09 January 2022 ~ 1 Comentario

Joe Biden and Donald Trump, face to face, a year later 

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Perhaps President Joe Biden should have denounced Donald Trump much earlier, when it was evident that he fabricated one lie after another without caring about the damage he did to American democracy. Fortunately (it is better late than never), he spoke on Thursday, January 6, just a year after he had seen the catastrophe.

My granddaughter Paola Ramos, also a journalist, albeit a good one, gave me this information. When she was very young and an undergraduate at a New York university, she was surprised at the degree of anti-Americanism that existed at that college, even though she had the feeling that she lived in a stable society. Today it does not surprise her that according to a Harvard survey “only 7% of young people in the country think that they live in a healthy democracy,” more than half consider that it is a “failed democracy,” and 35% believe that in the country, logically, a civil war will unleash.

After World War II, in 1945 the United States emerged as one of the two powers that ruled the world until the USSR exploded in December 1991 and began the decade of Boris Yeltsin and of “saving Russia from the weight of the Soviet Union.”

From that point on, the US was left alone on the planet. It had been 75 years of hegemony, shared or solitary. Obviously, at some point the United States will be displaced and replaced by another power. In the 15th century it was Portugal. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was Spain’s turn. In the 18th century, roughly speaking, France and England played the part. England, throughout the 19th century, and Germany, starting with Chancellor Bismarck, in the middle of that century, were the key powers.

Is it time for the replacement of the United States? Joseph S. Nye, the great Harvard University political scientist, doesn’t think so. First, because he does not perceive the symptoms of deterioration that they attribute to the US. The most important teaching and research centers on the planet continue to be linked to the country. The largest armed forces, endowed with large budgets, tremendous vitality, and an excellent research system, together with a productive engine such as no one had contemplated in the country and abroad. And secondly, because he doesn’t believe that today, to date, no country is willing or able to play the role of head of the world.

And what about the Russians and the Chinese? The Russians, because they have become a second-rate power that has the same patterns of exportation of a third world nation – they only export gas and oil. If by a magical destiny it suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, no one would miss Russia. The Chinese, because they lack productivity although they are close to the United States’ GDP. Besides, they are surrounded by enemies: Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam. If income is measured in PPP, the imports that must be made are left out. Also, they are one thousand four hundred million people against 330 in the US. On the other hand, according to the last census, there are nine thousand American millionaires and that is a demonstration of the strength of the economy (VisualPolitik.)

In short, there will always be rational ways to rule out competition. But the truth is that Donald Trump was putting an end to the soft power (then it wasn’t called like that) with which American diplomacy had been inaugurated in the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bretton Woods in 1944, and even more so since Harry S. Truman assumed the presidency following the unexpected death of FDR on April 12, 1945.

Trump mistreated his NATO allies. Adopting the gestures of a second-rate Mussolini, Trump pushed Dusko Marcovic, the internationally unknown Prime Minister of Montenegro, a tiny state established in what was Yugoslavia, or refused to visit the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, because she could not or did not want to sell him Greenland.

The president of the United States continued to be a New York real estate salesman who said or did anything to achieve his ends. There is an eye-opening book by Andrea Bernstein (The American Oligarchs) that explains why Donald Trump should be taken seriously. It’s not an isolated accident. You can’t rule a country in which truth is hard to distinguish from lies and both have the same hierarchy.

It is true that the Internet contributes to the festive atmosphere of Trump’s environment. On the Internet you can say almost anything with the certainty that some credulous will take it seriously. For example, it happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

One Response to “Joe Biden and Donald Trump, face to face, a year later ”

  1. Orl 10 January 2022 at 4:39 am Permalink

    Silvio ya dejo el tema de Julian Assange. Se preocupa ahora por la caceria ilegal de tomeguines.

    Y este otro aconseja al Presidente,….de los EE UU

    Sr. presidente, la solución es bastante simple…

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