Editorial of the “World”. The campaign season is ripe for chin-ups. On the eve of the US mid-term elections in November 2018, Donald Trump had already deemed it imperative to deploy more than 5,000 troops on the border with Mexico. The United States, he assured, was under threat of ” caravans’ of migrants. The alarmist tone adopted by the president did not prevent the defeat of the Republican camp in the House of Representatives, and Donald Trump had no longer mentioned this peril presented as imminent.
Two years later, the president tried to use the unrest that accompanied protests against police violence in Portland, Ore., To once again display martial posture. Under the authority of his justice minister and the secretary of homeland security, a post created after the 9/11 attacks, federal forces were officially dispatched to protect federal buildings.
The result was spectacular. Instead of restoring calm, these security forces, little experienced in policing techniques, have stirred up passions. To the point that their withdrawal now appears to be an essential gesture of appeasement.
After the death in Minneapolis (Minnesota) of George Floyd, an African American suffocated by the knee of a white policeman, looting and vandalism that accompanied peaceful marches prompted Donald Trump to show up on the 1er June as the “President of Law and Order”, echoing Richard Nixon’s slogan that propelled him to the White House in 1968 after the riots sparked by the assassination of Martin Luther King.
The President of the United States, however, immediately fueled questions about his sincerity by evacuating, manu militari, the nonviolent demonstrators who had gathered near the White House to pose, a Bible in hand, in front of a church that had suffered minor damage the night before.
The Portland deployment also appeared to be a rather crude diversion attempt from the main concern of its fellow citizens: the Covid-19 epidemic which continues to ravage the United States with more than 150,000 deaths. The outgoing president’s campaign team has also multiplied anxiety-provoking political advertisements, portraying America in chaos which is sure to materialize if the president’s Democratic opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden , won the November election.
These communication operations came to nothing. Converging polls indicate that despite messages promising, in capital letters, “LAW AND ORDER”, multiplied on the presidential Twitter account, Joe Biden is considered by a clear majority of those questioned as the candidate best able to ensure the safety of Americans.
Undoubtedly, Donald Trump’s exhortations make it possible to keep mobilized an electoral base determined to support him, whatever the results of a spring then a summer of crises, health, economic and societal, which for the moment is very far from being in his favor. Ultimately, these displays of strength are akin to an admission of weakness in a situation that he is struggling to control. By appearing as chairman of the mess, Donald Trump approaches the November 3 election on the defensive.