Two journalists tried to analyze the latest US-election campaign in all its facets in a book called: “Im Wahn. Die amerikanische Katastrophe” (being mad. The American catastrophe). The journey of Klaus Brinkbäumer and Stephan Lamby from June 2019 to August 2020 produced a book of almost 400 pages and it is about nothing less but the end of the truth. According to the authors the land of the free has turned into an inoperable democracy under Trump. Whether the new president Joe Biden will succeed in turn the country around is a dream of the future.
I am not leaving the White House!
I am sure that most of you still remember Trump’s Rumpelstiltskin attitude when he claimed: “No, I am not moving out of the White House”. I still find it incomprehensible to understand how a grown up old man who owns the most influential office in the world, can act like a three year old child in public? Well, whereas I recognize Donald simply as a narcisstic punch other people who are close to him had to suffer from his unstable and despotic character.
The role of the media
Being journalists Brinkbäumer and Lamby lightens also the role of the media during the presidency and within the election campaign. Even more than in Europe audience rating and advertising spendings determine the viewing choice. Fake news are being aired consciously as long as the audience switches the radio on. The term of alternative facts was characterized by Kellyanne Conway after the inauguration party in January 2017 when the question arose how many people really attended. Until June 2020 Trump is said to have lied over 20.000 times according to a research done by the Washington Post.
Social media, such as Faceobook and Twitter, benefitted from the man with the funny hairstyle. Nearly every single Twitter post by the president was published, quoted, commented and celebrated. American radio stars such as Rush Limbaugh or Sebastian Gorka aired Trumps messages and praised his success. And it is Gorka once more who put it straight to the point: “Politics is not about conciliation. It is about winning.”
The attitude of a winner that is exactly how Donald Trump sees himself. That is how Marty Barton, editor in chief of the Washington Post puts it: “He believes that the world is divided into winners and loosers, and always wants to be on the side of the winners.”
How democracies die
Democracies nowdays they say eliminates itself. Alledgedly this hypthesis can be especially well proved by the conduct of Donald Trump as the list of his misbehaviour is long: the mission of the national guard upon protestors, his claim that postal votes are insecure and dangerous, his announcement that he will not acknowledge an election defeat nor will he leave the White House, his racist, misogynistic and xenophobic statements.
Brinkbäumer and Lamby terminate their review of the Trump years by declaring that America needs a new American narrative in order to become great again. Is it possible for the United States to become the land of the bright and the creative, leading humanity through its most serious crisis? Only time will tell.