Présidentielle américaine: Quel étrangement interminable assassinat politique ? (Guess why with his final expulsion all but secured, the champions of borderlessness and contactlessness are still having such a hard time reconciling Americans and the world on Trump’s back ?)

19 novembre, 2020

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Jon McNaughton on Twitter: "My New Painting - "The Impeachment Mob" "You made your mark in history With your twisted, sorted lies. Beneath the Halls of Congress You plotted to disguise . . . "All-American US President Donald J. Trump - Painting By Jon McNaughton - YouTubeJon McNaughton donates Trump artwork to help Arizona GOP raise moneyPatriotic - Americana - Legacy of Hope - McNaughton Fine Art

Lorsqu’un Sanhédrin s’est déclaré unanime pour condamner, l’accusé sera acquitté. Le Talmud
Tu ne suivras point la multitude pour faire le mal; et tu ne déposeras point dans un procès en te mettant du côté du grand nombre, pour violer la justice. Exode 23: 2
Suis-je vraiment intègre? Je ne saurais le dire (…) Que m’importe, après tout! C’est pourquoi j’ose dire: ‘Dieu détruit aussi bien l’innocent que l’impie.’ Quand survient un fléau qui tue soudainement, Dieu se rit des épreuves qui atteignent les justes. (…) Et si ce n’est pas lui, alors, qui est-ce donc? Job (Job 9: 20-24)
Mon Dieu! mon Dieu! Pourquoi m’as-tu abandonné, et t’éloignes-tu sans me secourir, sans écouter mes plaintes? (…) De nombreux taureaux sont autour de moi, des taureaux de Basan m’environnent. Ils ouvrent contre moi leur gueule, semblables au lion qui déchire et rugit. Psaumes 22: 2-13
Vous ne réfléchissez pas qu’il est dans votre intérêt qu’un seul homme meure pour le peuple, et que la nation entière ne périsse pas. Caïphe (Jean 11: 50)
Si les princes de ce monde avaient connu [la sagesse de Dieu] ils n’auraient pas crucifié le Seigneur de gloire. Paul (première lettre aux Corinthiens 2: 8)
[Le Christ] a effacé, au détriment des commandements, l’accusation qui se retournait contre nous ; il l’a fait disparaître, il l’a clouée à la croix, il a dépouillé les Principautés et les Puissances, il les a données en spectacle à la face du monde, en les traînant dans son cortège triomphal. Paul (lettre aux Colossiens 2: 14-15)
Je peux le dire devant mon Père éternel: je suis innocente et Dieu révèlera mon innocence. Rebecca Nurse
Louis doit mourir pour que la patrie vive. Robespierre
Une nation ne se régénère que sur un monceau de cadavres. Saint-Just
Qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons! Air connu
L’arbre de la liberté doit être revivifié de temps en temps par le sang des patriotes et des tyrans. Jefferson
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Nous sommes une société qui, tous les cinquante ans ou presque, est prise d’une sorte de paroxysme de vertu – une orgie d’auto-purification à travers laquelle le mal d’une forme ou d’une autre doit être chassé. De la chasse aux sorcières de Salem aux chasses aux communistes de l’ère McCarthy à la violente fixation actuelle sur la maltraitance des enfants, on retrouve le même fil conducteur d’hystérie morale. Après la période du maccarthisme, les gens demandaient : mais comment cela a-t-il pu arriver ? Comment la présomption d’innocence a-t-elle pu être abandonnée aussi systématiquement ? Comment de grandes et puissantes institutions ont-elles pu accepté que des enquêteurs du Congrès aient fait si peu de cas des libertés civiles – tout cela au nom d’une guerre contre les communistes ? Comment était-il possible de croire que des subversifs se cachaient derrière chaque porte de bibliothèque, dans chaque station de radio, que chaque acteur de troisième zone qui avait appartenu à la mauvaise organisation politique constituait une menace pour la sécurité de la nation ? Dans quelques décennies peut-être les gens ne manqueront pas de se poser les mêmes questions sur notre époque actuelle; une époque où les accusations de sévices les plus improbables trouvent des oreilles bienveillantes; une époque où il suffit d’être accusé par des sources anonymes pour être jeté en pâture à la justice; une époque où la chasse à ceux qui maltraitent les enfants est devenu une pathologie nationale. Dorothy Rabinowitz
Il y a 82 ans cette semaine avait eu lieu la Nuit de Cristal. Cela avait été le coup de semonce des nazis en direction de notre civilisation humaine, un tir d’avertissement qui avait entraîné le génocide d’une identité toute entière. Ces autodafés avaient entraîné aussi une attaque contre les faits, le savoir, l’histoire et la vérité. Après quatre ans d’attaques actuelles menées par Donald Trump contre ces mêmes valeurs, l’équipe formée par Biden et Harris promet un retour à la normale – et un retour à la vérité. Christiane Amanpour (CNN)
J’ai marqué le 82e anniversaire de la Nuit de Cristal, comme je le fais souvent. C’est l’événement qui a été le point de départ des horreurs de la Shoah. J’ai également noté les attaques du président Trump contre l’histoire, les faits, la connaissance et la vérité. Je n’aurais pas dû juxtaposer ces deux réflexions. Hitler et ses démons sont uniques, bien entendu, dans l’Histoire. Je regrette la douleur que mes mots ont pu causer. Ce que je voulais évoquer, c’est la manière dont la démocratie peut potentiellement disparaître et comment nous devons toujours et avec zèle défendre nos valeurs démocratiques. Christiane Amanpour (CNN)
Avant ce vote historique, une semaine avant Noël, gardez cela en tête: lorsque Jésus a été faussement accusé de trahison, Ponce Pilate a donné à Jésus l’opportunité d’être face à ces accusateurs. Pendant ce simulacre de procès, Ponce Pilate a accordé à Jésus plus de droits que les Démocrates n’en ont donné au président dans cette procédure. Barry Loudermilk
Je veux que les Démocrates qui votent en faveur de la destitution sachent que je prierai pour eux. Dans l’évangile selon Luc, chapitre 23, verset 34, Jésus dit: ‘Père, pardonne-leur, car ils ne savent ce qu’ils font.’ Fred Keller
Je pense qu’il est également essentiel de comprendre que, comme je l’ai dit aux candidats qui sont venus me voir, vous pouvez mener la meilleure campagne, vous pouvez même devenir le candidat et vous pouvez vous faire voler l’élection. Hillary Clinton (6 mai 2019)
Joe Biden ne devrait en aucun cas reconnaitre sa défaite, car je pense que cela va s’éterniser, et finalement je crois qu’il gagnera si nous ne cédons pas un pouce, et si nous sommes aussi concentrés et implacables que l’autre partie. Je pense qu’ils envisagent plusieurs scénarios. Le premier est de gâcher le vote par correspondence. Ils pensent que cela les aide à obtenir un avantage limité au collège électoral le jour du scrutin. Nous devons donc avoir une opération légale massive, et je sais que la campagne Biden y travaille. Hillary Clinton (25 août 2020)
Je suis entouré d’une presse hostile, comme aucun autre président n’en a jamais eu. Celui qui en a été le plus proche, c’est le monsieur juste ici. Ils ont toujours dit que personne n’avait jamais été traité aussi mal que Lincoln. Je pense que je suis plus mal traité encore. Ils viennent vers moi avec des questions honteuses, pour être honnête. Honteuses. Leur façon de présenter les choses et leurs mots – j’ai l’impression que si j’étais gentil avec eux, je me ferai dégager. Président Trump (4 mai, 2020)
Étudiez feu Joseph McCarthy parce que nous sommes en ce moment dans une période avec Mueller et son gang qui fait passer Joseph McCarthy pour un débutant. Chasse aux Sorcières Truquée.  Président Trump
Le procès des sorcières de Salem ne comptait pas tant d’irrégularités. Président Trump
Je vous écris pour protester avec la plus forte et plus vive énergie contre la croisade de destitution partisane déclenchée par les démocrates de la Chambre des Représentants. Cette procédure d’impeachment constitue un abus de pouvoir sans précédent et inconstitutionnel de la part des législateurs démocrates, sans équivalent en près de deux siècles et demi d’histoire législative américaine. (…) En décidant d’aller de l’avant avec votre procédure de destitution invalide, vous violez votre serment, vous rompez avec votre allégeance envers la Constitution, et vous déclarez ouvertement la guerre à la démocratie américaine. Vous osez invoquer les Pères fondateurs au nom de cette combine qui vise à annuler l’élection — et pourtant, vos actions malveillantes font preuve d’un mépris sans borne pour la fondation de l’Amérique et votre conduite scandaleuse menace de détruire ce que nos Fondateurs avaient consacré leurs vies mêmes à bâtir. Pire encore que d’offenser les Pères fondateurs, vous offensez les Américains qui ont la foi en ne cessant de dire “je prie pour le président”, alors que vous savez que cette déclaration est mensongère, à moins qu’elle n’ait une intention négative. (…) Vous transformez un désaccord politique entre deux branches du gouvernement en un crime passible de destitution — ce n’est pas plus légitime que si l’exécutif accusait des membres du Congrès de crimes pour avoir exercé leur pouvoir législatif légal. (…) Tout le monde, vous comprise, sait ce qui est en train de se passer en réalité. Votre candidate a perdu l’élection en 2016, de façon écrasante au Collège électoral (306-227), et vous et votre parti ne vous êtes jamais remis de cette défaite. Vous avez contracté une forme aiguë de ce que beaucoup dans les médias appellent le Syndrome de démence de Trump et malheureusement, vous ne vous en sortirez jamais ! Vous ne voulez pas, vous ne pouvez pas accepter le verdict des urnes lors de la grande Élection de 2016. Donc, vous avez passé trois années d’affilée à tenter de revenir sur la décision du peuple américain et d’annuler son vote. Vous considérez la démocratie comme votre ennemie ! Présidente Pelosi, la semaine dernière encore, lors d’un forum public, vous avez admis que la campagne de destitution de votre parti durait depuis deux ans et demi, longtemps avant d’avoir entendu parler d’un coup de téléphone avec l’Ukraine. Il y avait dix-neuf minutes que j’avais prêté serment quand le Washington Post a publié un article intitulé La campagne de destitution du président Trump a commencé. Moins de trois mois après mon investiture, la députée Maxine Waters a lancé : “Je me battrai tous les jours jusqu’à ce qu’il soit destitué.” Les démocrates de la Chambre ont présenté la première résolution de destitution contre moi quelques mois après mon investiture, pour ce qui sera considéré comme l’une des meilleures décisions de notre pays, le renvoi de [l’ex directeur du FBI] James Comey (voir les rapports de l’Inspecteur général) — qui, le monde le sait aujourd’hui, est un des flics les plus corrompus que notre Nation ait jamais connu. Une députée du Congrès, Rashida Tlaib, a hurlé et déliré quelques heures après avoir pris ses fonctions : “On va y aller, et on va destituer ce fils de p…” En mai, le député Al Green a dit : “Je redoute que si nous ne destituons pas ce président, il va être réélu.” Encore une fois, vous et vos alliés avez fait et dit toutes ces choses longtemps avant d’avoir jamais entendu parler du président Zelensky ou de quoi que ce soit en lien avec l’Ukraine. Comme vous le savez très bien, la campagne de destitution n’a rien à voir avec l’Ukraine, ou avec la conversation tout à fait appropriée que j’ai eue avec son nouveau président. Elle n’a à voir qu’avec votre tentative d’annuler l’élection de 2016 et de voler l’élection de 2020 ! (…) Vous et votre parti cherchez désespérément à détourner l’attention de l’extraordinaire économie, du boom incroyable de l’emploi, des records sur les marchés, de la confiance en hausse et de la prospérité des citoyens en Amérique. Votre parti ne peut tout simplement pas concurrencer notre réussite : 7 millions de nouveaux emplois ; le taux de chômage le plus bas jamais enregistré pour les Africains-Américains, les Hispaniques-Américains, et les Asiatiques-Américains ; une armée reconstruite ; une réforme complète du ministère des Anciens combattants avec Choix et Responsabilité pour nos formidables vétérans ; plus de 170 nouveaux juges fédéraux et deux juges à la Cour suprême ; des réductions historiques d’impôts et de réglementation ; la suppression du mandat individuel [principale disposition de la réforme de l’assurance-maladie d’Obama] ; la première baisse des prix des médicaments sur ordonnance en cinquante ans ; la première nouvelle arme de l’armée de États-Unis depuis 1947 : la Force spatiale ; une vigoureuse protection du Deuxième Amendement [de la Constitution qui garantit le droit au port d’armes] ; la réforme de la justice pénale ; la défaite du califat de l’Etat Islamique et l’élimination du chef terroriste numéro un au monde, Al-Baghdadi ; le remplacement de l’ALENA, cet accord commercial désastreux, par le merveilleux USMCA (Mexique et Canada) ; un accord commercial de Phase Un avec la Chine, ce qui est une percée ; de nouveaux gigantesques accords commerciaux avec le Japon et la Corée du Sud ; le retrait du terrible accord sur le nucléaire avec l’Iran ; l’annulation de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat, injuste et coûteux ; le fait d’être devenu le premier producteur mondial d’énergie ; la reconnaissance de la capitale d’Israël, l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, et la reconnaissance de la souveraineté israélienne sur les hauteurs du Golan ; une réduction colossale des passages illégaux à la frontière, la fin du système de remise en liberté des clandestins arrêtés, et la construction du Mur de la Frontière sud — et ce n’est que le début, il y a tellement d’autres choses. Vous ne pouvez pas défendre votre politique extrémiste — l’ouverture des frontières, les migrations massives, la criminalité élevée, les impôts écrasants, le système de santé socialisé, la destruction de l’énergie américaine, l’avortement tardif aux frais du contribuable, l’élimination du Deuxième Amendement, les théories radicales d’extrême gauche sur la loi et la justice, et l’obstruction partisane constante tant au sens commun qu’au bien de tous. (…) Au bout de trois ans d’enquêtes injustes et injustifiées, 45 millions de dollars dépensés, 18 procureurs démocrates furieux, toute la force du FBI, dirigé par une hiérarchie dont il est aujourd’hui prouvé qu’elle est totalement incompétente et corrompue, vous n’avez RIEN trouvé ! Peu de gens qui occupent de hautes fonctions auraient enduré ou passé ce test. Vous ne savez pas, et vous vous en moquez, quels terribles dommages et quelles souffrances vous avez infligés aux membres merveilleux et aimants de ma famille. Vous avez mené une enquête bidon sur le président démocratiquement élu des États-Unis, et vous êtes en train de recommencer. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de gens qui auraient accepté le châtiment infligé pendant ce laps de temps, et qui auraient pourtant autant fait pour le succès de l’Amérique et de ses citoyens. Mais au lieu de faire passer notre pays en premier, vous avez décidé de déshonorer un peu plus notre pays. Vous avez complètement échoué avec le rapport Mueller parce qu’il n’y avait rien à trouver, donc vous avez décidé de prendre le premier canular qui se présentait, la conversation téléphonique avec l’Ukraine — alors même que c’était un appel parfait. Et d’ailleurs, quand je parle à des pays étrangers, il y a beaucoup de gens, autorisés, qui écoutent l’appel des deux côtés de la conversation. C’est vous qui manipulez les élections des États-Unis. C’est vous qui corrompez la Démocratie américaine. C’est vous qui êtes coupable d’Entrave à la justice. C’est vous qui portez préjudice à notre République dans le but de servir vos égoïstes intérêts individuels, politiques et militants. Avant le Canular de la Destitution, il y a eu la Chasse aux sorcières russe. En dépit du bon sens, au mépris de la vérité, vous et vos collaborateurs avez affirmé que mon équipe de campagne avait comploté avec les Russes – un mensonge calomnieux, malicieux et gravissime, une invention sans pareil. Vous avez contraint notre Nation à subir tracas et tourments à cause d’une histoire montée de toutes pièces, achetée illégalement par Hillary Clinton et le Comité national démocrate à un espion étranger dans le but de porter atteinte à notre démocratie. Et pourtant, quand ce mensonge monstrueux a été mis au jour et que le complot des démocrates a été anéanti, vous n’avez pas présenté d’excuses. Vous ne vous êtes pas rétractée. Vous n’avez pas demandé pardon. Vous n’avez fait preuve d’aucun remords, d’aucune forme d’introspection. Non, vous avez entamé une nouvelle croisade malveillante et diffamatoire – vous avez imaginé une façon de coincer et de calomnier un innocent. Vous avez agi uniquement par calcul politique personnel. Votre présidence de la Chambre des représentants et votre parti sont pris en otage par les éléments les plus dérangés et radicaux de l’extrême gauche. Chacun de vos membres vit dans la crainte qu’un adversaire socialiste ne les défient aux primaires – voilà ce qui motive en vérité la procédure de destitution. (…) Si vous vous souciiez réellement de la liberté au sein de notre Nation, alors vous chercheriez, avec vos considérables moyens d’enquête, à faire toute la lumière sur les abus de pouvoir scandaleux du FBI avant, pendant et après l’élection de 2016 – notamment l’espionnage de mon équipe de campagne, la remise de fausses preuves au Tribunal de surveillance du renseignement étranger, et la dissimulation de preuves à décharge en vue de piéger l’innocent. Le FBI compte dans ses rangs des employés très honorables, mais ses dirigeants sont incompétents et corrompus. Je pensais que vous seriez personnellement scandalisée par ces révélations, car lors de votre conférence de presse, le jour où vous avez ouvert l’enquête pour impeachment, vous avez lié directement cette initiative au Canular Russe qui avait été complètement discrédité. Vous avez par deux fois déclaré que “toutes les routes mènent à Poutine” en sachant pertinemment que c’était un mensonge abject. Je me suis montré bien plus intraitable avec la Russie que ne l’a jamais envisagé le président Obama. Tout parlementaire qui votera en faveur de l’impeachment – au mépris de la vérité, des faits, des preuves et de la règle de droit – révélera son profond dédain pour les électeurs et sa véritable aversion pour l’ordre constitutionnel des États-Unis. Nos fondateurs craignaient le tribalisme provoqué par la politique de parti et vous donnez vie à leurs pires craintes. Pire encore, j’ai été privé d’une Procédure Respectueuse de la Constitution dès le début de cette farce et jusqu’à aujourd’hui. J’ai été privé des droits les plus élémentaires prévus par la Constitution, notamment le droit de présenter des éléments de preuve, d’être représenté par un avocat, de faire face à mes accusateurs, et de convoquer et de contre-interroger des témoins – en particulier le supposé lanceur d’alerte qui a déclenché ce canular par sa fausse déclaration sur une conversation téléphonique sans aucun lien avec la conversation qui a réellement eu lieu. Dès que j’ai présenté la transcription de l’appel, ce qui a surpris et choqué les escrocs (ils n’avaient pas imaginé que ce type de document serait révélé), le soi-disant lanceur d’alerte, et aussi le deuxième lanceur d’alerte, ont disparu car ils s’étaient fait prendre, leur signalement était frauduleux et il n’a plus été possible d’être en contact avec eux. (…) Le procès des sorcières de Salem ne comptait pas tant d’irrégularités. Vous et les membres de vos commissions affirmez depuis longtemps que la procédure de destitution doit avoir le soutien des deux partis – en l’occurrence ce n’est pas le cas. Vous avez déclaré que la procédure était source de divisions – c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire, et ces divisions sont bien plus profondes que vous n’osiez l’imaginer – et ça ne fera qu’empirer ! Tout cela n’est autre qu’une tentative de coup d’État illégale et militante, qui, si l’on en croit l’opinion publique ces derniers temps, se soldera par un échec cuisant dans les urnes. Vous n’en voulez pas qu’à moi, le président, vous en voulez au Parti républicain tout entier. Mais en raison de cette injustice colossale, l’unité de notre parti n’a jamais été si forte. Le jugement de l’Histoire sera impitoyable face à cette comédie que vous jouez. On ne retiendra de vous que la transformation de la Chambre des représentants, vénérable organe législatif, en tribunal arbitraire présidant à des persécutions partiales. (…) Dès l’instant où j’ai été élu, le Parti démocrate a été en proie à la Fièvre de la Destitution. Vous n’affichez aucune réticence. Cette affaire n’a rien de grave. Vous tournez en dérision la procédure d’impeachment et vous masquez à peine la haine que vous inspire ma personne, le Parti républicain et des dizaines de millions d’Américains patriotes. Les électeurs font preuve de sagesse et ils voient clair dans votre jeu creux, stérile et dangereux. Nul doute que les citoyens américains vous mettront, ainsi que le Parti démocrate, face à vos responsabilités lors de l’élection de 2020. Ils ne sont pas près d’oublier la subversion de la justice et les abus de pouvoir dont vous vous rendez coupables. Il y a tant d’autres choses à faire pour améliorer la vie de nos concitoyens. Vous et les démocrates militants qui siègent au Congrès devez sans délai mettre un terme à ce fantasme de destitution ; vous devez vous remettre au service des citoyens américains. Je ne m’attends pas à ce que vous vous exécutiez, mais je vous adresse la présente lettre pour l’histoire et afin de consigner mes pensées de manière immuable et indélébile. Dans un siècle, quand les gens repenseront à cette affaire, je souhaite qu’ils la comprennent et qu’ils en tirent des leçons, afin qu’aucun autre président ne puisse vivre la même chose. Donald Trump (Président des États-Unis d’Amérique)
We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect. And we need everything we can get. (…) If you’re close to each other, if you’re in a group, I would put it on. (…) I view it this way: Anything that potentially can help — and that certainly can potentially help — is a good thing. I have no problem. I carry it. I wear it. … I’m getting used to the mask, and the reason is — think about patriotism. Maybe it is. It helps. It helps. Now, we have experts that have said, in the recent past, that masks aren’t necessarily good to wear. You know that. But now they’ve changed their mind. If they change their mind, that’s good enough for me. President Trump
My supporters are very smart and they do, a lot of them wear masks and some don’t, that’s their choice. But they’re, you know, when you’re outside, you have a lot of room, and everything that I’ve read and everything that I’ve seen is outside is better in terms of COVID or as I call it the China virus. President Trump
Now we take Georgia, then we change the world. Now we take Georgia, then we change America. Chuck Schumer (Senate Minority Leader)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer may have taken the crown with his yelling on the streets of New York that “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world. Now we take Georgia, then we change America.”It is a quote that will live in infamy — and endlessly in Georgia. Now adding to the Democratic problems are liberal figures openly encouraging Democrats to move to Georgia to stack the vote in the runoff elections. So Georgia just started a hand recount in the midst of claims of voting irregularities but figures like New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman are calling for liberals to move to Georgia to influence their election. In other words, Friedman and others are sending the self-destructive message is that Jon Ossoff and Raphael G. Warnock might not have enough Georgians to vote for them so they need New Yorkers and Californians to come and vote as Georgians. The New York Times, which has run repeated pieces on alleged vote suppression by the GOP, has had nothing to say about Friedman’s call for vote stacking in Georgia. I recently wrote about the irony of the runoff election starting on the anniversary of Sherman’s March Through Georgia. I did not think it would literally involve Northerners invading the state to carry out the campaign. One of the recurring arguments made by Trump supporters is that Democrats have so demonized Trump and his supporters (including calling them Nazis) that it gives license to supporters to take any measure to ensure a Biden victory. As if on cue, Friedman then took to the airways to reinforce that concern. He told CNN, “I hope everybody moves to Georgia, you know, in the next month or two, registers to vote and votes for these two Democratic senators.”He is not alone. New York Magazine’s Eric Levitz wrote “These run-offs will decide which party controls the Senate, and this, whether we’ll have any hope of a large stimulus/climate bill. If you have the means and fervor to make a temporary move to GA, believe anyone who registers by Dec 7 can vote in these elections.”It appears that people told Levitz that he was saying the quiet part out loud and he deleted his post. Voting stacking with out-of-staters is the type of thing that you are supposed to do quietly, not openly. Georgians might not take too kindly to New Yorkers voting on their representatives. For his part, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has announced that he is moving his family to Georgia to push for Ossoff and Warnock. Now that will help. A leading California politician is moving to Georgia to push for the runoff. Georgians will be thrilled. What is fascinating is that, even if some people follow these directions, a hundred times that number of actual Georgians will be left irate over these calls. Of course, the New York Times offered not even a hint of concern with one of its writers calling for people to manipulate the voting count in Georgia. It is all too familiar. The Times was fine with forcing out an editor for simply running an opinion piece by a conservative senator on the recent protests while later running a piece by “Hong Kong enforcer” supporting the crushing of freedom protests. It denounces Trump for what it considers suppression tactics while remaining silent as Friedman calls for dilution tactics in the election. It is also a curious call for the media which has been denouncing the effort not to count every vote. It now appears that counting every vote includes counting New Yorkers in Georgia.Under Georgia law, you must be a “legal resident of the county” and meet other requirements to register to vote. Potential voters are required to provide either a Georgia driver’s license or a Social Security number and fill out a form online or in-person to send to the secretary of state by Dec. 7. It is a felony to vote in Georgia if you are not a legal resident or only plan to be in the state temporarily for an election. The Georgia Attorney General is mandated with enforcing these voter fraud rules. Friedman of course has slammed Trump, which is his right and Trump deserved criticism on many of these occasions. However, he has portrayed himself as different from Trump despite calling him names because he is “respectful even with people I disagree with.” Except when he does not trust them to elect their own representatives and seeks to negate their votes in the name of the greater good. Jonathan Turley
It’s not just that he eats cheeseburgers at a big celebratory dinner. It’s not just that he does things that the common man can kind of appreciate. And it’s not even because he uses kind of simplistic language—he doesn’t use complicated, wonky language, the way a lot of Democrats do. (…) We sometimes make people feel like they aren’t conscientious enough. They aren’t thoughtful enough. They aren’t “woke” enough. They aren’t smart enough or educated enough to just understand what’s good for them. (…) It’s talking down to people. It’s alienating them. And there’s just certain voters who feel so distant from the political process—it’s not their life, it’s not their world. They hate it. They don’t like all that politics stuff. Trump speaks to them, because he includes them. Elissa Slotkin (Michigan Democratic Rep.)
Il est devenu possible, à partir [des années 60], de disqualifier d’entrée de jeu toute pensée conservatrice, c’est-à-dire la moitié de la population du pays et la majorité du reste du monde! Il m’a fallu du temps pour comprendre «à quel point cet ostracisme était dangereux. S’est mise en place une sorte de forteresse théorique parfaite qui se défend en accusant toute personne qui exprime un désaccord d’être conservatrice. Tant que la proportion des libéraux et des conservateurs était de 3 pour 1, il restait des garde-fous, mais on en est aujourd’hui à quelque 30 pour 1! Les conservateurs ayant peu à peu quitté la place parce qu’ils estimaient que l’université devait rester à l’extérieur de la politique. Une fois l’exclusion pratiquée à l’encontre des conservateurs, il a été facile de l’étendre à d’autres groupes, au fur et à mesure qu’il devenait légitime de disqualifier les hommes, les Blancs, les hétéros…, comme un «trou sans fond engloutissant de plus en plus de monde». Au final, dans cette logique d’exclusion qui s’auto-nourrit, 100 % de la population finira par être excommuniée! On commence à voir des hommes noirs menacés de disqualification parce qu’ils sont hommes. (…) Le fait que Trump ait porté le combat contre l’idéologie woke, dénonçant «un poison toxique» et antipatriotique qui veut jeter l’opprobre sur «tout le projet américain», empêche les démocrates centristes de bouger activement sur cette question. Même si Trump a eu raison sur ces thèmes, son comportement et son style inacceptables sur le reste vont au contraire retarder la mobilisation du centre. Greg Lukianoff
La woke culture est devenue le fléau de la liberté de pensée. Elle pose comme principe la vision du monde identitaire que le libéralisme avait tenté d’éradiquer, l’idée que nous ne sommes pas fondamentalement définis par la communauté dans laquelle nous sommes nés, notre orientation sexuelle, notre couleur de peau. Elle nie le libre arbitre et la complexité de la morale. Elle est l’ennemie de la créativité. Seth Greenland
Le wokisme refuse l’idée fondamentale du libéralisme selon laquelle deux valeurs incompatibles peuvent être autorisées à cohabiter. Pour les justiciers sociaux, cette tolérance des désaccords n’est qu’un instrument brandi par l’oppresseur pour soumettre l’opprimé. (…) Les réseaux sociaux ont tout changé, car c’est là que se cristallise le lien entre la meute idéologique, les élites et l’ensemble des institutions. Les réseaux sociaux dictent le ton à tous, y compris aux journaux, pas l’inverse. (…) Ils ont déjà gagné. Toutes les institutions cèdent les unes après les autres. Jacob Siegel
Le wokisme a commencé avec le deuxième mandat de la présidence Obama, au confluent de deux causes: la première, c’est le progressisme technocratique du président lui-même, qui pensait que la bureaucratie de l’État pouvait contribuer à la perfectibilité morale, comme le montre la bataille des discriminations menée sous le Titre IX. L’autre est le courant idéologique identitariste qui souffle sur les universités. Le danger, c’est la fusion des deux en une forme de bureaucratie qui s’autoradicalise sans cesse. Le corps professoral est dans son écrasante majorité libéral et reste attaché à la méthode du débat contradictoire. Mais il a peur de s’interposer. c’est aussi le cas de la majorité des étudiants, qui seraient largement «centristes», selon ses enquêtes d’opinion. On est donc dans le cas d’une sorte de kidnapping du débat par un groupe minoritaire issu de l’administration des campus. Beaucoup de professeurs ont peur d’être mis au ban ou de perdre leur travail, surtout s’ils n’ont pas de chaire. Le fait de vivre à New York, une mégapole, lui permet d’échapper à la pression, mais «c’est beaucoup plus difficile dans les petites villes universitaires de Nouvelle-Angleterre, où les risques de harcèlement sont bien supérieurs. (…) Quand je me promène dans les campus pour des tournées de conférences, les salles sont bondées, surtout dans les petites villes de province, où l’on a soif de vérité et de nouvelles approches. (…) Ça fait tellement de bien de savoir que chez vous les parents peuvent encore dire à leurs enfants qu’ils sont un petit garçon ou une petite fille. Chez nous, on dirait: comment osez-vous assigner un genre? Sam Abrams
La prétendue culture woke est cool. C’est à la mode, et, soyons honnêtes, le libéralisme est difficile. Tolérer des idées inconfortables est plus dur que de rejoindre la horde pour s’enfermer dans une bulle d’opinions et de pensées tout à fait agréables. Thomas Chatterton Williams
Je commence à penser que nous avons besoin d’une nouvelle métaphore pour décrire le “Great Awokening”. Ce n’est pas tant un mouvement qui avance qu’une tache qui se répand. Une fois que ce processus a commencé, il est très difficile de l’inverser, tout ce qu’on peut espérer, c’est d’empêcher qu’il ne se propage davantage et de protéger les choses précieuses. Non, il n’y a pas de mouvement d’opposition de quelque importance à ce phénomène, et, s’il y en avait un, il ne réussirait pas. Nous sommes face à des passions morales très puissantes qui inspirent en particulier les jeunes. Nous devrons attendre qu’elles se dissipent avant d’espérer pouvoir réparer une partie des dégâts. Mark Lilla
In defeat, Donald Trump embodies the original role of the tragic protagonist in such a way as to teach us more about tragedy than we can learn from the usual readings of Shakespeare or Sophocles. (…) Aristotle defined tragedy as “an imitation of persons above the common level,” in Greek “better than ourselves” (beltionon hemas). But in Aristotle’s vocabulary, these are not merely relative terms. The tragic protagonist is not “better” because he is smarter or richer than the anonymous citizens watching the play, but because his role is central to the welfare of the state. He is in a position of sacred centrality, yet ontologically, merely a human being among others. Thus he is forced to function, as Barack Obama once put it, “above my pay grade,” solving transcendental problems on the fallible basis of individual intuition. If any modern political role fits the original description of a potential tragic protagonist, it is that of the American president, who combines the roles of monarch/head of state and parliamentary leader/prime minister, which remain separated in most other liberal democracies. Our republic has its roots in the Athenian agon, and it is no coincidence that its most agonistic recent moment has produced its most tragic political figure. No president in the entire history of the American republic has been so unsparingly vilified as Donald Trump, throughout the 2016 nomination process and campaign, and the nearly four years of his presidency. His tenure in office has been marked by an unprecedented degree of virulent hostility from all corners of the federal establishment, as well as from members of the public who, habituated since Reagan to Republican “derangement syndromes,” have surpassed themselves in his case. To have sustained a “Resistance” that began with his election and denied his legitimacy throughout his entire tenure in office, to have been impeached on trivial evidence after sustaining nearly three years of congressionally approved investigation on the absurd charge of “complicity” with Russia, while meeting with hostile silence from many in his own party who abstained from actual abuse, is far from the normal status of a political figure even in a pugnacious democracy. What then was the key to Trump’s anomalous success? As I have pointed out since the beginning, Trump was the sole candidate, other than the impressive but insufficiently political Dr. Ben Carson, who was truly invulnerable to “PC,” as victimary thinking was then called before it graduated to “wokeness.” This resistance has in fact been Trump’s most significant distinction, although neither his detractors nor his supporters tend to refer to it. It was not a product of theoretical reflection, but of his faithfulness to the attitudes which reigned in his youth—attitudes which I largely share. That the current “woke” generation is capable of tearing down or defacing statues of virtually all the great men of American history is viscerally offensive to both of us, yet none of Trump’s rivals for the nomination presented any real resistance to the perspective that anticipated these actions. Were we to seek an embodiment of our timeless model of the ideal president, wise and forbearing, Trump would hardly qualify. Trump is not a political thinker, but a man of action, and as his detractors in both camps never fail to insist, he is not afraid to exaggerate, to bluster, to repeat quite dubious ideas. Trump was able to beat out his many primary competitors and win the 2016 election because, more even than his ability to make “deals,” his show-business experience gave him supreme confidence in his “instincts,” whether as entertainer or president, for occupying the center of the stage. And these instincts, these political intuitions, were hostile to victimary thinking, not because Trump is obsessed with it, but simply because Trump is untouched by it. But what mattered in 2016 and still matters today has been Trump’s consistency in resisting the mimetic pressure that drives the respectable members of Charles Murray’s “Belmont” class to symbolically flagellate themselves in penance for their “white privilege”—all the while feathering the nests of the most privileged members of society, including themselves. No doubt there are more sophisticated ways than Trump’s of resisting the power of White Guilt. But its virtually total domination of the academic world and of those formed by it, such as the elementary school teachers whose antipatriotic lessons are diametrically opposed to the ones I learned in these classes, has made virtually the entire educated class incapable of firm resistance to this tendency, the product of our enforced “awokening” to the model of originary moral equality to the exclusion of all other social considerations. Only someone whose social instincts had been developed before the current constitution of the Belmont world could credibly oppose this configuration, and only someone with considerable personal—rather than institutional—resources would have the freedom to do so. At the start of his campaign in 2015, Trump’s chief source of popular visibility was his presence in the Reality TV show The Apprentice, highly popular among the “deplorable” lower-middle-class audience that would put him in office in the face of the open contempt of establishment politicians in his own party as well as the Democrats. After his 2016 election victory, many hoped that Trump’s bull-in-the-china-shop tweeting and expostulating would disappear, or at least diminish. And indeed, whenever he makes the effort, Trump has shown himself perfectly capable of delivering a cogent address in a perfectly dignified manner. Yet he has continued with the behavior that, even if effective as “trolling” in enraging his enemies, has done nothing to repair his estrangement from the Belmont class. I think for Trump this is a matter of principle, even if the principle is not articulated as a proposition. What makes it tragic is that, although this behavior may well have cost him reelection, it is inseparable from his sense of self. It seems clear that someone who had viewed these antics merely as a political stratagem would not have had the chutzpah to flaunt from the very beginning his disdain for victimary thinking in the face of the respectable majority. The grain of truth in the calumnious accusations of “white supremacy” and even “antisemitism” is that, alone among the politicians of his generation, Trump viscerally understood that the prior censorship exercised by White Guilt is the real culprit that must be cast out. Thus even when in 2016 Trump scandalously denounced US-born judge Gonzalo Curiel as a “Mexican” by way of attacking his impartiality in the matter of the “Wall,” his very sense that this did not damn him as indelibly “racist” affirmed in his own mind his frequently repeated contention that he “is the least racist person in the room.” And indeed, the one incidence of “racism” unceasingly cited by his political enemies has been his statement about “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville in reference to the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, as proof, despite his explicit statements to the contrary, of his endorsing neo-Nazis. Yet the fact remains that many of those unmoved by these spurious accusations have been put off by Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. And so Trump lost an election that he might well have won, even in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. No one can claim to know what formula he should have followed. But what makes him a tragic figure is the fact that he would no longer have been Trump had he sought any other formula than just being Trump. (…) The tragic protagonist assumes leadership in a crisis in which he is obliged to make decisions that cannot be deduced from prior social norms. Once a human being comes to occupy the social center originally reserved for the sacred, he is tasked with a responsibility both necessary and impossible to fulfill en connaissance de cause. Hence every leader is potentially a tragic figure: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. But real-life and even legendary tragic figures are few. (…) Tragedy depends on crisis. And although, objectively speaking, the United States has traversed many far more serious crises—wars and economic depressions—we are currently witnessing the most serious breakdown of our political system since the Civil War, one that the current election, whatever its outcome, is most unlikely to fully resolve. Recently Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin gave an appreciation of Trump that should be heeded by the “respectable” members of both parties: (…) « Trump speaks to them, because he includes them. » Slotkin’s point is that, like old Harry Truman, but unlike today’s Democrats, Trump speaks to ordinary people. It might seem peculiar for the party that has always presumed to represent the “common man” to be accused by one of its own of “talking down” to its constituency, while the Republicans, supposedly the party of plutocracy, field a candidate whose refusal of a lofty register wins her esteem despite her presumed disagreement with his policies. But what Slotkin means by “talking down” is not so much affecting an intellectual (“wonky”) but a moral (“woke”) superiority. It is less treating people as stupid than as morally obtuse, un-woke. In a word, it is telling “deplorable” white voters to exhibit, to virtue-signal, their White Guilt. Which leads us back to our point of departure. As the only candidate in 2016 who was able to resist the victimary pressure that dominates the Left but also paralyses the Right, Trump rightly saw his candidacy as a mission, one figured by descending the escalator in Trump Tower (now faced by the “mural” of Black Lives Matter painted on the street). Trump had a mission and, Wall or no Wall, he has largely carried it out. Even if he fails to obtain a second term, his example will have a lasting effect on American politics. And I hope it will one day receive the historical respect it deserves. That the mediocre Biden was able to call Trump “clown,” “racist,” “worst president ever” demonstrates the tragic vulnerability of the latter’s denial of PC. And those on the Right who persist in seeing Trump as a vulgarian, judging him by what they call his “character” rather than his achievements, are if anything less excusable. It was Trump who revived the American economy, reduced unemployment to its long-term minimum, and raised the salaries of minorities despite their (diminishing!) fidelity to the Democrats. It is Trump who got rid of Soleimani and Al Baghdadi, moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and has begun building a coalition of Arab states along with Israel to counter Iran’s influence. If Trump still refuses to concede (…) this is but one more manifestation of the pertinacity without which he would never have been elected in the first place. May at least the members of his own party have the good grace to recognize that Trump achieved what none of them could have, and, whatever their own personal style, seek to learn from the healthy core of Trump’s “instincts.” Donald Trump saw more clearly than anyone the danger that Rep. Slotkin recognizes in the “woke” faith in resentment that has been building since the 1960s. A virus far more virulent than SARS-CoV-2, this victimary faith has infested our educational, informational, entertainment, and governmental institutions, and unless promptly and firmly checked, risks handing our hard-won democracy to the barbarians. Eric Gans
La liste des personnalités victimes de la censure progressiste ne cesse de s’allonger, surtout en terre anglo-saxonne. Ce processus de désintégration sociale menée au nom du bien porte un nom: la «cancel culture» ou «culture de l’annulation» , qui consiste à appeler explicitement au boycott et à l’effacement de l’espace public de personnes jugées racistes, homophobes ou sexistes. On pourrait croire que cette fièvre dénonciatrice n’est pas nouvelle et considérer avec Philip Roth dans son célèbre incipit de La Tache, que «le vertige de l’indignation hypocrite» est «la plus vieille passion fédératrice de l’Amérique». Cependant, la cancel culture, si elle reprend les codes du «politiquement correct» tel qu’il a émergé sur les campus américains dès les années 1960, modernise l’ostracisme qui s’adosse désormais à la puissance des réseaux sociaux et à une nouvelle mentalité militante. Dans leur livre The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure («Le chouchoutage de l’âme américaine: comment de bonnes intentions et de mauvaises idées préparent une génération à l’échec»), Jonathan Haidt et Gregory Lukianoff qualifient de «culture of safetysm» (que l’on pourrait traduire par «culture de l’obsession d’être protégé») cette mentalité d’une nouvelle génération qui ne supporte plus d’être offensée et pour laquelle le moindre propos caricatural et le scepticisme quant au bienfait illimité du progressisme multiculturaliste sont considérés comme autant de «micro-agressions» exigeant la création d’espaces sécurisés (safe spaces) où aucune parole blessante ne puisse les atteindre. Cette nouvelle censure est différente du vieux sectarisme marxiste en ce qu’elle repose quasi exclusivement sur le «ressenti» victimaire. «Je me sens blessé»: tel est désormais l’argument qui justifie toutes les excommunications. Avoir conscience que l’on est blessé ou que l’on blesse, c’est être «éveillé», «woke». Ce terme d’argot, «woke», s’est généralisé après les premières émeutes de Black Lives Matter («les vies noires comptent») en 2014, et notamment le film Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, de l’acteur Jesse Williams. Être «woke», pour un Afro-Américain qui adhère à la cause, c’est être en permanence vigilant quant au racisme et aux discriminations que l’on peut subir. L’être pour un Blanc, c’est avoir conscience de ses privilèges. Ainsi, à l’université d’Evergreen, les professeurs étaient-ils conviés à énumérer leurs «privilèges» (blanc, mâle, «validiste», c’est-à-dire non handicapé, etc.), avec une étiquette collée sur leur torse déclinant les pronoms qu’il fallait utiliser en s’adressant à eux (him/her/she/he), pratique mise en place pour ne pas risquer de «mégenrer» certaines personnes – et que la nouvelle vice-présidente, Kamala Harris, emploie elle-même sur son compte Twitter. Ces séances d’«autocritique», dont le grotesque n’a curieusement pas encore été vraiment exploité par les humoristes («parce qu’ils sont terrifiés», estime le rédacteur en chef de Tablet, Jacob Siegel), sont désormais obligatoires ou fortement recommandées au corps professoral dans un nombre croissant d’universités. «La woke culture est devenue le fléau de la liberté de pensée. Elle pose comme principe la vision du monde identitaire que le libéralisme avait tenté d’éradiquer, l’idée que nous ne sommes pas fondamentalement définis par la communauté dans laquelle nous sommes nés, notre orientation sexuelle, notre couleur de peau. Elle nie le libre arbitre et la complexité de la morale. Elle est l’ennemie de la créativité», affirme l’écrivain Seth Greenland, auteur de Mécanique de la chute, un roman où il raconte le lynchage d’un milliardaire accusé de racisme. «Le wokisme refuse l’idée fondamentale du libéralisme selon laquelle deux valeurs incompatibles peuvent être autorisées à cohabiter. Pour les justiciers sociaux, cette tolérance des désaccords n’est qu’un instrument brandi par l’oppresseur pour soumettre l’opprimé!», renchérit Jacob Siegel, auteur d’un article de Tablet sur le sujet qui a fait grand bruit. Parfois, le lynchage psychologique conduit à la mort physique, comme dans le cas de Mike Adams. Ce professeur de l’université de Caroline du Nord très critique du mouvement identitariste, «qui avait eu le malheur de publier un tweet dénonçant les mesures prises par le gouverneur démocrate de son État en matière de Covid, n’a pas résisté à la pression», raconte Greg Lukianoff. «Laissez mon peuple aller», avait-il écrit, parlant «de l’État esclavagiste de Caroline du Nord». Une formule jugée inacceptable par la meute antiraciste. Harcelé et menacé, il a fini par se suicider en juillet. «On lui a dit qu’il était le Mal», note, horrifié, Lukianoff, qui était son ami. Le succès stupéfiant de cette culture de la contestation, fondée sur la revendication d’un sectarisme effréné qui peut aller jusqu’à tuer dans l’indifférence générale, reste en partie une énigme au pays de la libre parole, même si Tocqueville avait averti dans son opus De la démocratie en Amérique sur la propension de l’opinion publique américaine à «tracer un cercle de la pensée» au-delà duquel il est très dangereux de s’aventurer. Lukianoff, un libéral de gauche de 48 ans, qui milita longtemps au sein du bastion progressiste de la puissante Union américaine pour les libertés civiques (Aclu), mais dirige aujourd’hui une fondation qui se bat pour la liberté d’expression sur les campus (Fire), juge indispensable de remonter à l’attitude des écoles de pensée postmodernistes des années 1960 pour comprendre la situation actuelle. «Il est devenu possible, à partir de ces années-là, de disqualifier d’entrée de jeu toute pensée conservatrice, c’est-à-dire la moitié de la population du pays et la majorité du reste du monde!», explique-t-il, reconnaissant qu’il lui a fallu «du temps» pour comprendre «à quel point cet ostracisme était dangereux». «S’est mise en place une sorte de forteresse théorique parfaite qui se défend en accusant toute personne qui exprime un désaccord d’être conservatrice», poursuit-il. «Tant que la proportion des libéraux et des conservateurs était de 3 pour 1, il restait des garde-fous, mais on en est aujourd’hui à quelque 30 pour 1!», note Lukianoff, précisant que les conservateurs ont peu à peu quitté la place «parce qu’ils estimaient que l’université devait rester à l’extérieur de la politique». Une fois l’exclusion pratiquée à l’encontre des conservateurs, il a été facile de l’étendre à d’autres groupes, au fur et à mesure qu’il devenait légitime de disqualifier les hommes, les Blancs, les hétéros…, explique-t-il, parlant d’un «trou sans fond engloutissant de plus en plus de monde». «Au final, dans cette logique d’exclusion qui s’auto-nourrit, 100 % de la population finira par être excommuniée!», dit Lukianoff, soulignant qu’«on commence à voir des hommes noirs menacés de disqualification parce qu’ils sont hommes». Une armada de personnels administratifs destinés à gérer les questions de discrimination et d’inclusivité s’est installée au cœur des dortoirs, avec les étudiants. Sam Abrams, 40 ans, professeur de science politique au collège Sarah Lawrence de New York, un établissement connu pour son progressisme, est devenu l’une des cibles du mouvement woke pour avoir milité pour «la diversité de valeurs» au lieu de réserver ce terme à la diversité ethnique ou raciale. Spécialiste d’enquêtes d’opinion et hostile aux labels politiques, cet amoureux «des faits» est depuis deux ans sur son campus l’objet de campagnes de harcèlement et d’une démarche administrative visant à le priver de sa chaire. «Jamais je n’aurais pu monter au créneau si je n’avais pas eu de chaire», note-t-il, soulignant qu’il avait attendu cette sécurité de l’emploi pour s’engager. Pour lui, si le mouvement woke, né dans les départements d’études critiques énamourés du philosophe Michel Foucault et de la théoricienne du genre Judith Butler, vient de loin, comme le raconte Lukianoff, «les dix dernières années ont été cruciales». (…) Tout a changé pendant la présidence Obama, avec la montée en puissance des efforts de l’administration des universités pour lutter contre les discriminations sexuelles, avec la mise en place du fameux Titre IX (un amendement interdisant toute discrimination sur la base du sexe et obligeant à la création de bureaux de lutte contre le harcèlement sexuel dans chaque université), un processus supervisé par un certain vice-président… Joe Biden. «Parallèlement, une armada de personnels administratifs destinés à gérer les questions de discrimination et d’inclusivité s’est installée au cœur des dortoirs, avec les étudiants», raconte Abrams. Arrivés avec des diplômes en études raciales ou de genre, ils ont instauré un mélange de règles bureaucratiques et d’interdits idéologiques qui représentent «un véritable lavage de cerveau» et leur permettent de faire la pluie et le beau temps sur les campus, en liaison avec certaines associations étudiantes communautaristes ultrapolitisées, dénonce l’enseignant. Le rédacteur en chef de la revue Tablet, Jacob Siegel, souligne lui aussi cette alliance de la bureaucratie d’État et d’une idéologie qui se dit révolutionnaire mais «fait corps avec le pouvoir». «Le wokisme a commencé avec le deuxième mandat de la présidence Obama, au confluent de deux causes: la première, c’est le progressisme technocratique du président lui-même, qui pensait que la bureaucratie de l’État pouvait contribuer à la perfectibilité morale, comme le montre la bataille des discriminations menée sous le Titre IX. L’autre est le courant idéologique identitariste qui souffle sur les universités. Le danger, c’est la fusion des deux en une forme de bureaucratie qui s’autoradicalise sans cesse», explique-t-il. «Le corps professoral est dans son écrasante majorité libéral et reste attaché à la méthode du débat contradictoire. Mais il a peur de s’interposer», ajoute Sam Abrams. Pour lui, c’est aussi le cas de la majorité des étudiants, qui seraient largement «centristes», selon ses enquêtes d’opinion. On est donc dans le cas d’une sorte de kidnapping du débat par un groupe minoritaire issu de l’administration des campus. Beaucoup de professeurs ont peur d’être mis au ban ou de perdre leur travail, surtout s’ils n’ont pas de chaire, affirme Abrams. Le fait de vivre à New York, une mégapole, lui permet d’échapper à la pression, mais «c’est beaucoup plus difficile dans les petites villes universitaires de Nouvelle-Angleterre, où les risques de harcèlement sont bien supérieurs». À ces inquiétudes très concrètes s’ajoute «la peur des anciens de ne pas être aimés des plus jeunes» et d’être moralement condamnés, ajoute Greg Lukianoff. Une volonté d’échapper à la culpabilité occidentale en se mettant du côté des «purs», que le professeur de théorie politique Joshua Mitchell décrit dans son nouveau livre, American Awakening («réveil américain»), consacré à la nature religieuse de cette idéologie des «identités» qui donne des «bons points» aux différents groupes humains en faveur de leur degré d’«innocence» sociale. Les réseaux sociaux, en permettant la mobilisation immédiate d’activistes sur des causes ponctuelles et en facilitant l’organisation communautaire, ont par ailleurs donné une vigueur nouvelle aux revendications identitaires présentes dans la gauche radicale depuis les années 1960. «Ils ont tout changé, car c’est là que se cristallise le lien entre la meute idéologique, les élites et l’ensemble des institutions. Les réseaux sociaux dictent le ton à tous, y compris aux journaux, pas l’inverse», analyse Jacob Siegel. Comme le souligne Lisa Nakamura, professeur à l’université du Michigan, la cancel culture est rendue possible par une nouvelle «économie de l’attention», où «priver quelqu’un d’audience, c’est le priver d’existence». Elle est portée par un repli individualiste sur l’identité plutôt que par l’héritage commun ou l’universalisme. Et également par une culture d’emballement suiviste, qui fait partie de l’essence des réseaux sociaux. «La prétendue culture woke est cool. C’est à la mode, et, soyons honnêtes, le libéralisme est difficile. Tolérer des idées inconfortables est plus dur que de rejoindre la horde pour s’enfermer dans une bulle d’opinions et de pensées tout à fait agréables», explique Thomas Chatterton Williams, auteur d’Autoportrait en noir et blanc, un essai qui sortira en janvier en français, où ce métis afro-américain exprime sa dissidence envers les obsédés de la race. Comme lui, de nombreux intellectuels de la gauche libérale commencent à se rebeller contre cette idéologie étouffante, «qui ressemble à un nouveau bolchevisme ou à une forme de révolution culturelle à la chinoise», guettant tous les «traîtres» potentiels à la cause, nous confie Bret Weinstein. L’université de Chicago a pris la tête de la fronde, mettant noir sur blanc son engagement à défendre la liberté d’expression en 2015, un «serment» repris par plus de 50 autres établissements universitaires. Le très libéral Wellesley College a également réagi avec vigueur en créant un «projet liberté» destiné à encourager un débat d’idées libre et contradictoire. Et l’université de Berkeley, pourtant très progressiste, a créé un Centre pour la liberté d’expression. On voit aussi apparaître de nouveaux îlots de liberté intellectuelle, comme le magazine en ligne Quillette ou la revue Tablet, au fur et à mesure que les journaux mainstream comme le New York Times basculent dans le camp de la «justice sociale». «Le seul fait que nous n’ayons pas peur a fait énormément pour le succès de Tablet», affirme Siegel. Sam Abrams dit recevoir des dizaines de lettres, montrant que «beaucoup de gens en ont assez». «J’aime à penser que nous sommes nombreux», dit aussi Greg Lukianoff. En juillet 2020, un collectif de plus de 150 écrivains, artistes et journalistes, parmi lesquels J.K. Rowling, mais aussi la romancière Margaret Atwood, auteur du best-seller La Servante écarlate, le linguiste et psychologue Steven Pinker, la féministe Gloria Steinem, a signé une tribune dans Harper’s Magazine pour dénoncer «une intolérance à l’égard d’opinions opposées, une vogue pour la dénonciation publique et l’ostracisme, et la tendance à dissoudre des questions politiques complexes dans une certitude morale aveugle». En réaction à cette tribune, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (AOC) l’égérie woke du Parti démocrate, a aussitôt relativisé sur Twitter: «Ceux qui se plaignent de la cancel culture pensent que tout leur est dû – comme si on avait le droit à un large public captif et que l’on deviendrait victime si les gens choisissaient de nous écarter. Il y a de fortes chances que vous ne soyez pas réellement annulé, que vous soyez simplement mis au défi, tenu pour responsable ou peu apprécié.» Même Obama, qui avait rêvé d’une présidence postraciale avant de participer à la montée woke en installant la question de la moralisation des discriminations au sein du processus bureaucratique, a eu droit à des tirs de barrage intenses de la frange radicale quand il s’est mêlé du débat. «Si tout ce que vous faites, c’est jeter des pierres, vous n’irez pas très loin», avait déclaré l’ex-président en octobre 2019. «Le monde est en désordre, il y a des ambiguïtés. Les gens qui font de bonnes choses ont des défauts. Les gens que vous combattez aiment leurs enfants, ils partagent certaines choses avec vous», a rappelé l’ancien président, blâmant «cette idée de la pureté, de n’être jamais compromis, d’être toujours politiquement “éveillé” (woke)». Tout autre que lui aurait sans doute été agoni d’injures après de tels propos. Le président conserve d’ailleurs une position ambiguë sur tous ces sujets sociétaux et n’a nullement condamné les excès révolutionnaires de Black Lives Matter quand, après la mort de George Floyd, cette organisation a vite abandonné le thème des violences policières pour appeler à mettre à bas le capitalisme et à démanteler tout l’héritage américain, jusqu’à ses Pères fondateurs. En réalité, les voix dissidentes restent très isolées, un peu comme «un samizdat du XXIe siècle», affirme le géographe Joel Kotkin, résumant le point de vue des autres «rebelles». Le fait que la vague woke ait quitté le champ strictement universitaire pour déborder dans les médias grand public, le monde des affaires et les institutions de l’État a laissé les libéraux de la vieille école largement désemparés. «Je commence à penser que nous avons besoin d’une nouvelle métaphore pour décrire le “Great Awokening”. Ce n’est pas tant un mouvement qui avance qu’une tache qui se répand. Une fois que ce processus a commencé, il est très difficile de l’inverser, tout ce qu’on peut espérer, c’est d’empêcher qu’il ne se propage davantage et de protéger les choses précieuses. Non, il n’y a pas de mouvement d’opposition de quelque importance à ce phénomène, et, s’il y en avait un, il ne réussirait pas», s’inquiète Mark Lilla, un libéral de gauche qui a été l’un des premiers à sonner l’alarme. «Nous sommes face à des passions morales très puissantes qui inspirent en particulier les jeunes. Nous devrons attendre qu’elles se dissipent avant d’espérer pouvoir réparer une partie des dégâts», ajoute-t-il. Social-démocrate à l’ancienne et opposé à la vague identitariste montante, Joel Kotkin s’alarme tout particulièrement de l’alliance des campus avec l’industrie de la tech, cette nouvelle oligarchie omniprésente qui prête allégeance au mouvement woke en forçant notamment ses employés à organiser des séminaires d’inclusivité et à signer avec les fameux «pronoms» – «manière pour elle d’éluder les sujets plus embarrassants d’inégalité, de classe et de positions monopolistiques». Pour lui, cette alliance rend quasiment impossible une rébellion des démocrates centristes contre les radicaux. Si certains observateurs continuent d’espérer que les modérés, comme l’élue du Congrès Elissa Slotkin, relèveront la tête, la plupart sont très sceptiques. Le fait que Trump ait porté le combat contre l’idéologie woke, dénonçant «un poison toxique» et antipatriotique qui veut jeter l’opprobre sur «tout le projet américain», empêche les démocrates centristes de bouger activement sur cette question, regrette Greg Lukianoff. «Même si Trump a eu raison sur ces thèmes, son comportement et son style inacceptables sur le reste vont au contraire retarder la mobilisation du centre», pronostique-t-il. Un point de vue que partage le professeur Bret Weinstein, persuadé que l’équipe Biden utilisera «cyniquement l’énergie révolutionnaire née sur les campus», mais finira par perdre le contrôle du «tigre» woke. «Ils ont déjà gagné, pense Jacob Siegel. Toutes les institutions cèdent les unes après les autres.» Dans ce tableau bien sombre, Sam Abrams voit une lueur d’espoir venir potentiellement de la nouvelle «génération Z» (nés entre 1997 et 2000), «beaucoup moins idéologue que les millennials» (nés entre 1980 et 2000), fatiguée de la polarisation et peu convaincue par la racialisation galopante. «Quand je me promène dans les campus pour des tournées de conférences, les salles sont bondées, surtout dans les petites villes de province, où l’on a soif de vérité et de nouvelles approches.» Sam n’en reste pas moins très envieux de «l’approche française»,qui résiste tant bien que mal à la vague woke anglo-saxonne. «Ça fait tellement de bien de savoir que chez vous les parents peuvent encore dire à leurs enfants qu’ils sont “un petit garçon ou une petite fille”. Chez nous, on dirait: comment osez-vous assigner un genre?» Mais la différence est-elle si grande que Sam le pense? L’Amérique et la France ont beau plaider pour deux modèles radicalement opposés de république, sur le plan des idées, les chassés-croisés entre nos deux pays sont incessants. Ainsi avons-nous exporté la French Theory sur les campus d’Amérique dans les années 1960, semence qui allait faire fleurir le politiquement correct. Aujourd’hui, celui-ci nous revient en boomerang sous les nouveaux habits de la cancel culture et du wokisme qui s’implantent dans nos universités. Et, là-bas comme ici, l’intelligentsia libérale se réveille face aux excès et au déni d’une révolution qui dévore ses enfants. Aux États-Unis comme en France, cette guerre idéologique ne fait que commencer. Laure Mandeville et Eugénie Bastié
In defeat, Donald Trump embodies the original role of the tragic protagonist in such a way as to teach us more about tragedy than we can learn from the usual readings of Shakespeare or Sophocles. (…) If any modern political role fits the original description of a potential tragic protagonist, it is that of the American president, who combines the roles of monarch/head of state and parliamentary leader/prime minister, which remain separated in most other liberal democracies. (…) No president in the entire history of the American republic has been so unsparingly vilified as Donald Trump, throughout the 2016 nomination process and campaign, and the nearly four years of his presidency. His tenure in office has been marked by an unprecedented degree of virulent hostility from all corners of the federal establishment, as well as from members of the public who, habituated since Reagan to Republican “derangement syndromes,” have surpassed themselves in his case. To have sustained a “Resistance” that began with his election and denied his legitimacy throughout his entire tenure in office, to have been impeached on trivial evidence after sustaining nearly three years of congressionally approved investigation on the absurd charge of “complicity” with Russia, while meeting with hostile silence from many in his own party who abstained from actual abuse, is far from the normal status of a political figure even in a pugnacious democracy. What then was the key to Trump’s anomalous success? As I have pointed out since the beginning, Trump was the sole candidate, other than the impressive but insufficiently political Dr. Ben Carson, who was truly invulnerable to “PC,” as victimary thinking was then called before it graduated to “wokeness.” This resistance has in fact been Trump’s most significant distinction, although neither his detractors nor his supporters tend to refer to it. It was not a product of theoretical reflection, but of his faithfulness to the attitudes which reigned in his youth—attitudes which I largely share. That the current “woke” generation is capable of tearing down or defacing statues of virtually all the great men of American history is viscerally offensive to both of us, yet none of Trump’s rivals for the nomination presented any real resistance to the perspective that anticipated these actions. Were we to seek an embodiment of our timeless model of the ideal president, wise and forbearing, Trump would hardly qualify. Trump is not a political thinker, but a man of action, and as his detractors in both camps never fail to insist, he is not afraid to exaggerate, to bluster, to repeat quite dubious ideas. Trump was able to beat out his many primary competitors and win the 2016 election because, more even than his ability to make “deals,” his show-business experience gave him supreme confidence in his “instincts,” whether as entertainer or president, for occupying the center of the stage. And these instincts, these political intuitions, were hostile to victimary thinking, not because Trump is obsessed with it, but simply because Trump is untouched by it. But what mattered in 2016 and still matters today has been Trump’s consistency in resisting the mimetic pressure that drives the respectable members of Charles Murray’s “Belmont” class to symbolically flagellate themselves in penance for their “white privilege”—all the while feathering the nests of the most privileged members of society, including themselves. No doubt there are more sophisticated ways than Trump’s of resisting the power of White Guilt. But its virtually total domination of the academic world and of those formed by it, such as the elementary school teachers whose antipatriotic lessons are diametrically opposed to the ones I learned in these classes, has made virtually the entire educated class incapable of firm resistance to this tendency, the product of our enforced “awokening” to the model of originary moral equality to the exclusion of all other social considerations. Only someone whose social instincts had been developed before the current constitution of the Belmont world could credibly oppose this configuration, and only someone with considerable personal—rather than institutional—resources would have the freedom to do so. At the start of his campaign in 2015, Trump’s chief source of popular visibility was his presence in the Reality TV show The Apprentice, highly popular among the “deplorable” lower-middle-class audience that would put him in office in the face of the open contempt of establishment politicians in his own party as well as the Democrats. After his 2016 election victory, many hoped that Trump’s bull-in-the-china-shop tweeting and expostulating would disappear, or at least diminish. And indeed, whenever he makes the effort, Trump has shown himself perfectly capable of delivering a cogent address in a perfectly dignified manner. Yet he has continued with the behavior that, even if effective as “trolling” in enraging his enemies, has done nothing to repair his estrangement from the Belmont class. I think for Trump this is a matter of principle, even if the principle is not articulated as a proposition. What makes it tragic is that, although this behavior may well have cost him reelection, it is inseparable from his sense of self. It seems clear that someone who had viewed these antics merely as a political stratagem would not have had the chutzpah to flaunt from the very beginning his disdain for victimary thinking in the face of the respectable majority. The grain of truth in the calumnious accusations of “white supremacy” and even “antisemitism” is that, alone among the politicians of his generation, Trump viscerally understood that the prior censorship exercised by White Guilt is the real culprit that must be cast out. Thus even when in 2016 Trump scandalously denounced US-born judge Gonzalo Curiel as a “Mexican” by way of attacking his impartiality in the matter of the “Wall,” his very sense that this did not damn him as indelibly “racist” affirmed in his own mind his frequently repeated contention that he “is the least racist person in the room.” And indeed, the one incidence of “racism” unceasingly cited by his political enemies has been his statement about “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville in reference to the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, as proof, despite his explicit statements to the contrary, of his endorsing neo-Nazis. Yet the fact remains that many of those unmoved by these spurious accusations have been put off by Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. And so Trump lost an election that he might well have won, even in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. No one can claim to know what formula he should have followed. But what makes him a tragic figure is the fact that he would no longer have been Trump had he sought any other formula than just being Trump. (…) The tragic protagonist assumes leadership in a crisis in which he is obliged to make decisions that cannot be deduced from prior social norms. Once a human being comes to occupy the social center originally reserved for the sacred, he is tasked with a responsibility both necessary and impossible to fulfill en connaissance de cause. (…) Tragedy depends on crisis. And although, objectively speaking, the United States has traversed many far more serious crises—wars and economic depressions—we are currently witnessing the most serious breakdown of our political system since the Civil War, one that the current election, whatever its outcome, is most unlikely to fully resolve. (…) Recently Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin gave an appreciation of Trump that should be heeded by the “respectable” members of both parties: ‘It’s not just that he eats cheeseburgers at a big celebratory dinner (…) or uses kind of simplistic language (…) We sometimes make people feel like they aren’t conscientious enough. (…) They aren’t smart enough or educated enough to just understand what’s good for them. It’s talking down to people. (…) Trump speaks to them, because he includes them. Slotkin’s point like old Harry Truman, but unlike today’s Democrats, Trump speaks to ordinary people. It might seem peculiar for the party that has always presumed to represent the “common man” to be accused by one of its own of “talking down” to its constituency, while the Republicans, supposedly the party of plutocracy, field a candidate whose refusal of a lofty register wins her esteem despite her presumed disagreement with his policies. But what Slotkin means by “talking down” is not so much affecting an intellectual (“wonky”) but a moral (“woke”) superiority. It is less treating people as stupid than as morally obtuse, un-woke. In a word, it is telling “deplorable” white voters to exhibit, to virtue-signal, their White Guilt. (…) As the only candidate in 2016 who was able to resist the victimary pressure that dominates the Left but also paralyses the Right, Trump rightly saw his candidacy as a mission, one figured by descending the escalator in Trump Tower (now faced by the “mural” of Black Lives Matter painted on the street). Trump had a mission and, Wall or no Wall, he has largely carried it out. Even if he fails to obtain a second term, his example will have a lasting effect on American politics. And I hope it will one day receive the historical respect it deserves. That the mediocre Biden was able to call Trump “clown,” “racist,” “worst president ever” demonstrates the tragic vulnerability of the latter’s denial of PC. And those on the Right who persist in seeing Trump as a vulgarian, judging him by what they call his “character” rather than his achievements, are if anything less excusable. It was Trump who revived the American economy, reduced unemployment to its long-term minimum, and raised the salaries of minorities despite their (diminishing!) fidelity to the Democrats. It is Trump who got rid of Soleimani and Al Baghdadi, moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and has begun building a coalition of Arab states along with Israel to counter Iran’s influence. If Trump still refuses to concede—and we need not deny a priori the claims of his lawyer Sidney Powell, whose recent statements (…) at least express confidence—this is but one more manifestation of the pertinacity without which he would never have been elected in the first place. May at least the members of his own party have the good grace to recognize that Trump achieved what none of them could have, and, whatever their own personal style, seek to learn from the healthy core of Trump’s “instincts.” Donald Trump saw more clearly than anyone the danger that Rep. Slotkin recognizes in the “woke” faith in resentment that has been building since the 1960s. A virus far more virulent than SARS-CoV-2, this victimary faith has infested our educational, informational, entertainment, and governmental institutions, and unless promptly and firmly checked, risks handing our hard-won democracy to the barbarians. Eric Gans
Nos modes intellectuelles ne veulent voir de la violence que dans les textes, mais d’où vient réellement la menace ? Aujourd’hui, nous vivons dans un monde dangereux où tous les mouvements de foule sont violents. Cette foule était déjà violente dans les Psaumes. Elle l’est dans le récit de Job. Elle demande à Job de se reconnaître coupable : c’est un vrai procès de Moscou qu’on lui fait. Procès prophétique. N’est-ce pas celui du Christ adulé par les foules, puis rejeté au moment de la Passion ? Ces récits annoncent la croix, la mort de la victime innocente, la victoire sur tous les mythes sacrificiels de l’Antiquité. René Girard
Il y avait vraiment des gens qui s’agitaient devant des courts-bouillons de grenouilles et de scorpions, mais nous savons que leurs manigances n’empêcheraient pas les avions de voler (…) C’est bien pourquoi, même lorsqu’elles étaient condamnées, même lorsqu’elles étaient techniquement coupables, les sorcières étaient des boucs émissaires. René Girard
La métaphore principale est celle du triomphe au sens romain, c’est-à-dire la récompense que Rome accordait à ses généraux victorieux. Debout sur son char le triomphateur faisait une entrée solennelle dans la Ville sous les acclamations de la foule. Dans son cortège figuraient les chefs ennemis enchaînés. Avant de faire exécuter ces derniers, on les exhibait, telles des bêtes féroces réduites à l’impuissance. Vercingétorix joua ce rôle dans le triomphe de César. Le général victorieux est ici le Christ et sa victoire, c’est la Croix. Ce dont le christianisme triomphe c’est de l’organisation païenne du monde. Les chefs ennemis enchaînés derrière leur vainqueur sont les principautés et les puissances. L’auteur compare les effets irrésistibles de la Croix à ceux de la force militaire encore toute-puissante au moment où il écrivait, l’armée romaine. (…) Mais il y a dans cette triomphante métaphore un paradoxe trop évident pour ne pas être délibéré, pour ne pas relever d’une intention ironique. La violence militaire est aussi étrangère que possible à ce dont parle réellement l’épître. La victoire du Christ n’a rien à voir avec celle d’un général victorieux : au lieu d’infliger sa violence aux autres, le Christ la subit. Ce qu’il faut retenir ici dans l’idée du triomphe ce n’est pas l’aspect militaire, c’est l’idée d’un spectacle offert à tous les hommes, c’est l’exhibition publique de ce que l’ennemi aurait dû dissimuler afin de se protéger, afin de persévérer dans son être que lui dérobe la Croix. Loin d’être obtenu par la violence, le triomphe de la Croix est le fruit d’un renoncement si total que la violence peut se déchaîner tout son saoul sur le Christ, sans se douter qu’en se déchaînant, elle rend manifeste ce qu’il lui importe de dissimuler, sans soupçonner que ce déchaînement va se retourner contre elle cette fois car il sera enregistré et représenté très exactement dans les récits de la Passion. (…) L’idée du triomphe de la Croix paraît tellement absurde aux yeux des exégètes soi-disant scientifiques qu’ils y voient volontiers une de ces inversions complètes auxquelles les désespérés soumettent le réel lorsque leur univers s’effondre et qu’ils ne peuvent plus affronter la vérité… C’est ce que les psychiatres appellent un phénomène de compensation. Les êtres dévastés par une catastrophe irréparable, privés de tout espoir concret, intervertissent tous les signes qui les renseignent sur le réel : de tous les moins ils font des plus et de tous les plus ils font des moins. C’est ce qui est arrivé aux disciples de Jésus après la crucifixion, c’est ce que les croyants appellent la Résurrection. (…) La plupart des hommes, lorsqu’ils réfléchissent à la Croix, ne voient que l’événement dans sa brutalité, la mort terrible de Jésus qui s’est déroulée, semble-t-il, de façon à infliger au triomphalisme de notre épître le démenti le plus cinglant. (…) En clouant le Christ sur la Croix les puissances croyaient faire ce qu’elles font d’habitude en déclenchant le mécanisme victimaire, elles croyaient écarter une menace de révélation, elles ne se doutaient pas qu’en fin de compte,, elles faisaient tout le contraire, elles travaillaient à leur propre anéantissement, elles se clouaient elles-mêmes sur la Croix en quelque sorte, dont elles ne soupçonnaient pas le pouvoir révélateur. En privant le mécanisme victimaire des ténèbres dont il doit s’entourer pour gouverner toutes choses, la Croix bouleverse le monde. Sa lumière prive Satan de son pouvoir principal, celui d’expulser Satan. (…) La souffrance de la Croix est le prix que Jésus accepte de payer pour offrir à l’humanité cette représentation vraie de l’origine dont elle reste prisonnière, et pour priver à la longue le mécanisme victimaire de son efficacité. Dans le triomphe d’un général victorieux, l’exhibition humiliante du vaincu est seulement une conséquence de la victoire, alors qu’ici c’est cette victoire elle-même, c’est le dévoilement de l’origine violente. Ce n’est pas parce qu’elles sont défaites que les puissances sont données en spectacle, c’est parce qu’elles sont données en spectacle qu’elles sont défaites. Il y a de l’ironie donc dans la métaphore du triomphe militaire et ce qui la rend savoureuse, c’est le fait que Satan et ses cohortes ne respectent que la puissance. Ils ne pensent qu’en termes de triomphe militaire. Ils sont donc battus par une arme dont l’efficacité leur est inconcevable, elle contredit toutes leurs croyances, toutes leurs valeurs. C’est l’impuissance la plus radicale qui triomphe du pouvoir d’auto-expulsion satanique. (…) Pour appréhender le malentendu dans son énormité, il faut le transposer dans une affaire de victime injustement condamnée, une affaire si bien éclaircie désormais qu’elle exclut tout malentendu. À l’époque où le capitaine Dreyfus, condamné pour un crime qu’il n’avait pas commis, purgeait sa peine à l’autre bout du monde, d’un côté il y avait les « antidreyfusards » extrêmement nombreux et parfaitement sereins et satisfaits car ils tenaient leur victime collective et se félicitaient de la voir justement châtiée. De l’autre côté il y avait les défenseurs de Dreyfus, très peu nombreux d’abord et qui passèrent longtemps pour des traîtres patentés ou, au mieux, pour des mécontents professionnels, de véritables obsédés, toujours occupés à remâcher toutes sortes de griefs et de soupçons dont personne autour d’eux ne voyait le bien-fondé. On cherchait dans la morbidité personnelle ou dans les préjugés politiques la raison du comportement dreyfusard. En réalité, l’antidreyfusisme était un véritable mythe, une accusation fausse universellement confondue avec la vérité, entretenue par une contagion mimétique si surexcitée par le préjugé antisémite qu’aucun fait pendant des années ne parvint à l’ébranler. Ceux qui célèbrent l’« innocence » des mythes, leur joie de vivre, leur bonne santé et qui opposent tout cela au soupçon maladif de la Bible et des Évangiles commettent la même erreur, je pense, que ceux qui optaient hier pour l’antidreyfusisme contre le dreyfusisme. C’est bien ce que proclamait à l’époque un écrivain nommé Charles Péguy. Si les dreyfusards n’avaient pas combattu pour imposer leur point de vue, s’ils n’avaient pas souffert, au moins certains d’entre eux, pour la vérité, s’ils avaient admis, comme on le fait de nos jours, que le fait même de croire en une vérité absolue est le vrai péché contre l’esprit, Dreyfus n’aurait jamais été réhabilité, le mensonge aurait triomphé. Si on admire les mythes qui ne voient de victimes nulle part, et si on condamne la Bible et les Évangiles parce qu’au contraire ils en voient partout, on renouvelle l’illusion de ceux qui, à l’époque héroïque de l’Affaire, refusaient d’envisager la possibilité d’une erreur judiciaire. Les dreyfusards ont fait triompher à grand-peine une vérité aussi absolue, intransigeante et dogmatique que celle de Joseph dans son opposition à la violence mythologique. (…) La preuve qu’il est difficile de comprendre ce que je viens de dire ou trop facile peut-être, c’est que Satan lui-même ne l’a pas compris. Ou plutôt, il l’a compris trop tard pour protéger son royaume. Son manque de rapidité a eu, sur l’histoire humaine, des conséquences formidables. Dans sa première épître aux Corinthiens, Paul écrit : « Si les princes de ce monde avaient connu [la sagesse de Dieu] ils n’auraient pas crucifié le Seigneur de gloire » (1 Co 2, 8). « Les princes de ce monde », qui sont ici la même chose que Satan, ont crucifié le Seigneur de gloire parce qu’ils attendaient de cet événement certains résultats favorables à leurs intérêts. Ils espéraient que le mécanisme fonctionnerait comme d’habitude, à l’abri des regards indiscrets, et qu’ils seraient débarrassés de Jésus et de son message. (…) Les Évangiles eux-mêmes attirent notre attention sur la perte de l’unanimité mythique partout où Jésus intervient. Jean en particulier signale à maintes reprises la division entre les témoins après les paroles et les actes de Jésus. Après chaque intervention de Jésus, les témoins se querellent et, loin d’unifier les hommes, son message suscite le désaccord et la division. C’est dans la crucifixion surtout que cette division joue un rôle capital. Sans elle il n’y aurait pas de révélation évangélique ; le mécanisme victimaire ne serait pas représenté. Comme dans les mythes, il serait transfiguré en action juste et légitime. René Girard
There are a lot of clear emotions that come with this and it caused a big knee jerk reaction. A lot of Americans, when they see his (Trump’s) face will come up with an opinion of liking or disliking him before reading an article or hearing the news. Both the liberal and conservative response to the artist was how sacrilegious the painting came off as. (…) When you hear a democrat calling for the investigation of Trump and a republican calling for the investigation of Pelosi or Biden and neither asks what might be wrong with their own affiliation, just shows how devout that person has become. (…) It is as though they are arguing dogmatic religious doctrine rather than having an honest debate. (…) One side wishes to see violent animosity released on Donald Trump and the other half shows him to be this infallible savior. That won’t get us anywhere but getting people to think outside the box at what they are looking at could potentially begin to turn around how we see and react to the idea of politics in our country. Orvis
Art is a subjective term used to describe the viewer’s thoughts and feelings towards a specific piece of work. However, an artist in Jacksonville only received negative responses to a painting he made but when he examined closer, it was exactly what he expected all along. The artist goes by his initials B.S. and chose to do so after witnessing the backlash and alleged death threats given to local art broker Tristan Orvis when the two placed the painting up for sale on Facebook marketplace. B.S. created controversy and hysteria from his painting titled “An Emotional Mirror” which shows President Donald Trump, as Jesus Christ, being crucified on the cross. He said he was inspired by the events surrounding President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in January. At first glance, you can see Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as a Roman Soldier piercing Trump’s right side with a spear, wife Melania praying at his feet like the Virgin Mary, along with members of the media and several foreign presidents and dictator such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung-Un looking on. The controversy is obvious as both liberals and conservatives showed their disgust at what they described as an abomination. The artist explained the meaning behind the painting is far more telling of how the viewer is supposed to see it.      B.S. described the painting as his intent to highlight and call into question within the viewer such notions as belief in religion and politics, along with how narrow the bridge is between the two. He also wished to spark the viewers’ thoughts on nationalism and the media influence on the country. Its purpose? To start conversations between both parties while using the “emotional mirror” to look inside one’s self in order to take personal responsibility for how the country looks when discussing politics. What was made to be thought-provoking turned to bashing, according to Orvis. (…) What was seemingly missed by the several thousand people who commented, shared or liked Orvis’s Facebook post, was almost no one responded by questioning themselves or their own party. Instead, they came together to chastise the artist and broker responsible for its content. Things began to reach a boiling point when residents around Onslow began giving out Orvis’s address and kid’s names in an attempt to cause harm. Although he said none of the threats sounded like they held any weight, he will remain cautious until more time has passed. The surprising part is that the two men claim they should have seen it coming, but it proved the point of the painting and that in the current state we live in, seeing is believing and no one is taking the time to actually look and see before believing their own preconceived notions about the political and religious climate.  (…) What Orvis said he learned from this experience is that it reminded him of a time where individuals were labeling themselves as Americans first and not by their race or political affiliations. He also hopes moving forward, people can come together for the betterment of the voters. Newsbreak
Lorsque la rivalité se généralise, que la communauté est en proie à une crise de violence mimétique, elle désigne un individu responsable de la crise. Elle l’accuse puis le tue. Aussitôt la communauté se réconcilie et retrouve la paix en s’unifiant contre ce bouc émissaire. (…) [Mais] la Crucifixion du Christ révèle le mécanisme sacrificiel qui fonde toute société humaine. Désormais, nous savons tous que la victime est innocente. Le texte évangélique au lieu de dénoncer la culpabilité de la victime comme le fait le récit mythique – Œdipe a commis le parricide et l’inceste – nous dévoile l’innocence complète de la victime. Le christianisme dit pour la première fois notre culpabilité, et non celle de la victime aussi divine serait-elle. ‘La Passion a dévoilé une fois pour toute l’origine sacrificielle de l’humanité. Elle a défait le sacré en révélant sa violence’. Désormais, nous devons vivre avec cette impossibilité de désigner des boucs-émissaires la conscience tranquille. Nous sommes privés des processus de différenciation liée à l’émergence d’une culture: ‘il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni homme libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme, car vous tous, vous êtes un en Jésus-Christ’ écrit Saint Paul aux Galates. Désormais on ne sacrifie plus des victimes innocentes pour nous permettre de vivre en paix. Désormais, nous devons nous passer des rites, des interdits et du sacré, qui s’ils conservent une part de violence, sont avant tout des freins à la violence et surtout les fondements de toute culture. Certains ont si parfaitement compris le danger que le christianisme fait courir aux Nations qu’ils s’efforcent de ressusciter le paganisme. Archaïques, sommes-nous, archaïques, voulons-nous rester. Sauf que la désacralisation du monde a ouvert la route à des moyens techniques nous donnant les moyens de destruction inimaginable. Certains s’y sont essayés, ils ont succombé sous le poids de leur propre puissance après avoir fait des millions de victimes. Difficile de jouer à l’homme archaïque lorsque l’on tient en main la bombe atomique. La page blanche est impossible. D’autres rejettent tout ce qui ramène l’humanité à ses origines sacrificielles comme autant de preuve de la culpabilité humaine. Ils réclament toujours moins de rites, moins d’interdits, moins de frontières. Pour eux, les différences culturelles sont autant de traces d’un passé archaïque déshonorant. Ce faisant, ils oublient que ce qui est un remède certes imparfait, est tout de même un remède à une violence pire encore. Quoi qu’on dise, nous sommes toujours aussi mimétiques que nos primitifs ancêtres. Il y a fort à parier que dans ces conditions, nous retournions en deçà de la culture. L’humanité, à l’échelle planétaire, redeviendrait un de ces groupements d’humains indifférenciés soumis à des rivalités internes permanentes. Le pire nous menace encore puisque ces rivalités ne peuvent se résoudre dans un mécanisme sacrificiel désormais interdit. À moins que, comble d’ironie, l’interdit de l’interdit vienne remplacer comme une simagrée de l’Antéchrist l’interdit archaïque et devienne à son tour un argument d’exclusion. D’autres encore, ayant si bien lu René Girard au point de savoir que la violence prolifère parmi les frères, cherchent à mimer la mise à distance archaïque créée par les rites et les interdits, par le truchement de la puissance technologique. Les écrans d’ordinateur ne sont pas des fenêtres sur le monde, contrairement à ce que la publicité nous laisse croire. Ce sont de véritables écrans, nous protégeant de la vraie rencontre, celle qui nous fait prendre le risque de la rivalité lorsque nous appelons notre prochain, frère. Les relations seront régulées par le sans-contact. Les réseaux sociaux seront érigés en temple des nouveaux rites, les centres de big data en tabernacle dont les employés seront les grands prêtres sans visage. Grimace de rite dont le ridicule n’a d’égal que le sacré dont nous entourons nos ordinateurs et les chiffres qu’ils produisent. L’alliance de l’archaïque et de la technique risque fort d’accoucher d’une humanité qui n’aura plus d’humanité que le nom. Marie Girard
Quel étrangement interminable assassinat politique ?
En ce cinquième anniversaire de la disparition de l’anthropologue franco-américain René Girard
Et après une chasse au sorcières et même un quasi-procès de Moscou en direct et en continu de plus de quatre ans …
Sans parler d’une élection où, entre votes sans contact et sans contrôle sous prétexte d’épidémie, tous les coups auront décidément été permis
Qui en une rare unanimité, sur fond d’incessants appels à l’unité, aura réuni élites politiques, économiques, médiatiques, universitaires, artistiques et culturelles …
Accompagnée comme il se doit, entre ultime diabolisation de l’hitlérisation, véritable peste, iconoclasme, autodafés, processions de génuflexants et antisémitisme, de tous les signes et prodiges immémoriaux …
Cette étrangement interminable mise à mort d’un président américain …
Qui y compris contre son propre intérêt ou message, comme la provocation systématique sur les masques et dans le premier débat
Aura décidément jusqu’au bout refusé de jouer le jeu
Comment ne pas voir …
A l’instar de la polémique qui a suivi aux Etats-Unis il y a un an la vente d’un tableau de Trump en Christ
Alors que nous achevons d’éradiquer tous les Christs de nos lieux publics …
Au-delà, en ces temps de victimisation triomphante, de la légendaire propensité de l’impétrant à la chose …
Au moment même où ils semblent enfin avoir obtenu son expulsion définitive …
La proprement extraordinaire difficulté des tenants du sans-frontières et du sans-contact …
Sur fond de révélation aussi paradoxale que potentiellement désastreuse pour les pouvoirs en place …
A réconcilier les Américains et le monde …
Sur le dos du seul Trump honni ?

