“Biden is not Trump, but the resemblances are spectacular”

FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE – For historian André Kaspi, American presidents never break with all the decisions of their predecessors and although Joe Biden is different from Donald Trump on many points, he retains the same ambitions and objectives as the former tenant of the White House.

André Kaspi is a historian, recognized specialist of the United States and has devoted numerous reference works to him. The academic has notably published La Armed Nation – Weapons at the heart of American culture (Editions de l’Observatoire, 2019).

Americans like to compare their presidents. Joe Biden would be the new Franklin Roosevelt. Did he not promise to put the United States back on its feet “in the first hundred days“? Did he not announce a $ 1900 billion plan and then another $ 2000 billion plan to reinvigorate the economy? It would be a new deal adapted to our time.

But America today is unlike yesterday, let alone the day before yesterday. Joe Biden is he inspired by the initiatives of Ronald Reagan? Maybe, but the Soviet Union is gone; the Berlin Wall no longer exists. Does he want to do better than Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama who tried to transform American society? Unless he follows in Donald Trump’s footsteps, while keeping his distance.

Three examples deserve consideration. President Biden has prioritized the fight against Covid-19. Unlike Donald Trump who, for months, underestimated the effects of the pandemic.

His statements made an impression: the virus “Chinese»Would not have been as dangerous as we think and certainly no more dangerous than a simple flu; it is not necessary to wear a mask; contaminations are harmless; the heat of summer will work miracles; the United States has more tests than South Korea, than Italy, than Germany; hydroxychloroquine or even bleach will kill the virus.

Joe Biden denounces the insensitivity and health policy of Donald Trump, but he takes the same path. Immunization is now the top priority.

During these months of uncertainty, contradictory and often denied information, tens of thousands of Americans died; hundreds of thousands have been infected. But, what is less known is that, according to the testimony of the boss of Pfizer, Donald Trump urged him to act as quickly as possible and to put on the market a vaccine that stops the pandemic. . Of course, Trump was thinking above all about his re-election. He added: “People are dying, and this is important».

Millions of dollars are then injected into research. The day after the November 3 poll, Pfizer announced that the laboratory had a vaccine. The following month, three million doses are shipped to hospitals, pharmacies, and across the states. Trump then demands that the United States be served first. Each delivery is closely monitored. The trucks carrying the containers are tracked by GPS, the police and the army. There are already 300,000 dead. The war against the virus is on.

Joe Biden denounces the insensitivity and health policy of Donald Trump, but he takes the same path. Immunization is now the top priority.

Today, millions of Americans have received both doses. As of April 19, any American adult who wishes can be vaccinated. California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas are announcing a return to normal. Nevertheless, the total number of victims is impressive: more than 550,000 dead.

This macabre arithmetic exceeds the total American deaths in WWII. The virus has caused ten times more deaths than the Vietnam War. It must be recognized that despite his reassuring, incomprehensible, often ubiquitous remarks, Donald Trump opened the path that will be taken by Joe Biden.

In the economic field, Joe Biden prioritizes the return of growth. It should be remembered that at the start of 2020 the United States was living in prosperity. Unemployment was at its lowest. Donald Trump could benefit from a particularly positive assessment. The epidemic has disrupted the economy.

From Trump to Biden, the ambitions are almost the same; the means and the ways to achieve them differ.

Like his predecessor, Joe Biden aims to put his country back on the path to prosperity. Nothing could be more natural. Its stimulus plan reached a total of 1,900 billion. It goes far beyond the ambitions expressed by Trump. It aims to save the middle classes from disarray. Any American who earns less than $ 75,000 a year will receive $ 1,400. Local communities, whether prosperous or not, will receive 350 billion; education, 170 billion; unemployment insurance, 163 billion; childcare, cultural activities, restaurants, housing assistance, etc. will benefit from the rest of the manna.

Obviously, Donald Trump also wanted the return of prosperity, but without giving the main role to public investments, without showing the same attention to schools, medical coverage, hourly wages. The difference between the two presidents is spectacular.

It is that Biden does not forget that he must also satisfy his left wing, the one which is animated by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the four representatives (of which the most famous and the most moving is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) which does not never fail to alert public opinion, especially the Democratic electorate, and to exert the strongest pressure on the White House. He must also make significant – and perhaps sincere – gestures in favor of environmentalists.

On his way, he announces another plan, even more gigantic, to transform the economic structures and the social organization of the country. We will have to vote for an increase in taxes, contrary to the ideology that drives Donald Trump. From one president to another, the ambitions are almost the same; the means and the ways to achieve them differ.

«America is backJoe Biden proudly announces. Was she absent under Donald Trump’s presidency? Could and will it be able to impose its will on the planet? Certainly not. The Rio Grande border remains closed to immigration, as under the presidency of Donald Trump. There is no question, today as yesterday, of following a policy of accommodation with China. Economic, commercial and financial competition opposes the two countries.

The United States continues to work to limit China’s influence in the Far East and in all parts of the world where the Chinese are increasingly present.

And above all, the United States continues to work to limit China’s influence in the Far East and in all parts of the world where the Chinese are increasingly present, whether in Europe, from Africa or the Middle East. The United States is joining forces with India, Australia and Japan to contain Chinese ambitions. Donald Trump confirmed a turning point in foreign policy that Barack Obama had started. Joe Biden makes no change.

On the other hand, on three cases, it seems not to follow the path taken by its predecessor. His relations with Vladimir Putin are particularly cold, as if the interests of Ukraine and the states of Eastern Europe are suddenly taking center stage.

With regard to Europe, the United States is showing less coldness and little more interest. In the Middle East, faced with Iran seeking to gain nuclear power, Joe Biden, unlike Donald Trump, is trying to put together the 2015 agreement to prevent the Iranians from manufacturing nuclear weapons. This leads to a cooling of the relations that the United States maintains with Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel, without the agreements of Abraham being called into question.

In conclusion, whatever his inclinations, a president never breaks with all the decisions of his predecessor. Joe Biden isn’t another Donald Trump, but the similarities between the two presidents are as spectacular as their differences.


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