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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Recommended US elections: is there a shadow of a new form of "democratic authoritarianism"?

US elections: is there a shadow of a new form of "democratic authoritarianism"?

Author of the content

The ballot boxes will welcome al vote almost 150 million voters who have registered, sometimes with serious difficulties, to choose the president (familiarly referred to as POTUS); 35 senators (who will remain in office for six years); the representatives of 86 of the 99 legislative chambers - the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives - of the individual states that make up the Union; 11 Governors.

Over 95 million registered voters have already voted through postal voting or early voting, a system that allows early voting, expressed personally in a polling station other than their own, immediately entered into the system but tabulated on Election Day.

The closing of the polling stations will take place according to the various and different time zones.

We always vote on Tuesdays, so the November date is movable, as it was decided by Congress in 1848 to standardize the day among all the member states that from 1788 had instead chosen it individually without synchronizing with the other members of the Confederation.

The vote chosen for Tuesday was due to the desire to adapt to the "spirit" of the American Constitution which established the values ​​and freedoms, individual and collective, placed at the basis of a Republic, not a democracy, a well-known term but never expressed in the Charter .

The founding fathers, the framers (and their successors), in the total secrecy that surrounded their works in the summer of 1787 they recalled rather than the Hellenic demokratía, who was wrong to remember a government dangerously directed by an unknown and incompetent "people", to the mythical Roman civilization and preferred that the Confederate States were led by enlightened representatives of the elites who temporarily administered power without letting themselves be guided by understandable and deprecated passions. The political prerogative of a passive and active electoral census was the first scruple of the framers; this is why the president had to be indicated right from the start by a substantially anonymous constituency, inserting a diaphragm between the humor of the masses and the rational pursuit of the public interest.

Dario Fabbri, an attentive and original scholar of US geopolitics (1), reported that the delegate for Maryland to the Philadelphia Convention, James McHenry, wrote in his notes that "at the end of the assembly Mrs. Powel, who outside Independence Hall awaiting news, he turned to Benjamin Franklin to find out what constitutional form the United States of America would take. 'Doctor, what shall we have then? A republic or a monarchy? " he asked with trepidation. Turned around suddenly, Franklin shocked her with a blatantly patronizing reply: "We will have a republic, ma'am, if you can keep it».

The framers were persuaded that it was possible to avoid the violence that upset Europe and remove the specter of dictatorship which they identified in the British monarch George III, King of Hanover, Great Britain and Ireland (2), a complex, kaleidoscopic figure, not easily labeled.

The vote on Tuesday was expressly designed to keep workers away from the polls, favoring the economic influence of oligarchies capable of imposing candidacies easily dependent on their supporters.

At two hundred and thirty years after the Convention, the misalignment between the institutional design of the founders, which has remained, and quello of the values ​​underlying theexceptionalism US, and this is the profound reason for the internal crisis, which is reflected on the state of the world but which does not seem to crack at the moment its status as the first planetary power.

The founders did not foresee, nor could they have read the future inside the vase that contains the unstoppable evolution of man's wisdom gift. So if the real pivot of power is Congress, the utopian topos where the interests of states and companies, oligarchs and citizens are amalgamated in synthesis, the President has placed himself at the center of the federal political system, attributing de facto unforeseen powers. from the Constitution, above all for the need - in the changing world - to simplify not only the mechanisms of administration but also those deriving from the continuous state of belligerence that the nation has experienced over the centuries.

The undisputed paradigm of the Commander in Chief, who imposes his agenda on the Armed Forces, on the domestic front and with exclusive competence in foreign affairs, is an extraordinary legend on the doctrinal and assai equivocally accepted in practice.

There are countless cases in which Congress has rejected presidential initiatives, also addressing foreign states directly, warning them from listening to the White House, among all the letter sent by 47 senators to Ayatollah Khamenei to warn him from listening to the President Obama, and also during his presidency the decision of the Speaker of the House John Boehner to give the floor in Congress to the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who spoke out against the Administration. Without counting the powers of inspection and confirmation of appointments in public office, the Congress has on its side the powerful weapon of deciding spending.

Over the past century, only two presidents have escaped the balance of power trap: Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The first imposed the construction of the Great company to help the less affluent and marginalized classes, defend the claims of the African-American civil rights movement, increase public spending on public education, facilitate urban and rural development by expanding the network of public utility services. This war against poverty he was allowed because the Democratic party, also following the national tragedy caused by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, won a majority of more than 60% in Congress.