Il y a cinq ans René Girard, grand penseur de la violence et du sacré, nous quittait…
FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – La disparition de René Girard en novembre 2015 fut vite éclipsée, quelques jours plus tard, par les attentats du 13 novembre. Sa petite-nièce Marie Girard, présidente de la Société des amis de Joseph et René Girard, rend hommage à l’incontounable anthropologue qu’il fut et à son oeuvre qu’elle juge essentielle pour comprendre le déchaînement de la violence religieuse aujourd’hui.
Marie Girard
Le Figaro
17 novembre 2020
Marie Girard, petite-nièce de René Girard, est présidente de la Société des amis de Joseph & René Girard.

Le 4 novembre 2015, René Girard était enlevé à l’affection des siens. Dix jours après sa mort, on entendait des tirs de Kalachnikov en plein cœur de Paris. La France vivait en direct la tuerie du Bataclan. Encore quelques jours et des troupes d’élite donnaient l’assaut à deux pas de la basilique Saint Denis. Souvenirs inséparables: René Girard, le penseur de la violence et du sacré, n’a pas connu l’épisode tragique que toute son œuvre permettait de penser.

1947, René Girard, jeune chartiste, quittait sa terre natale et l’Europe ensanglantée. Il est hanté par le déferlement de violence qui a saisi l’humanité durant ces années: les camps de concentrations, les ruines fumantes de Nagasaki et Hiroshima, la pluie des bombes incendiaires qui mit l’Allemagne à genou. Affrontement entre deux blocs tétanisés par leur propre puissance de feu, croissance économique époustouflante anesthésiant les consciences, tels semblent être les nouveaux atours de la paix.

Pourtant René Girard ne s’en laisse pas conter par les chantres du progrès, il pressent que ce n’est pas la fin de l’histoire. Il voit que le monde se défait, que l’Occident se désintègre. Il sait que cela ne se fera pas sans violence. Mais quel sera le visage de cette violence à l’heure où la guerre et ses codes ont disparu? Il sait que ce ne seront pas les sciences politiques qui lui donneront le sens de ce qui nous arrive. Non, il doit aller chercher au plus profond de la nature humaine pour comprendre.

1961, publication de Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque: ce n’est pas l’érudition «des sages et des savants» que René Girard convoque, mais la lucidité des romanciers. Don Quichotte, Mme Bovary, À la recherche du temps perdu ou Le rouge et le noir lui révèlent que l’Homme est le plus mimétique, le plus imitateur des animaux et donc le plus violent. Si les Hommes s’imitent pour le meilleur rendant possible l’apprentissage c’est-à-dire l’intelligence et le langage, ils imitent aussi leur désir. Ils entrent alors en rivalité autour du même objet désiré.

Lorsque la rivalité se généralise, que la communauté est en proie à une crise de violence mimétique.

1972, publication de La violence et le sacré : après la littérature, René Girard prend les mythes au sérieux et montre que la culture et le religieux sont évitement de la violence. Lorsque la rivalité se généralise, que la communauté est en proie à une crise de violence mimétique, elle désigne un individu responsable de la crise. Elle l’accuse puis le tue. Aussitôt la communauté se réconcilie et retrouve la paix en s’unifiant contre ce bouc émissaire.

