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USA: How easy will the political transition be?

On January 20, Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States .

Donald Trump during a press conference.

Some congressmen are maneuvering to keep Donald Trump in office. / Photo: Shealah Craighead- White House

Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: EEUU: ¿Qué tan fácil será la transición política?

What once seemed like a bad dream for Donald Trump is increasingly taking shape. The current president's exit process has continued its path despite hundreds of political and judicial processes orchestrated by Republican politicians allied to Trump and his legal team.

In recent days, it has even been seen how a group of congressmen loyal to Trump use their latest maneuver to block the official appointment of Biden. Josh Hawley, senator from Missouri for the GOP, has stated that he refuses to certify the electoral result because he has doubts about the integrity of the Democratic victory. A few other congressmen are suspected of planning the same thing as Hawley. However, for this maneuver to bear fruit, the support of the House and Senate is needed and in the House of Representatives there is a Democratic majority, so it will be difficult for Trump to achieve what he has pursued so much: to keep his position.

However, one thing is the political and administrative change that ignores Trump's massive fraud accusations (of which he has not shown evidence), and another is the consequences of possible confrontations that his followers may generate. If we have learned something in the New Yorker's 4 years of presidency, it is that his followers are very fanatical and several of them are close to conspiracy theories.

A factor that is also important to highlight is the easy access to weapons that the United States has. According to a study revealed by the Washington Post in 2018, in the United States there are 393 million weapons in the possession of civilians: enough for every man, woman and child in the nation (and there are still 67 million). Being a right (the second amendment), the possession and bearing of arms is also considered a political act and close to the conservative position (Republican party).

We have already seen clashes between the two sides. There have also been deaths when right-wing armed groups (such as the Proud Boys) and left-wing protesters (Black Lives Matter and Antifa) get together. This makes many fear a possible escalation of violence and even signs of a civil war.

Professor Gregory Nowell of the University of Albany believes that despite these events causing a stir in the tabloids, political violence in the United States is very small, compared to the other gun deaths: domestic violence, massacres, shootings and suicides.

However, the expert in Political Science and International Affairs warns that during the American Civil War, violence escalated suddenly. In addition, he warns of a parallel with what happened in 1861 and today: half of the elite of the United States "has been investing heavily in making the American political system non-responsive to majority demands.  When you have an elite which sees only its own goals as important, and a large number of disaffected people who are willing to be mobilized to the cause (most American confederate soldiers had no interest in the maintenance of slavery), then we certainly cannot exclude the possibility of a civil war."

Today, the war will not be regional as in 1861, it will no longer be the south against the north; the Union against the Confederates. In the current context, the difference is between rural and urban areas, which makes an armed victory for Republican groups difficult. "the main markets for southern products were in England in the nineteenth century.  Today agribusiness markets to urban areas and cannot survive without urban consumption, in addition to being headquartered in the same urban areas (such as Chicago, New York) that are bastions of the Democratic party. In spite of the brutish displays of guns and pickup trucks under Confederate flags at right wing demonstrations, a betting man would probably be better advised to pick the cities rather than the countryside winning such a conflict," Nowell explains.

Also read: State of Georgia will define America's political future

Faced with the remote possibility of incidents escalating, the Rockefeller College associate professor fears more for lack of food and medicine than for the weapons of his political adversaries. In addition, he clarifies that this system that the Republican party defends for the most part does not have an end near, despite even the victory of Joe Biden.

"The last election underscored the power of the right. Biden won, but the Democrats lost seats in the House (they will almost certainly lose control of the House in 2022) and made practically zero progress in the state legislatures which have tremendous power in the American political system. This election was by no means a triumph of the Democratic party. If I were Republican I would be very satisfied with this outcome," Nowell said.

It is precisely that, in the face of this nation's panorama, Joe Biden has decided to focus his mandate on uniting the country and getting out of extreme polarization. This will be vital but it must know how to balance its positions since if it does not reach out to bipartisan measures and is perceived as a revanchist president, the right will continue to increase its dissatisfaction. But if it doesn't equally satisfy the more socialist wing of your party (key to its victory), it may also weaken the union within your own movement and hinder the next Democratic victories in the United States.