In the street violence of these days there is not only the protest for racial conflicts or the legitimate request for justice for an absurd death, but there is also the representation, the mirror, of a polarized country perhaps never like now, a country divided into two, which is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, five months after the presidential election.
Only twice since the post-war period has the president in office failed to reelect his second term: Carter and Bush father, both swept away by the recession. Trump knows very well that, as things went with the coronavirus, he risks not making it. The two-month polls show Democratic candidate Joe Biden the advantage who met a group of African Americans yesterday: the last “polls” yesterday, in the national average, see him ahead of 6.5 points, a Washington Post poll of even ten points. While 53% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s actions. For this reason the tycoon in these hours with its incendiary tweets feeds the opposite antagonisms. He called on the police to shoot the protesters. He relaunches the right-wing slogan “Law & Order”, order and law, used by Nixon and Reagan before him to justify the reaction.
Many observers argue that it would take a leader capable of unifying, appeasing the hearts, reconciling a split country. Trump continues to throw gasoline, to radicalize the clashes and to stir up the ultra-right wing ultras: one of these Sunday afternoon tried to invest with a tanker launched at full speed a procession of demonstrators on the I-35 highway in Minneapolis which was closed to traffic, fortunately without consequences.
At the start of the presidency, in his inaugural speech in 2017, Trump had called himself “the candidate of law and order”. From 1993 to 2018 the crime rate in the United States dropped by 51%. But the tycoon has managed to breach large sections of the American white population, the less cultured, medium and low income, more angry and frightened by the crisis and in front of the advance (even demographic) of African Americans and Latinos. Rhetoric against “blacks and immigrants” had worked then. But it is not said – at least from what we see in these hours – that it will still work on November 3rd.
Friday’s May unemployment figures will be released. Economists estimate a loss of another 8.5 million jobs, after 20.5 million in April: the highest unemployment rate since 1933. According to a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, 42% of these unemployed it will turn into permanent job losses. This is where Trump plays the game for re-election. It won’t be so obvious to win it.