Du chaos et du désordre émerge l’ordre: «À travers la violence qui les terrifie c’est la non-violence que vise toujours l’adoration des fidèles. La non-violence apparaît comme un don gratuit de la violence et cette apparence n’est pas sans raison puisque les hommes ne sont jamais capables de se réconcilier qu’aux dépens d’un tiers. Ce que les hommes peuvent faire de mieux dans l’ordre de la non-violence, c’est l’unanimité moins un de la victime émissaire.» Apparaissent alors le sacré et le religieux.

En effet la victime qui, par sa mort, soude la collectivité, est divinisée puisqu’elle sauve la communauté de la destruction. C’est l’émergence du dieu archaïque. Mais la vertu apaisante du meurtre fondateur s’amenuise petit à petit. On replonge alors dans de nouvelles crises. Pour les éviter, on reproduit le meurtre fondateur sous une forme moins violente avec des victimes de substitution que l’on considère comme sacrées. Le sacrifice rituel est une violence cathartique.

René Girard donne, à partir de l’imitation du désir, de la rivalité puis de la violence qu’elle génère, une explication des deux piliers de l’organisation des sociétés archaïques: les interdits qui séparent les rivaux potentiels et les sacrifices qui leur permettent de se réconcilier. Nous apprenons que «l’homme est issu du sacrifice, il est donc fils du religieux» . Le religieux est seul capable de contenir des conflits capables de détruire des groupes humains.

La Crucifixion du Christ révèle le mécanisme sacrificiel qui fonde toute société humaine.

1978, publication de Des choses cachées depuis la fondation du monde : René Girard, à la suite de Simone Weil et au grand dam des universitaires patentés, découvre que la Bible avant d’être une science de Dieu est une anthropologie, une science de l’Homme. Après avoir montré que nous n’étions pas libres face à nos propres désirs, le voilà commentant des fratricides, le meurtre d’Abel par Caïn, le lynchage de Joseph par ses frères, et cela à la lumière de la théorie du bouc émissaire dit-on, mais surtout à la lumière de la Passion du Christ.

La Crucifixion du Christ révèle le mécanisme sacrificiel qui fonde toute société humaine. Désormais, nous savons tous que la victime est innocente. Le texte évangélique au lieu de dénoncer la culpabilité de la victime comme le fait le récit mythique – Œdipe a commis le parricide et l’inceste – nous dévoile l’innocence complète de la victime. Le christianisme dit pour la première fois notre culpabilité, et non celle de la victime aussi divine serait-elle. «La Passion a dévoilé une fois pour toute l’origine sacrificielle de l’humanité. Elle a défait le sacré en révélant sa violence» .

Désormais, nous devons vivre avec cette impossibilité de désigner des boucs-émissaires la conscience tranquille. Nous sommes privés des processus de différenciation liée à l’émergence d’une culture: «il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni homme libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme, car vous tous, vous êtes un en Jésus-Christ» écrit Saint Paul aux Galates. Désormais on ne sacrifie plus des victimes innocentes pour nous permettre de vivre en paix.

Désormais, nous devons nous passer des rites, des interdits et du sacré, qui s’ils conservent une part de violence, sont avant tout des freins à la violence et surtout les fondements de toute culture. Nous pourrions, à première vue, nous en réjouir. Mais René Girard nous prévient. Dans l’introduction d’Achever Clausewitz, il écrit: «le verrou du meurtre fondateur, levé par la Passion, libère aujourd’hui une violence planétaire, sans qu’on puisse refermer ce qui a été ouvert» . Désormais, comment nos crises mimétiques pourront-elles se résoudre? Nous sommes débarrassés des massacres rituels sanglants et nous nous perdons.

Avec René Girard, nous comprenons que l’Occident et le monde cherchent désespérément une issue.

À la barbe des tenants de la laïcité la plus rigide, René Girard est un immense apologète du christianisme, mais d’un christianisme qui est «la seule religion qui aura prévu son propre échec» puisqu’il ne crée plus le sacré qui nous sauverait. Mais surtout, il montre que nous pensons et nous agissons tous, chrétiens ou non, à travers ce qui s’est passé, il y a deux mille ans au Golgotha. Même les pires contempteurs de l’Occident chrétien tiennent un discours chrétien lorsqu’ils viennent demander réparation au nom de l’innocence des victimes. Avec René Girard, nous comprenons que l’Occident et le monde cherchent désespérément une issue.

Certains ont si parfaitement compris le danger que le christianisme fait courir aux Nations qu’ils s’efforcent de ressusciter le paganisme. Archaïques, sommes-nous, archaïques, voulons-nous rester. Sauf que la désacralisation du monde a ouvert la route à des moyens techniques nous donnant les moyens de destruction inimaginable. Certains s’y sont essayés, ils ont succombé sous le poids de leur propre puissance après avoir fait des millions de victimes. Difficile de jouer à l’homme archaïque lorsque l’on tient en main la bombe atomique. La page blanche est impossible.

D’autres rejettent tout ce qui ramène l’humanité à ses origines sacrificielles comme autant de preuve de la culpabilité humaine. Ils réclament toujours moins de rites, moins d’interdits, moins de frontières. Pour eux, les différences culturelles sont autant de traces d’un passé archaïque déshonorant. Ce faisant, ils oublient que ce qui est un remède certes imparfait, est tout de même un remède à une violence pire encore. Quoi qu’on dise, nous sommes toujours aussi mimétiques que nos primitifs ancêtres.

Il y a fort à parier que dans ces conditions, nous retournions en deçà de la culture. L’humanité, à l’échelle planétaire, redeviendrait un de ces groupements d’humains indifférenciés soumis à des rivalités internes permanentes. Le pire nous menace encore puisque ces rivalités ne peuvent se résoudre dans un mécanisme sacrificiel désormais interdit. À moins que, comble d’ironie, l’interdit de l’interdit vienne remplacer comme une simagrée de l’Antéchrist l’interdit archaïque et devienne à son tour un argument d’exclusion.

D’autres encore, ayant si bien lu René Girard au point de savoir que la violence prolifère parmi les frères, cherchent à mimer la mise à distance archaïque créée par les rites et les interdits, par le truchement de la puissance technologique. Les écrans d’ordinateur ne sont pas des fenêtres sur le monde, contrairement à ce que la publicité nous laisse croire. Ce sont de véritables écrans, nous protégeant de la vraie rencontre, celle qui nous fait prendre le risque de la rivalité lorsque nous appelons notre prochain, frère.

Les relations seront régulées par le sans-contact. Les réseaux sociaux seront érigés en temple des nouveaux rites, les centres de big data en tabernacle dont les employés seront les grands prêtres sans visage. Grimace de rite dont le ridicule n’a d’égal que le sacré dont nous entourons nos ordinateurs et les chiffres qu’ils produisent. L’alliance de l’archaïque et de la technique risque fort d’accoucher d’une humanité qui n’aura plus d’humanité que le nom.

En aucun cas, il ne faut chercher dans l’œuvre de René Girard un manifeste politique pour un monde meilleur.

En aucun cas, il ne faut chercher dans l’œuvre de René Girard un manifeste politique pour un monde meilleur. «Je cherche à montrer que le monde actuel est impensable sans le christianisme. Un point, c’est tout» . René Girard est un catholique, il n’attend pas la fin de l’Église comme accomplissement du christianisme: «les portes du séjour des morts ne prévaudront point contre elle» (Mt, 16-18).

Il connaît la valeur du rite, mais il le renvoie à une position seconde, comme un outil de l’amour: «Quand donc tu présentes ton offrande à l’autel, si là tu te souviens d’un grief que ton frère a contre toi, laisse là ton offrande devant l’autel et va d’abord te réconcilier avec ton frère ; puis revient, et alors présente ton offrande» (Mt, 5-23).

René Girard est le disciple d’un Dieu capable de renoncer à sa toute-puissance pour nous laisser libres. Inlassablement, il dira que nous ne sommes pas assez chrétiens. Il sait que «la Passion a libéré la violence autant que la Sainteté». René Girard nous engage sur une voie radicale, celle de l’humilité: «Comprendre les hommes, leur constant paradoxe, leur innocence, leur culpabilité, c’est comprendre que nous sommes tous responsables de cet état de choses puisque, à la différence du Christ, nous n’en mourrons pas» .

Il ne cherche pas à nous rassurer. Il cherche à donner un sens à ce qui nous arrive: «plus que jamais, j’ai la conviction que l’histoire a un sens ; que ce sens est redoutable ; mais qu’ ‘’aux lieux du péril, croît aussi ce qui sauve’’». Sur ces derniers mots d’espérance nous laissant à nos responsabilités d’Hommes libérés, le crayon lui glissa des mains.

Voir aussi:

The Washington Post
December 18, 2019

With hours of debate to fill before President Trump is impeached and only a minute or two for each member to make an impact, there is a premium on getting your point across.

Hence, a series of vivid metaphors.

Republicans, in particular, have set about comparing Trump’s impeachment to all manner of historical atrocities. Trump got the ball rolling Tuesday by comparing his treatment unfavorably to the Salem witch trials. “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials,” he wrote.

But his GOP colleagues believed they had some even better comparisons.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) decided that Trump was denied even the feeble due process that Pontius Pilate granted Jesus before his crucifixion.

“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers,” Loudermilk said. “During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”

Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) invoked Jesus’ crucifixion — specifically when Jesus, on the cross, asked God to forgive those who had wronged him.

“So I want Democrats voting for impeachment today to know that I’ll be praying for them,” Keller said. “From the Gospel of Luke, the 23rd chapter, verse 34: And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ ”

There are, of course, problems with these comparisons. One is that the accused witches in Salem were systematically violated — including physically — and that, while they were afforded at least some theoretical ability to defend themselves, they were essentially required to prove a negative while the evidence against them was accepted at face value. The argument with Jesus is apparently that Trump hasn’t been able to confront the anonymous whistleblower who first brought the Ukraine scandal to light. But the gospels of Matthew and Mark suggest Jesus was essentially found guilty before the trial began. He was also crucified, while the alleged witches were hanged, so the punishment involved there is on a slightly different level. Trump, by contrast, will have a trial in which the rules will be determined by his allies and he will be allowed to remain as president.

Shortly after Loudermilk spoke, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) offered his own comparison, saying Trump’s impeachment was more like Pearl Harbor. Here are his comments:

In addition to Christmas being something we celebrate, the Boston Tea Party took place in December, but also on December 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States. And this one that President Roosevelt said, ‘This is a date that will live in infamy.’ Today, December the 18th, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy — when just because you hate the president of the United States and you can find no other reason other than the fact that you’re so blinded by your hate that you can’t see straight that you’ve decided the only way we can make sure this president doesn’t get elected again is to impeach him.

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) offered his own vivid imagery without going for historical metaphors.

“I have descended into the belly of the beast. I have witnessed a terror within,” he began. “And I was committed to oppose the insidious forces which threaten our republic. America has been severely injured by this betrayal, by this unjust and weaponized impeachment brought upon us by the same socialists who threaten unborn life in the womb, who threaten First Amendment rights of conservatives, who threaten Second Amendment protections of every American patriot, and who have long ago determined that they would organize and conspire to overthrow President Trump.

Democrats certainly spoke in stark terms about the harm Trump has done and about the danger of allowing what he has done to go unpunished. But they were generally focused on appearing solemn.

At one point, though, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) did compare what Trump is doing to shooting the Constitution.

“Donald Trump recently said I can do anything I want. He also bragged that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it,” Richmond said. “Well, he’s shooting holes in our Constitution on Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) also responded to GOP arguments that Democrats were unnecessarily dividing the country by comparing this moment in history to abolishing slavery and Jim Crow and to giving women the right to vote.

“There are some who cynically argue that the impeachment of this president will further divide an already-fractured union,” he said. “But there is a difference between division and clarification. Slavery once divided the nation, but emancipation rose up to clarify that all men are created equally. Suffrage once divided the nation, but women rose up to clarify that all voices must be heard in our democracy. Jim Crow once divided the nation, but civil rights champions rose up to clarify that all are entitled to equal protection under the law. There is a difference between division and clarification. »

Voir également:

Le 17 décembre 2019

À l’Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Présidente de la Chambre des Représentants

Washington, D.C. 20515

Chère Madame la Présidente

Je vous écris pour protester avec la plus forte et plus vive énergie contre la croisade de destitution partisane déclenchée par les démocrates de la Chambre des Représentants. Cette procédure d’impeachment constitue un abus de pouvoir sans précédent et inconstitutionnel de la part des législateurs démocrates, sans équivalent en près de deux siècles et demi d’histoire législative américaine.

Les articles de mise en accusation avancés par la Commission aux affaires judiciaires de la Chambre sont inadmissibles au regard de toute jurisprudence, interprétation ou théorie constitutionnelle. Ils n’incluent absolument aucun crime, infraction ou délit. Vous avez dévalorisé l’importance de ce si vilain mot, la destitution !

En décidant d’aller de l’avant avec votre procédure de destitution invalide, vous violez votre serment, vous rompez avec votre allégeance envers la Constitution, et vous déclarez ouvertement la guerre à la démocratie américaine. Vous osez invoquer les Pères fondateurs au nom de cette combine qui vise à annuler l’élection — et pourtant, vos actions malveillantes font preuve d’un mépris sans borne pour la fondation de l’Amérique et votre conduite scandaleuse menace de détruire ce que nos Fondateurs avaient consacré leurs vies mêmes à bâtir. Pire encore que d’offenser les Pères fondateurs, vous offensez les Américains qui ont la foi en ne cessant de dire “je prie pour le président”, alors que vous savez que cette déclaration est mensongère, à moins qu’elle n’ait une intention négative. Ce que vous faites est terrible, mais c’est vous qui allez devoir vivre avec, pas moi !

Votre première affirmation, “Abus de pouvoir”, est une invention complètement hypocrite, sans valeur et infondée de votre imagination. Vous savez que j’ai eu une conversation tout à fait innocente avec le président de l’Ukraine. Puis j’ai eu une deuxième conversation dont les citations ont été détournées, déformées et présentées de manière frauduleuse. Heureusement, une transcription de la conversation a été réalisée, et vous savez, à partir de cette transcription (qui a été immédiatement rendue accessible), que le paragraphe en question était parfait. J’ai dit au président Zelensky : “Mais je voudrais que nous rendiez un service, parce que notre pays a connu beaucoup de difficultés et que l’Ukraine en sait beaucoup là-dessus.” Je lui ai dit de nous rendre service, pas à moi, et à notre pays, pas à une campagne. Puis j’ai mentionné le ministre de la Justice des États-Unis. Chaque fois que je parle avec un dirigeant étranger, je fais passer les intérêts de l’Amérique en premier, exactement comme je l’ai fait avec le président Zelensky.

Vous transformez un désaccord politique entre deux branches du gouvernement en un crime passible de destitution — ce n’est pas plus légitime que si l’exécutif accusait des membres du Congrès de crimes pour avoir exercé leur pouvoir législatif légal.

Vous savez parfaitement que le vice-président Biden a utilisé ses fonctions et 1 milliard de dollars d’aide américaine pour obliger l’Ukraine à limoger le procureur qui enquêtait sur l’entreprise qui versait à son fils des millions de dollars. Vous le savez parce que Biden s’en est vanté en vidéo. Biden a déclaré ouvertement : “J’ai dit : ‘Je vous préviens, vous ne l’aurez pas, le milliard de dollars’… je les ai regardés et j’ai dit : ‘Je pars dans six heures. Si le procureur n’est pas limogé, vous ne toucherez pas l’argent.’ Eh bien, nom de Dieu, il a été viré.” Même Joe Biden a admis il y a quelques jours à peine dans une interview avec [la radio publique] NPR, que ça la “fichait mal”. Et maintenant, vous voulez me destituer en m’accusant à tort de faire ce que Joe Biden admet avoir vraiment fait.

Le président Zelensky a déclaré à plusieurs reprises que je n’avais rien fait de mal, et qu’il n’y avait eu Aucune Pression. En plus, il a souligné que ça avait été une “bonne conversation”, “je ne ressens pas de pression” [a-t-il dit], et il a explicitement insisté sur le fait que “personne ne [l’a] bousculé”. Le ministre ukrainien des Affaires étrangères a clairement déclaré : “Je n’ai jamais vu de lien direct entre les enquêtes et l’aide dans le domaine de la sécurité.” Lui aussi a dit qu’il n’y avait “Aucune Pression”. Le sénateur [républicain] Ron Johnson, du Wisconsin, qui soutient l’Ukraine et a rencontré le président Zelensky en privé, a dit : “À aucun moment pendant cette rencontre […], Zelensky ni aucun autre Ukrainien n’ont mentionné avoir l’impression d’être pressurés afin de faire quelque chose en échange de l’aide militaire.” Il y a eu beaucoup de rencontres entre des représentants de l’Ukraine et notre pays. Pas une fois l’Ukraine ne s’est plainte d’être victime de pressions — pas une fois ! L’ambassadeur Sondland a témoigné que je lui avais dit : “Pas de prêté pour un rendu. Je ne veux rien. Je ne veux rien. Je veux que le président Zelensky fasse ce qu’il faut, ce pour quoi il avait fait campagne.”

La deuxième affirmation, la prétendue “Obstruction au Congrès”, est grotesque et dangereuse. Les démocrates de la Chambre cherchent à destituer le président légitimement élu des États-Unis pour avoir revendiqué des privilèges inscrits dans la Constitution revendiqués sur une base bi-partisane par les gouvernements des deux partis politiques tout au long de l’histoire de notre Nation. Selon ce critère, tous les présidents américains auraient été destitués plusieurs fois. Comme avait prévenu le professeur de droit Jonathan Turley, qui est de gauche, en s’adressant aux démocrates du Congrès : “Je ne saurais trop insister […] si vous destituez un président, si vous commettez le crime grave d’aller devant les tribunaux, c’est un abus de pouvoir. C’est votre abus de pouvoir. Vous faites justement ce que vous reprochez au président de faire.”

Tout le monde, vous comprise, sait ce qui est en train de se passer en réalité. Votre candidat [la démocrate Hillary Clinton] a perdu l’élection en 2016, de façon écrasante au Collège électoral (306-227), et vous et votre parti ne vous êtes jamais remis de cette défaite. Vous avez contracté une forme aiguë de ce que beaucoup dans les médias appellent le Syndrome de démence de Trump et malheureusement, vous ne vous en sortirez jamais ! Vous ne voulez pas, vous ne pouvez pas accepter le verdict des urnes lors de la grande Élection de 2016. Donc, vous avez passé trois années d’affilée à tenter de revenir sur la décision du peuple américain et d’annuler son vote. Vous considérez la démocratie comme votre ennemie !

Présidente Pelosi, la semaine dernière encore, lors d’un forum public, vous avez admis que la campagne de destitution de votre parti durait depuis deux ans et demi, longtemps avant d’avoir entendu parler d’un coup de téléphone avec l’Ukraine. Il y avait dix-neuf minutes que j’avais prêté serment quand le Washington Post a publié un article intitulé La campagne de destitution du président Trump a commencé. Moins de trois mois après mon investiture, la députée [démocrate] Maxine Waters a lancé : “Je me battrai tous les jours jusqu’à ce qu’il soit destitué.”

Les démocrates de la Chambre ont présenté la première résolution de destitution contre moi quelques mois après mon investiture, pour ce qui sera considéré comme l’une des meilleures décisions de notre pays, le renvoi de [l’ex directeur du FBI] James Comey (voir les rapports de l’Inspecteur général) — qui, le monde le sait aujourd’hui, est un des flics les plus corrompus que notre Nation ait jamais connu. Une députée [démocrate] du Congrès, Rashida Tlaib, a hurlé et déliré quelques heures après avoir pris ses fonctions : “On va y aller, et on va destituer ce fils de p…” En mai, le député [démocrate] Al Green a dit : “Je redoute que si nous ne destituons pas ce président, il va être réélu.” Encore une fois, vous et vos alliés avez fait et dit toutes ces choses longtemps avant d’avoir jamais entendu parler du président Zelensky ou de quoi que ce soit en lien avec l’Ukraine. Comme vous le savez très bien, la campagne de destitution n’a rien à voir avec l’Ukraine, ou avec la conversation tout à fait appropriée que j’ai eue avec son nouveau président. Elle n’a à voir qu’avec votre tentative d’annuler l’élection de 2016 et de voler l’élection de 2020 !

Le député [démocrate à la tête de la commission du renseignement de la Chambre des représentants] Adam Schiff n’a cessé de mentir et tricher jusqu’à aujourd’hui, allant même jusqu’à inventer de manière frauduleuse, à partir de rien, ma conversation avec le président Zelensky de l’Ukraine, et de lire cette fantaisie au Congrès comme si c’était moi qui l’avais dit. Ses mensonges et ses tromperies honteuses, qui remontent jusqu’au canular sur [l’ingérence de la] Russie, sont une des principales raisons pour lesquelles nous en sommes là aujourd’hui.

Vous et votre parti cherchez désespérément à détourner l’attention de l’extraordinaire économie, du boom incroyable de l’emploi, des records sur les marchés, de la confiance en hausse et de la prospérité des citoyens en Amérique. Votre parti ne peut tout simplement pas concurrencer notre réussite : 7 millions de nouveaux emplois ; le taux de chômage le plus bas jamais enregistré pour les Africains-Américains, les Hispaniques-Américains, et les Asiatiques-Américains ; une armée reconstruite ; une réforme complète du ministère des Anciens combattants avec Choix et Responsabilité pour nos formidables vétérans ; plus de 170 nouveaux juges fédéraux et deux juges à la Cour suprême ; des réductions historiques d’impôts et de réglementation ; la suppression du mandat individuel [principale disposition de la réforme de l’assurance-maladie d’Obama] ; la première baisse des prix des médicaments sur ordonnance en cinquante ans ; la première nouvelle arme de l’armée de États-Unis depuis 1947 : la Force spatiale ; une vigoureuse protection du Deuxième Amendement [de la Constitution qui garantit le droit au port d’armes] ; la réforme de la justice pénale ; la défaite du califat de l’Etat Islamique et l’élimination du chef terroriste numéro un au monde, Al-Baghdadi ; le remplacement de l’ALENA, cet accord commercial désastreux, par le merveilleux USMCA (Mexique et Canada) ; un accord commercial de Phase Un avec la Chine, ce qui est une percée ; de nouveaux gigantesques accords commerciaux avec le Japon et la Corée du Sud ; le retrait du terrible accord sur le nucléaire avec l’Iran ; l’annulation de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat, injuste et coûteux ; le fait d’être devenu le premier producteur mondial d’énergie ; la reconnaissance de la capitale d’Israël, l’ouverture de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, et la reconnaissance de la souveraineté israélienne sur les hauteurs du Golan ; une réduction colossale des passages illégaux à la frontière, la fin du système de remise en liberté des clandestins arrêtés, et la construction du Mur de la Frontière sud — et ce n’est que le début, il y a tellement d’autres choses. Vous ne pouvez pas défendre votre politique extrémiste — l’ouverture des frontières, les migrations massives, la criminalité élevée, les impôts écrasants, le système de santé socialisé, la destruction de l’énergie américaine, l’avortement tardif aux frais du contribuable, l’élimination du Deuxième Amendement, les théories radicales d’extrême gauche sur la loi et la justice, et l’obstruction partisane constante tant au sens commun qu’au bien de tous.

Je n’aimerais rien tant que cesser d’appeler votre parti “les Démocrates qui ne font rien”. Malheureusement, je ne crois pas que vous m’en donnerez jamais l’occasion.

Au bout de trois ans d’enquêtes injustes et injustifiées, 45 millions de dollars dépensés, 18 procureurs démocrates furieux, toute la force du FBI, dirigé par une hiérarchie dont il est aujourd’hui prouvé qu’elle est totalement incompétente et corrompue, vous n’avez RIEN trouvé ! Peu de gens qui occupent de hautes fonctions auraient enduré ou passé ce test. Vous ne savez pas, et vous vous en moquez, quels terribles dommages et quelles souffrances vous avez infligés aux membres merveilleux et aimants de ma famille. Vous avez mené une enquête bidon sur le président démocratiquement élu des États-Unis, et vous êtes en train de recommencer.

Il n’y a pas beaucoup de gens qui auraient accepté le châtiment infligé pendant ce laps de temps, et qui auraient pourtant autant fait pour le succès de l’Amérique et de ses citoyens. Mais au lieu de faire passer notre pays en premier, vous avez décidé de déshonorer un peu plus notre pays. Vous avez complètement échoué avec le rapport [du procureur spécial chargé de l’enquête sur l’ingérence russe Robert] Mueller parce qu’il n’y avait rien à trouver, donc vous avez décidé de prendre le premier canular qui se présentait, la conversation téléphonique avec l’Ukraine — alors même que c’était un appel parfait. Et d’ailleurs, quand je parle à des pays étrangers, il y a beaucoup de gens, autorisés, qui écoutent l’appel des deux côtés de la conversation.

C’est vous qui manipulez les élections des États-Unis. C’est vous qui corrompez la Démocratie américaine. C’est vous qui êtes coupable d’Entrave à la justice. C’est vous qui portez préjudice à notre République dans le but de servir vos égoïstes intérêts individuels, politiques et militants.

Avant le Canular de la Destitution, il y a eu la Chasse aux sorcières russe. En dépit du bon sens, au mépris de la vérité, vous et vos collaborateurs avez affirmé que mon équipe de campagne avait comploté avec les Russes – un mensonge calomnieux, malicieux et gravissime, une invention sans pareil. Vous avez contraint notre Nation à subir tracas et tourments à cause d’une histoire montée de toutes pièces, achetée illégalement par Hillary Clinton et le Comité national démocrate à un espion étranger dans le but de porter atteinte à notre démocratie. Et pourtant, quand ce mensonge monstrueux a été mis au jour et que le complot des démocrates a été anéanti, vous n’avez pas présenté d’excuses. Vous ne vous êtes pas rétractée. Vous n’avez pas demandé pardon. Vous n’avez fait preuve d’aucun remords, d’aucune forme d’introspection. Non, vous avez entamé une nouvelle croisade malveillante et diffamatoire – vous avez imaginé une façon de coincer et de calomnier un innocent. Vous avez agi uniquement par calcul politique personnel. Votre présidence de la Chambre des représentants et votre parti sont pris en otage par les éléments les plus dérangés et radicaux de l’extrême gauche. Chacun de vos membres vit dans la crainte qu’un adversaire socialiste ne les défient aux primaires – voilà ce qui motive en vérité la procédure de destitution. Regardez celle qui veut prendre la place du député Jerry Nadler. Regardez-vous, regardez votre entourage. N’entraînez pas votre pays dans la chute de votre parti.

Si vous vous souciiez réellement de la liberté au sein de notre Nation, alors vous chercheriez, avec vos considérables moyens d’enquête, à faire toute la lumière sur les abus de pouvoir scandaleux du FBI avant, pendant et après l’élection de 2016 – notamment l’espionnage de mon équipe de campagne, la remise de fausses preuves au Tribunal de surveillance du renseignement étranger, et la dissimulation de preuves à décharge en vue de piéger l’innocent. Le FBI compte dans ses rangs des employés très honorables, mais ses dirigeants sont incompétents et corrompus. Je pensais que vous seriez personnellement scandalisée par ces révélations, car lors de votre conférence de presse, le jour où vous avez ouvert l’enquête pour impeachment, vous avez lié directement cette initiative au Canular Russe qui avait été complètement discrédité. Vous avez par deux fois déclaré que “toutes les routes mènent à Poutine” en sachant pertinemment que c’était un mensonge abject. Je me suis montré bien plus intraitable avec la Russie que ne l’a jamais envisagé le président Obama.

Tout parlementaire qui votera en faveur de l’impeachment – au mépris de la vérité, des faits, des preuves et de la règle de droit – révélera son profond dédain pour les électeurs et sa véritable aversion pour l’ordre constitutionnel des États-Unis. Nos fondateurs craignaient le tribalisme provoqué par la politique de parti et vous donnez vie à leurs pires craintes.

Pire encore, j’ai été privé d’une Procédure Respectueuse de la Constitution dès le début de cette farce et jusqu’à aujourd’hui. J’ai été privé des droits les plus élémentaires prévus par la Constitution, notamment le droit de présenter des éléments de preuve, d’être représenté par un avocat, de faire face à mes accusateurs, et de convoquer et de contre-interroger des témoins – en particulier le supposé lanceur d’alerte qui a déclenché ce canular par sa fausse déclaration sur une conversation téléphonique sans aucun lien avec la conversation qui a réellement eu lieu. Dès que j’ai présenté la transcription de l’appel, ce qui a surpris et choqué les escrocs (ils n’avaient pas imaginé que ce type de document serait révélé), le soi-disant lanceur d’alerte, et aussi le deuxième lanceur d’alerte, ont disparu car ils s’étaient fait prendre, leur signalement était frauduleux et il n’a plus été possible d’être en contact avec eux.

En d’autres termes, dès que la conversation téléphonique a été rendue publique, votre petit complot a volé en éclats, mais ça ne vous a pas empêché de continuer.

Le procès des sorcières de Salem ne comptait pas tant d’irrégularités.

Vous et les membres de vos commissions affirmez depuis longtemps que la procédure de destitution doit avoir le soutien des deux partis – en l’occurrence ce n’est pas le cas. Vous avez déclaré que la procédure était source de divisions – c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire, et ces divisions sont bien plus profondes que vous n’osiez l’imaginer – et ça ne fera qu’empirer !

Tout cela n’est autre qu’une tentative de coup d’État illégale et militante, qui, si l’on en croit l’opinion publique ces derniers temps, se soldera par un échec cuisant dans les urnes. Vous n’en voulez pas qu’à moi, le président, vous en voulez au Parti républicain tout entier. Mais en raison de cette injustice colossale, l’unité de notre parti n’a jamais été si forte. Le jugement de l’Histoire sera impitoyable face à cette comédie que vous jouez. On ne retiendra de vous que la transformation de la Chambre des représentants, vénérable organe législatif, en tribunal arbitraire présidant à des persécutions partiales.

Vous feignez la solennité et c’est sans doute ce qui m’est le plus insultant. Vous avez, semble-t-il, si peu de respect pour les citoyens des États-Unis que vous les croyez dupes de votre démarche soi-disant grave, réservée et réticente. Toute personne dotée d’intelligence n’en croit pas un mot. Dès l’instant où j’ai été élu, le Parti démocrate a été en proie à la Fièvre de la Destitution. Vous n’affichez aucune réticence. Cette affaire n’a rien de grave. Vous tournez en dérision la procédure d’impeachment et vous masquez à peine la haine que vous inspire ma personne, le Parti républicain et des dizaines de millions d’Américains patriotes. Les électeurs font preuve de sagesse et ils voient clair dans votre jeu creux, stérile et dangereux.

Nul doute que les citoyens américains vous mettront, ainsi que le Parti démocrate, face à vos responsabilités lors de l’élection de 2020. Ils ne sont pas près d’oublier la subversion de la justice et les abus de pouvoir dont vous vous rendez coupables.

Il y a tant d’autres choses à faire pour améliorer la vie de nos concitoyens. Vous et les démocrates militants qui siègent au Congrès devez sans délai mettre un terme à ce fantasme de destitution ; vous devez vous remettre au service des citoyens américains. Je ne m’attends pas à ce que vous vous exécutiez, mais je vous adresse la présente lettre pour l’histoire et afin de consigner mes pensées de manière immuable et indélébile.

Dans un siècle, quand les gens repenseront à cette affaire, je souhaite qu’ils la comprennent et qu’ils en tirent des leçons, afin qu’aucun autre président ne puisse vivre la même chose.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués,

Donald Trump

Président des États-Unis d’Amérique

Voir de même:

Jacksonville artist’s Trump Messiah painting misunderstood by the masses

Art is a subjective term used to describe the viewer’s thoughts and feelings towards a specific piece of work.

However, an artist in Jacksonville only received negative responses to a painting he made but when he examined closer, it was exactly what he expected all along.

The artist goes by his initials B.S. and chose to do so after witnessing the backlash and alleged death threats given to local art broker Tristan Orvis when the two placed the painting up for sale on Facebook marketplace.

B.S. created controversy and hysteria from his painting titled “An Emotional Mirror” which shows President , as Jesus Christ, being crucified on the cross. He said he was inspired by the events surrounding President ’s impeachment trial in January.

At first glance, you can see Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as a Roman Soldier piercing Trump’s right side with a spear, wife Melania praying at his feet like the Virgin Mary, along with members of the media and several foreign presidents and dictator such as and Kim Jung-Un looking on.

The controversy is obvious as both liberals and conservatives showed their disgust at what they described as an abomination. The artist explained the meaning behind the painting is far more telling of how the viewer is supposed to see it.

B.S. described the painting as his intent to highlight and call into question within the viewer such notions as belief in religion and politics, along with how narrow the bridge is between the two. He also wished to spark the viewers’ thoughts on nationalism and the media influence on the country.

Its purpose? To start conversations between both parties while using the “emotional mirror” to look inside one’s self in order to take personal responsibility for how the country looks when discussing politics. What was made to be thought-provoking turned to bashing, according to Orvis.

“There are a lot of clear emotions that come with this and it caused a big knee jerk reaction. A lot of Americans, when they see his (Trump’s) face will come up with an opinion of liking or disliking him before reading an article or hearing the news,” Orvis said. “Both the liberal and conservative response to the artist was how sacrilegious the painting came off as.”

One man, claiming to be a catholic Christian crusader said the $5,000 price tag would be worth paying if he (Orvis) killed himself along with destroying the painting. Another individual joked that all conservative followers see Trump as a messiah and is the second coming of Jesus.

What was seemingly missed by the several thousand people who commented, shared or liked Orvis’s Facebook post, was almost no one responded by questioning themselves or their own party. Instead, they came together to chastise the artist and broker responsible for its content.

Things began to reach a boiling point when residents around Onslow began giving out Orvis’s address and kid’s names in an attempt to cause harm. Although he said none of the threats sounded like they held any weight, he will remain cautious until more time has passed.

The surprising part is that the two men claim they should have seen it coming, but it proved the point of the painting and that in the current state we live in, seeing is believing and no one is taking the time to actually look and see before believing their own preconceived notions about the political and religious climate.

“When you hear a democrat calling for the investigation of Trump and a republican calling for the investigation of Pelosi or (jJ Biden and neither asks what might be wrong with their own affiliation, just shows how devout that person has become,” explained B.S. “It is as though they are arguing dogmatic religious doctrine rather than having an honest debate.”

Unbelievably enough, the painting sold for $4,200 to a collector in Florida after only being on the market for a day and a half.

What Orvis said he learned from this experience is that it reminded him of a time where individuals were labeling themselves as Americans first and not by their race or political affiliations. He also hopes moving forward, people can come together for the betterment of the voters.

“One side wishes to see violent animosity released on ad the other half shows him to be this infallible savior. That won’t get us anywhere but getting people to think outside the box at what they are looking at could potentially begin to turn around how we see and react to the idea of politics in our county,” Orvis said.

Voir enfin:
The White house

Washington

December 17, 2019

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Dear Madam Speaker:

I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history.

The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever. You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!

By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy. You dare to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme — yet your spiteful actions display unfettered contempt for America’s founding and your egregious conduct threatens to destroy that which our Founders pledged their very lives to build. Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying « I pray for the President, » when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!
Founding Fathers

Your first claim, « Abuse of Power, » is a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of your imagination. You know that I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine. I then had a second conversation that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented. Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect. I said to President Zelensky: « I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. » I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign. I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States. Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America’s interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.

You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense — it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power.
Executive Branch

You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: « I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars’… I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. » Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it « looked bad. » Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.

President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong, and that there was No Pressure. He further emphasized that it was a « good phone call, » that « I don’t feel pressure, » and explicitly stressed that « nobody pushed me. » The Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated very clearly: « I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. » He also said there was « No Pressure. » Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a supporter of Ukraine who met privately with President Zelensky, has said: « At no time during this meeting … was there any mention by Zelensky or any Ukrainian that they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for the military aid. » Many meetings have been held between representatives of Ukraine and our country. Never once did Ukraine complain about pressure being applied — not once! Ambassador Sondland testified that I told him: « No quid pro quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing, do what he ran on. »

The second claim, so-called « Obstruction of Congress, » is preposterous and dangerous. House Democrats are trying to impeach the duly elected President of the United States for asserting Constitutionally based privileges that have been asserted on a bipartisan basis by administrations of both political parties throughout our Nation’s history. Under that standard, every American president would have been impeached many times over. As liberal law professor Jonathan Turley warned when addressing Congressional Democrats: « I can’t emphasize this enough … if you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the President for doing. »

Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it! You are unwilling and unable to accept the verdict issued at the ballot box during the great Election of 2016. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!
straight years

Speaker Pelosi, you admitted just last week at a public forum that your party’s impeachment effort has been going on for « two and a half years, » long before you ever heard about a phone call with Ukraine. Nineteen minutes after I took the oath of office, the Washington Post published a story headlined, « The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun. » Less than three months after my inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters stated, « I’m going to fight every day until he’s impeached. » House Democrats introduced the first impeachment resolution against me within months of my inauguration, for what will be regarded as one of our country’s best decisions, the firing of James Comey (see Inspector General Reports) — who the world now knows is one of the dirtiest cops our Nation has ever seen. A ranting and raving Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, declared just hours after she was sworn into office, « We’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf****r. » Representative Al Green said in May, « I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected. » Again, you and your allies said, and did, all of these things long before you ever heard of President Zelensky or anything related to Ukraine. As you know very well, this impeachment drive has nothing to do with Ukraine, or the totally appropriate conversation I had with its new president. It only has to do with your attempt to undo the election of 2016 and steal the election of 2020!

Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day, even going so far as to fraudulently make up, out of thin air, my conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine and read this fantasy language to Congress as though it were said by me. His shameless lies and deceptions, dating all the way back to the Russia Hoax, is one of the main reasons we are here today.
Congressman Adam Schiff

You and your party are desperate to distract from America’s extraordinary economy, incredible jobs boom, record stock market, soaring confidence, and flourishing citizens. Your party simply cannot compete with our record: 7 million new jobs; the lowest-ever unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans; a rebuilt military; a completely reformed VA with Choice and Accountability for our great veterans; more than 170 new federal judges and two Supreme Court Justices; historic tax and regulation cuts; the elimination of the individual mandate; the first decline in prescription drug prices in half a century; the first new branch of the United States Military since 1947, the Space Force; strong protection of the Second Amendment; criminal justice reform; a defeated ISIS caliphate and the killing of the world’s number one terrorist leader, al-Baghdadi; the replacement of the disastrous NAFTA trade deal with the wonderful USMCA (Mexico and Canada); a breakthrough Phase One trade deal with China; massive new trade deals with Japan and South Korea; withdrawal from the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal; cancellation of the unfair and costly Paris Climate Accord; becoming the world’s top energy producer; recognition of Israel’s capital, opening the American Embassy in Jerusalem, and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; a colossal reduction in illegal border crossings, the ending of Catch-and-Release, and the building of the Southern Border Wall — and that is just the beginning, there is so much more. You cannot defend your extreme policies — open borders, mass migration, high crime, crippling taxes, socialized healthcare, destruction of American energy, late-term taxpayer-funded abortion, elimination of the Second Amendment, radical far-left theories of law and justice, and constant partisan obstruction of both common sense and common good.

There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don’t know that you will ever give me a chance to do so. After three years of unfair and unwarranted investigations, 45 million dollars spent, 18 angry Democrat prosecutors, the entire force of the FBI, headed by leadership now proven to be totally incompetent and corrupt, you have found NOTHING! Few people in high position could have endured or passed this test. You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family. You conducted a fake investigation upon the democratically elected President of the United States, and you are doing it yet again.

There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens. But instead of putting our country first, you have decided to disgrace our country still further. You completely failed with the Mueller report because there was nothing to find, so you decided to take the next hoax that came along, the phone call with Ukraine — even though it was a perfect call. And by the way, when I speak to foreign countries, there are many people, with permission, listening to the call on both sides of the conversation.

You are the ones interfering in America’s elections. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.

Before the Impeachment Hoax, it was the Russian Witch Hunt. Against all evidence, and regardless of the truth, you and your deputies claimed that my campaign colluded with the Russians — a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie, a falsehood like no other. You forced our Nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. Yet, when the monstrous lie was debunked and this Democrat conspiracy dissolved into dust, you did not apologize. You did not recant. You did not ask to be forgiven. You showed no remorse, no capacity for self-reflection. Instead, you pursued your next libelous and vicious crusade — you engineered an attempt to frame and defame an innocent person. All of this was motivated by personal political calculation. Your Speakership and your party are held hostage by your most deranged and radical representatives of the far left. Each one of your members lives in fear of a socialist primary challenger — this is what is driving impeachment. Look at Congressman Nadler’s challenger. Look at yourself and others. Do not take our country down with your party.

If you truly cared about freedom and liberty for our Nation, then you would be devoting your vast investigative resources to exposing the full truth concerning the FBI’s horrifying abuses of power before, during, and after the 2016 election — including the use of spies against my campaign, the submission of false evidence to a FISA court, and the concealment of exculpatory evidence in order to frame the innocent. The FBI has great and honorable people, but the leadership was inept and corrupt. I would think that you would personally be appalled by these revelations, because in your press conference the day you announced impeachment, you tied the impeachment effort directly to the completely discredited Russia Hoax, declaring twice that « all roads lead to Putin, » when you know that is an abject lie. I have been far tougher on Russia than President Obama ever even thought to be.

Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment — against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle — is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America’s Constitutional order. Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life.

Worse still, I have been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process from the beginning of this impeachment scam right up until the present. I have been denied the most fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution, including the right to present evidence, to have my own counsel present, to confront accusers, and to call and cross-examine witnesses, like the so-called whistleblower who started this entire hoax with a false report of the phone call that bears no relationship to the actual phone call that was made. Once I presented the transcribed call, which surprised and shocked the fraudsters (they never thought that such evidence would be presented), the so-called whistleblower, and the second whistleblower, disappeared because they got caught, their report was a fraud, and they were no longer going to be made available to us. In other words, once the phone call was made public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn’t stop you from continuing.

More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.

You and others on your committees have long said impeachment must be bipartisan — it is not. You said it was very divisive — it certainly is, even far more than you ever thought possible — and it will only get worse!

This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution.

Perhaps most insulting of all is your false display of solemnity. You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that you are approaching this impeachment somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly. No intelligent person believes what you are saying. Since the moment I won the election, the Democrat Party has been possessed by Impeachment Fever. There is no reticence. This is not a somber affair. You’re making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.

I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.
American people

There is far too much that needs to be done to improve the lives of our citizens. It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.

One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Trump

Voir enfin:

The Washington Post
May 15, 2018

AMERICAN FORK, UTAH — Jon McNaughton did not intend to become the country’s most famous pro-Trump, mass-market painter of the 21st century. But then, to achieve such an identity does require a modicum of cultivation; it does not happen overnight.

In 2008, the Utah artist was selling landscapes out of a gallery in a shopping mall. Then the presidential election happened and McNaughton, who didn’t like John McCain or Barack Obama, was struck with inspiration. The result, “One Nation Under God,” was a massive canvas featuring Jesus Christ holding a copy of the Constitution, surrounded by Davy Crockett, Ronald Reagan and 61 other historical figures dismayed by the direction of the country (Satan, also in the painting, was pleased). It wasn’t particularly subtle, but something about the work spoke to people and a new creative doorway was opened.

You might have seen, for example, “The Forgotten Man,” in which Obama ignores a weeping citizen on a park bench while the Founding Fathers implore him to pay attention. Or, “The Demise of America,” in which he fiddles while the U.S. Capitol burns. Or, “One Nation Under Socialism,” in which he has lit the Constitution on fire.

After the 2016 election, McNaughton’s paintings gained a hero in Donald Trump instead of just a villain in Obama: a sequel to “The Forgotten Man,” “You Are Not Forgotten,” features the same weeping citizen, now planting a tree as Trump looks on benevolently.

Yes. McNaughton is that guy.

It’s pure id art. Which means, in the sense that art can reveal truths about the undercarriage of the psyche, McNaughton is one of the most significant painters of the current era. The New Yorker’s art critic analyzed the influence of McNaughton’s work and dubbed 2016 “The year of ‘The Forgotten Man.’ ”

“I’m just honestly a little perplexed,” says McNaughton, 50, a soft-spoken Mormon father. “I have no idea where [buyers] are hanging them; I just know I sell a ton. Sometimes I’m shocked at how many I sell. That one I told you about, Obama burning the Constitution? When I painted it, I worried, this thing is just hideous — why would anybody hang that in their living room?”

