In an America on edge, Donald Trump will accept Thursday evening the nomination of the Republican Party for a second term by presenting himself as the only bulwark against the risk of “anarchy”.
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Less than 70 days before the election, the speech of the American president, scheduled for the late evening from the gardens of the White House, closes a Republican convention organized in the form of a Trump show, largely virtual due to COVID-19.
It intervenes in a context of overlapping crises – health, economic, social – and racial tensions which make the outcome of the November 3 ballot all the more unpredictable.
For several days, the small town of Kenosha (Wisconsin), where a young African-American, Jacob Blake, was seriously injured by police, has been the scene of demonstrations and violence.
“I am the only bulwark between the American dream and anarchy, madness and chaos”: according to his statements of recent days, the 45th president in history should paint a grim picture of an America under the threat of a “socialist” presidency.
And take up the case to attack his Democratic opponent.
“Last week, Joe Biden did not say a word about the violence and chaos in which cities plunge across the country,” said Wednesday evening, as a prelude, Vice President Mike Pence from Baltimore.
This new mobilization against police violence and racism, however, raises delicate questions, for Donald Trump as well as for Joe Biden.
Kamala Harris’ response
The Republican billionaire, anxious to galvanize his electoral base by hammering his support for the police, has so far never mentioned the name of Jacob Blake.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will have to strike the right tone, amid conflicting pressure from his right and left within his own party.
If he condemned Wednesday the “unnecessary violence”, he also expressed his solidarity with the demonstrators and denounced once again the “generalized racism” which undermines American society.
Largely ahead in national polls, given beaten in many key states, Donald Trump repeats that opinion polls do not reflect America’s state of mind and says he is convinced he will create surprise, as in 2016.
How he approaches the coronavirus pandemic in his address will be scrutinized with particular attention.
Tuesday evening, Melania Trump showed an empathy that contrasted with her statements and marked the spirits.
“Since March, our lives have changed radically,” she said, noting a shock that the president is constantly trying to minimize. “I know a lot of people are worried, I want you to know that you are not alone,” she added.
But, over the past three days, the Republican High Mass has largely ignored this pandemic which has left some 180,000 dead in the United States.
Americans do not appreciate the way Donald Trump is handling this unprecedented health crisis.
According to the average of the polls established by the site FiveThirtyEight, 58.2% disapprove of its response to the pandemic (38.7% approve).
The subject will be at the heart of the intervention of Kamala Harris, running mate of Joe Biden, who will be responsible for leading the counteroffensive on the Democratic side. She will speak a few hours before Donald Trump’s speech.
The choice of the White House, a federal building loaded with symbols, for an eminently political speech, in the service of a single party, made people cringe.
But the former New York businessmen, who brushed aside the ethical questions raised by his critics, is delighted with his choice.
“It’s a place where I feel good, it’s a place where the country feels good”.
A fireworks display will close this evening which the president hopes to make a springboard to victory.