Ronald Reagan imposed the suto economic policy (supply-side or even Reaganomics) by cutting 25% of income tax, reducing interest rates, increasing military spending and together with these the deficit and debt, but is also remembered for the "War on 'empire of Evil ”(communism) thanks to the new Strategic defense initiative, better known as Star Wars, which in truth never took place but opened the doors to the great technological innovation that changed the life of the planet and designed the new globalization of markets.

Ronald Reagan did not enjoy a large congressional majority but a constant popular consensus of over 70%. This is the second chance for a president to overcome the constitutional imposition of the government partnership with Congress unscathed. Outside these two avenues the action of all presidents, even those elected for two consecutive terms, was necessarily intertwined with the compromises requested by Congress. Which opens up to the penultimate general consideration.

How and who forms the compromise?

The vulgate has imposed in a sort of cinematic effect a perennial lobbying conspiracy blocked by courageous press reports or by individual citizens participating in non-profit organizations dedicated to the universal good, or even to some, rare, parliamentary exponent. In Europe, particularly in Italy, the idea has spread that control over lobbies is particularly effective for the laws that regulate the system: from the obligation to be registered in a particular register to the transparent declaration of "solidarity" payments to the parties, elected representatives, candidates.

In reality, the laws are quietly disregarded because failure to comply with the public registration in the professional list is punished with a mild administrative sanction, and as regards financial support it is circumvented thanks to various codicils that cancel its effectiveness.

US Great Electors
US Great Electors

Something on the subject could be said by Obama who even raised a billion dollars for his electoral campaign and who could hardly declare that he was not grateful to his supporters.

Over 120.000 lobbyists currently live and thrive in Washington, with just over 12.000 declared!

And the beauty, so to speak, is that without the lobbyists Camere would stop because they are the only ones able to organize papers, analyzes, legislative texts. They do not act individually, they are part of real companies, led by former parliamentarians, former members of the Political Administration, former senior officers of the Armed Forces, former members of the presidential cabinet (by the way the real chief executive is the person in charge of Presidential "machine", the president's chief of staff, a man normally unknown to most). These super experts, who call entire think tanks or individual academic personalities to collaborate with them from time to time, are at the service of large companies and the financial system, after all that oligarchy, devoid of passions, desired by the Constitution.

The deep state

An oligarchy that clashes with another oligarchy that is briefly described as deep state, the deep state, which in truth is not a secret, cryptocratic government of the nation, some kind of invisible government (shadow government). Rather than a state within a state, an imperium in imperio, the deep state is more simply the synthesis of the amalgam constitutionally imposed by the actors called to enforce checks an balances, whether it is the Federal Reserve, rather than the FBI, the Armed Forces of the Post Office, the CIA and diplomats from the Department of State and more. Structures called to give physiognomy and concreteness to the indications that Congress and the Presidency send, indications that often do not lack suggestions for improvement or, as it happens, critical (the story involving the Covid epidemic Antony Fauci, for over three decades director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the White House, it is a plastic description).

The weight of the Mid West in the US vote

An analysis of the vote would not be complete if we did not ask ourselves, again in the context of the American Constitution, the meaning of the weight, desired, first of the framers and then, at the end of the American civil war, according to the definition known in the United States, of the weighted vote of small states which is higher than that of large states for the designation of large electors. The vote above all rewards that of the states that found an official definition in the Mid West only in the 50s.

Historians investigating the origins of the civil war, not casually defined war of secession in Europe, they now disagree on the fact that this was caused by the striking ideological conflict caused by slavery, which instead is considered as a catalyst for the declaration of secession - driven by the unusual request made by southern white nationalism ("White Southerners") for a " right "to export slavery; at the same time, the rejection of the slavery practice for the preservation of national unity in the shadow of constitutional principles is no longer attributed to the northern states. (3)

The Midwest
The Midwest

It was Henry Wilson, vice president of Ulysses Grant (4) who initiated the ethical interpretation of the war fought to preserve national unity against the violence of the slave power.

The historiographical revisionism led by James Garfield Randall and Avery Craven (5) argued that the living conditions of slave laborers were not significantly worse than those of the Northern labor and wage labor force and that slavery was naturally on the road to extinction. and, as the Italian historian Raimondo Luraghi insisted, it was a clash between two nations clearly separated by a cultural history and a lifestyle typical of two distinct nations. Today modern historiography attributes to the economic crisis of 1857 the additional reason for the civil war, between the North, which in the middle of the industrial revolution, demanded protectionist policies within the single confederal market and the liberal and trading policy of the agricultural states of the South, permeated by customs and customs that are decidedly more "British" than those of other states, already called upon to confront strong migratory movements.

The intermediate states, in some cases the territories not yet states, between the south and the north, became fundamental in the war and in the post-war period.