It’s not, he says, the kind of “warm, happy” work people typically want in their homes.

But they sell. McNaughton is a repeat guest on “Fox and Friends.” Sean Hannity owns several originals, including “The Forgotten Man.” McNaughton won’t say how much Hannity paid (it’s been reported as $300,000, which the artist says is too high), but the majority of his income comes not from originals but reproductions: $30 for an 11-by-14 lithograph, $700 for something large, framed and signed.

Rob Dickerson, the account manager at the printing outlet that fills McNaughton’s orders, says when customers submit orders, they often include personal notes: Your work has meant so much to me. You are my favorite artist. Sometimes orders come in with a shipping address of Trump Tower. These aren’t Trump employees, Dickerson thinks: just regular citizens spending $250-$300 on a painting they’ll never hold, sent to a man who has more money than they ever will, because the art is doing . . . something . . . for their souls.

The other day, we flew to Utah to watch McNaughton put the finishing touches on his latest work, which he planned to release by the end of the week. Over the phone, he’d said only that the painting would be « Mueller-themed. »

American Fork, a Salt Lake City suburb, is an interesting town, a backdrop of ridiculous beauty and a foreground of bland chain restaurants. The address he’d provided led to Altus Fine Arts, an art consortium specializing in Mormon paintings, where McNaughton rents warehouse space. In the backroom of the nondescript white building, the painter had already set up his easel.

The new painting was “Mueller-themed” in the same way a banana is “fruit-themed”: there might have been a layer to peel back, but for the most part, the thing was just the thing. In the work, which McNaughton had tentatively titled “Exposing the Truth,” Trump grabbed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III by the necktie, roughly pulling him close while Mueller shrank back in fear. In Trump’s other hand was a magnifying glass, which he held inches from Mueller’s face.

“It’s about how it’s all kind of coming to a head,” McNaughton explained. “How Trump is turning the tables on Mueller. It does have a bit of a bully feel — Trump is saying, ‘I’m not going to be the victim here.’ ” McNaughton thinks that the president will end up firing Mueller, and the painting reflects that.

As McNaughton sat at his easel, painting the shadows on Trump’s sleeve, he explained that this wasn’t his regular studio. Normally, he works from his basement, which is also where he stages paintings (a lanky neighbor is the regular stand-in for Obama; McNaughton’s brother is the recurring “Forgotten Man”). But as his fame has grown, his wife’s tolerance for the circus has shrunk; no interviews in the house.

McNaughton talked about his faith: the Mormon mission he did in Japan in his youth. He talked about working as a financial planner for eight years until he’d saved enough money to pursue art full time. He talked about his art training at Brigham Young University, where a frustrated professor chastised him for not taking instruction better.

He talked about how he wakes up every morning and turns on the news, perpetually seeking out angles for future projects.

“I have a great idea for an immigration-themed painting,” he said. “I have a great idea for a foreign-policy-themed painting. I have an idea for a Second Amendment-themed painting, and an idea that involves a lot of past presidents, and a Christmas painting that’s going to be crazy.”

A good bellwether for if a painting would sell well was whether someone like Rachel Maddow, the liberal MSNBC host, was offended by it. Her blog once held a cheeky caption contest for one of his works. “My sales spiked after,” McNaughton said cheerfully.

While watching McNaughton paint, we told him that “Exposing the Truth” seemed tame compared with his earlier works. Nobody was burning or tearing the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln was not weeping in the background. Jesus Christ wasn’t presiding over the halls of Congress.

Several hours later we realized these standards were off. If a painting of the president of the United States physically threatening the special prosecutor didn’t seem downright wacky, then what did that say about what passes for normal in this country?

It’s perhaps not surprising to know that coastal critics don’t believe in McNaughton’s work. New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz has called it « visually dead as a doornail. » Stephen Colbert once did a whole segment lampooning the obvious metaphors in the painting: « Barack Obama represents President Obama, » Colbert deadpanned. « The burning Constitution represents a Constitution that is on fire. »

What isn’t entirely clear is whether McNaughton believed in it himself. The Trump world is populated by disciples — Michael Cohen, Diamond & Silk — whose ideology can seem both deeply felt as well as performative and opportunistic.

McNaughton’s art shapes perceptions of the president. It stokes anger in Trump’s supporters. But had McNaughton himself jumped on the Trump Train, or had he merely set up a lemonade stand at the station?

McNaughton didn’t support Trump at first; he liked Ted Cruz in the primaries. Ask what he thinks about Trump now, and he’s measured: “He gets away with stuff nobody else can get away with,” McNaughton says. “I laugh when I see it. I cringe and laugh at just about anything I see.” He says that his works do come from an emotional place but that he doesn’t view himself as a Trump supporter so much as a Trump observer.

“Take this painting,” he says at his makeshift studio, gesturing to “You Are Not Forgotten,” which hangs on an easel nearby. As a regal Trump gestures toward the Forgotten Man, who is planting a tree, a crowd of mostly veterans and law enforcement look on with approval. McNaughton asks, “Based on this painting, what do you think McNaughton thinks of Trump?”

The symbolism seems pretty bonk-you-on-the-head: tree as hope, Trump as savior, audience as grateful.

McNaughton says, No, that’s wrong. No, that’s not what he intended. “The point of the painting is that here are all the people who got him elected,” McNaughton says. “It’s, ‘Okay Mr. Trump, now you’re here, what are you going to do?’ ” The painting is not an endorsement of Trump, McNaughton says, so much as it’s a snapshot of the country in a moment in time. More than anything, he considers himself a “historical painter.”

“The way I look at it, these paintings will either be swept under the rug, or they’ll represent this era. The same with Trump, really.”

But if that’s true, it’s not really what comes across in his work. When people buy a painting, they don’t also buy McNaughton to come to their house and explain how “You Are Not Forgotten” is merely an observational statement about the demographics who elected Trump. The people who buy the painting are buying it because the message seems to be, “#MAGA #MAGA #MAGA,” in big neon lights.

This prompts a thoughtful interrogation into the meaning and purpose of art: How much ownership does a painter have over his messaging? How much should the artist’s intent inform the works’ perception?

Perhaps McNaughton is trying a little bit to have it both ways — to benefit from the fervor of Trump’s supporters, while leaving himself some plausible deniability about whether he’s a supporter himself. Perhaps it’s just about money?

To spend all day, every day, creating beatific images of Donald Trump would be exhausting, if you didn’t believe in Donald Trump at least a little. So McNaughton must believe in him at least a little.

But it’s complicated. As McNaughton talks, with some thoughtful sadness, about being the “whipping boy” of the art world he spent a lifetime hoping to join, he’s not the person you expect him to be.

Dickerson, the account manager, says that he doesn’t share the political views espoused in McNaughton’s paintings. Dickerson considers himself moderate-to-liberal, at least by Utah standards. “But,” he says, “I do have one of Jon’s paintings. I really like it. It’s in my office — should I go get it?”

He returns a few minutes later carrying a small square artwork, maybe 8 by 8 inches, that doesn’t look like anything else in the studio. It’s of John F. Kennedy. It’s a simple black-and-white sketch, and it’s accompanied by the JFK quote, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

On McNaughton’s website, this painting does pop up, but it’s not featured prominently. The Kennedy drawing cost only $10, when it was for sale, but it’s no longer for sale. A note says that only 50 copies were made.

The next day, McNaughton brings a finished canvas of the Mueller painting back into the warehouse. He’d stayed up until 3 a.m. completing it, he says, and it’s changed quite a bit. Now, there are faces watching the Trump-Mueller altercation: James B. Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Jeff Sessions. McNaughton has also changed the name: Instead of « Exposing the Truth, » the painting is now titled « Expose the Truth » — a swap that makes the depiction seem less observational and more directive.

“A little more in-your-face,” McNaughton allows.

Whether he fully believes in what he’s doing or not, he’s chosen to lean into it, without hesi­ta­tion. He spends the afternoon composing the text that will accompany the painting on his website: “Robert Mueller leads a special council of at least 17 partisan Democrat attorneys who have yet to find a single piece of evidence against the President, yet they ignore the mounting verifiable evidence against Russian collusion with the DNC and the Clinton Foundation,” the text says. “There comes a time when you have to take a stand to Expose the Truth!”

McNaughton puts the painting up for sale on his website, and almost immediately people respond on Twitter: “GREAT PAINTING.” “WAKE UP, AMERICA!” “Time to take this country back from the arrogant minions of the LEFT.”

Scrolling through the online response to “Expose the Truth” — the McNaughton fans who can’t wait to order their own copies, and it’s hard not to think back to one of McNaughton’s earlier statements, about how his paintings didn’t provide the “warm, happy” vibe that people typically want out of their living-room artwork.

Maybe his work doesn’t make people feel good in the way we’ve traditionally defined “feeling good.” It doesn’t provide a sense of calmness, peace, and amity toward our fellow man. But his art does make people feel good under the new definitions of feeling good. It provides a self-fulfilling sense of self-righteousness. It assuages people, telling them that they are upset about the right things. It feels good because feeling angry and justified is the new feeling good.

McNaughton used to paint something new every few months. He says that’s changed, recently — now he’s painting something every few weeks, because it seems like that’s how often there is appetite for a new outrage.

Before leaving, we ask McNaughton for a tour of the warehouse, where all of his stock is kept, and he provides a copy of an out-of-date calendar: 12 of his greatest hits, consolidated in one item. It’s too large to fit in a carry-on, and at the airport gate, a few fellow passengers ask to flip through it.

“Oh, that guy,” one says wearily.

“Oh, that guy!” says another. “I think he’ll be famous for a long time. I think he gets America right.”

Voir par ailleurs:

In Calmer Debate, Biden and Trump Offer Sharply Different Visions for Nation
In a more restrained appearance, President Trump depicted Joseph R. Biden Jr. as an ineffectual Washington insider. Mr. Biden accused the president of heartlessness for separating migrant families and inflaming racial tensions.
Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin
The New York Times
Oct. 22, 2020

President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivered starkly divergent closing arguments to the country in the final presidential debate on Thursday, offering opposite prognoses for the coronavirus pandemic and airing irreconcilable differences on subjects from rescuing the economy and bolstering the health care system to fighting climate change and reshaping the immigration policy.

The debate was, on the whole, a more restrained affair than the first encounter between the two candidates last month, when Mr. Trump harangued Mr. Biden for most of an hour and a half and effectively short-circuited any policy debate. But if the tenor of Thursday’s forum was more sedate, the conflict in matters of substance and vision could not have been more dramatic.

From the opening minutes, the two candidates took opposing stances on the pandemic, with Mr. Trump promising, in defiance of evidence, that the disease was “going away” while Mr. Biden called for much more aggressive federal action for the “dark winter” ahead.

Mr. Trump, who badgered Mr. Biden with increasing aggression over the course of the debate, appeared determined to cast his opponent as a career politician who was, as he jabbed toward the end of the debate, “all talk and no action.” And the president used the event as his most prominent platform yet for airing unsubstantiated or baseless attacks about the finances of Mr. Biden and members of his family.

Mr. Trump, however, did little to lay out an affirmative case for his own re-election, or to explain in clear terms what he would hope to do with another four years in the White House. He frequently misrepresented the facts of his own record, and Mr. Biden’s. And on his most important political vulnerability — his mismanagement of the pandemic — Mr. Trump hewed unswervingly to a message that happy days are nearly here again, even as polls show that a majority of voters believe the worst of the coronavirus crisis is still ahead.

Trailing in a series of crucial swing states, and with 48 million Americans having already voted, the president was under more pressure. But while he proved he can engage in a more conventional political jousting, it was less clear whether his performance could prompt people who dislike him to reconsider their well-ingrained perceptions.

Mr. Biden, for his part, stuck to the core of the argument that has propelled his campaign from the start, denouncing Mr. Trump as a divisive and unethical leader who has botched the federal response to a devastating public-health crisis. Though Mr. Trump pushed him onto the defensive repeatedly, the former vice president also laid out a fuller version of his own policy agenda than he managed in the first debate, calling for large-scale economic stimulus spending, new aid to states battling the pandemic and a muscular expansion of health care and worker benefits nationwide.

Significantly, Mr. Biden made no serious error of the sort that could haunt him in the final days of a race in which he’s leading.

Of all the disagreements between the two candidates, none blazed more brightly than their assessments of the American experience battling the coronavirus.

Prompted by the moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News, to explain his plan for the coming months, Mr. Trump stuck to the sunny message he has delivered at recent campaign rallies, promising a vaccine in short order and citing his own recovery from a bout with the virus as an example of medical progress. The president boasted that he was now “immune” to the disease, and insisted that states like Texas and Florida had seen the virus fade away, even as case counts are on the rise across the country.

“I’ve been congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we’ve been able to do,” Mr. Trump said, without offering any specifics.

Mr. Biden, in response, pressed a focused and familiar line of attack against the president, faulting him for doing “virtually nothing” to head off the pandemic early this year and heading into the coldest part of the year with no defined plan to control the virus. Holding up a face mask, Mr. Biden said he would encourage all Americans to don them and would ramp up rapid testing on a national scale.

“We’re about to go into a dark winter, a dark winter, and he has no clear plan,” Mr. Biden said. Mr. Trump shot back: “I don’t think we’re going to have a dark winter at all — we’re opening up our country.”

But when the president said “we’re learning to live with” the coronavirus, Mr. Biden pounced. “We’re learning to die with it,” he said.

“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” he said. “I will end this. I will make sure we have a plan.”

The president did, however, say for the first time, “I take full responsibility” for the impact of the virus. Then he quickly sought to skirt blame. “It’s not my fault that it came here — it’s China’s fault,” he said.

The debate on Thursday, at Belmont University in Nashville, represented perhaps the last opportunity for Mr. Trump to shake up the presidential campaign and claw his way into closer contention against Mr. Biden with just 11 days remaining.

Mr. Trump was more coherent than in the first debate, getting off a series of attack lines depicting Mr. Biden as a career politician and avoiding harsh personal critiques of his children.

With the candidates’ microphones turned off at times while the other was speaking, a new rule implemented to avoid a repeat of Mr. Trump’s constant interruptions in the first debate, their facial expressions often did the talking. When Mr. Biden said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, was being “used as a Russian pawn,” the president gaped and jarred his head to the right. And when Mr. Trump insisted, not for the first time, that he would release his tax returns after an I.R.S. audit, Mr. Biden let out a wide, here-we-go-again grin.

It was in the second segment of the debate that the exchanges turned sharply personal, as the focus shifted to foreign interference in American elections. Mr. Biden spoke first, warning that countries like Russia and Iran would “pay a price” for tampering with the campaign. Alluding to unsubstantiated stories about him that have circulated in conservative media, Mr. Biden chided Mr. Trump for the actions of “his buddy Rudy Giuliani.”

Mr. Trump rapidly escalated matters, brandishing the unproven allegations about Mr. Biden’s son to accuse his rival of personally taking money from foreign interests. “They were paying you a lot of money and they probably still are,” Mr. Trump said, leveling a charge for which no evidence has surfaced. An investigation by Senate Republicans found no evidence that Mr. Biden, the former vice president, engaged in wrongdoing over his son’s business dealings.

Mr. Biden rejected the charge, saying he had “not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.” Pushing back on the president, he cited a New York Times report that Mr. Trump maintained a Chinese bank account and challenged the president to let the American people see his tax returns. “Release your tax returns,” Mr. Biden said, “or stop talking about corruption.”

The extended back-and-forth was the most prominent airing so far of the negative message that Mr. Trump clearly sees as his best chance of undermining Mr. Biden in the final days of the presidential campaign. But the clash did not yield the kind of explosive confrontation that strategists on both sides had anticipated, and in some cases feared.

As Mr. Trump peppered Mr. Biden with exaggerated or baseless charges, Mr. Biden repeatedly countered, “Not true,” sometimes without elaboration, and the segment took on a kind of flat and circular shape.

After the protracted back-and-forth, Mr. Biden sought to pivot with a rehearsed line, saying: “It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family.”

Mr. Biden’s strongest moment may have been when he looked into the camera and knowingly addressed voters. “You know who he is,” he said, alluding to Mr. Trump. “You know his character. You know my character. You know our reputations for honor and telling the truth.”

At times, the debate resembled a more conventional political clash between a Democrat and a Republican, albeit with an incumbent president quick to distort his opponent’s positions.

“He wants socialized medicine,” Mr. Trump insisted of Mr. Biden, citing the stances of more liberal Democrats, including Mr. Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Bernie Sanders, both former primary foes of Mr. Biden.

“He thinks he’s running against somebody else,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.”

The candidates both expressed support for new federal spending on a large scale to help prop up the economy and aid distressed individuals and households, an initiative still gridlocked on Capitol Hill. Mr. Trump again blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the holdup, promising that if a deal were arranged, lawmakers from his own party would fall in line.

But he continued to draw a firm line against Democratic-backed plans to help distressed states and cities close immense budget gaps. That aspect of the Democrats’ legislation, the president said, was merely “a big bailout for badly run Democrat cities and states.”

Mr. Biden called state relief an urgent priority and defended his party’s congressional wing, pointing out that it passed new relief legislation months ago that had languished before the Republican Senate. And he put the onus on Mr. Trump to drum up support in that chamber. “Why isn’t he talking to his Republican friends?” Mr. Biden said.

Days after it was reported that the government had failed to locate the parents of more than 500 migrant children separated from them by the Trump administration, the president repeatedly evaded questions about how he intended to reunite those families. “We are trying very hard,” Mr. Trump said, before attempting to pivot into an attack on the Obama administration’s border policies.

But Mr. Biden castigated the president for imposing a family separation policy in the first place. “Those kids are alone — nowhere to go,” Mr. Biden said. “It is criminal. It is criminal.”

And he also suggested he would be more effective at addressing the issue than the president he served — Barack Obama.

“I’ll be president of the United States, not vice president of the United States,” Mr. Biden said, vowing to deliver an immigration overhaul that offers unauthorized migrants a pathway to legal status in the first 100 days of his administration.

After Mr. Biden described climate change as an “existential threat” requiring an all-out government response, Mr. Trump made a counterargument riddled with inaccuracies and some allegations that were simply perplexing. He claimed falsely that the construction of renewable-energy facilities created more emissions than traditional fuels, and accused Mr. Biden of trying to mandate that buildings be constructed with “little, tiny, small windows.” And he again insisted that wind energy is “extremely expensive” and “kills all the birds.”

In a debate that was originally planned as a forum on national security, the two candidates devoted only a few glancing exchanges to the subject. In one, Mr. Trump took credit for averting war on the Korean Peninsula, touting his “good relationship” with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and faulting the Obama administration for failing to establish such relations. Mr. Kim, he said, “didn’t like Obama.”

Mr. Biden defended the Obama administration’s view of Korean diplomacy, explaining that it had not wanted to “legitimize” Mr. Kim.

At the end of the debate, Mr. Biden said he would push the country to “transition from the oil industry,” adding that “the oil industry pollutes significantly” and that he would end federal subsidies. Sensing an opening, Mr. Trump said “that’s a big statement” and then invoked a series of states with energy-heavy industries. “Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?”

Voir enfin:

Trump Has Not Been ‘Clear’ in Support of Masks

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says President Donald Trump has been “clear” in calling for the public to “wear face coverings when you can’t social distance.”

The official messaging from the White House has been, as Azar put it, “clear and unambiguous” since early April. But the president’s statements have been anything but.

In the last two weeks, Trump has offered tepid endorsement for masks, saying: “The mask, perhaps, helps.” He has also raised doubts about the science, noting that health experts who now advocate public mask-wearing were once opposed to it. “I guess I’m somewhere in the middle,” Trump said recently. And: “I understand both sides of the argument.”

“There are a lot of people think that masks are not good,” Trump said at a town hall on Sept. 15. Adding at a press conference the next day, “Masks have problems, too.”

He has repeatedly mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s appearance in a mask and for wearing one in circumstances that Trump doesn’t think is necessary. He also accused one reporter of being “politically correct” for declining to take off his mask to ask a question.

And, of course, the president has continued to hold densely packed rallies where many supporters are not wearing masks. Trump has said little to discourage them. For example, Trump held an indoor rally in Nevada on Sept. 13 in defiance of the governor’s order limiting the size of gatherings. Press reports noted that few in the densely packed crowd wore masks, though Trump made no mention of the subject.

We reviewed all of Trump’s comments going back to April 3 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued recommendations for public mask-wearing. Announcing the new guidance that day, Trump repeatedly reminded that the recommendation was voluntary and that he personally would not be wearing a mask. In the following months, his position on masks remained lukewarm — saying he had “no problem” with mask-wearing — but refusing to be seen wearing one himself.

His stance evolved some over the summer, as the coronavirus continued to spread around the country. On July 20, he released a photo of himself in a mask. And he repeatedly made unequivocal calls for the public to wear masks, particularly when he appeared to be reading from prepared notes. But his waffling returned late in the summer around the time he began to stage rallies.

Since then, his public comments have been inconsistent, toggling between advocacy and casting doubt, sometimes in the same speech or interview.

Azar’s Spin

In an interview with Azar on Sept. 24, the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie said Trump’s statements on masks have been “all over the place,” and she asked Azar if masks are “going to make this pandemic less terrible than it is, basically.” (Starting at the 6:40 mark.)

“Masks are important,” Azar said. “We have been clear since the, the president has been clear since his April guidance on reopening the economy.”

When Guthrie responded that Trump “hasn’t been clear,” Azar referred to the government’s coronavirus.gov website. “It’s right there, coronavirus.gov, the president’s guidance on reopening: wear face coverings when you can’t social distance. Very clear. He says it, I say it, every health leader says it.”

When Guthrie countered, asking if Trump’s voice wasn’t louder than a government website, Azar again said, “Well, he says it. I say it. The FDA, CDC, NIH, that’s all we talk about is ‘Wear face coverings when you cannot social distance.’”

The government’s guidance has been “clear and unambiguous,” Azar said: “Wear your face coverings when you can’t be socially distant.”

The official government messaging may be consistent, but as we said, the president’s rhetoric is not. In an interview just two days prior, Trump said the guidance from health experts was originally for the public not to wear masks. After scientists began to learn more about the asymptomatic spread of the virus, that guidance changed. But Trump often brings up this change in position from the scientific community, as he did in an interview on Sept. 22, to express doubts about mask-wearing.

“Everybody was talking about like masks were a bad thing. Then they come like masks are the greatest thing you can do,” Trump said. “You know, you get all these different messages. And I guess I’m somewhere in the middle, to be honest with you.”

CDC’s April Guidance

As Trump has often pointed out, members of the scientific community — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams — were in the early months of 2020 telling the general public not to wear face masks.

However, as health officials learned more about the virus, and how often it was being transmitted by asymptomatic carriers, the CDC reversed course on April 3 and recommended that people begin “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” (Trump on Feb. 7 acknowledged privately in an interview recently made public that he knew the virus is transmitted through the air and it’s much deadlier than the flu.)

In a coronavirus task force briefing in which the new CDC recommendation was announced, Trump repeatedly stressed that the CDC’s recommendation was voluntary, and that he wouldn’t personally be following it.

Trump, April 3: In light of these studies [on asymptomatic spread], the CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary; you don’t have to do it. They suggested for a period of time. But this is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it …

So with the masks, it’s going to be, really, a voluntary thing. You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it, and that’s okay. It may be good. Probably will. They’re making a recommendation. It’s only a recommendation. It’s voluntary.

Adams, the surgeon general, went into detail at the press conference about why the change to recommending public use of masks was made.

“Well, it’s important to know that we now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms,” Adams said. “They’re what we call asymptomatic. And that even those who eventually become pre-symptomatic, meaning that they will develop symptoms in the future, can transmit the virus to others before they show symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity: for example, coughing, speaking, or sneezing, even if those people were not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends and the task force recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These include places like grocery stores and pharmacies. We especially recommend this in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is critical.”

The official White House messaging — aside from Trump — has been consistent since then in advocating for the public to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

‘No Problem’ with Masks

In the ensuing weeks, Trump repeatedly said he had “no problem with face masks,” but that he would leave it up to states’ governors to decide whether to mandate their use. He also said he, personally, would “have no problem wearing a mask,” if the conditions were appropriate. Trump told reporters he wore a mask briefly while touring Honeywell in early May, though the press did not see it, or photograph it.

On May 11, Trump told reporters that he had begun requiring that White House staffers wear masks. But during the same press conference, Trump said the public had “learned about facemasks — the good and the bad, by the way. It’s not a one-sided thing, believe it or not.”

On June 20, Trump held an indoor rally in Tulsa. Although there was little social distancing and few in the relatively sparse crowd wore masks, Trump made no appeal to the crowd to wear masks. To the contrary, Trump complained only that the media did not highlight when Black Lives Matter protesters were not wearing masks.

In an interview on July 1 on the Fox Business Network, Trump said he’d “absolutely” wear a mask “if I were in a tight situation with people.” And he said he had worn a mask and liked the way it looked on him. “It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked OK,” Trump said. “Looked like the Lone Ranger.”

Trump again added that he had “no problem” with masks “and if people feel good about it, they should do it.”

Raising Doubts

In a telephone interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on July 9, Trump again brought up the reversal by the scientific community on masks, and framed it as an ongoing debate (even though by then there was consensus from his health advisers advocating public mask-wearing).

“They have been wrong about a lot of things, including face masks,” Trump said. “Maybe they are wrong, maybe not. But a lot of them said, don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. And now they are saying, wear a mask. So, a lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”

Trump added that “it’s fine to wear a mask, if it makes you feel comfortable” and that mask-wearing was appropriate in some situations, like when someone visits a hospital.

During the interview, Trump took the opportunity to ridicule Biden for the way he wears his masks, and for wearing one even when he is socially distanced from others. It became a familiar refrain for Trump in interviews and speeches.

Trump, July 9: I watched Biden walk onto a stage with his — practically — like, today, there was almost nobody in the room. He’s making a speech. And they have these massive circles. And the circles are very far away from each other to start off with. And then they have just a few people in the audience. And he makes a speech. And he walks onto the stage wearing this massive mask. There’s nobody on the stage. And then he takes it off. He likes to have it hang off usually the left ear. I think it makes him feel good, frankly, if you want to know the truth. And I guess that’s OK. But when there’s nobody around, you don’t really have to do that. But he feels it’s good. And I’m OK with it, if he wants to do that. He’s got the largest mask I think I have ever seen. It covers up a big proportion of his face. And I think he feels he looks good that way.

Biden has defended his decision to wear masks in those situations, saying it is part of “setting the example that I’ve tried to set since this began, of being responsible.”

Trump was finally photographed in a mask two days later while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In a CBS interview on July 14, Trump said he felt an “obligation” to wear a mask in the hospital, because some patients had just come out of operations, and he wanted to be close to them.

Asked if he would tell the American people to wear a mask, Trump hedged.

Trump, July 14: Well, I’d say listen to that instruction, listen to your governors. But I have to say the same people that say wear a mask are people that said, a long time ago, don’t wear a mask, masks are bad. They said they’re not good. So, you know, like Dr. Fauci, surgeon general, a lot of people — a lot of people — the surgeon general said that also.

And right now that [the CDC guideline] is saying wear a mask, and that’s okay with me. That’s good. Those guidelines are good. I’m not stopping them from saying it. I do say this, originally people were saying don’t wear a mask. People that we all respect were saying don’t wear a mask because, look, you know, it’s got certain drawbacks and they say don’t wear a mask. Now they’re saying wear a mask. I’m okay. And it does evolve. You know, I mean, the thought process evolves. So let’s see what happens.

In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace four days later, Trump offered this mixed message: “I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears. Hey, Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Our surgeon general — terrific guy — said don’t wear a mask. Everybody who is saying don’t wear a mask — all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too. With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good. But I leave it up to the governors.”

Wearing Masks ‘Patriotic’

Perhaps Trump’s strongest appeal for mask-wearing came via a tweet on July 20, in which he suggested it was patriotic to don one.

In a press conference the following day, Trump continued his full-throated advocacy for masks.

Trump, July 21: We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect. And we need everything we can get. …

If you’re close to each other, if you’re in a group, I would put it on. …

I view it this way: Anything that potentially can help — and that certainly can potentially help — is a good thing. I have no problem. I carry it. I wear it. … I’m getting used to the mask, and the reason is — think about patriotism. Maybe it is. It helps. It helps.

Now, we have experts that have said, in the recent past, that masks aren’t necessarily good to wear. You know that. But now they’ve changed their mind. If they change their mind, that’s good enough for me.

In an interview the following day on Fox News, Trump continued to lobby for mask-use.

“I believe that you should wear it, even if there’s a 1% chance it helps,” Trump said. “You know, when you look at Dr. Fauci and others — and this isn’t a knock, because this is just the way it — if you look, early on, they were all saying, don’t wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. That didn’t make total sense to me, but don’t wear a mask. Now they’re all saying, wear a mask. My attitude is, it probably helps. Give it a shot, because we have to win this thing. So, it’s not a question of pride. It’s not a question of anything. We have to win this. So, when you’re in a certain situation, I think you should wear a mask.”

In more than a half dozen coronavirus press briefings from late July through mid-August Trump was consistently unequivocal in calling for the public to “wear a mask if you cannot socially distance.

In a TV interview on Aug. 4, Trump said, “People question masks, but there’s no downside in wearing them.”

In a coronavirus briefing on Aug. 13, Trump tried to draw a distinction between his approach and Biden’s on masks, claiming that Biden wanted a federal mask mandate, while he has left it up to states to decide. (Biden in August said, “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing.” He later clarified that “there’s a constitutional issue whether federal government could issue such a mandate. I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate.”)

“My administration has a different approach: We have urged Americans to wear masks,” Trump said. “And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they’re great and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good. But frankly, what do you have to lose?”

In a campaign speech in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 20, Trump said, “Do the masks. I mean, it’s just not going to hurt. Do them. Do them. If you feel it, do them.”

Back to Waffling

Trump resumed his in-person rallies in September, and with them began his hedging on masks.

In a campaign speech in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 3, Trump was back to mocking Biden for the way he wears his masks, and when.

“I’ve never seen a man that like the mask more,” Trump said of Biden. “Look, I’m all for it … but did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him? And then he makes a speech and he always has it, not always but a lot of times he has it hanging down because you know what, it gives him a feeling of security. If I were a psychiatrist — right? No, I would say — I would say this guy has got some big issues.”

And Trump’s waffling on using masks returned in an ABC News town hall on Sept. 15.

“But whether it’s Dr. Fauci or anybody else, a lot of people got it wrong,” Trump said. “They talked about don’t wear masks, and now they say wear masks. Although some people say don’t wear masks. I mean you have a lot of different ideas.”

“Now there are, by the way, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks,” Trump said later. “There are a lot of people think that masks are not good.”

Trump went on to talk about waiters who touch their masks “and then they’re touching the plate. That can’t be good. … The concept of a mask is good, but it also does … you’re constantly touching it, you’re touching your face, you’re touching plates. There are people that don’t think masks are good.”

In a press briefing the next day, Trump continued to express doubt about the efficacy of wearing masks, and then later said he thought they work.

Trump’s comments came in response to a question about Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC. Redfield testified about masks, saying: “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine.”

Trump challenged that comment, saying, “Number one, it’s not more effective, by any means, than a vaccine.”

“On masks — masks have problems, too,” Trump said. “And I talked about the masks about to be handled very gently, very carefully. I see that, in restaurants, they have people with masks and they’re playing around with their mask, and they have it — their fingers are in their mask and then they’re serving with plates. I mean, I think there’s a lot of problems with masks.”

“The mask, perhaps, helps,” Trump said minutes later. “Don’t forget: A lot of people didn’t like the concept of masks initially. Dr. Fauci didn’t like them, and a lot of people didn’t. And I’m not knocking anybody, because I understand both sides of the argument.”

At a campaign rally in Bedmidji, Minnesota, on Sept. 18, Trump argued that he ought to call his rallies a protest, to get around mask-restrictions.

“You don’t have to wear masks at protests,” Trump claimed. “So I said, ‘You know, we can’t have a rally.’ The most we can have is 10 people, but why don’t we just call it a protest because this is a protest. It’s a protest against stupidity. ”

In an interview with a local Fox station in Detroit on Sept. 22, the reporter noted that at some recent Trump rallies, there appeared to be many people “almost celebrating the fact that they didn’t have to wear a mask.”

Trump said he “didn’t see that.”

“No I think people should wear a mask if they can, if they feel they can, they should,” Trump added. “But I don’t think it should be a mandatory policy.”

“But when you look out into the audience when you’re doing these rallies, and you see the number of people who don’t have masks, does that concern you about the future and this fall?” the reporter asked.

“I must be honest, I see a lot of people with masks,” Trump said. “I also see a little bit of a spreading out. One of the reasons I do the rallies in outside settings is because it’s much better. It’s, you know, recommended. I don’t know if they know what they’re recommending, but they recommend being outside like we’re outside right now.”

In an interview with WGN America at the White House the same day, Trump was again pressed about whether he was concerned about so many maskless people at rallies being exposed to COVID-19.

“No,” Trump said. “Because my supporters are very smart and they do, a lot of them wear masks and some don’t, that’s their choice. But they’re, you know, when you’re outside, you have a lot of room, and everything that I’ve read and everything that I’ve seen is outside is better in terms of COVID or as I call it the China virus.”

Trump accused the CDC of sending mixed messages on masks.

“You know, at one point they were saying, don’t wear a mask,” Trump said. “Dr. Fauci said, don’t wear a mask — everybody was talking about like masks were bad thing. Then they come like masks are the greatest thing you can do. You know, you get all these different messages. And I guess I’m somewhere in the middle, to be honest with you.”

“There is a mixed message there,” Trump said. “But if you remember the original message was don’t wear masks.”

Azar is right that the White House messaging has been “clear and unambiguous” — and consistent since early April — that people should wear a mask when they can’t social distance. But as the many comments above reflect, the president has not always been “clear” in delivering that message.

FactCheck.org fellows Caitlin Quinn and Bala Thenappan contributed to this article.

COMPLEMENT:

The Earth itself is rejoicing at the prospect of Dumping Trump. How could over 70,000,000 people still vote for such ignorant scum after four years of vapid hateful and puerile rhetoric! – A fellow Santa Monica resident on Nextdoor.com


This Chronicle presupposes that Donald Trump’s challenges to the election results, whether or not well founded, will not succeed.

There is something called force majeure that supersedes all rules of procedure. When Kennedy won in 1960, it was known at the time or soon after that the Illinois electoral votes that decided the election were fixed by Chicago’s legendary Mayor Daley—that is, that in objective terms, it was Nixon who won the election. Just as we can be pretty sure that Jeffrey Epstein did not hang himself in his cell; that Harry Reid’s 2015 “accident” was not a fall from his exercise bike; or that Hillary Clinton committed a felony by using a personal mail server that no doubt helped her to conceal, among other things, the conspiracy against Trump. But to these and other “slips” we can only say, c’est la vie. There’s nothing to do about them. Somehow the welfare of the state depends, if not on their consequences, then on the consequences of not raising questions about them in such a way as to produce embarrassing answers.

Assuming this is also the case for the allegations of voter fraud to explain all these states switching from one column to the other after the election-day votes had been counted, I will therefore assume that, whether or not his challenges are legitimate, Donald Trump will not begin a second term in 2021.


In defeat, Donald Trump embodies the original role of the tragic protagonist in such a way as to teach us more about tragedy than we can learn from the usual readings of Shakespeare or Sophocles.

We are accustomed to seeing tragedy as either a literary form or a vision of the human condition, as in Unamuno’s Tragic Sense of Life. But in such literary and/or anthropological generalizations, the importance of tragedy as a critical interaction between leader and community is lost.

Tragedy is compatible neither with acephalous tribal society, nor with the archaic empires in which the godlike pharaoh cannot be conceived in dialogue with others. It is a product of the post-theocratic society of Athens and other city-states, one in which kings and tyrants interact with their subjects as fellow humans, not as sacred beings.

Aristotle defined tragedy as “an imitation of persons above the common level,” in Greek “better than ourselves” (beltionon hemas). But in Aristotle’s vocabulary, these are not merely relative terms. The tragic protagonist is not “better” because he is smarter or richer than the anonymous citizens watching the play, but because his role is central to the welfare of the state. He is in a position of sacred centrality, yet ontologically, merely a human being among others. Thus he is forced to function, as Barack Obama once put it, “above my pay grade,” solving transcendental problems on the fallible basis of individual intuition.


If any modern political role fits the original description of a potential tragic protagonist, it is that of the American president, who combines the roles of monarch/head of state and parliamentary leader/prime minister, which remain separated in most other liberal democracies. Our republic has its roots in the Athenian agon, and it is no coincidence that its most agonistic recent moment has produced its most tragic political figure.

No president in the entire history of the American republic has been so unsparingly vilified as Donald Trump, throughout the 2016 nomination process and campaign, and the nearly four years of his presidency. His tenure in office has been marked by an unprecedented degree of virulent hostility from all corners of the federal establishment, as well as from members of the public who, habituated since Reagan to Republican “derangement syndromes,” have surpassed themselves in his case.

To have sustained a “Resistance” that began with his election and denied his legitimacy throughout his entire tenure in office, to have been impeached on trivial evidence after sustaining nearly three years of congressionally approved investigation on the absurd charge of “complicity” with Russia, while meeting with hostile silence from many in his own party who abstained from actual abuse, is far from the normal status of a political figure even in a pugnacious democracy.

What then was the key to Trump’s anomalous success? As I have pointed out since the beginning, Trump was the sole candidate, other than the impressive but insufficiently political Dr. Ben Carson, who was truly invulnerable to “PC,” as victimary thinking was then called before it graduated to “wokeness.”

This resistance has in fact been Trump’s most significant distinction, although neither his detractors nor his supporters tend to refer to it. It was not a product of theoretical reflection, but of his faithfulness to the attitudes which reigned in his youth—attitudes which I largely share. That the current “woke” generation is capable of tearing down or defacing statues of virtually all the great men of American history is viscerally offensive to both of us, yet none of Trump’s rivals for the nomination presented any real resistance to the perspective that anticipated these actions.

Were we to seek an embodiment of our timeless model of the ideal president, wise and forbearing, Trump would hardly qualify. Trump is not a political thinker, but a man of action, and as his detractors in both camps never fail to insist, he is not afraid to exaggerate, to bluster, to repeat quite dubious ideas.

Trump was able to beat out his many primary competitors and win the 2016 election because, more even than his ability to make “deals,” his show-business experience gave him supreme confidence in his “instincts,” whether as entertainer or president, for occupying the center of the stage. And these instincts, these political intuitions, were hostile to victimary thinking, not because Trump is obsessed with it, but simply because Trump is untouched by it.

But what mattered in 2016 and still matters today has been Trump’s consistency in resisting the mimetic pressure that drives the respectable members of Charles Murray’s “Belmont” class (Coming Apart, Crown Forum, 2012; see, e.g., Chronicles 424, 449) to symbolically flagellate themselves in penance for their “white privilege”—all the while feathering the nests of the most privileged members of society, including themselves.

No doubt there are more sophisticated ways than Trump’s of resisting the power of White Guilt. But its virtually total domination of the academic world and of those formed by it, such as the elementary school teachers whose antipatriotic lessons are diametrically opposed to the ones I learned in these classes, has made virtually the entire educated class incapable of firm resistance to this tendency, the product of our enforced “awokening” to the model of originary moral equality to the exclusion of all other social considerations (see Chronicle 674).

Only someone whose social instincts had been developed before the current constitution of the Belmont world could credibly oppose this configuration, and only someone with considerable personal—rather than institutional—resources would have the freedom to do so. At the start of his campaign in 2015, Trump’s chief source of popular visibility was his presence in the Reality TV show The Apprentice (see Chronicle 493), highly popular among the “deplorable” lower-middle-class audience that would put him in office in the face of the open contempt of establishment politicians in his own party as well as the Democrats.


After his 2016 election victory, many hoped that Trump’s bull-in-the-china-shop tweeting and expostulating would disappear, or at least diminish. And indeed, whenever he makes the effort, Trump has shown himself perfectly capable of delivering a cogent address in a perfectly dignified manner. Yet he has continued with the behavior that, even if effective as “trolling” in enraging his enemies, has done nothing to repair his estrangement from the Belmont class.

I think for Trump this is a matter of principle, even if the principle is not articulated as a proposition. What makes it tragic is that, although this behavior may well have cost him reelection, it is inseparable from his sense of self. It seems clear that someone who had viewed these antics merely as a political stratagem would not have had the chutzpah to flaunt from the very beginning his disdain for victimary thinking in the face of the respectable majority.

The grain of truth in the calumnious accusations of “white supremacy” and even “antisemitism” is that, alone among the politicians of his generation, Trump viscerally understood that the prior censorship exercised by White Guilt is the real culprit that must be cast out. Thus even when in 2016 Trump scandalously denounced US-born judge Gonzalo Curiel as a “Mexican” by way of attacking his impartiality in the matter of the “Wall,” his very sense that this did not damn him as indelibly “racist” affirmed in his own mind his frequently repeated contention that he “is the least racist person in the room.” And indeed, the one incidence of “racism” unceasingly cited by his political enemies has been his statement about “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville in reference to the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, as proof, despite his explicit statements to the contrary, of his endorsing neo-Nazis.

Yet the fact remains that many of those unmoved by these spurious accusations have been put off by Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. And so Trump lost an election that he might well have won, even in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. No one can claim to know what formula he should have followed. But what makes him a tragic figure is the fact that he would no longer have been Trump had he sought any other formula than just being Trump.


What lesson does this teach us about tragedy, not as a “literary form,” but as a category of cultural acts?

What we call the “tragic flaw” (hamartia) should not be understood, as does Aristotle, as a characterological imperfection in one who might otherwise have been perfect. It is the mark of the protagonist’s ineluctable individuality, the non-identity between his own scene of representation and that of his community, whose welfare, in classical tragedy as in the American presidency, he is charged to uphold, yet which could only be grasped in its totality by a mind that transcended the human sphere.

The tragic protagonist assumes leadership in a crisis in which he is obliged to make decisions that cannot be deduced from prior social norms. Once a human being comes to occupy the social center originally reserved for the sacred, he is tasked with a responsibility both necessary and impossible to fulfill en connaissance de cause.

Hence every leader is potentially a tragic figure: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. But real-life and even legendary tragic figures are few. Classical tragedy’s dramatis personae, even taking into account the many lost plays, were quite limited; the same figures constantly reappeared. The “serious actions” that tragedies “imitate” are not fictions open to the author’s invention; in principle they must have a basis in their potential spectators’ knowledge prior to the play itself, whether in history (the oldest extant tragedy is Aeschylus’ The Persians) or myth. La tragédie ne s’invente pas.

Tragedy depends on crisis. And although, objectively speaking, the United States has traversed many far more serious crises—wars and economic depressions—we are currently witnessing the most serious breakdown of our political system since the Civil War, one that the current election, whatever its outcome, is most unlikely to fully resolve.


Recently Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin gave an appreciation of Trump that should be heeded by the “respectable” members of both parties:

It’s not just that he eats cheeseburgers at a big celebratory dinner. It’s not just that he does things that the common man can kind of appreciate. And it’s not even because he uses kind of simplistic language—he doesn’t use complicated, wonky language, the way a lot of Democrats do. . . .

We sometimes make people feel like they aren’t conscientious enough. They aren’t thoughtful enough. They aren’t “woke” enough. They aren’t smart enough or educated enough to just understand what’s good for them. . . . It’s talking down to people. It’s alienating them. And there’s just certain voters who feel so distant from the political process—it’s not their life, it’s not their world. They hate it. They don’t like all that politics stuff. Trump speaks to them, because he includes them.

(https://www.foxnews.com/politics/elissa-slotkin-dem-urges-party-act-more-like-trump)

Slotkin’s point is that, like old Harry Truman, but unlike today’s Democrats, Trump speaks to ordinary people. It might seem peculiar for the party that has always presumed to represent the “common man” to be accused by one of its own of “talking down” to its constituency, while the Republicans, supposedly the party of plutocracy, field a candidate whose refusal of a lofty register wins her esteem despite her presumed disagreement with his policies. But what Slotkin means by “talking down” is not so much affecting an intellectual (“wonky”) but a moral (“woke”) superiority. It is less treating people as stupid than as morally obtuse, un-woke. In a word, it is telling “deplorable” white voters to exhibit, to virtue-signal, their White Guilt.


