We have stopped believing in the tale of the greatest democracy in the world

We have stopped believing in the tale of the greatest democracy in the world

Trump is on the verge of defeat, but his presidency has changed a country and its way of thinking about politics. Today we look at the United States and wonder how much we really knew them

(photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images) If there is a bias that has always characterized the narrative that is made of the United States of America, that lies in the glorious label it carries with it: the greatest democracy in the world. It did not take the grueling presidential elections of 2020 to open our eyes to the limits of this definition, but we can say that if we were really looking for confirmation of the fact that the US is not a model of perfect democracy, here we have it today.

Donald Trump's behavior in the last few hours is something we are used to seeing in the worst regimes in the world, those where those in power call for sham elections only useful to extend his mandate, in which, however, the opinion of the voters, citizens, is not important. The former tycoon is doing something similar, but in a more subtle way. The vote, in this case, is not controlled. But the thought remains that the choice expressed by the American people does not matter, at least if it is a preference for the Democratic Party. Donald Trump, in effect, accepted the vote as long as it placed him in an advantageous position, then he suddenly changed his point of view when the counting of the home vote began, the one in which he knows he is at a disadvantage. "Stop the count" - stop the poll - he shouted on Twitter and to the microphones, proclaiming himself the winner in several states not yet officially assigned and self-appointing himself the new American president, despite the fact that hour after hour the real calculation of the ballots paved the way for victory for Democrat Joe Biden.

In the alleged largest democracy in the world, in short, a candidate who is not an authoritarian extremist catapulted for some strange reason by a conspiracy blog to the presidential race, but is the outgoing president, asks to invalidate the biggest exercise democratic that exists, the vote in fact. And as if that weren't enough, it does so with a sort of call to arms against its constituents. "I'm asking our strongest and most loyal defenders, like you, to fight back," reads the email signed by Donald Trump that the subscribers to his electoral campaign are receiving. Which, in effect, are fighting back. During the night there were several riots in the United States, particularly in Arizona and Michigan. Donald Trump voters armed with American flags, rifles and pistols parade through the streets of the cities, presiding over the polling stations where the polluters, in a condition that is anything but serene at this point, continue to count the ballots.

Yes he might think the situation is getting out of hand in the United States due to a single unconventional personality, Donald Trump. But the reality is that Trump is only the purest expression of American toxicity, which has existed long before he established himself in national political institutions. After all, we are talking about a state where the death penalty is still exercised here and there, where a quarter of the people killed by the police are black, although African Americans make up only 13% of the population and where fundamental rights such as abortion are not guaranteed - in one of several referendums on November 3, for example, Louisiana chose that it is not a constitutional right, effectively canceling it. But that there is something wrong with US democracy, it is also understood in its own electoral system. You can get millions more votes than your opponent, as was the case of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden's today, but this may not guarantee the presidency.

That of the States United as the largest democracy in the world is the classic certainty that we absorb as children and that we end up accepting because it is part of us. But every day, the overseas news gives us something else, in what appears to be a constantly worsening situation. 2020 will be remembered as the year in which a US policeman brutally killed African American George Floyd, in which law enforcement officers stifled the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, in which the incumbent president called for guns for an end to demonstrations, in which people were asked in a violent way to cancel the vote of millions of citizens. If this is the largest democracy in the world, planet Earth has a problem.

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