The election on Nov. 8 illustrates a violent clash between the proponents of a diverse, globalized America embodied by the Democratic president, Obama, and another America that is worried, weakened in its identity and even racist, whose passions are kindled by the Republican candidate, Trump.
Did Obama create Trump? With five days until the presidential election, the question sounds like a provocation worthy of Republicans who are quick to attribute the causes of “Trumpism” to the Democratic president, but who have not had the courage to cross the candidate.
What Donald Trump’s impassioned partisans express, however, is a scathing rejection of the America of Barack Obama. The rejection of a black president who has given the African-American minority a pride that is poorly appreciated if one does not consider the ancestors’ past who experienced slavery and racial segregation. The rejection of a country that turns its diversity, boosted by a galloping demography, into one of the strengths of its power to come. Barack Obama has not, as the naïve have hoped, settled a racial issue as old as the United States. The new tensions that have emerged show this. But Obama has permitted minorities to loudly reclaim their rights, a case in point being the Black Lives Matter movement.
This America imagined by a rational president, archetype of the globalized elite, is leaving too soon. It speaks of solidarity by establishing President Barack Obama’s health care law to insure coverage for some 10 percent of Americans who are still not medically covered in a country where capitalism is not always compassionate. It concludes an ambitious agreement in Paris, which shows that the fight against climate change is one of its priorities. But in Kentucky, Wyoming or West Virginia, the laid off coal miners are seeking a future. America ultimately signed a free trade agreement with eleven countries in the Asia-Pacific in order to always be able to co-write the rules of global commerce. But at the same time, workers in the automobile industry in Ohio rail against China, which “stole” their jobs.
For Donald Trump, American power must confirm his hypermasculinity through military buildup. Barack Obama, and certainly Hillary Clinton, projects a power not weaker but more feminine, more ready to negotiate with enemies and to support America’s allies. The clash of the two Americas is a rare instance of violence. The aggregate anger of whites weakened in their identity, worried laborers, citizens left behind by Washington, white supremacists, islamophobes, even anti-Semitics will not disappear in the case of a Hillary Clinton victory. In Congress, many Republican voices are already postponing the confirmation of judges that the Democrats might nominate to the Supreme Court, and, if Hillary is elected, there is talk even of impeaching her. Barack Obama does not want a red or blue America, but a purple one. It burst today.
The first digital president of the United States, the Democrat brought Silicon Valley to the heart of U.S. administration and politics for better or for worse. The better, in Obama’s eyes, being that Hillary Clinton is relying on big data to reach the White House. The worse being that Donald Trump could be elected to the presidency thanks, in part, to his favorite medium, Twitter.