Which leads us back to our point of departure. As the only candidate in 2016 who was able to resist the victimary pressure that dominates the Left but also paralyses the Right, Trump rightly saw his candidacy as a mission, one figured by descending the escalator in Trump Tower (now faced by the “mural” of Black Lives Matter painted on the street).

Trump had a mission and, Wall or no Wall, he has largely carried it out. Even if he fails to obtain a second term, his example will have a lasting effect on American politics. And I hope it will one day receive the historical respect it deserves.

That the mediocre Biden was able to call Trump “clown,” “racist,” “worst president ever” demonstrates the tragic vulnerability of the latter’s denial of PC. And those on the Right who persist in seeing Trump as a vulgarian, judging him by what they call his “character” rather than his achievements, are if anything less excusable.

It was Trump who revived the American economy, reduced unemployment to its long-term minimum, and raised the salaries of minorities despite their (diminishing!) fidelity to the Democrats. It is Trump who got rid of Soleimani and Al Baghdadi, moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and has begun building a coalition of Arab states along with Israel to counter Iran’s influence.

If Trump still refuses to concede—and we need not deny a priori the claims of his lawyer Sidney Powell, whose recent statements: “We’re getting ready to overturn election results in multiple states,” and “I don’t make comments without having the evidence to back it up” (see https://www.ntd.com/trump-lawyer-sidney-powell-were-getting-ready-to-overturn-election-results-in-multiple-states_528748.html) at least express confidence—this is but one more manifestation of the pertinacity without which he would never have been elected in the first place.

May at least the members of his own party have the good grace to recognize that Trump achieved what none of them could have, and, whatever their own personal style, seek to learn from the healthy core of Trump’s “instincts.”

Donald Trump saw more clearly than anyone the danger that Rep. Slotkin recognizes in the “woke” faith in resentment that has been building since the 1960s. A virus far more virulent than SARS-CoV-2, this victimary faith has infested our educational, informational, entertainment, and governmental institutions, and unless promptly and firmly checked, risks handing our hard-won democracy to the barbarians.

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« Cancel culture », « woke »: quand la gauche américaine devient folle

ENQUÊTE – Le mouvement, parti des campus américains, pratique une censure agressive, au nom du droit à ne pas être offensé. Il inquiète une partie de l’intelligentsia libérale qui voudrait défendre la liberté d’expression.

La scène, filmée par un téléphone portable, est surréaliste. Nous sommes au printemps 2017 et, dans les couloirs du collège universitaire Evergreen State, dans l’État de Washington, un professeur est encerclé par une horde hurlante d’étudiants. Tee-shirt noir, barbiche poivre et sel, Bret Weinstein, 48 ans, se démène pour essayer de dialoguer avec la foule déchaînée. Peine perdue.

Alors que l’enseignant tente de s’expliquer, les jeunes gens s’esclaffent et chantent «Hey Hey Ho Ho, Bret Weinstein has to go» (« Bret Weinstein doit démissionner»). Qu’a donc fait ce professeur de biologie pour mériter un tel opprobre? Juif démocrate, supporteur de Bernie Sanders et du mouvement Occupy Wall Street, se définissant comme «profondément progressiste», Bret Weinstein n’est pas conservateur. Il n’a pas manifesté son soutien à Trump ou dérapé sur Twitter. Il n’a même pas, comme son alter ego littéraire Coleman Silk, le héros de La Tache de Philip Roth, utilisé un mot vexant.

Non, le crime de ce professeur est de s’être opposé à l’organisation d’un «Jour d’absence» dans son établissement, où les «Blancs» de l’université étaient invités à rester chez eux pour laisser les «personnes de couleur» seules sur le campus. Ce jour de ségrégation raciale imposé relevait selon lui d’une forme de racisme antiblancs.

Victime d’une campagne virale, Bret Weinstein a fini par démissionner, après que le chef d’établissement, prenant le parti des étudiants, lui eut affirmé qu’il ne pouvait plus assurer sa sécurité. «Ma femme et moi avons vécu une véritable tornade personnelle qui était annonciatrice de la tornade qui a balayé tout le pays. Evergreen est maintenant partout», confie-t-il trois ans plus tard.

Contrairement à une presse généraliste à l’époque très silencieuse sur l’événement, l’éditorialiste du New York Times Bari Weiss avait pressenti l’importance de l’affaire Evergreen. «Quand la gauche se retourne contre les siens», titrait-elle sa tribune pour décrire cette invraisemblable purge, menée par une nouvelle génération progressiste obsédée par la question des discriminations, envers un professeur issu des rangs de la gauche libérale. «Faire taire les conservateurs était devenu une habitude. Mais, maintenant, voilà que les militants anti-liberté d’expression tournent leur colère de plus en plus vers les progressistes libéraux», notait Bari Weiss.

Elle ne croyait pas si bien dire: moins de trois ans plus tard, cette rédactrice en chef adjointe des pages opinion, qui avait été débauchée du Wall Street Journal pour apporter davantage de pluralisme dans le prestigieux quotidien libéral new-yorkais, dut, elle aussi, démissionner dans le sillage de son patron, James Bennett. Ce dernier avait été licencié pour avoir laissé passer une tribune du sénateur républicain Tom Cotton, qui appelait à envoyer l’armée contre les émeutiers après la mort de George Floyd, un point de vue alors partagé par une majorité d’Américains, mais qui avait choqué ses jeunes collègues. Son cas rappelle celui de Ian Buruma, ex-directeur de la prestigieuse New York Review of Books, poussé à la démission à l’automne 2018 parce qu’il avait osé publier la tribune d’un homme accusé d’agressions sexuelles, puis relaxé, qui témoignait de la difficulté à refaire sa vie.

Comme Bari Weiss, une journaliste du quotidien britannique The Guardian, Suzanne Moore, a claqué la porte de son journal, poussée à bout après avoir été harcelée par ses propres collègues pour avoir publié un article supposément «transphobe». La romancière britannique J.K. Rowling a elle aussi été traitée de Terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), c’est-à-dire de féministe anti-trans pour avoir affirmé sur Twitter que la différence des sexes était une réalité biologique. La créatrice de Harry Potter, admirée et connue dans le monde entier pour sa saga, fut brutalement jetée à bas de son piédestal par une frange minoritaire d’activistes inondant les réseaux sociaux de messages haineux à son encontre. L’acteur Daniel Radcliffe, qui doit sa carrière au rôle du jeune sorcier qu’il a incarné au cinéma, a cru bon de présenter ses excuses pour «la souffrance que ces commentaires (ceux de J.K. Rowling) [avaient] causée».

Une forme moderne d’ostracisme

La liste des personnalités victimes de la censure progressiste ne cesse de s’allonger, surtout en terre anglo-saxonne. Ce processus de désintégration sociale menée au nom du bien porte un nom: la «cancel culture» ou «culture de l’annulation» , qui consiste à appeler explicitement au boycott et à l’effacement de l’espace public de personnes jugées racistes, homophobes ou sexistes. On pourrait croire que cette fièvre dénonciatrice n’est pas nouvelle et considérer avec Philip Roth dans son célèbre incipit de La Tache, que «le vertige de l’indignation hypocrite» est «la plus vieille passion fédératrice de l’Amérique». Cependant, la cancel culture, si elle reprend les codes du «politiquement correct» tel qu’il a émergé sur les campus américains dès les années 1960, modernise l’ostracisme qui s’adosse désormais à la puissance des réseaux sociaux et à une nouvelle mentalité militante.

Dans leur livre The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure («Le chouchoutage de l’âme américaine: comment de bonnes intentions et de mauvaises idées préparent une génération à l’échec»), Jonathan Haidt et Gregory Lukianoff qualifient de «culture of safetysm» (que l’on pourrait traduire par «culture de l’obsession d’être protégé») cette mentalité d’une nouvelle génération qui ne supporte plus d’être offensée et pour laquelle le moindre propos caricatural et le scepticisme quant au bienfait illimité du progressisme multiculturaliste sont considérés comme autant de «micro-agressions» exigeant la création d’espaces sécurisés (safe spaces) où aucune parole blessante ne puisse les atteindre.

Cette nouvelle censure est différente du vieux sectarisme marxiste en ce qu’elle repose quasi exclusivement sur le «ressenti» victimaire. «Je me sens blessé»: tel est désormais l’argument qui justifie toutes les excommunications. Avoir conscience que l’on est blessé ou que l’on blesse, c’est être «éveillé», «woke». Ce terme d’argot, «woke», s’est généralisé après les premières émeutes de Black Lives Matter («les vies noires comptent») en 2014, et notamment le film Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, de l’acteur Jesse Williams.

Être «woke», pour un Afro-Américain qui adhère à la cause, c’est être en permanence vigilant quant au racisme et aux discriminations que l’on peut subir. L’être pour un Blanc, c’est avoir conscience de ses privilèges. Ainsi, à l’université d’Evergreen, les professeurs étaient-ils conviés à énumérer leurs «privilèges» (blanc, mâle, «validiste», c’est-à-dire non handicapé, etc.), avec une étiquette collée sur leur torse déclinant les pronoms qu’il fallait utiliser en s’adressant à eux (him/her/she/he), pratique mise en place pour ne pas risquer de «mégenrer» certaines personnes – et que la nouvelle vice-présidente, Kamala Harris, emploie elle-même sur son compte Twitter.

La woke culture nie le libre arbitre et la complexité de la morale. Elle est l’ennemie de la créativité

Seth Greenland, auteur de «Mécanique de la chute»

Ces séances d’«autocritique», dont le grotesque n’a curieusement pas encore été vraiment exploité par les humoristes («parce qu’ils sont terrifiés», estime le rédacteur en chef de Tablet, Jacob Siegel), sont désormais obligatoires ou fortement recommandées au corps professoral dans un nombre croissant d’universités. «La woke culture est devenue le fléau de la liberté de pensée. Elle pose comme principe la vision du monde identitaire que le libéralisme avait tenté d’éradiquer, l’idée que nous ne sommes pas fondamentalement définis par la communauté dans laquelle nous sommes nés, notre orientation sexuelle, notre couleur de peau. Elle nie le libre arbitre et la complexité de la morale. Elle est l’ennemie de la créativité», affirme l’écrivain Seth Greenland, auteur de Mécanique de la chute, un roman où il raconte le lynchage d’un milliardaire accusé de racisme. «Le wokisme refuse l’idée fondamentale du libéralisme selon laquelle deux valeurs incompatibles peuvent être autorisées à cohabiter. Pour les justiciers sociaux, cette tolérance des désaccords n’est qu’un instrument brandi par l’oppresseur pour soumettre l’opprimé!», renchérit Jacob Siegel, auteur d’un article de Tablet sur le sujet qui a fait grand bruit.

Parfois, le lynchage psychologique conduit à la mort physique, comme dans le cas de Mike Adams. Ce professeur de l’université de Caroline du Nord très critique du mouvement identitariste, «qui avait eu le malheur de publier un tweet dénonçant les mesures prises par le gouverneur démocrate de son État en matière de Covid, n’a pas résisté à la pression», raconte Greg Lukianoff. «Laissez mon peuple aller», avait-il écrit, parlant «de l’État esclavagiste de Caroline du Nord». Une formule jugée inacceptable par la meute antiraciste. Harcelé et menacé, il a fini par se suicider en juillet. «On lui a dit qu’il était le Mal», note, horrifié, Lukianoff, qui était son ami.

De la French Theory à la bureaucratie d’État

Le succès stupéfiant de cette culture de la contestation, fondée sur la revendication d’un sectarisme effréné qui peut aller jusqu’à tuer dans l’indifférence générale, reste en partie une énigme au pays de la libre parole, même si Tocqueville avait averti dans son opus De la démocratie en Amérique sur la propension de l’opinion publique américaine à «tracer un cercle de la pensée» au-delà duquel il est très dangereux de s’aventurer.

Lukianoff, un libéral de gauche de 48 ans, qui milita longtemps au sein du bastion progressiste de la puissante Union américaine pour les libertés civiques (Aclu), mais dirige aujourd’hui une fondation qui se bat pour la liberté d’expression sur les campus (Fire), juge indispensable de remonter à l’attitude des écoles de pensée postmodernistes des années 1960 pour comprendre la situation actuelle. «Il est devenu possible, à partir de ces années-là, de disqualifier d’entrée de jeu toute pensée conservatrice, c’est-à-dire la moitié de la population du pays et la majorité du reste du monde!», explique-t-il, reconnaissant qu’il lui a fallu «du temps» pour comprendre «à quel point cet ostracisme était dangereux». «S’est mise en place une sorte de forteresse théorique parfaite qui se défend en accusant toute personne qui exprime un désaccord d’être conservatrice», poursuit-il. «Tant que la proportion des libéraux et des conservateurs était de 3 pour 1, il restait des garde-fous, mais on en est aujourd’hui à quelque 30 pour 1!», note Lukianoff, précisant que les conservateurs ont peu à peu quitté la place «parce qu’ils estimaient que l’université devait rester à l’extérieur de la politique».

Une fois l’exclusion pratiquée à l’encontre des conservateurs, il a été facile de l’étendre à d’autres groupes, au fur et à mesure qu’il devenait légitime de disqualifier les hommes, les Blancs, les hétéros…, explique-t-il, parlant d’un «trou sans fond engloutissant de plus en plus de monde». «Au final, dans cette logique d’exclusion qui s’auto-nourrit, 100 % de la population finira par être excommuniée!», dit Lukianoff, soulignant qu’«on commence à voir des hommes noirs menacés de disqualification parce qu’ils sont hommes».

Une armada de personnels administratifs destinés à gérer les questions de discrimination et d’inclusivité s’est installée au cœur des dortoirs, avec les étudiants

Sam Abrams, professeur de science politique au collège ­Sarah Lawrence de New York

Sam Abrams, 40 ans, professeur de science politique au collège Sarah Lawrence de New York, un établissement connu pour son progressisme, est devenu l’une des cibles du mouvement woke pour avoir milité pour «la diversité de valeurs» au lieu de réserver ce terme à la diversité ethnique ou raciale. Spécialiste d’enquêtes d’opinion et hostile aux labels politiques, cet amoureux «des faits» est depuis deux ans sur son campus l’objet de campagnes de harcèlement et d’une démarche administrative visant à le priver de sa chaire. «Jamais je n’aurais pu monter au créneau si je n’avais pas eu de chaire», note-t-il, soulignant qu’il avait attendu cette sécurité de l’emploi pour s’engager. Pour lui, si le mouvement woke, né dans les départements d’études critiques énamourés du philosophe Michel Foucault et de la théoricienne du genre Judith Butler, vient de loin, comme le raconte Lukianoff, «les dix dernières années ont été cruciales».

Sam Abrams se souvient encore de ses propres années d’étudiant, il y a vingt ans, époque «révolue», quand «dans les dortoirs universitaires, on pouvait encore avoir des discussions contradictoires sur tous les sujets sensibles liés à la race, l’identité ou le genre». Tout a changé pendant la présidence Obama, avec la montée en puissance des efforts de l’administration des universités pour lutter contre les discriminations sexuelles, avec la mise en place du fameux Titre IX (un amendement interdisant toute discrimination sur la base du sexe et obligeant à la création de bureaux de lutte contre le harcèlement sexuel dans chaque université), un processus supervisé par un certain vice-président… Joe Biden.

«Parallèlement, une armada de personnels administratifs destinés à gérer les questions de discrimination et d’inclusivité s’est installée au cœur des dortoirs, avec les étudiants», raconte Abrams. Arrivés avec des diplômes en études raciales ou de genre, ils ont instauré un mélange de règles bureaucratiques et d’interdits idéologiques qui représentent «un véritable lavage de cerveau» et leur permettent de faire la pluie et le beau temps sur les campus, en liaison avec certaines associations étudiantes communautaristes ultrapolitisées, dénonce l’enseignant. Le rédacteur en chef de la revue Tablet, Jacob Siegel, souligne lui aussi cette alliance de la bureaucratie d’État et d’une idéologie qui se dit révolutionnaire mais «fait corps avec le pouvoir». «Le wokisme a commencé avec le deuxième mandat de la présidence Obama, au confluent de deux causes: la première, c’est le progressisme technocratique du président lui-même, qui pensait que la bureaucratie de l’État pouvait contribuer à la perfectibilité morale, comme le montre la bataille des discriminations menée sous le Titre IX. L’autre est le courant idéologique identitariste qui souffle sur les universités. Le danger, c’est la fusion des deux en une forme de bureaucratie qui s’autoradicalise sans cesse», explique-t-il.

«Le corps professoral est dans son écrasante majorité libéral et reste attaché à la méthode du débat contradictoire. Mais il a peur de s’interposer», ajoute Sam Abrams. Pour lui, c’est aussi le cas de la majorité des étudiants, qui seraient largement «centristes», selon ses enquêtes d’opinion. On est donc dans le cas d’une sorte de kidnapping du débat par un groupe minoritaire issu de l’administration des campus. Beaucoup de professeurs ont peur d’être mis au ban ou de perdre leur travail, surtout s’ils n’ont pas de chaire, affirme Abrams. Le fait de vivre à New York, une mégapole, lui permet d’échapper à la pression, mais «c’est beaucoup plus difficile dans les petites villes universitaires de Nouvelle-Angleterre, où les risques de harcèlement sont bien supérieurs».

Tolérer des idées inconfortables est plus dur que de rejoindre la horde pour s’enfermer dans une bulle d’opinions et de pensées tout à fait agréables

Thomas Chatterton Williams, auteur d’«Autoportrait en noir et blanc»

À ces inquiétudes très concrètes s’ajoute «la peur des anciens de ne pas être aimés des plus jeunes» et d’être moralement condamnés, ajoute Greg Lukianoff. Une volonté d’échapper à la culpabilité occidentale en se mettant du côté des «purs», que le professeur de théorie politique Joshua Mitchell décrit dans son nouveau livre, American Awakening («réveil américain»), consacré à la nature religieuse de cette idéologie des «identités» qui donne des «bons points» aux différents groupes humains en faveur de leur degré d’«innocence» sociale.

Les réseaux sociaux, en permettant la mobilisation immédiate d’activistes sur des causes ponctuelles et en facilitant l’organisation communautaire, ont par ailleurs donné une vigueur nouvelle aux revendications identitaires présentes dans la gauche radicale depuis les années 1960. «Ils ont tout changé, car c’est là que se cristallise le lien entre la meute idéologique, les élites et l’ensemble des institutions. Les réseaux sociaux dictent le ton à tous, y compris aux journaux, pas l’inverse», analyse Jacob Siegel. Comme le souligne Lisa Nakamura, professeur à l’université du Michigan, la cancel culture est rendue possible par une nouvelle «économie de l’attention», où «priver quelqu’un d’audience, c’est le priver d’existence». Elle est portée par un repli individualiste sur l’identité plutôt que par l’héritage commun ou l’universalisme. Et également par une culture d’emballement suiviste, qui fait partie de l’essence des réseaux sociaux.

«La prétendue culture woke est cool. C’est à la mode, et, soyons honnêtes, le libéralisme est difficile. Tolérer des idées inconfortables est plus dur que de rejoindre la horde pour s’enfermer dans une bulle d’opinions et de pensées tout à fait agréables», explique Thomas Chatterton Williams, auteur d’Autoportrait en noir et blanc, un essai qui sortira en janvier en français, où ce métis afro-américain exprime sa dissidence envers les obsédés de la race.

La gauche libérale se rebiffe

Comme lui, de nombreux intellectuels de la gauche libérale commencent à se rebeller contre cette idéologie étouffante, «qui ressemble à un nouveau bolchevisme ou à une forme de révolution culturelle à la chinoise», guettant tous les «traîtres» potentiels à la cause, nous confie Bret Weinstein. L’université de Chicago a pris la tête de la fronde, mettant noir sur blanc son engagement à défendre la liberté d’expression en 2015, un «serment» repris par plus de 50 autres établissements universitaires. Le très libéral Wellesley College a également réagi avec vigueur en créant un «projet liberté» destiné à encourager un débat d’idées libre et contradictoire. Et l’université de Berkeley, pourtant très progressiste, a créé un Centre pour la liberté d’expression. On voit aussi apparaître de nouveaux îlots de liberté intellectuelle, comme le magazine en ligne Quillette ou la revue Tablet, au fur et à mesure que les journaux mainstream comme le New York Times basculent dans le camp de la «justice sociale».

«Le seul fait que nous n’ayons pas peur a fait énormément pour le succès de Tablet», affirme Siegel. Sam Abrams dit recevoir des dizaines de lettres, montrant que«beaucoup de gens en ont assez». «J’aime à penser que nous sommes nombreux», dit aussi Greg Lukianoff. En juillet 2020, un collectif de plus de 150 écrivains, artistes et journalistes, parmi lesquels J.K. Rowling, mais aussi la romancière Margaret Atwood, auteur du best-seller La Servante écarlate, le linguiste et psychologue Steven Pinker, la féministe Gloria Steinem, a signé une tribune dans Harper’s Magazine pour dénoncer «une intolérance à l’égard d’opinions opposées, une vogue pour la dénonciation publique et l’ostracisme, et la tendance à dissoudre des questions politiques complexes dans une certitude morale aveugle».

En réaction à cette tribune, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (AOC) l’égérie woke du Parti démocrate, a aussitôt relativisé sur Twitter: «Ceux qui se plaignent de la cancel culture pensent que tout leur est dû – comme si on avait le droit à un large public captif et que l’on deviendrait victime si les gens choisissaient de nous écarter. Il y a de fortes chances que vous ne soyez pas réellement annulé, que vous soyez simplement mis au défi, tenu pour responsable ou peu apprécié.» Même Obama, qui avait rêvé d’une présidence postraciale avant de participer à la montée woke en installant la question de la moralisation des discriminations au sein du processus bureaucratique, a eu droit à des tirs de barrage intenses de la frange radicale quand il s’est mêlé du débat. «Si tout ce que vous faites, c’est jeter des pierres, vous n’irez pas très loin», avait déclaré l’ex-président en octobre 2019. «Le monde est en désordre, il y a des ambiguïtés. Les gens qui font de bonnes choses ont des défauts. Les gens que vous combattez aiment leurs enfants, ils partagent certaines choses avec vous», a rappelé l’ancien président, blâmant «cette idée de la pureté, de n’être jamais compromis, d’être toujours politiquement “éveillé” (woke)».

Tout autre que lui aurait sans doute été agoni d’injures après de tels propos. Le président conserve d’ailleurs une position ambiguë sur tous ces sujets sociétaux et n’a nullement condamné les excès révolutionnaires de Black Lives Matter quand, après la mort de George Floyd, cette organisation a vite abandonné le thème des violences policières pour appeler à mettre à bas le capitalisme et à démanteler tout l’héritage américain, jusqu’à ses Pères fondateurs.

«Une tache qui se répand»

En réalité, les voix dissidentes restent très isolées, un peu comme «un samizdat du XXIe siècle», affirme le géographe Joel Kotkin, résumant le point de vue des autres «rebelles». Le fait que la vague woke ait quitté le champ strictement universitaire pour déborder dans les médias grand public, le monde des affaires et les institutions de l’État a laissé les libéraux de la vieille école largement désemparés. «Je commence à penser que nous avons besoin d’une nouvelle métaphore pour décrire le “Great Awokening”. Ce n’est pas tant un mouvement qui avance qu’une tache qui se répand. Une fois que ce processus a commencé, il est très difficile de l’inverser, tout ce qu’on peut espérer, c’est d’empêcher qu’il ne se propage davantage et de protéger les choses précieuses. Non, il n’y a pas de mouvement d’opposition de quelque importance à ce phénomène, et, s’il y en avait un, il ne réussirait pas», s’inquiète Mark Lilla, un libéral de gauche qui a été l’un des premiers à sonner l’alarme. «Nous sommes face à des passions morales très puissantes qui inspirent en particulier les jeunes. Nous devrons attendre qu’elles se dissipent avant d’espérer pouvoir réparer une partie des dégâts», ajoute-t-il.

Social-démocrate à l’ancienne et opposé à la vague identitariste montante, Joel Kotkin s’alarme tout particulièrement de l’alliance des campus avec l’industrie de la tech, cette nouvelle oligarchie omniprésente qui prête allégeance au mouvement woke en forçant notamment ses employés à organiser des séminaires d’inclusivité et à signer avec les fameux «pronoms» «manière pour elle d’éluder les sujets plus embarrassants d’inégalité, de classe et de positions monopolistiques». Pour lui, cette alliance rend quasiment impossible une rébellion des démocrates centristes contre les radicaux. Si certains observateurs continuent d’espérer que les modérés, comme l’élue du Congrès Elissa Slotkin, relèveront la tête, la plupart sont très sceptiques.

Le fait que Trump ait porté le combat contre l’idéologie woke, dénonçant «un poison toxique» et antipatriotique qui veut jeter l’opprobre sur «tout le projet américain», empêche les démocrates centristes de bouger activement sur cette question, regrette Greg Lukianoff. «Même si Trump a eu raison sur ces thèmes, son comportement et son style inacceptables sur le reste vont au contraire retarder la mobilisation du centre», pronostique-t-il. Un point de vue que partage le professeur Bret Weinstein, persuadé que l’équipe Biden utilisera «cyniquement l’énergie révolutionnaire née sur les campus», mais finira par perdre le contrôle du «tigre» woke. «Ils ont déjà gagné, pense Jacob Siegel. Toutes les institutions cèdent les unes après les autres.»

Les salles sont bondées, surtout dans les petites villes de province, où l’on a soif de vérité et de nouvelles approches

Sam Abrams, professeur de science politique au collège ­Sarah Lawrence de New York

Dans ce tableau bien sombre, Sam Abrams voit une lueur d’espoir venir potentiellement de la nouvelle «génération Z» (nés entre 1997 et 2000), «beaucoup moins idéologue que les millennials» (nés entre 1980 et 2000), fatiguée de la polarisation et peu convaincue par la racialisation galopante. «Quand je me promène dans les campus pour des tournées de conférences, les salles sont bondées, surtout dans les petites villes de province, où l’on a soif de vérité et de nouvelles approches.» Sam n’en reste pas moins très envieux de «l’approche française»,qui résiste tant bien que mal à la vague woke anglo-saxonne. «Ça fait tellement de bien de savoir que chez vous les parents peuvent encore dire à leurs enfants qu’ils sont “un petit garçon ou une petite fille”. Chez nous, on dirait: comment osez-vous assigner un genre?»

Mais la différence est-elle si grande que Sam le pense? L’Amérique et la France ont beau plaider pour deux modèles radicalement opposés de république, sur le plan des idées, les chassés-croisés entre nos deux pays sont incessants. Ainsi avons-nous exporté la French Theory sur les campus d’Amérique dans les années 1960, semence qui allait faire fleurir le politiquement correct. Aujourd’hui, celui-ci nous revient en boomerang sous les nouveaux habits de la cancel culture et du wokisme qui s’implantent dans nos universités. Et, là-bas comme ici, l’intelligentsia libérale se réveille face aux excès et au déni d’une révolution qui dévore ses enfants. Aux États-Unis comme en France, cette guerre idéologique ne fait que commencer.

COMPLEMENT:

Sans commentaire:The Earth itself is rejoicing at the prospect of Dumping Trump. How could over 70,000,000 people still vote for such ignorant scum after four years of vapid hateful and puerile rhetoric! – A fellow Santa Monica resident on Nextdoor.com


This Chronicle presupposes that Donald Trump’s challenges to the election results, whether or not well founded, will not succeed.

There is something called force majeure that supersedes all rules of procedure. When Kennedy won in 1960, it was known at the time or soon after that the Illinois electoral votes that decided the election were fixed by Chicago’s legendary Mayor Daley—that is, that in objective terms, it was Nixon who won the election. Just as we can be pretty sure that Jeffrey Epstein did not hang himself in his cell; that Harry Reid’s 2015 “accident” was not a fall from his exercise bike; or that Hillary Clinton committed a felony by using a personal mail server that no doubt helped her to conceal, among other things, the conspiracy against Trump. But to these and other “slips” we can only say, c’est la vie. There’s nothing to do about them. Somehow the welfare of the state depends, if not on their consequences, then on the consequences of not raising questions about them in such a way as to produce embarrassing answers.

Assuming this is also the case for the allegations of voter fraud to explain all these states switching from one column to the other after the election-day votes had been counted, I will therefore assume that, whether or not his challenges are legitimate, Donald Trump will not begin a second term in 2021.


In defeat, Donald Trump embodies the original role of the tragic protagonist in such a way as to teach us more about tragedy than we can learn from the usual readings of Shakespeare or Sophocles.

We are accustomed to seeing tragedy as either a literary form or a vision of the human condition, as in Unamuno’s Tragic Sense of Life. But in such literary and/or anthropological generalizations, the importance of tragedy as a critical interaction between leader and community is lost.

Tragedy is compatible neither with acephalous tribal society, nor with the archaic empires in which the godlike pharaoh cannot be conceived in dialogue with others. It is a product of the post-theocratic society of Athens and other city-states, one in which kings and tyrants interact with their subjects as fellow humans, not as sacred beings.

Aristotle defined tragedy as “an imitation of persons above the common level,” in Greek “better than ourselves” (beltionon hemas). But in Aristotle’s vocabulary, these are not merely relative terms. The tragic protagonist is not “better” because he is smarter or richer than the anonymous citizens watching the play, but because his role is central to the welfare of the state. He is in a position of sacred centrality, yet ontologically, merely a human being among others. Thus he is forced to function, as Barack Obama once put it, “above my pay grade,” solving transcendental problems on the fallible basis of individual intuition.


If any modern political role fits the original description of a potential tragic protagonist, it is that of the American president, who combines the roles of monarch/head of state and parliamentary leader/prime minister, which remain separated in most other liberal democracies. Our republic has its roots in the Athenian agon, and it is no coincidence that its most agonistic recent moment has produced its most tragic political figure.

No president in the entire history of the American republic has been so unsparingly vilified as Donald Trump, throughout the 2016 nomination process and campaign, and the nearly four years of his presidency. His tenure in office has been marked by an unprecedented degree of virulent hostility from all corners of the federal establishment, as well as from members of the public who, habituated since Reagan to Republican “derangement syndromes,” have surpassed themselves in his case.

To have sustained a “Resistance” that began with his election and denied his legitimacy throughout his entire tenure in office, to have been impeached on trivial evidence after sustaining nearly three years of congressionally approved investigation on the absurd charge of “complicity” with Russia, while meeting with hostile silence from many in his own party who abstained from actual abuse, is far from the normal status of a political figure even in a pugnacious democracy.

What then was the key to Trump’s anomalous success? As I have pointed out since the beginning, Trump was the sole candidate, other than the impressive but insufficiently political Dr. Ben Carson, who was truly invulnerable to “PC,” as victimary thinking was then called before it graduated to “wokeness.”

This resistance has in fact been Trump’s most significant distinction, although neither his detractors nor his supporters tend to refer to it. It was not a product of theoretical reflection, but of his faithfulness to the attitudes which reigned in his youth—attitudes which I largely share. That the current “woke” generation is capable of tearing down or defacing statues of virtually all the great men of American history is viscerally offensive to both of us, yet none of Trump’s rivals for the nomination presented any real resistance to the perspective that anticipated these actions.

Were we to seek an embodiment of our timeless model of the ideal president, wise and forbearing, Trump would hardly qualify. Trump is not a political thinker, but a man of action, and as his detractors in both camps never fail to insist, he is not afraid to exaggerate, to bluster, to repeat quite dubious ideas.

Trump was able to beat out his many primary competitors and win the 2016 election because, more even than his ability to make “deals,” his show-business experience gave him supreme confidence in his “instincts,” whether as entertainer or president, for occupying the center of the stage. And these instincts, these political intuitions, were hostile to victimary thinking, not because Trump is obsessed with it, but simply because Trump is untouched by it.

But what mattered in 2016 and still matters today has been Trump’s consistency in resisting the mimetic pressure that drives the respectable members of Charles Murray’s “Belmont” class (Coming Apart, Crown Forum, 2012; see, e.g., Chronicles 424, 449) to symbolically flagellate themselves in penance for their “white privilege”—all the while feathering the nests of the most privileged members of society, including themselves.

No doubt there are more sophisticated ways than Trump’s of resisting the power of White Guilt. But its virtually total domination of the academic world and of those formed by it, such as the elementary school teachers whose antipatriotic lessons are diametrically opposed to the ones I learned in these classes, has made virtually the entire educated class incapable of firm resistance to this tendency, the product of our enforced “awokening” to the model of originary moral equality to the exclusion of all other social considerations (see Chronicle 674).

Only someone whose social instincts had been developed before the current constitution of the Belmont world could credibly oppose this configuration, and only someone with considerable personal—rather than institutional—resources would have the freedom to do so. At the start of his campaign in 2015, Trump’s chief source of popular visibility was his presence in the Reality TV show The Apprentice (see Chronicle 493), highly popular among the “deplorable” lower-middle-class audience that would put him in office in the face of the open contempt of establishment politicians in his own party as well as the Democrats.


After his 2016 election victory, many hoped that Trump’s bull-in-the-china-shop tweeting and expostulating would disappear, or at least diminish. And indeed, whenever he makes the effort, Trump has shown himself perfectly capable of delivering a cogent address in a perfectly dignified manner. Yet he has continued with the behavior that, even if effective as “trolling” in enraging his enemies, has done nothing to repair his estrangement from the Belmont class.

I think for Trump this is a matter of principle, even if the principle is not articulated as a proposition. What makes it tragic is that, although this behavior may well have cost him reelection, it is inseparable from his sense of self. It seems clear that someone who had viewed these antics merely as a political stratagem would not have had the chutzpah to flaunt from the very beginning his disdain for victimary thinking in the face of the respectable majority.

The grain of truth in the calumnious accusations of “white supremacy” and even “antisemitism” is that, alone among the politicians of his generation, Trump viscerally understood that the prior censorship exercised by White Guilt is the real culprit that must be cast out. Thus even when in 2016 Trump scandalously denounced US-born judge Gonzalo Curiel as a “Mexican” by way of attacking his impartiality in the matter of the “Wall,” his very sense that this did not damn him as indelibly “racist” affirmed in his own mind his frequently repeated contention that he “is the least racist person in the room.” And indeed, the one incidence of “racism” unceasingly cited by his political enemies has been his statement about “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville in reference to the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, as proof, despite his explicit statements to the contrary, of his endorsing neo-Nazis.

Yet the fact remains that many of those unmoved by these spurious accusations have been put off by Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. And so Trump lost an election that he might well have won, even in the face of the Covid19 pandemic. No one can claim to know what formula he should have followed. But what makes him a tragic figure is the fact that he would no longer have been Trump had he sought any other formula than just being Trump.


What lesson does this teach us about tragedy, not as a “literary form,” but as a category of cultural acts?

What we call the “tragic flaw” (hamartia) should not be understood, as does Aristotle, as a characterological imperfection in one who might otherwise have been perfect. It is the mark of the protagonist’s ineluctable individuality, the non-identity between his own scene of representation and that of his community, whose welfare, in classical tragedy as in the American presidency, he is charged to uphold, yet which could only be grasped in its totality by a mind that transcended the human sphere.

The tragic protagonist assumes leadership in a crisis in which he is obliged to make decisions that cannot be deduced from prior social norms. Once a human being comes to occupy the social center originally reserved for the sacred, he is tasked with a responsibility both necessary and impossible to fulfill en connaissance de cause.

Hence every leader is potentially a tragic figure: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. But real-life and even legendary tragic figures are few. Classical tragedy’s dramatis personae, even taking into account the many lost plays, were quite limited; the same figures constantly reappeared. The “serious actions” that tragedies “imitate” are not fictions open to the author’s invention; in principle they must have a basis in their potential spectators’ knowledge prior to the play itself, whether in history (the oldest extant tragedy is Aeschylus’ The Persians) or myth. La tragédie ne s’invente pas.

Tragedy depends on crisis. And although, objectively speaking, the United States has traversed many far more serious crises—wars and economic depressions—we are currently witnessing the most serious breakdown of our political system since the Civil War, one that the current election, whatever its outcome, is most unlikely to fully resolve.


Recently Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin gave an appreciation of Trump that should be heeded by the “respectable” members of both parties:

It’s not just that he eats cheeseburgers at a big celebratory dinner. It’s not just that he does things that the common man can kind of appreciate. And it’s not even because he uses kind of simplistic language—he doesn’t use complicated, wonky language, the way a lot of Democrats do. . . .

We sometimes make people feel like they aren’t conscientious enough. They aren’t thoughtful enough. They aren’t “woke” enough. They aren’t smart enough or educated enough to just understand what’s good for them. . . . It’s talking down to people. It’s alienating them. And there’s just certain voters who feel so distant from the political process—it’s not their life, it’s not their world. They hate it. They don’t like all that politics stuff. Trump speaks to them, because he includes them.

(https://www.foxnews.com/politics/elissa-slotkin-dem-urges-party-act-more-like-trump)

Slotkin’s point is that, like old Harry Truman, but unlike today’s Democrats, Trump speaks to ordinary people. It might seem peculiar for the party that has always presumed to represent the “common man” to be accused by one of its own of “talking down” to its constituency, while the Republicans, supposedly the party of plutocracy, field a candidate whose refusal of a lofty register wins her esteem despite her presumed disagreement with his policies. But what Slotkin means by “talking down” is not so much affecting an intellectual (“wonky”) but a moral (“woke”) superiority. It is less treating people as stupid than as morally obtuse, un-woke. In a word, it is telling “deplorable” white voters to exhibit, to virtue-signal, their White Guilt.


Which leads us back to our point of departure. As the only candidate in 2016 who was able to resist the victimary pressure that dominates the Left but also paralyses the Right, Trump rightly saw his candidacy as a mission, one figured by descending the escalator in Trump Tower (now faced by the “mural” of Black Lives Matter painted on the street).

Trump had a mission and, Wall or no Wall, he has largely carried it out. Even if he fails to obtain a second term, his example will have a lasting effect on American politics. And I hope it will one day receive the historical respect it deserves.

That the mediocre Biden was able to call Trump “clown,” “racist,” “worst president ever” demonstrates the tragic vulnerability of the latter’s denial of PC. And those on the Right who persist in seeing Trump as a vulgarian, judging him by what they call his “character” rather than his achievements, are if anything less excusable.

It was Trump who revived the American economy, reduced unemployment to its long-term minimum, and raised the salaries of minorities despite their (diminishing!) fidelity to the Democrats. It is Trump who got rid of Soleimani and Al Baghdadi, moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and has begun building a coalition of Arab states along with Israel to counter Iran’s influence.

If Trump still refuses to concede—and we need not deny a priori the claims of his lawyer Sidney Powell, whose recent statements: “We’re getting ready to overturn election results in multiple states,” and “I don’t make comments without having the evidence to back it up” (see https://www.ntd.com/trump-lawyer-sidney-powell-were-getting-ready-to-overturn-election-results-in-multiple-states_528748.html) at least express confidence—this is but one more manifestation of the pertinacity without which he would never have been elected in the first place.

May at least the members of his own party have the good grace to recognize that Trump achieved what none of them could have, and, whatever their own personal style, seek to learn from the healthy core of Trump’s “instincts.”

Donald Trump saw more clearly than anyone the danger that Rep. Slotkin recognizes in the “woke” faith in resentment that has been building since the 1960s. A virus far more virulent than SARS-CoV-2, this victimary faith has infested our educational, informational, entertainment, and governmental institutions, and unless promptly and firmly checked, risks handing our hard-won democracy to the barbarians.


