The global advance of the Trumpist extreme right wing is being answered by a resurgent and proactive American left
This week, while President Jair Bolsonaro promised to free Brazil from its “ideological moorings” in the United States, the opening shots were fired in the Democratic presidential primary race. For the new Latin American neoliberal Frankenstein, the supposed discrediting of political ideologies requires the defense of family, religion and a combat rifle close at hand in the fight against socialism, but for the Democrats, ideological rearming involves the activation of a social democratic agenda that returns the middle classes to the heart of the political struggle.
“No matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing,” said Elizabeth Warren, the first candidate to put herself forward.
Yet, for our American friend, it is a fact that starting conditions are not equal for all, because skin color and gender remain essential issues in the distribution of opportunities. This is not so much due to the social meanings ascribed to these attributes – which are nevertheless important – but because of a social structure that makes some individuals more vulnerable to exploitation or domination.
The exciting thing about the primaries is that the person whose agenda prevails will win, even if the candidate does not receive the most votes, relegating the inevitable swirl of candidates to the background. Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders are some of those people, but this is not personalistic politics.
It is about attending to the substantive conditions that have broken the American promise for the middle class and mending them by recovering the language of collective responsibility, a category of politics which looks to the future, in contrast to the rhetoric of blame which looks only to the past. The goal is to find an answer to social injustice and recognize our interdependence; we are social beings and our lives are always in the hands of others.
In this way, we activate a genuinely progressive agenda, at least while the radical Democratic wing dominates the discussion, the Democratic wing being a group that uses the word "radical" in reference to the demand for universal public health care, the Green New Deal, the humanitarian management of immigration and the misnamed economic populism, based on the redistribution of wealth and regulation.
Something that was long forgotten is being reclaimed: the transforming power of public policies. Not those that launch cultural wars against dark forces, but those that bring together a just struggle under an intersectional strategy. They deserve our full attention: the global advance of the Trumpist extreme right wing being answered by a resurgent and proactive American left, freed of its never-ending bewilderment. Let us hope that these shock waves reverberate all around the world!