When the governorate of North Carolina in December 1860 declared its separation from the Confederation, the majority of the country, of German origin, naturally also a majority of the armed forces of that state, refused to accept the decision of the political power and declared allegiance to 'Union. Under the command of Major Robert Anderson, a former slaver officer from Kentucky, the armories were emptied and control of Fort Sumter, at the entrance to Charleston Bay, was controlled by maritime entrances and exits. (6)

Since then, the heart of the power developed between the great lakes and the western plains, between the Appalachian mountains and the Mississippi valley, which was born dreaming of the realization of the myth of city ​​on the hill, characteristic of the missionary exceptionalism of American expansionism. Here a dominant cultural model emerged that overcame the neo-English individualism and around an ethnic majority of German origin was able to amalgamate a first national ethnicity, settled and not in eternal movement, aggregating other ethnic groups that remained minorities. The compromise on the electoral system reached in 1868 with the XII, XIII and XIV amendments, which set new numbers to organize the House of Representatives and the college of electors, rewarded the Midwest, also for the constitutionalization of the vote of the so-called three fifths, or the calculation of the votes of African Americans whose number was calculated with a weight of three fifths of the number of declared, remaining clear that they did not have the right to vote.

This is not the time to talk about the fascinating history of "Germany in America", which still today represents with its hundred million members the most prosperous ethnic community of the American nation. In this regard, the aforementioned Diego Fabbri and the Limes magazine have spent much time. (7)

Having understood how Ohio has become the symbolic state of the American vote, normally those who lose in Ohio lose in the country, it remains now to understand what will happen after the next elections.

For Europe, the Trump presidency has meant a bad storm, because Trump has not "limited" himself to managing American interests like his (politely hypocritical) predecessors, but because he has not hesitated to wink at clearly illiberal political forces and countries members of the Union openly "deviant" from the European project.

"Potus" did not spare the mockery of the main European leaders, as Chancellor Merkel was able to prove, showing coldness towards NATO and condescension to Turkey and Russia.

In reality, Trump has shown that he is not classifiable. If re-elected he could further pick up the EU, press on the accelerator of isolationism, protectionism; however, it could do exactly the opposite and dedicate to Europe the same post-blackmail “deal” system that it reserved for North Korea, as for China.

Trump and Pence
Trump and Pence

With Biden, the declared attempt to weaken Berlin first and then Brussels with all the consequences of the case would probably lose strength. Interesting glimmers would probably open up on Iran, NATO and the differences on climate would decrease. It would change the style and the much mocked multilateralism would get its breath back. But the concept behind a superpower in internal crisis but very solid in power will hardly change: America first and China, together with all the other suitors, second; even neo-protectionism could, as it did in Obama's time, remain in force.

Perhaps we will think about re-constituting a coalition of the great democracies of the world but it is probable, as already happened with Clinton and Obama, that Biden, kindly, will take care not to support the European and specifically Italian and French interest in the Mediterranean.

Biden Harris
Biden and Harris

These elections, on the other hand, will provoke a new identity for the States in the United States and cascading around the world, different if (constitutional) originalism will win according to the interpretation of republican radicalism interpreted by Trump's nationalism or the readjustment, made mandatory by the transformation of ethnic settlements in USA, of the rules that have governed the system for over two centuries. (8)

Trump has shown that what is not written (politically correct behavior) does not exist, and that what is written, if it does not result in sanctions, can be mocked. By announcing that together with his lawyers he is already preparing to contest a possible defeat not supported by large numbers for the victory of his opponent, he announced that new times will have to be lived by the Republic which wanted to be liberal and undemocratic. And the whole world is watching carefully the new "democratic authoritarianism" that could be born. In a world where most countries already don't know what representative democracy is.

From tomorrow and for eleven weeks we will be in bated breath and we will talk about the White House again.

Below is the interview with the author of the article Giuseppe Scanni - from "New National Journal" (Ed)


  1. Dario fabbri, Limes, April 2015
  2. B. Wilson, George III, as man, monarch, and statsman. London 1907
  3. Elisabeth R. Varon, Bruce Levine, Marc Egnal, Michael Halt, speeches in the "Highlights from the 2011 Annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Houston, Texas" (online)
  4. Henry Wilson, History of The Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Library of Congress
  5. Craven, The Coming of the Civil War, Library of Congress (online)
  6. Adam Goodheart, 1861: The Civil War Awakening (2011) ch. 2
  7. Fabbri et al., Limes December 2018
  8. Giuseppe Mammarella, Where America goes, the Mill, Bologna

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