Présidentielle américaine: Attention, une fraude peut en cacher une autre ! (Despite all the money and clout of America’s corrupt Establishment, the people’s rebellion started by Trump will not so easily go away)

7 novembre, 2020

Donald Trump, Counterrevolutionary | AllSidesTJ3 Founder & Writer of the Deloration of Indie. #Jefferson | This or that questions, Lettering, The republicNo, Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler - New York Daily NewsKing: Donald Trump has gone full blown Nazi on us - New York Daily NewsDonald Trump Has Escalated His Rhetoric. So Has The Press Covering Him : NPR

VoterID | U.S. Embassy in SwedenImage

Nous avons mis en place, je pense, l’organisation d’une fraude électorale la plus vaste et la plus inclusive de l’histoire de la politique américaine. Joe Biden
Lorsqu’un Sanhédrin s’est déclaré unanime pour condamner, l’accusé sera acquitté. Le Talmud
Ce n’est pas en refusant de mentir que nous abolirons le mensonge : c’est en usant de tous les moyens pour supprimer les classes. (…) Tous les moyens sont bons lorsqu’ils sont efficaces. Aujourd´hui, c´est le meilleur moyen. (Un temps.) Comme tu tiens à ta pureté, mon petit gars ! Comme tu as peur de te salir les mains. Eh bien, reste pur ! A qui cela servira-t-il et pourquoi viens-tu parmi nous ? La pureté, c´est une idée de fakir et de moine. Vous autres, les intellectuels, les anarchistes bourgeois, vous en tirez prétexte pour ne rien faire. Ne rien faire, rester immobile, serrer les coudes contre le corps, porter des gants. Moi j´ai les mains sales. Jusqu´aux coudes. je les ai plongées dans la merde et dans le sang. Et puis après ? Est-ce que tu t´imagines qu´on peut gouverner innocemment? Jean-Paul Sartre (Les mains sales, 1948)
That’s our motto. We want freedom by any means necessary. We want justice by any means necessary. We want equality by any means necessary. Malcom Little alias X
The revolution will not be televised, the revolution will be live. Gil Scott-Heron
Vous semblez … considérer les juges comme les arbitres ultimes de toutes les questions constitutionnelles; doctrine très dangereuse en effet, et qui nous placerait sous le despotisme d’une oligarchie. Nos juges sont aussi honnêtes que les autres hommes, et pas plus. Ils ont, avec d’autres, les mêmes passions pour le parti, pour le pouvoir et le privilège de leur corps. Leur maxime est boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [un bon juge élargit sa compétence], et leur pouvoir est d’autant plus dangereux qu’ils détiennent leur fonction à  vie et qu’ils ne sont pas, comme les autres fonctionnaires, responsables devant un corps électoral. La Constitution n’a pas érigé un tribunal unique de ce genre, sachant que, quelles que soient les mains confiées, avec la corruption du temps et du parti, ses membres deviendraient des despotes. Il a plus judicieusement rendu tous les départements co-égaux et co-souverains en eux-mêmes. Thomas Jefferson (lettre à William Charles Jarvis, 28 septembre 1820)
Si le juge avait pu attaquer les lois d’une façon théorique et générale ; s’il avait pu prendre l’initiative et censurer le législateur, il fût entré avec éclat sur la scène politique ; devenu le champion ou l’adversaire d’un parti, il eût appelé toutes les passions qui divisent le pays à prendre part à la lutte. Mais quand le juge attaque une loi dans un débat obscur et sur une application particulière, il dérobe en partie l’importance de l’attaque aux regards du public. Son arrêt n’a pour but que de frapper un intérêt individuel ; la loi ne se trouve blessée que par hasard. Tocqueville
Qu’on y prenne garde, un pouvoir électif qui n’est pas soumis à un pouvoir judiciaire échappe tôt ou tard à tout contrôle ou est détruit. (…) L’extension du pouvoir judiciaire dans le monde politique doit donc être corrélative à l’extension du pouvoir électif. Si ces deux choses ne vont point ensemble, l’État finit par tomber en anarchie ou en servitude. Tocqueville (1835)
Est-ce qu’une erreur humaine, des bugs informatiques, un piratage ou d’autres problèmes ont modifié l’issue du vote ? Même si, à ce stade, il n’existe aucune preuve, les informations sur le hack [de la campagne démocrate] et l’interférence délibérée [de la Russie] font que cela vaut le coup d’enquêter. Ron Rivest et Philip Star (professeurs au MIT et à l’université de Californie, USA Today, 2016)
Voici un scénario possible. D’abord, les instigateurs enquêtent sur les bureaux de vote très en amont pour trouver comment pénétrer dans les ordinateurs. A l’approche de l’élection, quand les sondages montrent dans quels Etats les résultats seront serrés, ils diffusent un logiciel malveillant dans certaines machines de vote pour favoriser un candidat. Ce logiciel est conçu pour rester inactif pendant les tests préélection, fait son sale boulot le jour du scrutin, puis s’autoefface quand le bureau ferme. Les machines à voter américaines ont de sérieux problèmes de sécurité informatique. Cela fait des années que nous soulignons que ces machines sont des ordinateurs, avec des logiciels reprogrammables, et que si des pirates peuvent les modifier en infectant la machine avec un programme malveillant, ils peuvent lui faire dire absolument ce qu’ils veulent. (…) Je crois que l’explication la plus plausible est que les sondages étaient systématiquement erronés, non que le système électoral a été manipulé. John Alex Halderman (2016)
Et si l’élection surprise de Donald Trump s’expliquait par une fraude ciblée à la machine électronique ? C’est l’hypothèse qu’avancent plusieurs experts aux Etats-Unis, dont l’avocat en droit électoral John Bonifaz et le professeur en informatique de l’université du Michigan John Alex Halderman. Selon un article du New York Magazine du 22 novembre, l’entourage de Hillary Clinton a été alerté de possibles manipulations dans les Etats du Wisconsin, du Michigan et de Pennsylvanie, et pressé de déposer un recours pour contester les résultats. Selon leurs analyses, dans le Wisconsin, la candidate démocrate a obtenu en moyenne 7 % de voix de moins dans les bureaux de vote équipés de machines électroniques que dans les bureaux pratiquant le décompte manuel. Un écart équivalent à 30 000 électeurs, dans un Etat où l’ancienne première dame des Etats-Unis n’a été battue que de 27 000 voix. Or, plusieurs observateurs relèvent que quelques centaines de bureaux de vote suffisent à faire changer l’issue d’un scrutin serré. Les machines de vote électronique américaines ne sont pas réputées pour leur niveau de sécurité drastique. Comme le rappelle l’ingénieure et mathématicienne Emily Gorcenski sur Twitter, alors qu’un simple capteur de pouls nécessite pas moins d’une dizaine d’étapes de certification, il n’y a ni évaluation du code informatique, ni recherche de faille, ni suivi des versions du logiciel pour les urnes électroniques. Pirater les systèmes informatiques des machines à voter n’a dès lors rien d’impossible, détaille le spécialiste en sécurité informatique John Alex Halderman dans une tribune sur le réseau social Medium (…) Pour cela, la machine n’a pas besoin d’être connectée à Internet : il suffit que l’ordinateur à partir duquel elle a été configurée pour le scrutin du jour soit infecté pour qu’elle puisse l’être à son tour, par l’actualisation de ses données par carte mémoire ou clé USB. (…) Ces doutes se font jour dans un contexte particulièrement tendu, où non seulement la victoire de Donald Trump a fait beaucoup de mécontents, mais aussi où des soupçons d’interventions russes ont pesé dès la primaire démocrate. Des irrégularités et cyberattaques combinées aux positions prorusses du candidat républicain ont rapidement suscité des suspicions d’une interférence de Moscou en faveur de Donald Trump. John Alex Halderman le reconnaît, ce scénario aurait encore relevé de la science-fiction il y a quelques années. Mais pas en 2016, notamment depuis le piratage du Comité national démocrate et de la messagerie électronique de John Podesta, le responsable de campagne de Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, lors d’une interview en juillet, a publiquement invité la Russie à « fouiller » les e-mails de Mme Clinton afin de révéler au grand jour ceux qu’elles n’auraient pas transmis au FBI. Washington a affirmé voir la main de la Russie derrière ces intrusions, ce dont Moscou s’est défendu. Par ailleurs, dès octobre, l’administration Obama a accusé Moscou d’avoir piraté le système informatique électoral. « Ces vols et ces piratages ont pour but d’interférer dans le processus électoral américain », ont affirmé le département de la sécurité intérieure (DHS) et la direction du renseignement américain (ODNI) dans un communiqué commun. Lors des élections elles-mêmes, des dysfonctionnements ont rapidement été observés dans plusieurs Etats. Dans certains bureaux de la banlieue de Pittsburgh, en Pennsylvanie, plusieurs machines ont notamment inversé les votes qui leur étaient soumis. Ce dysfonctionnement a toutefois touché indifféremment les deux partis, et la source du problème a rapidement été identifiée, puis corrigée. D’autres alertes concernant des machines en panne ou défectueuses ont également été signalées dans l’Utah et le Colorado. Même si ce ne furent que des événements courts et isolés, ils ont suffi à éveiller la méfiance des républicains, persuadés que le système leur était hostile et essayerait de leur barrer la route. Certains organes de presse d’extrême droite, comme OnlineMagazin, ont pour leur part diffusé des vidéos de dysfonctionnement de machines de vote en Pennsylvanie, et suggéré un complot ourdi par le milliardaire George Soros. Le jour du scrutin, à l’antenne de Fox News, Donald Trump lui-même s’était montré inquiet des vulnérabilités du vote électronique, quelques heures avant d’apprendre qu’il avait remporté l’élection. « Est-ce qu’une erreur humaine, des bugs informatiques, un piratage ou d’autres problèmes ont modifié l’issue du vote ? Même si, à ce stade, il n’existe aucune preuve, les informations sur le hack [de la campagne démocrate] et l’interférence délibérée [de la Russie] font que cela vaut le coup d’enquêter », affirment à leur tour dans une tribune parue sur USA Today Ron Rivest et Philip Star, professeurs au MIT et à l’université de Californie, et membres du comité d’assistance technique aux élections américaines. Alors que Hillary Clinton a jusqu’à vendredi 25 novembre pour déposer un recours, faut-il croire à une cyberattaque ? A priori non, affirme Nate Silver, analyste et prévisionniste électoral réputé, fondateur du site FiveThirtyEight, à partir d’une analyse non pas informatique ou géopolitique du scrutin, mais sociologique et démographique. Pour tenter d’isoler l’éventuelle influence du système de vote, manuel ou électronique, le statisticien a rapporté les différences de vote dans les comtés du Wisconsin à d’autres critères plus classiques : couleur de peau, niveau d’éducation et revenu. Les résultats, observe-t-il, ne sont généralement pas significativement différents lorsque le bureau fonctionne avec des appareils électroniques et lorsque le vote et le dépouillement se font à la main. Mais alors, pourquoi 7 % de différence dans le vote Clinton, d’un type de vote à un autre ? Là encore, pour Nate Silver, ce sont les différences démographiques entre les comtés équipés de systèmes électroniques et les autres qui pourraient expliquer les écarts de résultats. Selon l’analyste américain, un seul cas de figure très précis pourrait expliquer cette absence de corrélation sans invalider l’hypothèse d’un piratage : que les pirates aient anticipé les variables électorales par couleur de peau, par niveau d’éducation et par revenu, et choisi précisément de viser les bureaux de vote où la sociologie des électeurs rende mathématiquement indétectable l’effet d’une intrusion informatique. Par exemple, si la forte proportion d’individus peu diplômés augmente le score républicain, et que seuls les bureaux de vote de ce type sont piratés, l’impact du piratage est indétectable. Le scientifique J. Alex Halderman lui-même reste prudent, en dépit des multiples indices de vulnérabilité des machines à voter. « Je crois que l’explication la plus plausible est que les sondages étaient systématiquement erronés, non que le système électoral a été manipulé », estime-t-il. Il réclame néanmoins une enquête pour en avoir le cœur net et rappelle que seul le vote papier peut prémunir les électeurs contre le risque d’un détournement du système électronique. Le Monde (25.11.2006)
Plusieurs sites d’extrême droite français ont repris une rumeur sur la supposée découverte d’un ancien enquêteur du FBI censée prouver une triche organisée par le candidat démocrate. Un système de fraude massive à l’occasion de l’élection présidentielle américaine aurait-il été découvert par deux enquêteurs, dont un ancien du FBI ? C’est la rumeur reprise, sans le moindre élément de preuve, par plusieurs médias français pro-Trump. Ce que dit la rumeur. Deux enquêteurs américains, dont un ancien employé du Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), auraient découvert, avec « des preuves vidéo, des documents et des témoins » pour l’attester, l’existence d’une « opération illégale de récolte de bulletins de vote [qui] pourrait détourner 700 000 bulletins ». Cette affirmation a notamment été popularisée par les sites d’extrême droite Resistances 2020 et Europe Israël. Cette accusation, très populaire dans les cercles trumpistes américains, s’appuie sur une attestation sur l’honneur qui existe bel et bien. Signée par un détective privé républicain, Charles F. Marler, elle date du mois de septembre. Celui-ci y expliquait qu’un système de fraude avait été mis en place par les démocrates dans le comté de Harris, dans le Texas. Problème : le détective privé prétend posséder de nombreuses preuves et témoignages, mais n’en produit aucun. L’attestation, jugée vague et dépourvue de fondements suffisants, a donc été estimée peu crédible par les responsables du comté, relate le site de vérification américain Snopes. Faute d’élément, rien ne permet d’affirmer que des manipulations électorales ont eu lieu au Texas. Du reste, l’issue du vote n’accrédite pas l’idée qu’une triche de grande ampleur aurait profité au Parti démocrate. L’Etat a en effet été remporté par Donald Trump avec 52,8 % des votes. Les décodeurs du Monde (06.11.2020)
Des soutiens de Donald Trump profitent de l’incertitude qui entoure l’issue du scrutin pour accuser Joe Biden et les démocrates de fraude. (…) L’élection présidentielle américaine de 2020, dont le résultat n’était pas encore connu vendredi 6 novembre dans l’après-midi, a apporté son lot de rumeurs et suspicions sur la bonne tenue du scrutin. Celles-ci vont toutes dans le même sens : reprenant un argumentaire lancé très en amont par Donald Trump, elles accusent le camp démocrate de truquer l’élection pour faire perdre l’actuel président. (…) Une rumeur sur Facebook affirme que les listes électorales dans l’Etat du Michigan, remporté mercredi 4 novembre par le candidat démocrate, Joe Biden, sont frauduleuses. Des soutiens de Donald Trump partagent sur les réseaux sociaux une image diffusée à la télévision américaine, pour confirmer les allégations du président sortant qui dénonce un supposé « vol » du scrutin. La capture d’écran, qui provient de la chaîne locale Fox 2 Detroit, indique qu’une action en justice a été ouverte pour enquêter sur les électeurs de la plus grande ville du Michigan. Elle détaille les irrégularités observées sur les listes électorales : « 4 788 inscriptions en double, 32 519 électeurs inscrits de plus que ce que l’Etat en compte, 2 503 personnes décédées inscrites, un électeur né en 1823. » Pourquoi c’est faux. L’image est authentique, et les informations aussi. Sauf que cette action en justice n’a pas été intentée pendant les élections américaines de 2020. Elle a été initiée en 2019 par la Public Interest Legal Foundation, une organisation conservatrice proche de Donald Trump, et hostile au vote par correspondance, qui a intenté des poursuites judiciaires dans le pays pour s’assurer de la mise à jour des listes électorales, comme l’explique le site américain Politifact. En décembre 2019, la Public Interest Legal Foundation a attaqué la ville de Détroit, l’accusant de détenir des listes électorales frauduleuses. Six mois plus tard, en juin 2020, les poursuites judiciaires ont été abandonnées, car l’organisation a estimé que les listes électorales avaient été finalement corrigées. En résumé, l’image date de 2019 et n’a donc pas été diffusée à la télévision pendant l’élection présidentielle actuelle. De plus, les listes électorales à Détroit ont été mises à jour avant l’élection. A l’heure où nous écrivons ces lignes, aucun soupçon de fraude électorale n’a été documenté dans le Michigan en ce qui concerne le scrutin du 4 novembre. (…) Dans un court extrait vidéo d’une vingtaine de secondes, repris notamment en France par le site de « réinformation » Dreuz, Joe Biden en personne déclare face caméra (la traduction est de Dreuz) : « Deuxièmement, nous sommes dans une situation où nous avons mis en place – et vous l’avez fait pour notre administration, celle du président Obama, avant celle-ci – nous avons mis en place, je pense, l’organisation de fraude électorale la plus étendue et la plus inclusive de l’histoire de la politique américaine. » L’extrait provient d’un podcast diffusé fin octobre, dans lequel Joe Biden répond aux questions de Crooked Media, un média de gauche fondé par des proches de Barack Obama. Sorti de son contexte, il ressemble à un aveu. Remis dans son contexte, il est tout le contraire : le candidat démocrate explique comment son équipe compte lutter contre les tentatives du camp républicain pour dissuader les électeurs démocrates. Cette stratégie de « suppression des électeurs », fort bien expliquée par Franceinfo, consiste par exemple à refuser les cartes d’étudiants mais à accepter les permis de port d’arme comme pièce d’identité à l’entrée des bureaux de vote pour favoriser les électeurs républicains. Face à ces techniques, qui visent notamment les électeurs noirs, traditionnellement enclins à voter démocrate, Joe Biden explique que son équipe a mis en place un site pour faciliter les démarches des électeurs concernés, Iwillvote.com (Je vais voter). Ce qu’il décrit [au-delà de son lapsus] n’est donc pas un système de fraude, mais au contraire un système de lutte contre la fraude électorale que l’ancien vice-président attribue à son adversaire. (…) 700 000 bulletins en faveur de Joe Bien « seraient apparus miraculeusement ». Selon cette infox, née en août et ravivée depuis début novembre, respectivement 500 000 et 200 000 bulletins auraient été attribués frauduleusement à des personnes mortes et des animaux de compagnie en Virginie et au Nevada. La rumeur s’est diffusée sur les réseaux sociaux en France, où l’on peut lire, par exemple, que « même les morts ont voté pour Biden ». Faux. Ce qui est vrai, c’est que 700 000 bulletins ont été envoyés de manière incorrecte. D’une part, en Virginie, 500 000 bulletins comportaient l’adresse du mauvais bureau de vote sur l’enveloppe de retour : les électeurs étaient encouragés à envoyer leur courrier à la ville de Fairfax, et non au comté de Fairfax, entité administrative compétente pour l’élection. Le comté de Fairfax s’est excusé pour cette erreur et s’est engagé à prendre à ses frais le transport des bulletins vers le bon bureau de vote. Absolument rien ne permet d’affirmer que les votes en question allaient dans le sens du candidat Joe Biden ou de Donald Trump. La seconde erreur s’est produite au Nevada, où des bulletins avaient été envoyés systématiquement à tous les électeurs en raison de la pandémie. 226 000 enveloppes de vote ont été renvoyées aux autorités en charge du processus électoral, car elles étaient arrivées à des adresses où ne résidaient plus leurs destinataires, pour une raison ou une autre (décès, déménagement, erreur administrative, etc.). Certains, dans le lot, ont donc pu arriver chez des personnes mortes. Deb Wake, présidente de la ligue des électrices de Virginie, interrogée par la radio WTop, explique que quelqu’un lui a rapporté qu’un mort et un animal de compagnie avaient reçu un courrier électoral. Le site de vérification américain Politifact rappelle toutefois qu’il s’agit d’un cas de figure très fréquent dans une élection. « Si on envoie un bulletin de vote aujourd’hui et que l’électeur meurt demain, il recevra quand même le courrier », explique Wayne Torley, secrétaire adjoint aux élections du Nevada. Cela ne constitue pas une fraude, sauf si une personne remplit le bulletin au nom du mort – mais rien ne permet d’affirmer que cela a été le cas. (…) La courbe des votes en faveur du candidat démocrate Joe Biden est caractérisée par des envolées abruptes, à la verticale, signe que le scrutin a été truqué pour le faire remonter d’un coup. C’est du moins ce qu’estiment les relais français du candidat républicain. « Les démocrates, quand vous fraudez soyez discrets svp », interpelle ainsi Damien Rieu, figure de la fachosphère française. Le magistrat Charles Prats, ancien soutien de François Fillon, suggère lui aussi un trucage, « ni vu ni connu », dans un Tweet qui reprend les mêmes graphiques. Trompeur. Ces deux graphiques affichant une remontée spectaculaire sont authentiques. Ils ont été publiés par les journalistes de FiveThirtyEight, un site américain d’analyse politique reconnu, sur leur blog de suivi en direct de l’élection. Cette courbe est due à un biais statistique : au lieu d’égrener progressivement les scrutins au fur et à mesure de la journée, certains Etats publient les résultats par à-coups, en faisant remonter en même temps un très grand nombre de votes dépouillés, d’où ce bond. Mais ces augmentations soudaines ne profitent pas au seul camp démocrate, explique Curt Villarosa, responsable des affaires publiques d’ABC News, le média propriétaire de FiveThirtyEight, au site de vérification américain Politifact : « Tous n’étaient pas 100 % pour Biden. Sous la ligne bleue, il y a aussi une ligne rouge représentant les milliers de votes pour Trump. Il y a par ailleurs des contre-exemples où la courbe de Trump explose soudainement quand un lot de scrutins favorables est pris en compte. » En effet, d’autres graphiques publiés par FiveThirtyEight permettent de retrouver le même phénomène d’envolée soudaine de la courbe. Celui-ci est décorrélé du candidat. Ainsi dans Iowa (IA sur le graphique), Biden comme Trump ont vu leur nombre de votes exploser dans des proportions quasi égales en milieu de journée, et relativement similaires en début de journée dans le Kansas (KS). Dans le Montana (MT), les lots tardifs ont plutôt été en faveur de Trump, se traduisant par des bonds à la verticale dans la courbe du président sortant. (…) Alors que l’issue de l’élection américaine demeure incertaine, rien n’est en mesure de corroborer les accusations de fraude de Donald Trump. Les exemples cités plus haut, relayés en nombre par les supporteurs du président américain sortant, sont faux. Comme la vidéo d’un homme qui brûle fièrement des bulletins de vote pro-Trump. En réalité, ces bulletins sont des échantillons qui ne sont pas utilisés pour le vote. Eric Trump, lui, n’a toujours pas supprimé son Tweet. La rumeur sur les 40 000 bulletins de votes non pris en compte en Géorgie est également une infox. Sur Twitter, le comté de DeKalb a qualifié cette information d’« erronée » et expliqué que seuls 200 bulletins, et non pas 40 000, avaient été mis de côté provisoirement. Chacun des électeurs concernés sera contacté afin de confirmer les votes, a assuré le comté. (…) Un autre élément de discours récurrent consiste à s’étonner que des lots entiers de votes soient intégralement en faveur de l’ancien vice-président, comme dans le Michigan, où Joe Biden s’est vu créditer de plus de 138 339 voix d’un coup. Une anomalie statistique qui prouverait une magouille électorale. (…) Vrai, mais l’erreur a été corrigée. La carte qui circule est celle de Decision Desk HQ, une entreprise d’agrégation de résultats électoraux. Celle-ci a reconnu une erreur de saisie dans les données envoyées par l’Etat du Michigan. L’origine précise de l’erreur a été repérée par un internaute : dans le comté de Shiawassee (68 122 habitants), Joe Biden a été crédité de 153 710 votes (notez le zéro à la fin) au lieu de 15 371. Entre les deux chiffres, un différentiel de 138 339, soit pile le nombre de scrutins erronés attribués au niveau du Michigan à Joe Biden. « Cela arrive les nuits d’élection et nous pensons que d’autres agrégateurs de votes du Michigan ont rencontré la même erreur et l’ont corrigée en temps réel comme nous l’avons fait », s’est justifié un porte-parole à BuzzFeed. Les résultats ont depuis été corrigés. Malgré cela, le candidat démocrate a tout de même remporté d’une courte tête les 16 grands électeurs du Michigan. L’actuel locataire de la Maison Blanche a annoncé qu’il déposerait un recours pour contester le résultat. Les décodeurs du Monde
Ce qui est vraiment stupéfiant, c’est l’hubris qui se reflète dans le Putsch judiciaire d’aujourd’hui. Antonio Scalia
J’ai été commis au juge Scalia il y a plus de 20 ans, mais les leçons que j’ai apprises résonnent toujours. Sa philosophie judiciaire est aussi la mienne: un juge doit appliquer la loi telle qu’elle est écrite. Les juges ne sont pas des décideurs politiques, et ils doivent être résolus à mettre de côté toutes les opinions politiques qu’ils pourraient avoir. Amy Coney Barrett
The Court has needlessly created conditions that could lead to serious post-election problems. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a decree that squarely alters an important statutory provision enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature pursuant to its authority under the Constitution of the United States to make rules governing the conduct of elections for federal office, Act 77, which permitted all voters to cast their ballots by mail but unambiguously required that all mailed ballots be received by 8 p.m. on election day. The law also specified that if this provision was declared invalid, much of the rest of Act 77, including its liberalization of mail-in voting, would be void. Yet in the face of Act 77’s deadline, a divided Pennsylvania court “decreed that mailed ballots need not be received by election day.” Instead, it confected a new rule — that ballots “are to be treated as timely if they are postmarked on or before election day and are received within three days thereafter.” Quaker State sages also ordered that a ballot with no postmark must be accepted if received on time. A month ago, the GOP in Pennsylvania and the Quaker State Senate’s leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the Pennsylvania’ Supreme Court’s decision. They argued the state court decision violated the U.S. constitution and “the federal statute setting a uniform date for federal elections.” Yet the our high court denied the stay — “by an equally divided vote. Justice Alito (October 28, 2020)
Quelques semaines avant une élection nationale, un juge de district fédéral a décrété que la loi du Wisconsin enfreignait la Constitution en obligeant les électeurs absents à retourner leur bulletin de vote au plus tard le jour du scrutin. Le tribunal a rendu sa décision même si plus de 30 États appliquent depuis longtemps la même date limite de vote par procuration – et pour des raisons compréhensibles: les élections doivent se terminer à un moment donné, une seule date limite fournit un avis clair et l’exigence que les bulletins de vote aient lieu le jour du scrutin met tous les électeurs sur le même pied. «Le bon sens, ainsi que le droit constitutionnel, obligent à la conclusion ce gouvernement doit jouer un rôle actif dans la structuration des élections », et les États ont toujours exigé des électeurs« qu’ils agissent en temps opportun s’ils souhaitent exprimer leur point de vue dans l’isoloir ». Burdick v. Taku-shi, 504 US 428, 433, 438 (1992). Pourquoi le tribunal de district a-t-il cherché à saborder une tradition si ancienne dans ce domaine? COVID. En raison de la pandémie actuelle, le tribunal a suggéré qu’il était libre de substituer sa propre date limite électorale à celle de l’État. Peu importe qu’en réponse à la pandémie, la Commission électorale du Wisconsin ait décidé d’envoyer par courrier aux électeurs inscrits une demande de vote par correspondance et une enveloppe de retour au cours de l’été, de sorte que personne n’ait eu à en demander une. Qu’importe que les électeurs soient également libres de rechercher et de renvoyer les bulletins de vote par correspondance depuis septembre. Peu importe que les électeurs puissent renvoyer leurs bulletins de vote non seulement par la poste, mais aussi en les apportant au bureau du greffier du comté ou dans diverses boîtes de dépôt «sans contact» organisé localement ou dans certains bureaux de vote le jour du scrutin. N’oubliez pas que ceux qui ne sont pas en mesure de voter le jour du scrutin ont encore d’autres options dans le Wisconsin, comme voter en personne pendant une période de vote de deux semaines avant le jour du scrutin. Et n’oubliez pas que le tribunal lui-même a trouvé que la pandémie constituait une menace insuffisante pour la santé et la sécurité des électeurs pour justifier la refonte des procédures du vote en personne de l’État. Il est donc incontestable que le Wisconsin a fait des efforts considérables pour accueillir le vote anticipé et répondre à la COVID. Le seul grief possible du tribunal de district est que l’État n’a pas fait assez. Mais à quel moment en a-t-on fait assez ? Si le délai légal de vote par procuration du Wisconsin peut être écarté du fait du statut de l’État en tant que «hotspot» COVID, qu’en est-il des délais identiques dans 30 autres États? Dans quelle mesure un État (ou peut-être une partie de celui-ci) doit-il être un «point chaud» avant que les juges décident d’improviser une nouvelle législation ? Ensuite, il y a la question de savoir ce que devraient être ces nouvelles échéances ad hoc. Le juge dans cette affaire a ajouté 6 jours à la date limite des élections de l’État, mais pourquoi pas 3, 7 ou 10, et qu’est-ce qui empêcherait différents juges de choisir (comme ils le feraient sûrement) des délais différents dans différentes juridictions? Une politique étatique largement partagée cherchant à concrétiser le jour des élections céderait la place à une Babel de décrets. Et comment empêcher les tribunaux de modifier également les règles du vote en personne? Ce juge a refusé d’aller aussi loin, mais les plaignants pensaient qu’il aurait dû le faire, et il n’est pas difficile d’imaginer que d’autres juges acceptent des invitations à élargir les cartes de la circonscription et à décider si les États devraient ajouter des bureaux de vote, réviser leurs horaires, réorganiser les isoloirs en leur sein, ou peut-être même compléter les protocoles existants de distanciation sociale, de lavage des mains et de ventilation. La Constitution dicte une approche différente de ces questions d’où on met la barre. La Constitution stipule que les législatures des États – et non ni les juges fédéraux, ni les juges des États, ni les gouverneurs des États, ni les autres représentants de l’État – portent la responsabilité principale de l’établissement des règles électorales. Art. I, §4, cl. 1. Et la Constitution offre également un deuxième niveau de protection. Si les règles de l’État doivent être révisées, le Congrès est libre de les modifier. Ibid. («Les heures, les lieux et les modalités de tenue des élections des sénateurs et des représentants sont prescrits dans chaque État par la législature de celui-ci; mais le Congrès peut à tout moment par la loi établir ou modifier de tels règlements…»). Rien dans notre document fondateur n’envisage le type d’intervention judiciaire qui a eu lieu en l’espèce, et il n’y a pas non plus de précédent en 230 ans de décisions de cette Cour. Et avec raison. Les législateurs peuvent être tenus responsables par les citoyens des règles qu’ils écrivent ou ne parviennent pas à rédiger; mais généralement, pas les juges. Les législatures élaborent des politiques et mettent en œuvre la sagesse collective de tout le peuple lorsqu’elles le font, tandis que les tribunaux ne rendent le jugement que pour une seule personne ou une poignée d’individus. Les législatures disposent de ressources beaucoup plus importantes pour la recherche et l’établissement des faits sur les questions de science et de sécurité que celles qui peuvent habituellement être réunies dans un litige entre des parties distinctes devant un juge unique. En prenant leurs décisions, les législateurs doivent faire des compromis pour parvenir au large consensus social nécessaire pour promulguer de nouvelles lois, ce qui n’est pas facilement reproductible dans les salles d’audience où généralement une partie doit gagner et l’autre perdre. Bien entendu, les processus démocratiques peuvent s’avérer frustrants. Parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas facilement agir sans un large consensus social, les législatures sont souvent lentes à réagir et tièdes quand elles le font. La clameur pour que les juges interviennent et abordent les problèmes émergents, et la tentation pour les juges individuels de combler le vide de l’inaction perçue peut être grande. Mais ce qui semble parfois être une faute dans la conception constitutionnelle était une caractéristique pour les rédacteurs, un moyen de garantir que tout changement du statu quo ne serait pas fait à la hâte, sans délibération minutieuse, consultation approfondie et consensus social. Nous ne pouvons pas non plus annuler cet arrangement simplement parce que nous pourrions être frustrés. Notre serment de respecter la Constitution est mis à l’épreuve par les temps difficiles, pas par les temps faciles. Et céder à la tentation de contourner les règles constitutionnelles habituelles n’est jamais gratuit. Cela porte atteinte à la foi en la Constitution écrite en tant que loi, au pouvoir du peuple de superviser son propre gouvernement et à l’autorité des législatures, car plus nous assumons leurs devoirs, moins ils sont incités à les remplir. Les modifications de dernière minute des règles électorales de longue date risquent également de générer d’autres problèmes, suscitant la confusion et le chaos et érodant la confiance du public dans les résultats électoraux. Personne ne doute que la tenue d’élections nationales en période de pandémie pose de sérieux défis. Mais rien de tout cela ne signifie que les juges individuels peuvent improviser avec leurs propres règles électorales à la place de celles que les représentants du peuple ont adoptées. Justice Neil Gorsuch (October 26, 2020)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in Pennsylvania to comply with a state directive to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day from other ballots. The order came in a case pending before the justices to invalidate a September decision by the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that are delivered through Friday. Alito granted the request by Pennsylvania Republicans to separate the ballots without first referring the request to the other justices. The decision comes as Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to winning the White House on Friday, expanding his narrow leads over President Donald Trump in battleground states including Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court had twice rebuffed Pennsylvania Republicans in the case, rejecting a request in October to block the lower court ruling and later refusing to fast-track their consideration of an appeal. The justices said they might revisit the case after Nov. 3. In its request on Friday, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania said it was unclear whether all 67 county election boards were complying with Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar’s Oct. 28 directive to separate late-arriving ballots. Late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state, Boockvar has said. Reuters
Tout au long de l’été, plusieurs cours suprêmes étatiques ont en effet pris des mesures autorisant la réception et le comptage des bulletins de vote même arrivés jusqu’à plusieurs jours après le 3 novembre. Au motif que l’extension permettrait une meilleure prise en compte des votes à distance en période de pandémie, la cour de Pennsylvanie a ainsi autorisé les votes arrivant jusqu’au 6 novembre. Dans le Nevada, le délai court jusqu’au 10 novembre. En Caroline du Nord, c’est jusqu’au 12 novembre que les votes envoyés peuvent être réceptionnés. Environ vingt états ont vu cette tolérance mise en place, parfois contre l’avis des parlements. Des décisions qui avaient été très controversées : pour le parti républicain, le contexte sanitaire ne justifiait en rien une extension du délai de vote à distance, de toute façon sans risque. De plus, selon les équipes de campagne du président en exercice, les cours suprêmes locales outrepassaient leurs pouvoirs, car le choix des modalités de vote revient normalement aux assemblées législatives de chaque État. Les possibilités de fraude électorale par ce biais avaient également été soulevées : dans le Minnesota, les avocats du parti républicain, cités par MPRNews, avaient souligné que les modalités locales «[autorisaient] les votes reçus jusqu’à huit jours après le scrutin et sans cachet postal à être pris en compte». En réponse, plusieurs médias soulignaient que, le vote à distance étant traditionnellement plutôt utilisé par les électeurs démocrates aux États-Unis, les Républicains refusaient un mécanisme défavorable pour eux. Consultée sur la mesure de ce type prise en Pennsylvanie, la Cour suprême des États-Unis a botté en touche le 28 octobre, refusant de bloquer la décision, tout en indiquant qu’elle se réservait le droit de revenir sur sa position après l’élection. Dans le détail, quatre juges conservateurs (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr, Neil Gorsuch et Brett Kavanaugh) avaient défendu la requête républicaine, tandis que quatre autres juges (les libéraux Stephen H. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor et Elena Kagan et le président conservateur de la Cour John Roberts) souhaitaient la rejeter. Précision d’importance, la nouvelle juge Amy Coney Barrett, tout juste nommée par Donald Trump, n’avait pas pris part à ce débat, selon CNN. Hier mardi, Donald Trump est revenu sur l’affaire et a déclaré dans un tweet que la décision de la Cour suprême était «TRÈS dangereuse […]. Cela va permettre une triche effrénée et incontrôlée et saper l’ensemble de notre État de droit. (…) Donald Trump et son équipe de campagne avaient déjà prévenu qu’ils pourraient entamer une action juridique pour interdire la prise en compte de ces bulletins postaux en retard, en interrogeant la capacité des cours suprêmes locales à imposer ces mécanismes, au regard de la Constitution américaine. Justin Clark, gestionnaire de campagne de Trump, affirmait dès lundi : «Ne vous y trompez pas, le président et son équipe continueront de se battre pour des élections libres et équitables et des résultats fiables que tous les Américains méritent». Selon The Hill , les actions juridiques de contestation devront commencer au niveau local avant d’atteindre, éventuellement, la Cour suprême. Si les votes pris en compte malgré leur retard s’avèrent déterminants pour l’élection, cela pourrait rallonger d’autant la période d’incertitude commencée cette nuit. Luc Lenoir
Contrairement à certaines observations, les protestations de Donald Trump ne se concentrent pas tant sur l’avantage politique du vote par courrier, que sur les risques de fraude. Et il semble qu’il y ait quelques raisons d’organisation à cela. L’actuel président n’est en effet pas opposé à la procédure à distance, mais pourfend la procédure du « mail-in ballot », qu’on peut traduire par scrutin postal, lui préférant l' »absentee ballot » ou vote par procuration. Les détails peuvent varier en fonction des États, mais généralement, le vote par procuration requiert d’abord une demande de vote à distance, puis un renvoi de son bulletin. Dans le scrutin postal, tous les électeurs reçoivent sans la demander une enveloppe, qu’ils doivent simplement renvoyer avec leur choix électoral. Une procédure qui pourrait selon Donald Trump encourager les fraudes : dans une interview à Fox News, le président citait un problème sur des courriers de vote spontané en Virginie avec «500.000 lettres envoyées à n’importe qui. À des chiens, à des morts… Personne ne sait ce qui est arrivé». Ses opposants ont répondu que les lettres frauduleuses ne l’étaient pas et n’étaient viciées que par des erreurs sur l’adresse de retour en cas de problème, différente de l’adresse du destinataire. Si la plupart des États pratiquent avec plus ou moins de restrictions le vote par procuration, cinq d’entre eux utilisent déjà le scrutin postal, et quatre nouveaux (Californie, Nevada, New-Jersey et Vermont) envisagent de le faire. Inscrit sur les listes électorales en Floride mais ne pouvant se rendre sur place le 3 novembre, Donald Trump a défendu le vote par procuration en août, en insistant sur la distinction avec les scrutins postaux, qui «encouragent la fraude électorale». (…) Une affaire récente pourrait donner un écho aux inquiétudes du camp présidentiel : le New York Post a en effet publié la « confession » d’un fraudeur engagé à gauche, qui affirme avoir truqué de nombreuses élections fédérales. C’est en évoquant le scrutin postal que le témoin du New York Post affirme que la fraude y « est plus une règle qu’une exception ». À l’appui de sa démonstration, un véritable mode d’emploi de la fraude, avec plusieurs procédés possibles. (…) Le doute subsiste en outre sur les listes utilisées dans le cadre d’un scrutin postal, et l’utilisation qui pourrait être faite d’adresses frauduleuses ou inventées. Sur les réseaux sociaux, des partisans de Donald Trump relèvent des différences visibles entre les enveloppes envoyées aux électeurs enregistrés au parti démocrate et celles des républicains, y voyant des « manœuvres », tandis que plusieurs journalistes soulignent que les fraudes au scrutin postal restent statistiquement faibles. L’affaire du vote par courrier semble donc surtout illustrer le fossé politique et la méfiance qui règne désormais entre camps d’opinion aux États-Unis… et qui pourraient amener à des controverses sérieuses en novembre prochain. Luc Lenoir
Le vol de suffrages est en quelque sorte légalisé depuis l’institution du vote par correspondance et les abus commis en son nom. Joseph Tramoni (maire communiste de Sartène, 1975)
C’est un système qui permet totalement la fraude, car vous n’êtes sûr ni de l’émetteur ni du récepteur. Jean-Pierre Camby (université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)
Je pense qu’il est également essentiel de comprendre que, comme je l’ai dit aux candidats qui sont venus me voir, vous pouvez mener la meilleure campagne, vous pouvez même devenir le candidat et vous pouvez vous faire voler l’élection. Hillary Clinton (6 mai 2019)
Joe Biden ne devrait en aucun cas reconnaitre sa défaite, car je pense que cela va s’éterniser, et finalement je crois qu’il gagnera si nous ne cédons pas un pouce, et si nous sommes aussi concentrés et implacables que l’autre partie. Je pense qu’ils envisagent plusieurs scénarios. Le premier est de gâcher le vote par correspondence. Ils pensent que cela les aide à obtenir un avantage limité au collège électoral le jour du scrutin. Nous devons donc avoir une opération légale massive, et je sais que la campagne Biden y travaille. Hillary Clinton (25 août 2020)
J’espère que tout le monde va déménage en Géorgie, vous savez, dans un mois ou deux, et s’inscrire pour voter et voter pour ces deux sénateurs démocrates. Thomas Friedman (NYT)
Evelyn et moi déménageons en Géorgie pour aider @ossoff et @ReverendWarnock à gagner ! Andrew Yang
These run-offs will decide which party controls the Senate, and this, whether we’ll have any hope of a large stimulus/climate bill. If you have the means and fervor to make a temporary move to GA, believe anyone who registers by Dec 7 can vote in these elections.Eric Levitz (New York Magazine)
I will go to GA to help win these Senate seats. I will get a Covid test every day. I will live at Tyler Perry’s movie studio. I will get re-bar mitzvah’ed at whichever synagogue Jon Ossoff and his wife attend. We MUST win these Senate seats. I WILL DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE! U in? Billy Eichner (Hollywood actor)
Nous allons continuer ce processus sur tous les plans permis par la loi pour garantir que le peuple américain ait confiance en notre gouvernement. Je ne renoncerai jamais au combat pour vous et pour notre nation. Président Trump
I won the largest share of non-white voters of any Republican in 60 years, including historic numbers of Latino, African American, Asian American, and Native American voters — the largest ever in our history. We grew our party by 4 million voters, the greatest turnout in Republican Party history. Democrats are the party of the big donors, the big media, the big tech, it seems. And Republicans have become the party of the American worker, and that’s what’s happened. And we’re also, I believe, the party of inclusion. (…) Democrat officials never believed they could win this election honestly. I really believe that. That’s why they did the mail-in ballots, where there’s tremendous corruption and fraud going on. That’s why they mailed out tens of millions of unsolicited ballots without any verification measures whatsoever. And I’ve told everybody that these things would happen, because I’ve seen it happen. I watched a lot of different elections before they decided to go with this big, massive election with tens of millions of ballots going out to everybody — in many cases, totally unsolicited. This was unprecedented in American history. This was by design. Despite years of claiming to care about the election security, they refuse to include any requirement to verify signatures, identities, or even determine whether they’re eligible or ineligible to vote. (…) In Pennsylvania, partisan Democrats have allowed ballots in the state to be received three days after the election, and we think much more than that. And they are counting those without even postmarks or any identification whatsoever. So you don’t have postmarks; you don’t have identification. (…) I want every legal vote counted. We want openness and transparency — no secret count rooms, no mystery ballots, no illegal votes being cast after Election Day. You have Election Day, and the laws are very strong on that. You have an Election Day. And they don’t want votes cast after Election Day, and they want the process to be an honest one. It’s so important. We want an honest election, and we want an honest count, and we want honest people working back there because it’s a very important job. (…) I have been talking about this for many months with all of you. And I’ve said very strongly that mail-in ballots are going to end up being a disaster. President Trump
Bon, nous voilà encore dans la position inhabituelle de devoir non seulement interrompre le président des États-Unis, mais aussi de le corriger. Il n’y aucun vote illégal selon nos informations. Il n’y a pas non plus de victoire pour Monsieur Trump. Brian Williams (MSNBC)
Quelle triste nuit pour les États-Unis d’Amérique de voir leur président faussement accuser les gens d’essayer de voler l’élection, d’essayer d’attaquer la démocratie de cette façon avec son tissu de mensonges. Jake Tapper
Notre travail est de diffuser la vérité, pas des théories du complot infondées. Nicole Carrol (USA Today)
Il a fait mieux qu’à mon avis, il aurait dû faire avec les hommes noirs et hispaniques, ce qui signifie qu’il faut que nous réfléchissions vraiment dans la communauté des droits civiques, à la fois du côté latino et afro-américain, à une vraie conversation dans nos communautés sur ce que signifie d’être différent en termes de cette aspiration à l’esprit d’entreprise et à l’équité. Al Sharpton
C’est tellement dévastateur pour moi: le vote des hommes noirs pour Trump est passé de 13% en 2016 à 18% cette année. Le vote des femmes noires pour Trump a doublé, passant de 4% en 2016 à 8% cette année. De plus, une fois de plus, les sondages de sortie des urnes montrent qu’une majorité de femmes blanches votent pour Trump. De plus, le pourcentage de LGBT votant pour Trump a doublé par rapport à 2016. DOUBLÉ !!! C’est pourquoi les personnes LGBT de couleur ne font pas vraiment confiance aux homosexuels blancs. Oui, j’ai dit ce que j’ai dit. Un point, c’est tout. En outre, le pourcentage de Latinos et d’Asiatiques votant pour Trump a augmenté par rapport à 2016, selon les sondages de sortie des urnes. Encore plus de preuves que nous ne pouvons pas compter sur le «brunissement de l’Amérique» pour démanteler la suprémacie blanche et effacer l’anti-noirceur. Charles Blow (NYT)
Depuis 2017, David Faris, politologue à l’Université Roosevelt de Chicago, martèle ce message dans des articles, des entrevues et un livre intitulé It’s Time to Fight Dirty. Au cours des 20 dernières années, fait-il valoir, les républicains ont utilisé tous les moyens nécessaires pour renforcer leur représentation au Congrès et à la Cour suprême. Ils ont adopté des mesures pour réduire la participation électorale des minorités, des pauvres et des étudiants, qui tendent à voter pour les démocrates. Ils ont maximisé leur propre vote en découpant les circonscriptions électorales de certains États de façon hyper partisane. Ils ont privé les démocrates d’un siège à la Cour suprême en refusant d’examiner la nomination du juge Merrick Garland pour remplacer Antonin Scalia en 2016. La liste ne s’arrête pas là. Mais ce siège « volé » à la Cour suprême a convaincu David Faris que les démocrates devaient envisager des mesures de représailles. Dans It’s Time to Fight Dirty, publié en 2018, il leur a proposé une série d’actions pour assurer que le système de gouvernement américain reflète la volonté d’une majorité d’électeurs. Figurent parmi ces actions : l’ajout de sièges à la Cour suprême ; l’attribution du statut d’État à la capitale fédérale (le district de Columbia) et à Porto Rico ; l’abolition du « filibuster », technique d’obstruction parlementaire permettant à une minorité de 40 sénateurs de bloquer l’adoption d’un projet de loi. Les propositions de David Faris ont vite gagné des adeptes au sein de la gauche démocrate. Mais elles semblaient d’emblée trop radicales pour les plus modérés. Deux ans plus tard, ce n’est plus tout à fait le cas. Et la détermination des républicains de confirmer la nomination de la juge Amy Coney Barrett à la Cour suprême avant même l’élection présidentielle n’est pas étrangère à ce changement. (…) Mais David Faris se garde aussi de se réjouir trop vite. Pour que l’une ou l’autre de ses idées se concrétisent, Joe Biden doit succéder à Donald Trump en tant que président, Chuck Schumer doit remplacer Mitch McConnell comme chef de la majorité au Sénat et Nancy Pelosi doit rester présidente de la Chambre des représentants. (…) Comment expliquer la différence entre la façon dont les républicains et les démocrates mènent leurs combats ? (…) David Faris évoque d’abord la menace existentielle que font peser sur le Parti républicain les changements démographiques. Il soulève ensuite la question de la polarisation politique, qui a contribué à son avis à une plus grande radicalisation des républicains que des démocrates. (…) De leur côté, a-t-il ajouté, les démocrates ont tendance à croire que « le temps joue en leur faveur » et que « le public punira l’hypocrisie ». (…)  la Chambre des représentants à majorité démocrate a adopté fin juin un projet de loi destiné à donner le statut d’État à la capitale fédérale. Barack Obama s’est pour sa part montré favorable à l’idée d’abolir le « filibuster » pour permettre l’adoption de nouvelles mesures pour protéger le droit de vote. « Si tout cela demande d’éliminer l’obstruction systématique, une autre relique de Jim Crow, afin de garantir les droits de chaque Américain, alors c’est ce que nous devrions faire », a déclaré l’ancien président lors des funérailles de la figure des droits civiques John Lewis, fin juillet. Il n’y a pas longtemps, Joe Biden écartait la plupart de ces idées du revers de la main, disant notamment se méfier des conséquences imprévues. Aujourd’hui, il qualifie de « légitimes » les questions sur le sujet, mais refuse d’y répondre. Richard Hétu
For four years now, Democrats and their media allies have tarred President Trump as a reprehensible white supremacist leading a dying party. The Trumpian, populist GOP, they claimed, was doomed to become a regional rump party, whose electoral prospects were tied to a shrinking share of bitter, downscale whites. That narrative was always bunk. It finally died, once and for all, on Tuesday evening. Team Trump and Republicans nationwide made unprecedented inroads with black and Hispanic voters. Nationally, preliminary numbers indicated that 26 percent of Trump’s voting share came from nonwhite voters — the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the heartland of Cuban America, Trump turned a 30-plus-point Hillary Clinton romp in 2016 into a narrow single-digit Joe Biden win. Texas’ Starr County, overwhelmingly Mexican American and positioned in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, barely delivered for the Democrats. Biden’s Hispanic support in other key swing states, like Ohio and Georgia, tailed off from Clinton’s 2016 benchmarks. Overall, exit polls indicated that 32 to 35 percent of Latinos voted for the president. And young black men are gravitating to the GOP at a remarkable pace (given the baseline). It turns out that minorities aren’t so infatuated with the brand of unrepentant progressive “woke-ism” now peddled by the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party. The political, legal, media, corporate and academic establishments have gone all-in on the woke agenda, peddling a toxic brew of intersectionality, socialism lite and Black Lives Matter anarchism. Latinos and many blacks aren’t buying it. (…) The progressive elites are genuinely incapable of understanding why it is that their nostrums have been rejected by a growing share of the populace. They can’t come to grips with the fact that their shambolic policy initiatives — and their unjust and fundamentally anti-American identity politics — are simply not all that popular with the fly-over country rubes, including “country rubes” of color. The 2020 election, in which the GOP defied the odds by maintaining the Senate and actually picking up seats in the House, was an emphatic rejection of the left-wing vision for America. No one wants AOC’s “Squad” — including Hispanic and black voters. (…) The GOP, which already has its strong base of support among non-college-educated white voters, must learn to govern like a working-class, multiethnic, multiracial party. This more populist variety of conservatism will be unabashedly traditionalist, humbler in its approach to America’s role on the world stage and economically attuned to the aspirations and needs of ordinary Americans — not those of Wall Street, Hollywood or Silicon Valley. It is a vision with real crossover appeal — a vision that can, and will, win. Republicans have every reason to be optimistic about the future. The hectoring “demography-is-destiny” dolts have been shot down. A substantial chunk of minority voters rejected the lies that GOP populism is rooted in racism. They rejected the slanders that the president himself is a white supremacist. The media establishment won’t admit it anytime soon, but the GOP’s future is bright — and browner than many may have previously thought possible. Josh Hammer
In an ideal world, political parties would be about different approaches to governing. Yet too often in our nation’s history they’ve been about tribalism along regional, economic and, most divisively, racial lines. Then came 2020: This Election Day, President Trump garnered the highest percentage of non-white votes for a Republican presidential candidate in 60 years. This movement toward balance should be celebrated by all, but not surprisingly, that is not what is happening. Take MSNBC anchor Joy Reid, who claims that the election showed a “great amount of racism, anti-blackness and anti-wokeness.” Or The New York Times’ Charles Blow, who somehow sees this election as confirming the power of the “White Patriarchy.” Writer Bree Newsome Bass conceded that some white voters had chosen Joe Biden but voted Republican down ballot to preserve “white rule. » These people view everything through a racial lens. They’re convinced Trump is a racist and regard his broad support — half the country voted for him — as proof that the nation, as a whole, is likewise hopelessly racist. A kind way to describe such reactions would be “unhinged.” Another way: terrified. Between 2004 and 2016, black men and women gave between 88 percent and 95 percent of their votes to the Democratic candidate for president. This year, Trump won 18 percent of the vote among black men — a staggering number for a Republican. To put that in visceral terms, of every six black men who voted, one voted for Trump. He also made significant gains with Hispanic voters and even Muslim voters. Trump has had significant accomplishments as president — halting the liberal, activist tilt of the courts, standing up to China, striking peace treaties that offer fresh hope in the Middle East peace, firing up the economy — but perhaps none is as important or has more far-reaching implications than his transformation of the GOP into a multiracial party. For all of his high principles and good hair, the last Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, could never have dreamed of such success among non-white voters. So why are so many progressive and black intellectual elites so upset about the American political parties achieving so much more racial balance? Some cynics might see it as simply sour grapes over the left’s loss of power and influence. Democrats assumed only they could speak for minorities, who it now turns out have their own ideas. But it also reflects a fundamental difference between how Americans view race and racism. Over the past few decades, progressives have insisted racism is built into the system and the system must change (in progressive ways) to curb it — though it’s never been clear if they think it can ever be satisfactorily defeated. Those on the right, meanwhile, view racism as an issue of individuals holding irrational beliefs regarding minorities, which can be organically overcome. In the 2020 election, we now see that millions of minority voters rejected the idea that their votes should be bound by identity politics, or as Joe Biden put it, that if you don’t vote Democratic, you ain’t black. That remark didn’t come out of nowhere. He was simply saying out loud what many on the left have long believed. Fact is, Trump made the most direct appeal to non-white voters we’ve seen from a Republican in most of our lifetimes. And it worked. This is also good news for America, and especially minorities. We now have a GOP that will be eager to maintain these gains, and a Democratic Party that can no longer take minority votes for granted. And we can now stop believing the color of a person’s skin gives us certainty about their political affiliation — and that in and of itself strikes a blow at racism. It’s exciting: Individuals can be treated as individuals, rather than lumped into political boxes based on their racial group. Some may find it ironic that it was Trump, of all people, who’s most responsible for this. But what matters is that the body politic has landed in a better, more equal and more promising place. David Marcus
Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin pose particular challenges because of their ballot-counting rules. None have yet begun tallying millions of mail-in ballots, as other states have done, and election officials in these states say they may report results on Wednesday and beyond. Election law experts warn that any period of uncertainty over the election’s winner could spark legal fights. Adding to the focus on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan: They are all split between Democratic governors and Republican-run legislatures, teeing up a partisan clash over counting votes. (…) In a year when Covid-19 upended the rules for ballots, partisan disputes over voting rules and deadlines have resulted in lawsuits in at least 44 states, according to the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. Minnesota has also emerged as a potential postelection field of battle after a federal appeals court suggested Thursday that its extension of a mail-in vote deadline was unconstitutional. But Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan stand out for their distinct rules for counting mail-in ballots. All three have received a record number of mail-in ballots, but laws in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin prohibit officials from counting them until Election Day. In Michigan, election officials in larger districts can process ballots—meaning opening and sorting them—during a 10-hour window on Nov. 2. Election officials have said the vote-counting rules mean they won’t know who won the state until the next day or later in the event of a close result. Meanwhile, states like Florida have been tabulating absentee ballots for weeks and will disclose those results on Tuesday evening. In recent weeks, a lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Republicans reached the U.S. Supreme Court. A 4-4 order let stand a state Supreme Court decision allowing officials to count mail-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day. The court on Wednesday refused Republicans’ second request to hear the case before Election Day, but left open the possibility for postelection litigation. Justice Samuel Alito, who backed the Pennsylvania Republicans’ position, suggested in a statement accompanying the order that considering those mail-in votes valid would allow state courts to undercut election rules set by the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature. Newly sworn-in Justice Amy Coney Barrett could be a decisive vote when she begins hearing cases. Pennsylvania’s attorney general, a Democrat, has directed county election boards to separate ballots received after Nov. 3. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Democrats’ request to extend Wisconsin’s ballot-receipt deadline past Election Day. In Michigan, a state appeals court ruled in Republicans’ favor earlier this month and blocked a 14-day extension for votes postmarked by Nov. 2. Lawyers are gaming out what happens if prolonged ballot battles cause Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan to have no clear result before Dec. 8, the deadline for states to appoint presidential electors, and the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14. If vote counting collides with these deadlines, it is possible for a governor and state legislature to send different electors to Congress. “We’re in uncharted legal territory,” said Mark Medish, co-founder of Keep Our Republic, a nonprofit formed this summer to preserve election integrity. Wall Street Journal
In a week of surprises, California’s rejection of a ballot measure that would have allowed the state to resume its affirmative action program was among the most significant. The measure, known as Proposition 16, wasn’t defeated by shy Trump voters. Polling showed Hispanic and other minority voters evenly split on the measure, and on Tuesday it was defeated in California’s most Latino counties. California’s result is just one piece of the mounting evidence that voters on Tuesday threw a wrench in the progressive plan to leverage a « coalition of the ascendant » and an « emerging Democratic majority » to turn the country into a woke utopia. The 2020 election was in large part a referendum on Democrats’ race baiting and pandering, starting with the party’s own elevation of Biden to the top of the ticket. Democrats’ rejection of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris was a leading indicator that the media missed. Millions of voters of all races made clear that they instead prefer the old ideals: equality of opportunity, economic freedom, and a society that judges its citizens not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character. Beyond that, the president whom Democrats have lambasted for four years as a racist and a xenophobe turned out more minority voters than any Republican candidate in decades. It’s not just that right-wing Cubans handed Trump a surprise victory in south Florida; he clinched some of the nation’s most Latino counties, improved his margins with black men and women, and even earned commanding majorities in some Native American counties. And that exit poll data does not account for the shy Trump voters, an effect we presume may well be exaggerated among black and Hispanic voters. Senate races yielded more bad news for the progressive left. Even if Joe Biden wins the White House, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who easily overcame an $80 million challenge, will serve as a check on the ascendance of socialists such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to the Biden cabinet. Voters may have wanted Biden, but there’s a whole wing of his party they’d prefer to do without. Some House Democrats can see the writing on the wall. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.) reportedly told her caucus that the progressive push to defund the police and embrace « socialism » almost cost them the majority. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.) advised Democrats to drop the woke speak, starting with the bizarre « Latinx. » Tuesday’s results should shatter the Democratic presumption that their party is destined to command the overwhelming and eternal support of minority voters—but it won’t. The politics fueled by racial grievance and personified by the « squad » of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib is a cancer on the Democratic Party that it indulges at its own peril. Free Beacon
Until Donald Trump’s arrival, the globalist revolution was almost solidified and institutionalized—with the United States increasingly its greatest and most “woke” advocate. We know its bipartisan establishment contours. China would inherit the world in 20 or 30 years. The self-appointed task of American elites—many of whom had already been enriched and compromised by Chinese partners and joint ventures—was to facilitate this all-in-the-family transition in the manner of the imperial British hand-off of hegemony to the United States in the late 1940s. Our best and brightest like the Biden family, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg would enlighten us about the “real” China, so we yokels would not fall into Neanderthal bitterness as they managed our foreordained decline. We would usher China into “the world community”—grimacing at, but overlooking the destruction it wrought on the global commercial order and the American interior. We would politely forget about Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and the Uyghurs. Hollywood would nod as it put out more lucrative comic-book and cartoonish films for the Chinese markets, albeit with mandated lighter-skinned actors. The NBA would nod twice and trash a democratic United States, while praising genocidal China—becoming richer and more esteemed abroad to make up for becoming boring and poorer at home. The universities would nod three times, and see a crime not in Chinese espionage and security breaches, but in the reporting of them as crimes. So our revolutionary role would be to play stuffy and snooty Athenian philosophers to the new muscular Roman legions of China. Given our elites’ superior morality, genius, and sense of self, we would gently chide and cajole our Chinese masters into becoming enlightened world overseers and democrats—all the easier, the richer and more affluent Chinese became. For now, Trump has stopped that revolution. Until Trump’s arrival, Big Tech was three-quarters home on the road to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Five or six companies monopolized most American—and indeed the world’s—access and use of the internet. In cynical fashion, Silicon Valley grandees patronized naïve conservatives that they were the supposed embodiment of Milton Friedman libertarianism and 19th century robber baron daring. Yet to their leftist kindred, the moguls of Menlo Park simultaneously whispered, “Don’t worry about such necessary disinformation: we will enrich only your candidates, only your agendas, only your foundations, only your universities—in exchange for your exemptions.” Antitrust legislation was as much an anathema to good liberals as rigging searches, institutionalizing the cancel culture, and censoring thoughts and ideas were welcomed. For now Trump, almost alone, is battling that revolution. Until Trump’s arrival, there was increasingly no border at all. Fifty-million foreign-born resided, both legally and illegally, in the United States. Nearly a million annually walked northward across the border with ease and without legal sanction or invitation. To object to illegal immigration and decry its deleterious effects on the entry-level wages of our working poor, on the social safety net of the American needy, and on the sanctity of the law was to be smeared as racist, xenophobic, and nativist. More than a quarter of California’s current resident population were not born in the United States. That desirous “new demography” since 1988 had flipped California into a caring blue state. Open borders and the end of immigration law enforcement had pushed Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado into just Democratic societies, and was supposedly soon to transform Texas and Arizona into enlightened states. For now, Trump—with his soon-to-be 400-mile wall, his beefed up ICE, and his war on sanctuary nullification zones—has nearly stopped the revolution to end borders. Until Trump, the American interior was loser country. In-between the two gilded coasts resided the deplorables, irredeemables, clingers, the smelly Walmart patrons decried in the Page-Strzok text echanges, those John McCain called “crazies,” and Joe Biden has variously called the “dregs,” the “chumps” and the “ugly folks.” They were written off as Morlocks, who were occasionally seen poking about the rotting, rusting skeletons of abandoned steel plants, and for some reason never had proper orthodontics as children. (…) on the eve of the Chinese takeover, our clueless deplorables never learned to code, or to borrow $200,000 to get a woke-studies education, and so deserved the opioids they took and the trailers they crashed in. Few apostates said, “Wait a minute! The United States has cheaper energy than anywhere on earth, a skilled workforce, a huge domestic market, and a still-viable infrastructure. There was a reason why Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania once led the world and why they can again.” Through tax reform, deregulation, trade rebooting, a new foreign policy, and loud jawboning, Trump for a while has stopped the revolution that was destroying our once greatest states. Until Trump, the woke cultural wars were just about won by the elites. Seeking unity was dead; chest-pounding diversity, often the spark that had ignited history’s multiracial societies, was ascendent. The melting pot that sought to make race incidental was deemed racist; the salad bowl that made our superficial appearances essential was celebrated. Quite affluent, self-appointed minority leaders, with their quite wealthy white liberal counterparts, established who is, and who “ain’t,” “really” black—the definition resting on whether one was loyally left-wing or disloyally independent-minded. The success of civil rights was not to be calibrated by black unemployment figures, household income, family businesses, dignity in having leverage over employers, access to competitive parochial and charter schools, or descending abortion rates, but in electing more activists as progressive mayors, liberal city councilmembers, and leftist district attorneys to garner more redistributive state money to hire more careerists like themselves. Trump, branded a bigot and racist, for now has sought to end that revolution, and measure race relations not by how many minority elites have choice jobs and high incomes, but by how well the entire minority community reaches income and employment parity with the general population—an idea that will earn the “racist” Trump far greater minority support than was expressed for John McCain and Mitt Romney. We are in the midst of a cultural revolution, for the most part driven by angry middle-and upper-class white youth of Antifa and its sympathizers, wannabes, and enablers. Many are humiliated that they have college pedigrees, lots of multi thousand-dollar debt, plenty of woke-studies classes to their credit, but still have no real jobs, no real knowledge, and no real immediate chances of buying a house, marrying, and raising a family in their 20s. Nothing in history is more dangerous than the underemployed wannabe intellectual or college graduate, whose cultivated sense of superiority is not matched by his income or standard of living, but who blames “them” for his own self-inflicted miseries and unappreciated genius. The revolution toppled statues, renamed what it did not like, Trotskyized the past, photoshopped the present, and used language, government, and cultural intimidation to do its best to make America into Animal Farm. Corporate CEOs in terror washed the feet of the woke. University presidents, fearful for their status and careers, wrote incomprehensible memos admitting their past sins and asking how best to do present penance. Hollywood studio owners promised race and gender quotas, with ample provisions that—in the manner of NBA and NFL owners—adjustments and exceptions could be worked out for themselves. Somewhere, somehow graduations, dorms, and campus spaces, all segregated by race, became “liberal.” Intermarriage, integration, and assimilation were shamefully illiberal. Standing for the National Anthem was unpatriotic; sitting in disdain for it, cool. Donald Trump fought that revolution too. What tools did Donald Trump have to wage these many counterrevolutions? The media? America’s Fortune 400? Academia? The great foundations? The nation’s think tanks? The bipartisan government establishment? The international community? The banks? Wall Street? Corporate CEOs? Silicon Valley? Professional sports? The entertainment industry? Hollywood? The intelligence community? The current and retired top military brass? (…) Against all that money and clout, the counterrevolutionary Trump had only one asset, the proverbial people. He had solely the under-polled and the written-off. They came out to his rallies in the tens of thousands, deluded the pollsters, and told the media less than nothing, but voted and will vote in waves to save America from what it was becoming. Victor Davis Hanson
When a man takes on the role of the gunslinger arriving in the town to clean up the mess, one must expect that his methods and comportment will offend his supporters as much as they terrified his adversaries, all the more so as he succeeds and thus the beneficiaries see an end on the horizon to their embarrassing need to have called in the unorthodox to do what their own polite conventionality should have done, but choose not (or did not have the courage) to do. We can sense the viability of Trumpism by the current lack of coherent attacks on its principles and achievements. (…) Biden most certainly would raise taxes, restore cumbersome regulations, strangle the fossil fuel industry, and return to identity politics pandering. But after the 2017-20 Trump boom, he would do so without any expectation that the economy would grow or the country would heal or the world would suddenly cool down and the seas cease to rise. (…) And what about the NeverTrumper (…) At the end of Trump, whether in 2020 and 2024, (…) Elite Republicanism would fail because the white working classes would return either to political hibernation in the swing states or rejoin the Democratic Party. Growing minority support would vanish because blacks and Latinos would see platitudinous and pandering Republicans as far more injurious to their futures than was a crudely talking, Queens-accented populist Trump. Trumpism did not dismantle Republican conservatism. It simply enhanced conservative appeal by closing the border, confronting China, demanding fair trade, avoiding optional military expeditions, emphasizing the concerns of the working class, and redefining presidential behavior as boisterously honoring promises rather than mellifluously reneging on them. Whatever Trump’s fate, the NeverTrump faction will not succeed in rebuilding a new-old Republican Party under the Bush-McCain-Romney paradigm. Biden and his leftist masters would not be able to lower minority unemployment to Trump levels. Neither would they declare an end to containing China and claim such past confrontation was an unnecessary provocation. Like it or not, Trump hit on a great truth that no leader can write off his country’s vast industrial interior, destroy his nation’s borders, willingly cede global leadership to a Communist dictatorship, manipulate intelligence agencies to destroy political opponents, prefer to manage decline rather than to seek renewal, and meanwhile, as he did all that, call himself moral and presidential. Victor Davis Hanson
Le décalage entre les attentes grandioses d’une vague bleue annoncée par les sondages à grand renfort de médias comme en 2016 et l’incertitude caractérisée qui a régné hier rapporte la preuve éclatante qu’aucune des leçons de l’élection de 2016 n’ont été apprises. Pire, le zèle appliqué à ne pas comprendre ce qui s’est passé il y a quatre ans a conduit tous les leviers d’influence gravitant autour du Parti démocrate à se persuader qu’ils pouvaient propulser au-delà de la ligne d’arrivée un candidat sans programme, sans faire campagne et à la faveur de la seule détestation de Trump. Faut-il le rappeler? Trump a été élu en tant qu’incarnation d’un rejet d’une grande partie d’Américains de la corruption d’une classe dirigeante fondant son titre à gouverner sur une expertise technocratique, et compensant son manque de légitimité par une revendication de plus en plus stridente d’expertise morale. Contrairement aux craintes maintes et maintes fois exprimées, Trump n’a pas troqué sa dépouille d’animateur de téléréalité pour celle de dictateur, pas même de dictateur d’opérette. De dictature nous n’avons point vu venir. En revanche, nous avons vu la classe dirigeante destituée du bien qu’elle croyait lui revenir de droit se comporter comme un «gouvernement impérial en exil» se drapant dans sa supériorité morale pour se lancer dans une inquisition prolongée mêlant espionnage politique, mensonges constants au public sur des complots inexistants, et remise au goût du jour d’expressions maccarthystes comme la «déloyauté au pays». De toutes les institutions abîmées non pas par Trump, mais plutôt par le sentiment de panique collective des élites nommé «Trump Derangement Syndrome», nulle n’en ressort moins affaiblie que les médias d’informations. Pour preuve du caractère endémique et banal du mensonge installé au cœur d’institutions hier saluées comme des modèles d’éthique journalistique, on citera les propos édifiants d’un chroniqueur du Washington Post à propos des révélations du New York Post sur l’affaire Hunter Biden: «Nous devons traiter les fuites sur Hunter Biden comme s’il s’agissait d’une opération menée par des services de renseignement étrangers – même si ça n’est probablement pas le cas.» (…) le rôle de la presse avait été reformulé dès l’entre-deux-guerres sous l’impulsion de l’intellectuel néolibéral Walter Lippmann comme une mission de «manufacture du consentement des masses» à des choix publics décidés de façon de plus en plus technocratique du fait de la complexité croissante de la «grande société» advenue avec l’ère industrielle. A une presse d’opinion très marquée au XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle succédait une presse se revendiquant de l’autorité de la science, organisée autour d’une éthique de «neutralité objective» qui a survécu cahin-caha jusqu’en 2016. La victoire de Trump à la primaire républicaine de 2016 a fait voler cet équilibre en éclats pour des raisons autant éthiques que commerciales. Sur le plan éthique, ce changement est méthodiquement explicité dans un article de Jim Rutenberg paru dans le New York Times le 7 août 2016 intitulé «Trump met à l’épreuve les normes d’objectivité dans le journalisme». Selon Rutenberg, la perspective d’une présidence Trump était si dangereuse que le rôle du journaliste n’était plus de présenter les faits de façon neutre, mais «de se conformer aux attentes de vérité de ses lecteurs et spectateurs, et à la vérité factuelle, d’une façon qui tienne face au jugement de l’histoire.» Il s’agissait d’un abandon pur et simple du critère de la neutralité objective au profit de celui de la clarté morale. Ce choix éthique était d’autant plus facile à faire qu’il se justifiait commercialement pour des médias alors menacés existentiellement du fait de l’éclatement du paysage médiatique en bulles cognitives partisanes consécutif à l’apparition de l’information en continu et de l’internet. Traiter copieusement du phénomène Trump tout en dénonçant l’installation de l’Antéchrist à la Maison-Blanche s’est révélé un extraordinaire gisement de contenus et de profits pour les médias mainstream. Un autre article du New York Times daté du 23 juin 2020 signé de Wesley Lowery titré «Une redéfinition de l’objectivité, dirigée par des journalistes noirs», permet d’en comprendre les aboutissants. Son auteur expose que l’objectivité est toujours jugée à l’aune d’un hypothétique lecteur impartial, invariablement assumé comme étant blanc. Appliquant ce traitement à l’Administration Trump, Lowery en déduit que Trump étant ontologiquement un raciste entouré de suprémacistes blancs, la clarté morale impose de traiter toute information concernant la Maison-Blanche, non pas sous l’angle de l’objectivité factuelle ou encore moins du respect d’institutions elles-mêmes souillées par le racisme, mais en prenant en compte à tout moment le racisme indélébile de l’homme occupant la fonction et du parti le soutenant. Complétant les pièces du puzzle, c’est au nom de ce même principe de clarté morale que deux sénateurs démocrates, Mark Warner et Mazie Hirono, ont eu la brillante idée, après les révélations du scandale Cambridge Analytica, de menacer les grandes entreprises de la Silicon Valley de réglementation, à moins qu’elles ne s’engagent à «débusquer» les contenus fomentant la «discorde». Une recommandation que Twitter et Facebook ont appliqué à la lettre en censurant moins de deux semaines avant l’élection les contenus du New York Post rapportant des faits de corruption allégués à l’encontre de Hunter et Joe Biden, alors qu’ils se sont fait depuis quatre ans la chambre d’écho des allégations non vérifiées les plus folles concernant l’influence russe dans la vie politique américaine. Plus que le choix de la personne qui occupera la Maison-Blanche à partir de janvier prochain, c’est cette question du rapport à la vérité que Trump, à la fois le plus grand bonimenteur de l’histoire américaine et la personne sur laquelle on a le plus menti, est parvenu à inviter au cœur des débats de la dernière ligne droite. Quoi qu’il se passe, tous les Américains sont les perdants de cette dialectique tragique. Renaud Beauchard
Alors que la tension monte aux États-Unis autour de l’élection présidentielle, et des risques pesant sur le vote dans le contexte de lutte publique contre le coronavirus, le New York Post a (…) publié la «confession» d’un fraudeur engagé à gauche, qui affirme avoir truqué de nombreuses élections fédérales. Essentiellement dans le New Jersey, où il réside, mais en décrivant un système de manipulation existant dans de nombreux autres États. Le mobile du passage aux aveux ? Le militant serait un soutien acharné de Bernie Sanders et ne se voit pas soutenir la candidature de Joe Biden.Le récit est d’importance car, sous la pression de la lutte contre le coronavirus, de nombreux électeurs annoncent avoir choisi cette année le vote à distance. Celui-ci existe sous deux formes dans les États américains. La première est le vote par procuration, plébiscité par le Président actuel pour sa sécurité, nécessitant une demande de la part du votant. Le second est le scrutin postal, pour lequel il suffit de renvoyer un formulaire dans une enveloppe spécifique prédistribuée. Et c’est dans ce type de votes que le témoin du New York Post affirme que la fraude «est plus une règle qu’une exception». À l’appui de sa démonstration, un véritable mode d’emploi de la fraude, avec plusieurs procédés possibles. La première technique consiste à utiliser l’enveloppe d’un votant, pour y mettre un bulletin obligatoirement démocrate. Il faut au préalable faire le tour des domiciles et convaincre les citoyens de laisser les fraudeurs poster leur courrier de vote à leur place. Une mission «beaucoup plus facile qu’on ne le pense», d’après le fraudeur cité par le journaliste Jonathan Levine, en se faisant passer pour une association de service public. Ensuite, l’enveloppe est ouverte à la vapeur, puis on y glisse un nouveau bulletin en falsifiant la signature. Pour éviter toute suspicion, les enveloppes rouvertes sont ensuite disséminées dans toutes les boîtes postales de la ville. Les employés des postes peuvent également influer facilement sur l’élection, selon le témoin. «Vous avez un facteur qui est un type anti-Trump enragé et travaille à Bedminster ou dans un bastion républicain… Il peut prendre les bulletins de vote [remplis], et sachant que 95% sont en faveur d’un républicain, il peut simplement les jeter à la poubelle», explique-t-il. Un écho à l’histoire de certains lots de courriers électoraux retrouvés après le vote, lors d’élections locales à New York en 2017 ? Autre «mine d’or» de votes à disposition, les lieux de vie accueillant des personnes fragiles. «Il y a des maisons de retraite où l’infirmière est en fait un opérateur rémunéré. Et elle va pièce par pièce voir ces personnes âgées, qui souhaitent voter pour se sentir utiles», déclare ainsi le lanceur d’alerte. Il suffit alors de remplir le bulletin pour eux et de leur faire signer ce que l’on veut… Enfin, le témoin précise que, la plupart du temps, l’historique de participation aux élections est une information publique aux États-Unis. Une dernière technique, encore plus sauvage, consiste donc à aller voter, un jour d’élection, à la place d’un citoyen recensé comme abstentionniste, et qui ne risque pas de venir. Certains États ne demandent en effet pas de pièce d’identité. Une information déconcertante vue de France qui légitime la méfiance de certains observateurs pour ce type de scrutin. Le Figaro
Dans le secret du confessionnal médiatique, un fidèle citoyen américain, démocrate convaincu, est venu avouer au NewYork Post avoir truqué de nombreuses élections fédérales, relate Le Figaro. Le sacripant se prétend soutien inconditionnel de Bernie Sanders, candidat battu aux primaires par Joe Biden. Et plutôt tout révéler que suivre cet oiseau de malheur. Ainsi, coronavirus oblige, le bidouillage aurait sévi au sein du vote par correspondance, particulièrement massif en ces temps de contagion. Selon le faussaire repenti, le camp anti-Trump se serait livré à diverses combines que voici que voilà. La première triche aurait consisté, pour les fraudeurs, à faire la tournée des votants à distance en se faisant passer pour membres d’une association de service public, puis à les convaincre de poster leur enveloppe électorale à leur place. Opération qui serait « beaucoup plus facile qu’on ne le pense », d’après le traître démocrate. Il ne restait plus, à ces gens très serviables, qu’à falsifier la signature et remplacer l’éventuel vote Trump par un bulletin Biden. Et hop ! Pour éviter toute suspicion, les enveloppes trafiquées auraient été disséminées sur l’ensemble des boîtes à lettres des villes concernées. Le souci du détail. L’autre technique, plus directe, concerne les facteurs anti-Trump qui, travaillant dans un secteur républicain, se seraient contentés de jeter à la poubelle les enveloppes contenant, par définition, 95 % de bulletins en faveur du président en place. Pourquoi faire compliqué ? L’histoire ne dit pas si ces éboueurs électoraux de gauche prenaient soin de sauver la planète en déversant leur butin dans la poubelle papier-carton du pléonasmant « tri sélectif ». Par ailleurs, les lieux de vie accueillant des personnes fragiles auraient été particulièrement choyés. « Il y a des maisons de retraite où l’infirmière est en fait un opérateur rémunéré. Et elle va pièce par pièce voir ces personnes âgées, qui souhaitent voter pour se sentir utiles », affirme le délateur anonyme. Tour de passe-passe… Signez ici. Merci et bonjour chez vous. Re-hop ! Pour clore son inventaire des trucages utilisés lors de cette l’élection, le vengeur masqué de Bernie Sanders affirme qu’à partir de l’historique de participation consultable à loisir, de vaillants partisans de Joe Biden auraient usurpé l’identité d’abstentionnistes pour glisser les bulletins ad hoc « into the box ». La présentation d’une pièce d’identité n’étant pas demandée dans de nombreux États, ces ersatz d’électeurs s’en seraient donné à cœur joie. Boulevard Voltaire
Au moment d’écrire ces lignes, les États de la ceinture rouillée des États-Unis, Michigan, Pennsylvanie, Wisconsin, comptabilisaient leurs derniers bulletins pour départager un scrutin nettement plus serré que ne l’avaient prédit experts et sondeurs. Une fois de plus, l’élection sera déterminée par ces électeurs d’une classe ouvrière blanche autrefois acquise au Parti démocrate, victimes de la désindustrialisation, de la concurrence asiatique, qui avaient offert la victoire il y a quatre ans à Donald Trump, sensibles à son discours protectionniste et antiglobalisation, à rebours du consensus libre-échangiste des deux partis. Si Joe Biden est toujours plutôt favori pour remporter l’élection présidentielle américaine, les quatre dernières années et ce scrutin indécis légueront un héritage qui ne devrait pas laisser les Européens indifférents. Vainqueur ou vaincu, Donald Trump aura changé le monde et le rapport des États-Unis à celui-ci. Il aura servi d’accélérateur et de révélateur de tendances profondes. L’Amérique abandonne progressivement son universalisme, se comportant comme une puissance normale défendant ses intérêts sur une scène internationale morcelée, dans un système multilatéral inopérant, actant la fin des espoirs de la mondialisation triomphante et de l’après-guerre froide. Au Moyen-Orient, en Asie, dans la relation transatlantique, il aura fait voler en éclat mythes et antiennes des chancelleries diplomatiques. Dans un entretien au Financial Times, en 2018, Henry Kissinger décrivait Trump comme une de ces figures «qui apparaissent dans l’histoire de temps en temps pour marquer la fin d’une époque et la forcer à abandonner ses vieilles prétentions. Ça ne veut pas dire qu’il s’en rende compte ou qu’il ait envisagé des alternatives.» Sur de nombreux sujets, les années Trump lieront Biden. Joe Biden a fait campagne contre le bilan de politique étrangère de Trump, lui reprochant son hostilité aux alliances traditionnelles et sa proximité avec les adversaires autoritaires de l’Amérique, comme la Russie. À n’en pas douter, les prochaines semaines d’une Administration Biden marquerait une embellie des relations transatlantiques: retour dans l’accord de Paris sur le climat, grands discours sur les valeurs communes, l’Otan, etc. Le candidat Biden a même promis la tenue d’un «sommet des démocraties» dans les premiers mois de son mandat. Son Administration ne montrerait pas l’hostilité idéologique vis-à-vis de l’Union européenne manifestée par le président Trump. Si les différends commerciaux sur des sujets comme les Gafa perdureront, on ne verra probablement pas la même instrumentalisation de l’arme des tarifs douaniers dans la relation transatlantique. Pour autant, la nouvelle carte électorale américaine et le succès des candidats populistes des deux bords, de Trump à Bernie Sanders, ont forcé les élites américaines à prendre conscience des conséquences négatives des accords de libre-échange sur certaines régions. Le mandat de Trump aura mis fin au mythe de la «convergence» de la Chine, l’idée d’une ouverture politique qui aurait suivi la libéralisation économique du pays. C’était l’espoir de ceux qui, comme Joe Biden, avait soutenu l’intégration de la Chine dans l’OMC: faire de Beijing un acteur responsable (responsible stakeholder) des relations internationales. Le durcissement autoritaire du régime sous Xi Jinping, les ambitions géopolitiques annoncées par les «nouvelles routes de la soie», les abus dans le comportement commercial comme les mensonges des premières semaines de la pandémie ont fait voler en éclats ces espoirs. Biden, longtemps favorable à une coopération prudente avec Beijing, comme une grande partie de l’élite américaine, qualifie aujourd’hui le dirigeant chinois de «voyou». La doctrine stratégique de l’Administration Trump, qui assumait la «compétition de grandes puissances» avec Beijing, fait aujourd’hui l’objet d’un consensus bipartisan à Washington. Une Administration Biden placera elle aussi la rivalité stratégique avec la Chine au centre de ses priorités et attendra, à cet égard, un alignement des Européens sur le plan commercial, technologique ou militaire. Au Moyen-Orient, qui peut douter que la politique de Donald Trump a rebattu les cartes régionales? Joe Biden ne redéplacera certainement pas l’ambassade des États-Unis en Israël à Tel-Aviv. De nombreux commentateurs avaient prédit un embrasement régional en cas de reconnaissance de Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël. Il n’en a rien été. Au contraire, l’Administration Trump a profité du rapprochement entre puissances arabes sunnites, autour de l’Arabie saoudite et des Émirats arabes unis, et d’Israël face à la menace commune iranienne pour faire signer des accords de reconnaissance mutuels, là aussi un bilan durable. Les experts avaient prédit l’impossibilité de tels accords sans processus de paix israélo-palestinien. La méthode transactionnelle et le rapport de force établi avec l’Iran (brutalement comme l’a montré la mort du général Soleimani) aura peut-être mieux fonctionné que les politiques de ses prédécesseurs. Au détriment peut-être durable de la cause palestinienne.Enfin, la présidence Trump aura révélé les limites de la relation transatlantique, là aussi un accélérateur du désintérêt marqué par Obama pour l’Europe et ses enjeux de sécurité, en Syrie par exemple. Il aura répété, avec brutalité, les critiques de ses prédécesseurs sur le partage de fardeau et le comportement «passager clandestin» vis-à-vis de la puissance américaine. Les Européens peuvent-ils vraiment laisser la sécurité de leurs citoyens entre les mains de quelques dizaines de milliers d’électeurs de Pennsylvanie tous les quatre ans? En Libye, en Méditerranée orientale face à la Turquie, face au terrorisme, l’Europe a ses propres enjeux de sécurité et doit se donner les moyens d’assumer sa puissance. Trump a changé le monde ; aux Européens de ne pas devenir les derniers gardiens du monde d’hier. Benjamin Haddad
Cela avait commencé comme un mauvais remake pour les démocrates. Celui qui ne pouvait pas être élu allait être réélu. Après une improbable remontée de Biden dans les États clés du Wisconsin et du Michigan, Trump pourrait finalement échouer à prolonger son bail à la Maison-Blanche. Mais, si défaite il y a, elle se sera jouée sur le fil au terme d’une des batailles électorales les plus disputées de ces cinquante dernières années. Et contre tous les pronostics, les Républicains devraient conserver leur majorité au Sénat, notamment grâce à l’élection de proches du président sortant. Une fois encore les sondeurs et les médias se sont donc trompés. Loin d’être rejeté par l’ensemble des Américains, Trump a été porté par une lame de fond qui a toutes les chances de s’avérer durable. D’autant qu’il est permis d’imaginer qu’elle a été atténuée par la crise sanitaire sans laquelle Donald Trump aurait probablement été aisément victorieux. Battu par Biden en termes de vote populaire, le président sortant progresse néanmoins en nombre de voix par rapport à 2016. Fait notable, il améliore ses scores auprès de toutes les «minorités», y compris les hommes et les femmes noirs, ce qui confirme les limites de la politique des identités démocrate et montre que le phénomène Trump n’est pas réductible à un vote de «petits blancs». Son élection de 2016, comme le Brexit en 2015, n’était pas un accident de l’Histoire et sera sans doute bien plus qu’une parenthèse dans la marche que d’aucuns pensent inéluctable vers un monde toujours plus globalisé. L’élection américaine est un nouveau symptôme de la recomposition politique occidentale, qui, depuis la crise financière de 2008 bouleverse les clivages traditionnels au sein des démocraties libérales et dont les mouvements dits «populistes» sont souvent la traduction. Au clivage droite-gauche se substitue l’opposition «Anywhere» – «Somewhere», théorisée par le politologue britannique David Goodhart, c’est-à-dire l’affrontement entre ceux qui sont à l’aise dans «le village global» et adhèrent au multiculturalisme et ceux pour qui la mondialisation est source d’insécurité économique et culturelle. Le fait que les électeurs de Biden aient massivement voté par correspondance tandis que ceux de Trump se déplaçaient physiquement dans les urnes sonne comme un symbole de cette séparation entre «mondialisés» et «enracinés». Dans son nouvel essai, Le Temps des gens ordinaires (Flammarion), Christophe Guilluy montre que les «invisibles» sont en train de devenir «incontournables». Ces derniers forment désormais, selon lui, «un bloc autonome, puissant et sûr de son diagnostic. Un socle solide né de l’implosion de la classe moyenne»… C’est ce dont semble témoigner la spectaculaire résistance du vote Trump. Il serait donc simpliste et illusoire de voir dans une éventuelle victoire de Biden le début de la fin de l’ère populiste et le retour à l’époque antérieure. Bien au contraire, la parenthèse de la mondialisation heureuse est définitivement refermée. D’autant que si la crise sanitaire, peut, à court terme, déstabiliser certains «populistes» au pouvoir, à moyen et long terme, elle débouchera sur une crise économique et sociale qui ne fera qu’exacerber les fractures. L’édito du Time ce jeudi résumait bien la situation: «Même si Joe Biden gagne, il gouvernera dans l’Amérique de Donald Trump ». Alexandre Devecchio
Quand vous avez réussi à corrompre la quasi totalité des grands médias, quand vous avez dans la poche les milliardaires de Wall Street, Hollywood et Silicon Valley, quand vous avez réussi à laver le cerveau des masses en vous faisant passer pour le camp du bien et de la générosité, quand pendant huit ans, sous la direction d’un Islamiste antisémite avoué qui s’est fait passer pour un Chrétien libéral, vous avez installé des agents dans toutes les administrations, créant de la sorte un « Etat Profond » impossible à contourner, il ne vous reste plus qu’à emporter les élections par tous moyens, au détriment du peuple et pour le plus grand profit de vos alliés. Les fascistes corrompus démocrates ont pu bénéficier, comme c’est étrange, d’une épidémie à l’échelle mondiale provoquée par leur allié principal, la Chine, pour infliger une peur panique quotidienne au peuple américain et leur faire croire que leur président légalement élu était responsable des morts qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes provoquées, parfois volontairement (gestion criminelle de la crise par Cuomo et De Blazio à New York par exemple), ou inventées. (Les chiffres officiels des morts dues au COVID19 restent sujets à caution). Ils ont évidemment créé un tel niveau de panique que l’économie américaine, en plein essort grâce au président Trump, s’est brusquement effondrée (avant de se reprendre et de remonter). Cette panique leur a permis de convaincre les Américains de rester chez eux et de voter par correspondance, sans preuve d’identité, ouvrant ainsi la porte à une fraude massive, préparée  et organisée dans les moindres détails. (…) Ce vol de l’élection a ciel ouvert n’a pu être organisé que grâce à la complicité des médias et des GAFA, aux ordres des fascistes corrompus démocrates car c’est l’intérêt de leurs dirigeants de transformer la planète en un camp d’aliénés géant, au sein duquel seul leur groupe de privilégiés pourrait continuer à tirer des profits. Travaillez, rentrez chez vous, regardez les plus absurdes programmes télévisés, gavez vous de fausses nouvelles, payez vos impôts, de plus en plus d’impôts, métissez-vous, oubliez votre genre sexuel, sentez-vous honteux d’aller à l’église, construisez des mosquées, propagez l’antisémitisme dans les universités, acceptez la domination de la Chine, soyez indulgent avec l’Iran, crachez sur Israël, et, surtout, soyez soumis. (…) Si le président Trump ne parvient pas à démontrer l’ampleur de cette tricherie qui a pris la forme d’un coup d’état, les années à venir seront de plus en plus sombres tandis que le bien le plus précieux de chaque être humain sera progressivement confisqué : sa liberté. Pierre Rehov
Attention: une fraude peut en cacher un autre !
A l’heure où au lendemain d’une des élections américaines les plus disputées …
Qui a vu en une rare unanimité digne des expulsions les plus réussies de bouc émissaire …
Y compris de médias français comme le Monde qu’on avait connu en d’autre temps moins catégorique
Celui que pendant quatre ans une presse ayant troqué l’objectivité pour le miltantisme
Mais aussi, malgré les risques de perte du Sénat, des transfuges républicains au sein de son propre camp comme Romney ou Bush …
Ont tenté, entre le faux dossier de collusion russe et l’instrumentalisation de l’épidémie et des émeutes anti-policiers, de diaboliser comme « marionnette de Moscou » et raciste champion du suprémacisme blanc
Tout en « protégeant » le grand public tant de ses points forts que des fragilités de leur propre candidat …
Mobiliser sept millions de nouveaux républicains dans les urnes, conserver le Sénat, renforcer son camp à la Chambre, complètement révolutionner la carte électorale en attirant vers lui 33 % des Latinos et 18 % des Noirs…
Et à la fin, crime ultime de lèse-majesté, leur contester leur victoire dans des machines électorales notoirement corrompues …
Comment ne pas voir …
Au-delà des probables erreurs de lecture et magouilles de bas niveau
Mais à l’image d’un particulièrement révélateur lapsus du candidat démocrate …
Ou même, d’appels explicites à la fausse résidence dans un état-pivot, de la part d’un journaliste réputé ou d’un ancien candidat démocrate
Le véritable casse du siècle et nouveau putsch judiciaire
Consistant à faire sauter, selon la formule de Malcolm X empruntée à Sartre du « tous les moyens sont bons », à quelques mois de l’élection sous couvert de coronavirus …
Entre envois non sollicités et collecte de bulletins, non-contrôle des signatures ou des pièces d’identité
Dans des états-clé au fonctionnement, entre gouverneurs républicains et législatures démocrates ou l’inverse, particulièrement compliqué …
Sans compter les menaces d’abolir le Collège électoral, doubler ou tripler le nombre de juges à la Cour suprême et même, pour avoir plus de sénateurs à leur botte, d’ « étatifier » le District of Columbia et Porto Rico …

