Ideas

After Beating Trump, Biden Will Then Have To Beat Trumpism

Trump's legacy will be profound: his impact as an unconventional politician, the way he turned the Republican Party upside down, the extreme polarization it’s brought to American society. Biden's hardest work is ahead

What to do with Trump's legacy?
Le Monde

-Editorial-

PARIS — When all the votes are counted, Joe Biden may be president, but Donald Trump will not exactly be defeated. The incumbent has managed to mobilize at least 68 million U.S. voters, five million more than his 2016 victory. This is a fact: far from being an electoral accident or an interlude in the White House, Trumpism, for the new occupant of the Oval Office in January, will have left a lasting mark on American politics.

Biden will have to deal with this transformative force, which has already required him to redirect the focus of the Democratic election campaign towards blue-collar workers and their economic concerns. He will need to deal with a Senate that may still have a Republican majority, with considerable ability to be a roadblock, and a House of Representatives where the Democratic majority has narrowed. Above all, he will be faced with a Republican Party that has been profoundly restructured under the influence of Donald Trump; one which has become an instrument of the extreme polarization that characterizes American society today.

Trump is stronger than in 2016.

The strength of this dynamic will depend, in part, on Trump's behavior once he's forced to leave the White House following what promises to be a turbulent transition. The influence and charisma of this unconventional politician as well as the effect he has over his base are important factors in his popularity, even if he has relied heavily on his presidency to get him there. It is hard to imagine that Trump, even at 74 years old, would ever decide to retire quietly to his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, and fade from the scene.

But even without Donald Trump in power, his popularity in swing states, coupled with the support of Republican senators who have abandoned the traditional moderate line of the "Grand Old Party" to adopt Trumpism, reflects a fundamental shift.

Bye bye? — Photo: Olivier Contreras/CNP/ZUMA

Trumpism has proven to somehow be even stronger than in 2016, when it existed mainly in predominantly white rural towns. Exit polls confirm the continuation of this polarization that characterizes Trump's electorate: overwhelmingly white (86%, compared to 62% of Joe Biden's voters), not very urban, much more concerned about the economic crisis than the health crisis caused by the pandemic, and extremely hostile to the rhetoric of left-wing activists about police violence.

Trump won half of the U.S. electorate by tapping into nationalistic rhetoric, deep-seated tensions and blatant lies.

In 1999, while he was already toying with the idea of running for president, Trump noted that none of the candidates at the time spoke for "the working men and women of the center" of the country. He has since made this demographic the core of his electoral base, which hasn't faltered in the past four years; and which he has even managed to extend, winning over a significant portion of Hispanic voters. The Democratic Party has clearly not learned all the lessons of this strategy, which resulted in Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016.

However, Trump won half of the U.S. electorate by tapping into nationalistic rhetoric, deep-seated tensions, contempt for institutions, and blatant lies. This is what Trumpism is about: an approach that resonates well beyond America's borders.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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