The two programs for the Trump and Biden candidacies are not similar to those of previous candidates. It is no longer a question of adjusting the United States to the changing world, but of defining what they will be. The question is existential, so it is quite possible that things will degenerate and end in violence. For some, the country must be a nation at the service of its citizens, for others it must restore its imperial status.
The Oval Office of the White House is looking for a tenant.
The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?
On the one hand, Washington’s claim to dominate the world by “containment” – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).
Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the “free world” in the face of “dictatorships”, as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against “global warming”. The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.
The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).
The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.
In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the “yellow vests” in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.
For the 2020 campaign, Democrats and Republicans are united behind former Vice President Jo Biden. He and his supporters are extremely voluble about their intentions:
“The Power of America’s Example”,