Tout un ensemble de règles centenaires protégeant l’intégrité du scrutin

Pour déverser massivement, y compris après le scrutin lui-même, quelque 70 millions de bulletins postaux (d’ailleurs interdits en France depuis 45 ans) sur des centres de votes impréparés …
Sans compter depuis quatre ans, entre médias partisans et sondages idoines …
Un véritable tsunami de propagande et de censure anti-Trump et pro-Biden digne des plus beaux jours des régimes communistes …
Tendant à faire passer pour fascisme contre toute évidence et à leurs risques et périls
Le rappel proprement révolutionnaire qu’aucun pays digne de ce nom …
Ne pourra désormais recommencer à faire passer par pertes et profits son vaste intérieur industriel, détruire ses frontières ou préférer au renouveau la résignation au déclin ?
Anatomie de l’escroquerie du siècle
Pendant 4 ans, les Démocrates ont pu impunément insulter, attaquer, mentir, voler, tout en vous préparant au plus grand vol d’élection de l’histoire du monde libre. Ils ont transformé tranquillement le système électoral américain et organisé, comme Joe le senile l’a annoncé lors d’une de ses fameuses gaffes, « la plus grande machine à tricher de l’histoire »
Pierre Rehov
Dreuz
7 novembre 2020

Quand vous avez réussi à corrompre la quasi totalité des grands médias, quand vous avez dans la poche les milliardaires de Wall Street, Hollywood et Silicone Valley, quand vous avez réussi à laver le cerveau des masses en vous faisant passer pour le camp du bien et de la générosité, quand pendant huit ans, sous la direction d’un Islamiste antisémite avoué qui s’est fait passer pour un Chrétien libéral, vous avez installé des agents dans toutes les administrations, créant de la sorte un « Etat Profond » impossible à contourner, il ne vous reste plus qu’à emporter les élections par tous moyens, au détriment du peuple et pour le plus grand profit de vos alliés.

