Making democracy predictable
If the democratic struggle is the "constant battle between ideal and reality," as Joe Biden said, today the U.S. and its allies are somewhat closer to the ideal than to the more obscene reality of recent years. The new president's inauguration ceremony was austere, representative of a country made up of minorities that has appointed its first Asain American vice president, and with a comfortable predictability of messages.
The January 6 challenge to democracy was on everybody's minds in Washington, and the ceremony was a demonstration that democracy is imperfect and fragile, but hard to destroy. The young poet Amanda Gorman defined the United States as "a country that is not broken but unfinished", putting words to Biden's determination to open a new chapter that will restore "truth, decency and respect".
The Democratic president's first political decision was to sign a series of decrees that begin the deconstruction of the nightmare and put the US back on the multilateral strategic stage, with the country "recommitted" to key issues such as the fight against climate change and the pandemic.
In contrast to the joy and ostentation of other inaugurations, a fortified and deserted city was the image of a new presidency that has to start by rebuilding unity, truth, complicity and health.