The election day is still a long way off and too many unknowns thwart any attempt to predict, but Joe Biden and the Democrats, certainly not thanks to them, now start with an unexpected advantage. And if you can’t underestimate the firepower of an incumbent president, Donald Trump is losing America.
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Let’s try to put some data in a row. The most painful death toll is that of the victims: over 100 thousand deaths for Covid, black shirt in the world, more than the sum of the American military victims of war from Korea in the 1950s to the present day. Johns Hopkins University speaks of 1.7 million infections (with the forecast of breaking through the 2 million soon) and a pace that touches one victim per minute. From east to west. Alone, the state of New York is like Italy, with 36 thousand cases and 30 thousand deaths, while California today records the highest daily number of positives and touches the 4 thousand victims. The health phase is defined as improving, but the pandemic is absolutely not under control. Trump ranted against China, promoted miraculous cures, quarreled with his adviser Tony Fauci, star of the world virologists, until he was almost put at the door, but he never seemed to lead the reaction. Even his deputy, emergency commissioner Mike Pence, didn’t make a big contribution to the cause. The culprit is WHO: Trump announces a stop to the collaboration, after having already decided to suspend the funds to the organization accused of being pro-Chinese.
Then there is the economic balance. In the first three months of the year, those affected only in part by Covid, American GDP fell by 5%, slightly more than expected, according to data from the Department of Commerce. The worst quarter since the last of 2008, in full financial crisis. It’s nothing, because the second quarter will pulverize all records: Goldman Sachs and Jp Morgan expect a tendency decline of 35-40%. This is leading Donald Trump to a “Chinese” counter-move: according to indiscretions (not denied) reported by the Washington Post, the White House will not disseminate the economic estimates that are traditionally communicated in the summer together with the president’s budget proposal. This choice, already taken by Beijing, is motivated with the excessive uncertainty linked to the impact of the coronavirus, but it is clear that it could only be a war bulletin a few weeks before the presidential election. Just think that another 2.1 million Americans in the last seven days have applied for unemployment benefits. Every day news like this arrives: American Airlines cuts 30% of management and staff, over 5,000 redundancies out of 17,000 employees. The number has thus risen to over 40 million people in desperate search for a job – forty million – practically one worker in four.
These are the news that Americans read on social networks and newspapers every day or listen to on TV and radio. Now is added the anger of Minneapolis, which spreads to other cities, involves African American and non-American celebrities from sports and cinema. Donald Trump sees his name associated with a historic recession, which is also wiping out the rain aids that have been injected into the system and distributed to families. The election campaign, as it was thought by the president, was totally distorted. The primaries and election tours have disappeared from the political landscape. “Keep America Great” screeches in front of everyday reality. “The two closely related key issues are the state of the pandemic and the state of the economy, and it is difficult to separate them, “said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, in an interview reported by the NYT. “The real knot is how we’ll be in October.” Meanwhile, Trump knows he has to raise the bar and works on his old and new opponents.
The opponent of all time is China. Responsible for the pandemic, world spy with 5G, traitor to the promises of autonomy in Hong Kong. A battle made up of small and large skirmishes, for now, with some allies. Like the UK of the Boris Johnson credit card that has offered easier visas and a facilitated path to the British passport for Hong Kong citizens and promises coordinated action with Washington on sanctions. Or like Canada holding Meng Wanzhou, “Lady Huawei”, daughter of the founder of the TLC giant arrested at the end of 2018, despite protests from Beijing. Washington has decided to issue the special commercial statute in Hong Kong, will revise the state department’s travel notice for the autonomous region, will trigger targeted sanctions on some Hong Kong executives. But sanctions are a boomerang and Hong Kong is no longer what it once was in the balance sheet of the Chinese economy. Moreover, Europe does not follow the US on the path of punishment: China is too strategic and the economy too fragile to speak of sanctions now. Above all, a Donald Trump cannot be trusted in the election campaign, so it is now time for Brussels to remain equidistant, with all due respect to Hong Kong.
The new opponent is social networks. The Twitter bird becomes a beast to tame, the friend of “terrorists and dictators”, as the White House writes (strictly via Twitter). Those two posts of the president marked as potentially misleading triggered an executive order by Trump – the equivalent of the notorious Italian dpcm these days, but a go-ahead from Congress will be needed – which modifies section 230 of the “Communications Decency Act”, a 1996 law that guaranteed criminal immunity to digital platforms with respect to content published by third parties. “We are here to defend free speech,” Trump explained, attacking Twitter, not even saying so, with a tweet: “He is doing nothing against all the lies and propaganda put around by China and the radical left of the Democratic Party. they target only conservatives, republicans and the president of the United States. ” In other words, they condition the elections. The pattern is the same, sensationally successful, of 4 years ago: one against all. Back then it was the newspapers and televisions, this time it’s up to social networks.
Then there is Minneapolis. Violence, racism, abuse of power, there is all this in the video that shows the agony of an African American boy, suffocated by an agent’s knee. “I can’t breathe” the protesters shout, among whom rioters infiltrate and set fire to the city police station and loot shops and malls. “Thugs”, criminals, according to Trump, who sends 500 National Guard soldiers and, new Bava Beccaris, announces on Twitter that “when the looting begins, shooting begins”. After many hours, try to rectify the concept. But the protests go beyond Minneapolis, cross a tragic history of the deep North American to reach other American cities and mobilize the African American electorate, already massively sided with Joe Biden. “George Floyd will not have died in vain” assures the tycoon and within hours the arrest of the killer agent, accused of manslaughter, takes place. Now the trumpians’ hard core also expects a steady hand against violence and police defense. “I can’t breathe” shouts the protest, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” replies Trump. The arrest of the worst policemen in this climate may not be enough.