Les fascistes corrompus Démocrates ont pu bénéficier, comme c’est étrange, d’une épidémie à l’échelle mondiale provoquée par leur allié principal, la Chine, pour infliger une peur panique quotidienne au peuple américain et leur faire croire que leur président légalement élu était responsable des morts qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes provoquées, parfois volontairement (gestion criminelle de la crise par Cuomo et De Blazio à New York par exemple), ou inventées. (Les chiffres officiels des morts dues au COVID19 restent sujets à caution).

Ils ont évidemment créé un tel niveau de panique que l’économie américaine, en plein essort grâce au président Trump, s’est brusquement effondrée (avant de se reprendre et de remonter). Cette panique leur a permis de convaincre les Américains de rester chez eux et de voter par correspondance, sans preuve d’identité, ouvrant ainsi la porte à une fraude massive, préparée  et organisée dans les moindres détails.

Les fascistes corrompus démocrates auraient donc convaincu les Américains de voter pour eux parce qu’ils allaient :

  • Augmenter les impôts
  • Légaliser 11 millions d’immigrés illégaux (autant de votants pour eux)
  • Arrêter l’exploitation des énergies fossiles et rendre de nouveau l’Amérique dépendante du pétrole étranger
  • Reprendre date avec la Chine et laisser les emplois de nouveau s’évader dans les camps de travaux forcés communistes
  • Arrêter le processus de paix au Moyen Orient et recommencer à financer les organisations terroristes dirigées par Mahmud Abbas
  • Revenir à l’accord infernal qui autoriserait l’Iran à obtenir la bombe atomique dans moins d’une décennie tout en poursuivant son hégémonie régionale et en finançant le terrorisme
  • Effacer le second amendement et confisquer les armes individuelles de sorte que plus personne ne puisse se défendre

Et il est vrai que des millions d’idiots utiles, au sens léninien du terme, se sont laissé suffisamment laver le cerveau pour tomber dans le panneau et accepter béatement de devenir un troupeau d’esclaves, avec le sentiment d’appartenir au camp du bien et de la générosité. Un peu comme certains allemands qui, dans les années 30, ont voté pour Hitler de bonne foi, sans comprendre à qui ils avaient affaire ni savoir ce qu’ils faisaient.

Biden n’est pas Hitler, c’est vrai. Ce n’est qu’un pantin corrompu jusqu’à la moëlle et sénile, qui s’est enrichi pendant 47 ans sur le dos des travailleurs américains. Le système qui le protège n’est pas un système nazi, même si le National Socialisme était une idéologie de gauche contrairement aux « libéraux » qui s’acharnent à réécrire l’Histoire à leur profit. Il ressemblerait plutôt aux systèmes qui ont été mis en place dans les républiques bananières d’Afrique ou d’Amérique du Sud avec la bénédiction des grands profiteurs et des partis communistes.

Malheureusement pour les fascistes corrompus démocrates, une fraude à telle échelle ne peut exister sans quelques couacs. Les racailles et les idiots utiles qui ont participé à cette fraude n’ont pas tous le cerveau d’Einstein. Ce n’est qu’un doux euphémisme…  Quand on dit à une racaille qu’il a les mains libres pour tricher ou voler, le ciel est la limite de ce qu’il est capable de faire.

C’est la raison pour laquelle des tonnes d’erreurs ont été commises: de l’apparition magique du nombre exact de bulletins de votes dont les fascistes corrompus démocrates avaient besoin pour voler les élections dans certains états, au blocage d’observateurs républicains ou impartiaux malgré les jugements dans certains centres de tris, en passant par l’envoi massif de bulletins à des fausses adresses, au vote des morts, des plus que centenaires et des immigrés illégaux. Pour ne citer, évidemment, que quelques-unes des manipulations honteuses qui ont été découvertes.

Ce vol de l’élection a ciel ouvert n’a pu être organisé que grâce à la complicité des médias et du GAFA, aux ordres des fascistes corrompus Démocrates car c’est l’intérêt de leurs dirigeants de transformer la planète en un camp d’aliénés géant, au sein duquel seul leur groupe de privilégiés pourrait continuer à tirer des profits.

Travaillez, rentrez chez vous, regardez les plus absurdes programmes télévisés, gavez vous de fausses nouvelles, payez vos impôts, de plus en plus d’impôts, métissez-vous, oubliez votre genre sexuel, sentez-vous honteux d’aller à l’église, construisez des mosquées, propagez l’antisémitisme dans les universités, acceptez la domination de la Chine, soyez indulgent avec l’Iran, crachez sur Israël, et, surtout, soyez soumis.

« BIG BROTHER veille sur votre sécurité et sur bonheur. Nous sommes les Démocrates ! »

Si le président Trump ne parvient pas à démontrer l’ampleur de cette tricherie qui a pris la forme d’un coup d’état, les années à venir seront de plus en plus sombres tandis que le bien le plus précieux de chaque être humain sera progressivement confisqué : sa liberté.

Les multinationales ne veulent pas de la liberté d’entreprendre qui nuit à leurs profits.

Le GAFA ne veut pas de la liberté de s’exprimer qui nuit à leur main prise totale sur chaque humain hypnotisé par son ordinateur et son téléphone portable.

Les médias ne veulent pas de la liberté de penser qui nuit à leur traitement inique de l’information au profit de leurs commanditaires.

Les Démocrates ne veulent pas de la liberté tout court, qui nuit à leurs malversations, à leurs alliances avec les dictatures, à leur programme « social » destiné à provoquer davantage de soumission et de dépendance.

Contre cette « vague bleue » qui ressemble davantage au remugle vomi par l’antre infernal des privilégiés, il n’y a qu’un homme pour se battre envers et contre tous. Cet homme n’était pas un politicien mais un courageux patriote amoureux de son pays et de son peuple. Un homme qui s’était fait élire pour nettoyer le marécage infesté par les bactéries du parti de l’esclavage et qui était bien près d’y arriver.

Il reste encore une chance d’empêcher ce scénario catastrophe de se produire.  Elle passe par un combat juridique avec le soutien de tout le peuple.

  • Contre les médias
  • Contre le GAFA
  • Contre BLM et Antifa
  • Contre le Big Tech
  • Contre Wall Street
  • Contre les Islamistes aux visages d’ange
  • Contre les soit disant « bien-pensants »

Le peuple américain doit se dresser sur ses jambes et crier : LIBERTE

Voir aussi:

Donald Trump, Counterrevolutionary
Against all the money and clout of America’s revolutionary forces, the counterrevolutionary Trump had only one asset, the proverbial people.
Victor Davis Hanson
American greatness
November 1, 2020

Until Donald Trump’s arrival, the globalist revolution was almost solidified and institutionalized—with the United States increasingly its greatest and most “woke” advocate. We know its bipartisan establishment contours.

China would inherit the world in 20 or 30 years. The self-appointed task of American elites—many of whom had already been enriched and compromised by Chinese partners and joint ventures—was to facilitate this all-in-the-family transition in the manner of the imperial British hand-off of hegemony to the United States in the late 1940s.

Our best and brightest like the Biden family, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg would enlighten us about the “real” China, so we yokels would not fall into Neanderthal bitterness as they managed our foreordained decline.

We would usher China into “the world community”—grimacing at, but overlooking the destruction it wrought on the global commercial order and the American interior.

We would politely forget about Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and the Uyghurs. Hollywood would nod as it put out more lucrative comic-book and cartoonish films for the Chinese markets, albeit with mandated lighter-skinned actors.

The NBA would nod twice and trash a democratic United States, while praising genocidal China—becoming richer and more esteemed abroad to make up for becoming boring and poorer at home. The universities would nod three times, and see a crime not in Chinese espionage and security breaches, but in the reporting of them as crimes.

So our revolutionary role would be to play stuffy and snooty Athenian philosophers to the new muscular Roman legions of China.

Given our elites’ superior morality, genius, and sense of self, we would gently chide and cajole our Chinese masters into becoming enlightened world overseers and democrats—all the easier, the richer and more affluent Chinese became.

For now, Trump has stopped that revolution.

Internal Counterrevolutions
Until Trump’s arrival, Big Tech was three-quarters home on the road to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Five or six companies monopolized most American—and indeed the world’s—access and use of the internet. In cynical fashion, Silicon Valley grandees patronized naïve conservatives that they were the supposed embodiment of Milton Friedman libertarianism and 19th century robber baron daring. Yet to their leftist kindred, the moguls of Menlo Park simultaneously whispered, “Don’t worry about such necessary disinformation: we will enrich only your candidates, only your agendas, only your foundations, only your universities—in exchange for your exemptions.”

Antitrust legislation was as much an anathema to good liberals as rigging searches, institutionalizing the cancel culture, and censoring thoughts and ideas were welcomed. For now Trump, almost alone, is battling that revolution.

Until Trump’s arrival, there was increasingly no border at all. Fifty-million foreign-born resided, both legally and illegally, in the United States. Nearly a million annually walked northward across the border with ease and without legal sanction or invitation. To object to illegal immigration and decry its deleterious effects on the entry-level wages of our working poor, on the social safety net of the American needy, and on the sanctity of the law was to be smeared as racist, xenophobic, and nativist.

More than a quarter of California’s current resident population were not born in the United States. That desirous “new demography” since 1988 had flipped California into a caring blue state. Open borders and the end of immigration law enforcement had pushed Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado into just Democratic societies, and was supposedly soon to transform Texas and Arizona into enlightened states. For now, Trump—with his soon-to-be 400-mile wall, his beefed up ICE, and his war on sanctuary nullification zones—has nearly stopped the revolution to end borders.

Until Trump, the American interior was loser country. In-between the two gilded coasts resided the deplorables, irredeemables, clingers, the smelly Walmart patrons decried in the Page-Strzok text echanges, those John McCain called “crazies,” and Joe Biden has variously called the “dregs,” the “chumps” and the “ugly folks.” They were written off as Morlocks, who were occasionally seen poking about the rotting, rusting skeletons of abandoned steel plants, and for some reason never had proper orthodontics as children.

Obama laughed about the “magic wand” needed to revive these unrevivable people. Larry Summers reportedly called such an idea a “fantasy.” He was said to have  praised the meritocracy that properly gives to such losers what they justly deserve. Very caring and very humane elites felt very little for supposedly very expendable riffraff.

Translated, that meant on the eve of the Chinese takeover, our clueless deplorables never learned to code, or to borrow $200,000 to get a woke-studies education, and so deserved the opioids they took and the trailers they crashed in.

Few apostates said, “Wait a minute! The United States has cheaper energy than anywhere on earth, a skilled workforce, a huge domestic market, and a still-viable infrastructure. There was a reason why Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania once led the world and why they can again.” Through tax reform, deregulation, trade rebooting, a new foreign policy, and loud jawboning, Trump for a while has stopped the revolution that was destroying our once greatest states.

Until Trump, the woke cultural wars were just about won by the elites. Seeking unity was dead; chest-pounding diversity, often the spark that had ignited history’s multiracial societies, was ascendent.

The melting pot that sought to make race incidental was deemed racist; the salad bowl that made our superficial appearances essential was celebrated. Quite affluent, self-appointed minority leaders, with their quite wealthy white liberal counterparts, established who is, and who “ain’t,” “really” black—the definition resting on whether one was loyally left-wing or disloyally independent-minded.

The success of civil rights was not to be calibrated by black unemployment figures, household income, family businesses, dignity in having leverage over employers, access to competitive parochial and charter schools, or descending abortion rates, but in electing more activists as progressive mayors, liberal city councilmembers, and leftist district attorneys to garner more redistributive state money to hire more careerists like themselves.

Trump, branded a bigot and racist, for now has sought to end that revolution, and measure race relations not by how many minority elites have choice jobs and high incomes, but by how well the entire minority community reaches income and employment parity with the general population—an idea that will earn the “racist” Trump far greater minority support than was expressed for John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Can the Revolution Be Stopped?
We are in the midst of a cultural revolution, for the most part driven by angry middle-and upper-class white youth of Antifa and its sympathizers, wannabes, and enablers. Many are humiliated that they have college pedigrees, lots of multi thousand-dollar debt, plenty of woke-studies classes to their credit, but still have no real jobs, no real knowledge, and no real immediate chances of buying a house, marrying, and raising a family in their 20s.

Nothing in history is more dangerous than the underemployed wannabe intellectual or college graduate, whose cultivated sense of superiority is not matched by his income or standard of living, but who blames “them” for his own self-inflicted miseries and unappreciated genius.

The revolution toppled statues, renamed what it did not like, Trotskyized the past, photoshopped the present, and used language, government, and cultural intimidation to do its best to make America into Animal Farm.

Corporate CEOs in terror washed the feet of the woke. University presidents, fearful for their status and careers, wrote incomprehensible memos admitting their past sins and asking how best to do present penance. Hollywood studio owners promised race and gender quotas, with ample provisions that—in the manner of NBA and NFL owners—adjustments and exceptions could be worked out for themselves.

Somewhere, somehow graduations, dorms, and campus spaces, all segregated by race, became “liberal.” Intermarriage, integration, and assimilation were shamefully illiberal. Standing for the National Anthem was unpatriotic; sitting in disdain for it, cool. Donald Trump fought that revolution too.

What tools did Donald Trump have to wage these many counterrevolutions?

The media? America’s Fortune 400? Academia? The great foundations? The nation’s think tanks? The bipartisan government establishment? The international community? The banks? Wall Street? Corporate CEOs? Silicon Valley? Professional sports? The entertainment industry? Hollywood? The intelligence community? The current and retired top military brass?

In fact, none of them. All had joined or enabled the revolution, on the theory either that their wealth and influence would shield them and their own from its excesses, or like naïve Kerenskyites their status would impress and win over even those who targeted them, or they were inner revolutionaries themselves all along, just waiting to be freed at last by BLM and Antifa.

Against all that money and clout, the counterrevolutionary Trump had only one asset, the proverbial people. He had solely the under-polled and the written-off. They came out to his rallies in the tens of thousands, deluded the pollsters, and told the media less than nothing, but voted and will vote in waves to save America from what it was becoming.

Voir également:

Trumpism: Then, Now—and in the Future?
Victor Davis Hanson

What was, is, and will be the Trump agenda?

Against all odds, what elected Trump in 2016 was a recalibration of American foreign and domestic policy—and the art of politicking itself.

Doctrine and Policy

In foreign affairs, the United States would no longer adhere to every aspect of the 75-year-old postwar order it created—given the world now bore little resemblance to the world of 1945.

Prior bipartisan foreign policy had often ossified to the point of enhancing the power of our enemies, weakening our complacent friends, and terribly damaging our own power. When Trump entered office, ISIS was proving that it was hardly a “JV” organization. North Korea was recklessly testing missiles and bragging of its nuclear-tipped rockets pointed at our West Coast.

Israel and the moderate Arab regimes were ostracized as part of the insane Obama empowerment of theocratic Iran and its quest for a radical crescent encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Hamas.

Russian reset was an utter failure. Unhinged, we were hectoring Vladimir Putin on human rights while agreeing to dismantle missile defense in Europe, if he would just please behave for a bit, and give Obama space during his 2012 reelection bid. The Asian pivot was laughable. Our friendly and hostile trading partners praised the Obama Administration in direct proportion to their manipulation of it.

In the 1950s, it was understandable that the United States would spend blood and treasure abroad to resurrect the destroyed economies after World War II and contain Soviet Communism. Its policy of allowing recovering allies to run up huge trade deficits to reenter the world community was seen both as desirable and affordable, as was putting down Communist insurrections the world over to contain the Soviet Union.

Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea became powerhouses, often with wide open, one-sided access to U.S. markets. China would never have achieved its 40-year stunning ascendence had America applied to Chinese trade the same mercantilism that China applied to the United States.

By 2016, it was clear that a host of world and international trade and development organizations took for granted U.S. moral and financial support, while assuming wide open entrance for all into the U.S. market.

The result of the globalist project was the destruction of much of the American interior’s manufacturing and assembly industries. Those whose labor could not be so easily xeroxed—Silicon Valley, Wall Street, banking and insurance, big law, the media, entertainment, professional sports, and large research universities—saw their markets expand to 7 billion consumers. Coastal elites got rich. Interior deplorables and clingers were said to have deserved their fate by not going to college or failing to learn how to code.

They were lectured that not even a magic wand could save their jobs, or, in the words of Lawrence Summers, former Harvard president and the architect of President Obama’s team of economic advisers, they deserved their unfortunate fates, which in our meritocracy matched their meager abilities. “One of the challenges in our society is that the truth is a kind of disequalizer,”  Summers reportedly once said. “One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated closer to the way that they’re supposed to be treated.”.

Into that comfortable matrix of easing into decline, Trump stormed in. He damned globalists as elites who cared more about abstractions abroad than unfairness and the poor at home right under their noses.

To restore U.S. primacy, he greenlighted gas and oil production. When the United States became the largest producer of both, much of the world changed. The Middle East no longer had a political stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy. Russia, and illiberal regimes like Iran, lost hundreds of billions in carbon income. American consumers and industry enjoyed the cheapest energy prices in the Westernized world. And the elite dismissed all that as too damaging to the planet.

Tax reform and deregulation lured back to U.S. shores offshored money and opened up trillions of dollars for investment that had been inert—the owners of which had been understandably worried by the redistributionist rhetoric and policies of the increasingly leftwing second-term Obama Administration and its recalibration of the Democratic Party.

Closing the border with Mexico slowly tapered off the once-endless supplies of cheap imported labor. For the first time in a half-century, the American worker was courted by needy employers who paid record entry-level wages, as unemployment fell to near historic peacetime lows.

Minority youth were no longer begging employers for a chance of a job, but rather were being begged by them to come to work. Ancient fights over unions and minimum wages faded as an increasingly wealthy America saw middle-class income soar for the first time in years as employers paid whatever was necessary to land American workers.

Trump stopped most optional military interventions that did not pencil out in a cost-benefit advantage for the United States—or for regional stability. Instead, don’t-tread-on-me realism bombed ISIS out of existence and took out the terrorist Iranian mastermind Qasem Soleimani, or threatened Kim Jong-un with massive retaliation if he dared launch a missile toward the United States.

At no time did Trump think he should remove Bashar al-Assad and try to create a Western democracy in Syria, or invade and overthrow the Iranian regime—as opposed to slowly strangle them with sanctions, new alliances, and military deterrence. There was no desire to return to spend money or lives in Libya or Iraq to establish or reboot democratic institutions.

There were two final pillars of the new Trump foreign policy. One was to talk honestly to allies about investing in their own defense as promised. Most not only counted on U.S. protection but often loudly seemed to resent their ensuing dependence by opportunistically ankle-biting the United States for its global policeman role.

Western Europe and Asia, and especially Germany and Japan, were told that if Russia and China really were existential threats, then such front-line states had to commensurately invest in their own defense first—at least if they to expected 19-year-olds from rural Michigan or northern Florida to fly over to their defense.

Unpredictability was seen as safer deterrence in a dangerous world than predictable and ossified policy.

So, against all advice, Trump called China to account for its commercial cheating and insidious infiltration into Western banking, corporate, media, entertainment, and academic institutions. He cut off aid to Palestinians who refused to recognize Israel, moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, reminded the Assad regime that it would never recover the Golan Heights to launch another war on Israel, encouraged the moderate Arab world to ally with Israel to protect against revolutionary Shiite Iran, and reminded Canada and Mexico that one reason why they had small militaries, and growing economies, was their proximity to the United States—and thus such magnanimity should be reciprocated with symmetry rather than seen as naïveté that explained its continuance.

Class, Not Race

The second pillar of Trumpism was a shift in Republican orthodoxy to reemphasize class differences and in radically different ways.

No longer was there talk of privatizing Social Security, institutionalizing free (but not fair) trade, or following international commercial accords against the interest of an increasingly hollowed out American middle class. Deregulation and cuts in corporate taxes galvanized the economy and indeed profits “trickled down” to the hoi polloi. But such necessary free-market reforms were not the be-all and end-all of Republican orthodoxy, which was now readjusted to be more in the interest of the factory worker, not just the Wall Street investor.

Closing the border cut off the easy supply of cheap labor for corporations. Only that way would wages of entry-level and largely minority workers rise. More radially, Trumpism did not see the middle classes as spent, addicted, eroding and doomed, much less as deplorables, clingers, irredeemables, dregs, and chumps as the coastal elites increasingly liked to smear them. And Trump certainly did not see poor whites, without much influence, as privileged, and thus in need of making atonement for supposed sins of the past or the present.

One reason why Trump is libeled as a racist is that he saw through the white elite con of blaming those without advantage for bias and prejudice, in order to win psychological exemption for the elite’s own near-monopoly on blue-chip university admissions, corporate, media and academic old-boy access and cultural influence.

Bull-in-the-China-Shopism

Aside from fundamental changes in foreign and democratic policy, and renewed emphasis on class instead of race, Trumpism changed the political dialectic.

Of course, Trump could be crude, even at times bullying and profane. But much of his braggadocio and vulgarity were designed as chemotherapy to kill the cancer of the administrative state and the lock-hold on permanent government by the revolving-door, bipartisan coastal elite.

The reasons why Trump just days after his inauguration faced a failed impeachment, or calls for his removal by the 25th Amendment, or even talk of a military coup, or the Steele dossier hoax that led to a $40 million, 22-month effort by progressives to destroy his presidency, his person and his family, were manifold. But one cause surely was that Trump was orphaned from the hard-Left Democratic Party and the Republican establishment and seemed either to welcome the ostracism or not be fully cognizant of the cost that it entailed.

True, Trump may have defined presidential comportment down with his “sleepy,” “crooked,” “lying,” and “low-energy” epithets and with his crowds cheering to “lock her up.” But then again, what was so moral in the past about mellifluously assuring Americans they would lose neither their doctor nor their health plan—to the amusement of the likes of Jonathan Gruber who knew all along that they would? Or ramming through the Iran Deal by bypassing the treaty duties of the U.S. Senate, while deluding the country with a “know-nothing” media echo chamber? If we learned anything from the Obama years, supposedly “scandal-free” presidents might do anything from weaponizing the IRS and siccing the FBI on opponents to dismantling viable allied missile defense to leverage foreign leaders to aid their reelection campaigns—and then call all that moral, with a chorus of media assent.

When a man takes on the role of the gunslinger arriving in the town to clean up the mess, one must expect that his methods and comportment will offend his supporters as much as they terrified his adversaries, all the more so as he succeeds and thus the beneficiaries see an end on the horizon to their embarrassing need to have called in the unorthodox to do what their own polite conventionality should have done, but choose not (or did not have the courage) to do.

The Fate of Trumpism 

We can sense the viability of Trumpism by the current lack of coherent attacks on its principles and achievements. Would a President Mitt Romney demand that the U.S. embassy now leave Jerusalem? Would a President Nikki Haley cease the new containment of China? Would a President Marco Rubio return to the Bush-Obama coaxing of NATO partners to please, pretty please pay up what they had promised?

Or alternatively, would a President Joe Biden warn the Arab countries to cease their “destabilizing” new partnership with Israel?

Would he jawbone them to return the autocratic Palestinians to front and center of the Middle East “peace” plan? Would a President Biden begin dismantling 400 miles of border wall and return to open borders?

At home, Biden most certainly would raise taxes, restore cumbersome regulations, strangle the fossil fuel industry, and return to identity politics pandering. But after the 2017-20 Trump boom, he would do so without any expectation that the economy would grow or the country would heal or the world would suddenly cool down and the seas cease to rise.

Biden knows that under Obama a natural recovery stagnated, a uniter president ignited the country with his team of racial arsonists, and the government wasted billions of dollars in green boondoggles even as a hamstrung private sector did far more than Washington to expand the use of solar energy and electric cars.

And what about the NeverTrumper—always wrong that Trump would not be nominated or not be elected or be destroyed by “Russian collusion”? At the end of Trump, whether in 2020 and 2024, would they resurrect the Weekly Standard or return to the Sunday talk shows? Would the legions of handlers, operatives and advisors return to recalibrate all the party Senate and House races along the lines of a Mitt Romney or John McCain orthodoxy? Would the NeverTrump Phoenix arise to save the Republican Party from the ashes of Trumpism—on the principle that deplorables would always support RINO candidates, but RINOS would bolt the minute a deplorable candidate appeared. Could a Jeff Flake or a Ben Sasse or a John Kasich candidacy shatter the Blue Wall?

Probably not at all. Elite Republicanism would fail because the white working classes would return either to political hibernation in the swing states or rejoin the Democratic Party. Growing minority support would vanish because blacks and Latinos would see platitudinous and pandering Republicans as far more injurious to their futures than was a crudely talking, Queens-accented populist Trump.

Trumpism did not dismantle Republican conservatism. It simply enhanced conservative appeal by closing the border, confronting China, demanding fair trade, avoiding optional military expeditions, emphasizing the concerns of the working class, and redefining presidential behavior as boisterously honoring promises rather than mellifluously reneging on them.

Whatever Trump’s fate, the NeverTrump faction will not succeed in rebuilding a new-old Republican Party under the Bush-McCain-Romney paradigm. Biden and his leftist masters would not be able to lower minority unemployment to Trump levels. Neither would they declare an end to containing China and claim such past confrontation was an unnecessary provocation.

Like it or not, Trump hit on a great truth that no leader can write off his country’s vast industrial interior, destroy his nation’s borders, willingly cede global leadership to a Communist dictatorship, manipulate intelligence agencies to destroy political opponents, prefer to manage decline rather than to seek renewal, and meanwhile, as he did all that, call himself moral and presidential.

Voir de même:

Présidentielle américaine : pourquoi Donald Trump veut-il saisir la Cour suprême ?

DÉCRYPTAGE – Après une journée de vote à l’issue très incertaine, le président américain a annoncé vouloir saisir la Cour suprême, pour que «la loi soit respectée et utilisée de manière appropriée». Explications.

Luc Lenoir
Le Figaro

«C’est une fraude contre le peuple américain» : l’accusation faite par Donald Trump, dans une conférence improvisée à deux heures du matin, est grave. «Franchement, nous avons gagné ces élections. Notre but est d’en assurer l’intégrité, nous allons gagner cela», attaquait le président américain, annonçant dans la foulée saisir la Cour suprême, pour que «la loi soit respectée et utilisée de manière appropriée». Mais de quoi parlait-il?

L’action juridique que s’apprête à entamer le camp républicain est très concrète : l’enjeu est de faire arrêter la réception des bulletins au jour du vote, dans le cadre de la procédure du vote par correspondance. «Nous souhaitons que les votes soient arrêtés, on ne veut pas qu’ils retrouvent des votes à 4 heures du matin», a ainsi détaillé le candidat dans sa prise de parole, évoquant une controverse juridique qui dure depuis plusieurs mois, et qui pourrait faire basculer l’élection.

Plusieurs cours locales ont autorisé la réception de votes en retard

Tout au long de l’été, plusieurs cours suprêmes étatiques ont en effet pris des mesures autorisant la réception et le comptage des bulletins de vote même arrivés jusqu’à plusieurs jours après le 3 novembre. Au motif que l’extension permettrait une meilleure prise en compte des votes à distance en période de pandémie, la cour de Pennsylvanie a ainsi autorisé les votes arrivant jusqu’au 6 novembre. Dans le Nevada, le délai court jusqu’au 10 novembre. En Caroline du Nord, c’est jusqu’au 12 novembre que les votes envoyés peuvent être réceptionnés. Environ vingt états ont vu cette tolérance mise en place, parfois contre l’avis des parlements.

Des décisions qui avaient été très controversées : pour le parti républicain, le contexte sanitaire ne justifiait en rien une extension du délai de vote à distance, de toute façon sans risque. De plus, selon les équipes de campagne du président en exercice, les cours suprêmes locales outrepassaient leurs pouvoirs, car le choix des modalités de vote revient normalement aux assemblées législatives de chaque État. Les possibilités de fraude électorale par ce biais avaient également été soulevées : dans le Minnesota, les avocats du parti républicain, cités par MPRNews, avaient souligné que les modalités locales «[autorisaient] les votes reçus jusqu’à huit jours après le scrutin et sans cachet postal à être pris en compte». En réponse, plusieurs médias soulignaient que, le vote à distance étant traditionnellement plutôt utilisé par les électeurs démocrates aux États-Unis, les Républicains refusaient un mécanisme défavorable pour eux.

Plusieurs actions juridiques à prévoir

Consultée sur la mesure de ce type prise en Pennsylvanie, la Cour suprême des États-Unis a botté en touche le 28 octobre, refusant de bloquer la décision, tout en indiquant qu’elle se réservait le droit de revenir sur sa position après l’élection. Dans le détail, quatre juges conservateurs (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr, Neil Gorsuch et Brett Kavanaugh) avaient défendu la requête républicaine, tandis que quatre autres juges (les libéraux Stephen H. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor et Elena Kagan et le président conservateur de la Cour John Roberts) souhaitaient la rejeter. Précision d’importance, la nouvelle juge Amy Coney Barrett, tout juste nommée par Donald Trump, n’avait pas pris part à ce débat, selon CNN.

Hier mardi, Donald Trump est revenu sur l’affaire et a déclaré dans un tweet que la décision de la Cour suprême était «TRÈS dangereuse […]. Cela va permettre une triche effrénée et incontrôlée et saper l’ensemble de notre État de droit. Cela va également entraîner des violences dans les rues. Quelque chose doit être fait!» ajoutait le président candidat.

Donald Trump et son équipe de campagne avaient déjà prévenu qu’ils pourraient entamer une action juridique pour interdire la prise en compte de ces bulletins postaux en retard, en interrogeant la capacité des cours suprêmes locales à imposer ces mécanismes, au regard de la Constitution américaine. Justin Clark, gestionnaire de campagne de Trump, affirmait dès lundi : «Ne vous y trompez pas, le président et son équipe continueront de se battre pour des élections libres et équitables et des résultats fiables que tous les Américains méritent». Selon The Hill , les actions juridiques de contestation devront commencer au niveau local avant d’atteindre, éventuellement, la Cour suprême. Si les votes pris en compte malgré leur retard s’avèrent déterminants pour l’élection, cela pourrait rallonger d’autant la période d’incertitude commencée cette nuit. Les résultats n’ont en effet pas encore été annoncés dans huit États.

La Cour suprême, déjà arbitre de l’élection en 2000

La situation actuelle rappelle naturellement le bras de fer qui avait suivi l’élection présidentielle de 2000, opposant George W. Bush à son rival démocrate Al Gore. Les résultats de la Floride avaient été contestés car l’écart ne dépassait pas quelques centaines de voix. Le code électoral de l’État avait alors permis de relancer de nouveaux décomptes pour vérification. Pendant 36 jours, plusieurs changements de vainqueur avaient eu lieu en fonction des dépouillements des comtés. La Cour suprême avait finalement, le 12 décembre 2000, rendu une décision donnant la victoire à George W. Bush, après avoir interrompu un énième décompte. Les juges s’étaient profondément divisés sur la question, cinq d’entre eux remportant la majorité, les quatre autres ayant fait état de leur dissidence dans le texte final. Le scénario pourrait-il se rejouer ces prochaines semaines ?

Voir de plus:

Aux États-Unis, les confessions d’un «fraudeur électoral» démocrate alimentent les soupçons

Dans un article du New York Post, un militant détaille ses techniques pour trafiquer le vote par correspondance. Des révélations mises en doute par des partisans démocrates.

Luc Lenoir

La démocratie américaine menacée ? Oui, mais par les démocrates ! Voilà une démonstration qui pourrait surprendre bien des spectateurs, habitués aux analyses sur les risques de confiscation du pouvoir par Donald Trump. Alors que la tension monte aux États-Unis autour de l’élection présidentielle, et des risques pesant sur le vote dans le contexte de lutte publique contre le coronavirus, le New York Post a en effet publié la «confession» d’un fraudeur engagé à gauche, qui affirme avoir truqué de nombreuses élections fédérales. Essentiellement dans le New Jersey, où il réside, mais en décrivant un système de manipulation existant dans de nombreux autres États. Le mobile du passage aux aveux ? Le militant serait un soutien acharné de Bernie Sanders et ne se voit pas soutenir la candidature de Joe Biden.

Le récit est d’importance car, sous la pression de la lutte contre le coronavirus, de nombreux électeurs annoncent avoir choisi cette année le vote à distance. Celui-ci existe sous deux formes dans les États américains. La première est le vote par procuration, plébiscité par le Président actuel pour sa sécurité, nécessitant une demande de la part du votant. Le second est le scrutin postal, pour lequel il suffit de renvoyer un formulaire dans une enveloppe spécifique prédistribuée.

Ouverture d’enveloppes à la vapeur, destruction de votes dans les quartiers républicains…

Et c’est dans ce type de votes que le témoin du New York Post affirme que la fraude «est plus une règle qu’une exception». À l’appui de sa démonstration, un véritable mode d’emploi de la fraude, avec plusieurs procédés possibles. La première technique consiste à utiliser l’enveloppe d’un votant, pour y mettre un bulletin obligatoirement démocrate. Il faut au préalable faire le tour des domiciles et convaincre les citoyens de laisser les fraudeurs poster leur courrier de vote à leur place. Une mission «beaucoup plus facile qu’on ne le pense», d’après le fraudeur cité par le journaliste Jonathan Levine, en se faisant passer pour une association de service public. Ensuite, l’enveloppe est ouverte à la vapeur, puis on y glisse un nouveau bulletin en falsifiant la signature. Pour éviter toute suspicion, les enveloppes rouvertes sont ensuite disséminées dans toutes les boîtes postales de la ville.

Les employés des postes peuvent également influer facilement sur l’élection, selon le témoin. «Vous avez un facteur qui est un type anti-Trump enragé et travaille à Bedminster ou dans un bastion républicain… Il peut prendre les bulletins de vote [remplis], et sachant que 95% sont en faveur d’un républicain, il peut simplement les jeter à la poubelle», explique-t-il. Un écho à l’histoire de certains lots de courriers électoraux retrouvés après le vote, lors d’élections locales à New York en 2017 ?

Autre «mine d’or» de votes à disposition, les lieux de vie accueillant des personnes fragiles. «Il y a des maisons de retraite où l’infirmière est en fait un opérateur rémunéré. Et elle va pièce par pièce voir ces personnes âgées, qui souhaitent voter pour se sentir utiles», déclare ainsi le lanceur d’alerte. Il suffit alors de remplir le bulletin pour eux et de leur faire signer ce que l’on veut…

Enfin, le témoin précise que, la plupart du temps, l’historique de participation aux élections est une information publique aux États-Unis. Une dernière technique, encore plus sauvage, consiste donc à aller voter, un jour d’élection, à la place d’un citoyen recensé comme abstentionniste, et qui ne risque pas de venir. Certains États ne demandent en effet pas de pièce d’identité. Une information déconcertante vue de France qui légitime la méfiance de certains observateurs pour ce type de scrutin.

L’investigation mise en doute par un observatoire progressiste

Interrogé par Fox News, le journaliste est revenu sur l’origine de l’article, soulignant que le fraudeur est venu à sa rencontre et a livré des «détails impressionnants» de crédibilité, requérant l’anonymat au vu des risques encourus. Rapidement, le camp républicain a mis en avant la publication. Les deux fils de Donald Trump ont tweeté un lien vers l’article, Eric Trump qualifiant le travail de «must-read».

Du côté de l’opposition, le témoignage semble plutôt gêner l’establishment démocrate. De même, les reprises de l’information viennent pour l’instant de médias à dominante pro-Trump. Media Matters for America (MMfA), une organisation progressiste spécialisée dans la veille des médias pro-républicains, s’est toutefois penchée sur le travail du New York Post. Elle liste d’abord une série de journalistes, activistes et personnalités républicaines en tout genre qui ont publié l’article sur leur compte twitter, soulignant que «les médias de droite et le GOP [Grand Old Party, parti Républicain] poussent depuis plusieurs années le mythe de la fraude électorale pour affaiblir la participation». Avant de citer une étude du «Brennan Center for Justice», un think-tank progressiste, qui certifiait en avril dernier que la fraude via «scrutin postal» est un «discours trompeur».

L’observatoire va jusqu’à questionner l’anonymat du témoin, un principe pourtant sacro-saint dans le journalisme d’investigation. En filigrane, une dénonciation de l’engagement partisan du New York Post, de ligne conservatrice et de Jonathan Levine, l’auteur de l’article. Sans donner d’éléments de réponse concrets, cette contre-offensive montre surtout la polarisation extrême atteinte par le système médiatique américain… et la méfiance régnant sur le scrutin du 3 novembre prochain.

Voir encore:

Woke Faced the Voters—and Lost

The 2020 election was a referendum on the progressive elite, and they were soundly defeated

In a week of surprises, California’s rejection of a ballot measure that would have allowed the state to resume its affirmative action program was among the most significant.

The measure, known as Proposition 16, wasn’t defeated by shy Trump voters. Polling showed Hispanic and other minority voters evenly split on the measure, and on Tuesday it was defeated in California’s most Latino counties.

California’s result is just one piece of the mounting evidence that voters on Tuesday threw a wrench in the progressive plan to leverage a « coalition of the ascendant » and an « emerging Democratic majority » to turn the country into a woke utopia.

The 2020 election was in large part a referendum on Democrats’ race baiting and pandering, starting with the party’s own elevation of Biden to the top of the ticket. Democrats’ rejection of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris was a leading indicator that the media missed.

Millions of voters of all races made clear that they instead prefer the old ideals: equality of opportunity, economic freedom, and a society that judges its citizens not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character.

Beyond that, the president whom Democrats have lambasted for four years as a racist and a xenophobe turned out more minority voters than any Republican candidate in decades. It’s not just that right-wing Cubans handed Trump a surprise victory in south Florida; he clinched some of the nation’s most Latino counties, improved his margins with black men and women, and even earned commanding majorities in some Native American counties. And that exit poll data does not account for the shy Trump voters, an effect we presume may well be exaggerated among black and Hispanic voters.

Senate races yielded more bad news for the progressive left. Even if Joe Biden wins the White House, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who easily overcame an $80 million challenge, will serve as a check on the ascendance of socialists such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to the Biden cabinet. Voters may have wanted Biden, but there’s a whole wing of his party they’d prefer to do without.

Some House Democrats can see the writing on the wall. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.) reportedly told her caucus that the progressive push to defund the police and embrace « socialism » almost cost them the majority. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.) advised Democrats to drop the woke speak, starting with the bizarre « Latinx. »

Tuesday’s results should shatter the Democratic presumption that their party is destined to command the overwhelming and eternal support of minority voters—but it won’t. The politics fueled by racial grievance and personified by the « squad » of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib is a cancer on the Democratic Party that it indulges at its own peril.

Voir aussi:

Despite ‘racist’ charges, Trump did better with minorities than any GOP candidate in 60 years

That narrative was always bunk. It finally died, once and for all, on Tuesday evening.

Team Trump and Republicans nationwide made unprecedented inroads with black and Hispanic voters. Nationally, preliminary numbers indicated that 26 percent of Trump’s voting share came from nonwhite voters — the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960.

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the heartland of Cuban America, Trump turned a 30-plus-point Hillary Clinton romp in 2016 into a narrow single-digit Joe Biden win. Texas’ Starr County, overwhelmingly Mexican American and positioned in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, barely delivered for the Democrats. Biden’s Hispanic support in other key swing states, like Ohio and Georgia, tailed off from Clinton’s 2016 benchmarks.

Overall, exit polls indicated that 32 to 35 percent of Latinos voted for the president. And young black men are gravitating to the GOP at a remarkable pace (given the baseline).

It turns out that minorities aren’t so infatuated with the brand of unrepentant progressive “woke-ism” now peddled by the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party. The political, legal, media, corporate and academic establishments have gone all-in on the woke agenda, peddling a toxic brew of intersectionality, socialism lite and Black Lives Matter anarchism. Latinos and many blacks aren’t buying it. As one Twitter wit quipped, Democrats may have won the “Latinx vote,” but they didn’t fare well with actual Latinos.

The cognitive dissonance on the part of our bicoastal ruling class is, and will be over the ensuing months, astonishing. The ruling elite is incapable of processing the notion that the MAGA hat-clad Bad Orange Man is not, in fact, an avatar for racist whites and a harbinger of impending fascism.

“Racism is Trump’s brand — but he outperformed the polls in large part with Hispanic and some black votes,” noted the New York Times’ Paul Krugman — apparently incapable of processing the possibility that racism isn’t, in fact, Trump’s brand.

Similar lamentations are ubiquitous among the blue-checked Twitterati. Many have taken to ­rationalizing the Latino shift by ­asserting that recent immigrants from Latin America secretly pine for a caudillo-style “strong man” — a laughable and intellectually dishonest exercise in denialism.

The progressive elites are genuinely incapable of understanding why it is that their nostrums have been rejected by a growing share of the populace. They can’t come to grips with the fact that their shambolic policy initiatives — and their unjust and fundamentally anti-American identity politics — are simply not all that popular with the fly-over country rubes, including “country rubes” of color. The 2020 election, in which the GOP defied the odds by maintaining the Senate and actually picking up seats in the House, was an emphatic rejection of the left-wing vision for America. No one wants AOC’s “Squad” — including Hispanic and black voters.

It’s yet unclear whether Team Trump will get a second term. But the path forward for the Republican Party is clear, regardless. The GOP, which already has its strong base of support among non-college-educated white voters, must learn to govern like a working-class, multiethnic, multiracial party.

This more populist variety of conservatism will be unabashedly traditionalist, humbler in its approach to America’s role on the world stage and economically attuned to the aspirations and needs of ordinary Americans — not those of Wall Street, Hollywood or Silicon Valley. It is a vision with real crossover appeal — a vision that can, and will, win.

Republicans have every reason to be optimistic about the future. The hectoring “demography-is-destiny” dolts have been shot down. A substantial chunk of minority voters rejected the lies that GOP populism is rooted in racism. They rejected the slanders that the president himself is a white supremacist. The media establishment won’t admit it anytime soon, but the GOP’s future is bright — and browner than many may have previously thought possible.

Voir encore:

Trump won record minority support — yet the left is calling it ‘racism’

In an ideal world, political parties would be about different approaches to governing. Yet too often in our nation’s history they’ve been about tribalism along regional, economic and, most divisively, racial lines.

Then came 2020: This Election Day, President Trump garnered the highest percentage of non-white votes for a Republican presidential candidate in 60 years. This movement toward balance should be celebrated by all, but not surprisingly, that is not what is happening.

Take MSNBC anchor Joy Reid, who claims that the election showed a “great amount of racism, anti-blackness and anti-wokeness.” Or The New York Times’ Charles Blow, who somehow sees this election as confirming the power of the “White Patriarchy.”

Writer Bree Newsome Bass conceded that some white voters had chosen Joe Biden but voted Republican down ballot to preserve “white rule.”

These people view everything through a racial lens. They’re convinced Trump is a racist and regard his broad support — half the country voted for him — as proof that the nation, as a whole, is likewise hopelessly racist.

A kind way to describe such reactions would be “unhinged.” