The fact that the presidential term of Donald Trump ended with acts of violence and vandalism, like those carried out by the mob in the assault on the Capitol that left five people dead, should not surprise us.
Since he began his campaign in 2015 – saying that Mexican immigrants were mostly rapists and drug traffickers – Trump openly displayed the type of president he sought to be: a racist, populist president, who saw in divisionism and stale nationalism a opportunity to come to power.
Back in the White House, Trump continued his incendiary rhetoric, marked by a constant and targeted attack on immigrants, a significant increase in racial tension that created peaceful protest movements such as Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, and a resurgence of radical groups.
At the international level, Trump, with his isolationist America First policy, undermined the relations and agreements that the United States had with our traditional allies; He sought by all means to weaken the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), coming to describe this important strategic military alliance as “obsolete” and as a relic of the Cold War; it withdrew our nation from the Paris Agreement, a commitment of nearly 200 countries against the climate crisis; and it abandoned the agreement signed by several international powers with Iran to limit its nuclear program.
Added to this is his unusual decision to withdraw the country from the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With a flourishing economy and unemployment rates in his favor, Trump believed he was assured of re-election, despite the fact that the polls did not favor him.
The arrival of COVID-19 gave him a golden opportunity to recover, to present his presidency with a more human face in the face of the pain and death that the pandemic has brought, to support the scientists and support their recommendations.
But Trump, true to his nature, politicized the use of the mask and social distancing, and today, the terrible handling that he has given to the pandemic maintains the United States as the country with the highest number of infected and deceased in the world. world.
While it is true that with his radical policy Trump managed to broaden his constituency, he also succeeded in getting a coalition of women, minorities and youth to go to the polls en masse to end his stormy and divisive rule.
Joe Biden, who ran for president as a healer seeking to unite the country, won more votes than any other presidential candidate in American history.
A true democrat, respectful of democratic institutions, would have accepted his defeat and facilitated the smooth handover of power, for the sake of the nation’s security.
But Trump is far from it. And that was more than demonstrated in the conversation he had with his Republican colleague Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, in which Trump pressures him to find him “11,780 votes” to reverse his defeat, in a dangerous attempt and without precedents of altering the will of the American people expressed at the ballot box.
No, the assault on the Capitol, a symbol of our nation’s democracy, should come as no surprise. The gasoline was there, and Trump only had to throw the match.
A grim chapter in the history of the United States ends with Trump.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a tough road ahead. But they also have the opportunity to restore to the United States its prestige before the world as a nation of immigrants, caring and humane.
The Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to reverse Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant policy, prioritizing the immigration issue as promised, creating a path to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
Retaking international agreements that result in benefits for the country and the world, I do not doubt that it will be on the agenda of the Biden government, such as the Paris Agreement and the strengthening of NATO.
As the Bible says: “The crying may last all night, but in the morning the cry of joy will come.”
I have faith that it will.
-Adriano Espaillat is a member of the US Congress.