Institutional Hell in the United States of America

The whole world welcomed Joe Biden’s election on Saturday with a sigh of relief. And yet, the world’s first democracy is still in the throes of one of its most delicate political crises. Incumbent President Donald Trump continues to resist accepting defeat, and what’s worse, he has gone on the offensive to torpedo Biden’s right to begin his term on Jan. 20. While the administration should be complying with the requirements for the transfer of power to the next administration, some of Trump’s faithful, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, assure us with disquieting irresponsibility that what we will witness is “a smooth transition” to Trump’s second term. What we are really witnessing is genuine institutional deterioration, which, in a country as polarized as the U.S., serves only to increase tension.

While the Republican president’s lawyers continue to sue and appeal the results of state elections which very clearly went in favor of Biden, the U.S. attorney general, in an unprecedented decision, authorized an investigation into voter fraud, which Trump claimed took place without a single shred of evidence. Furthermore, the White House refuses to sign the documents needed for the transfer of power. The information being withheld from Biden’s team includes sensitive information in areas such as national security. This week, officials at the top echelons of Pentagon leadership resigned in response to Trump’s outrageous dismissal of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The current president has opted for a scorched-earth political strategy, and has surrounded himself with an aristocratic political court formed of people willing to fight with him until the bitter end. The effect that this battle may have on American democracy and its institutions is totally unimportant to him.

In the meantime, it cannot be understated that the U.S. has surpassed a COVID-19 infection rate of 10 million people. The pandemic is blind to politics, and is an urgent reminder that America needs a wise administration ready to recognize it as the real common enemy.

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