls are mounting for a profound change in culture within the American police.
“Please listen to the calls coming up from the street,” said George’s brother Philonise Floyd to Congress, imploring elected officials to adopt meaningful reforms.
The “Justice and Policing Act”, supported by more than 200 mainly democratic elected officials, intends to create a national register for police officers committing blunders, facilitate legal proceedings against officers and rethink their recruitment and training.
But the future of this text before the Senate, with a Republican majority, is very uncertain.
For the time being, Donald Trump is boasting about symbols to which the most conservative part of his electorate is particularly sensitive.
He said he was categorically opposed to the idea of renaming military bases named after Confederate Generals, an idea the Pentagon had said was open to discussion.
It is not the first time that Donald Trump has taken this side on this sensitive subject in the United States, where some see in the tribute paid to the Southerners, who were favorable to slavery, the celebration of a past racist.
But proof that the shock wave caused by the death of George Floyd moves the lines, NASCAR, the organizing body of a very popular automobile championship in the United States, announced Wednesday evening the immediate ban on the Confederate flag during his races.
His fans are very present in many southern states that are strongholds of the Republican billionaire.