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Trumpism, the end of an era?

Probably Trumpism will survive Trump.

The long - awaited results of the presidential elections in the United States of America, after a long and incessant wait that lasted for several days, finally proclaimed winners the two Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. However, the painful wait (caused by several delays in the ballot) highlights a significant fact: the two newly elected show to have maintained strong trust in the States historically sympathetic to the Democratic wing but, especially, they have proved the ability to convince the swing States, which seem to have lost confidence in the Trumpian proposal.

Myriads of supporters from every corner of the globe rejoice in what seems, for all intents and purposes, multimillionaire and now ex - president Donald Trump’s defeat: at the moment, regardless of any desperate attempt of retaliation, requests for redress concerning a hypothetical electoral fraud appear to have no basis whatsoever. The refusal to pronounce the typical concession speech - a practice devoid of legal value, but equally significant in the American socio-cultural fabric - is nothing more than a dejected negation of reality. Donald "Deranged" Trump - as George Conway likes to call him - has not been able to perpetuate the electoral strategy that characterized him in 2016 and, although he still shows particularly firm about his second term, counting the "real votes", the rumour about a possible re-nomination in 2024 is growing quite rapidly.

There is, however, a much more considerable question concerning the near future of the United States, as well as the entire globe: Trump may have lost the battle and, perhaps, even the war, but can we say the same about Trumpism? Although Biden’s victory occurs in the US presidential election with the highest turnout ever recorded in history, the latter appears by no means overwhelming, considering the popular vote. In fact, although the Democratic candidate has won more than enough electoral votes for the victory, his seventy-nine million preferences differ slightly from the seventy-three million popular votes in favour of the Trumpian project. The results of the popular vote, moreover, seem to support the question previously postulated: they show an increase in the statistical preference, related to Donald Trump’s political plan, in the ideologically further from the latter groups of population. The President-in-Office - albeit not for long - has gained much more popularity among women, Latinos and Afro-Americans, despite the fact that he has frequently made political proposals that are, to say the least, disrespectful and mortifying towards this part of the electorate. Instead, this record, seemingly irrelevant, is symptomatic: the Trumpian philosophy is not a phenomenon limited to Trump himself, who has become its interpreter, but it is the result of the shared thought of tens of millions of citizens. The Tycoon has proved nothing more than an exegete, able to understand, stimulate and even inflame populist desires, distinctive for a determining share of citizenship.

It is essential, therefore, not to erroneously decode the negative trend that has distinguished the American and European right wing, even its extreme side. Even if Trump, icon of Trumpism, appears now deprived of its institutional role and ability to act, the movement he spurred on will not cease to exist with Joe Biden’s victory. The United States is still beset by the age-old dilemma regarding its role in a global context. Although the ruling desire to isolate the country and promote political decisions aimed at meeting popular needs, rather than international treaties, the other side of the coin portrays Americans who fully identify themselves in the slogan "Make America Great Again". The tenacity of the Trumpian dream opposes the U.S. role foreshadowed by George Washington in his farewell speech: «The great rule of conduct for us towards foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, in order to have the least possible political connection with them.», trying to maintain the status of supranational order and a remarkable capacity for decision-making in foreign affairs, aspects of America’s "champion of the world" image. The need to focus on the citizen, who often only laments the negative aspects of globalisation, is opposed to the concern to lose its role in the global balance itself.

Donald Trump’s political end is near, but Trumpism epilogue looks pretty far.

Antonino Palumbo

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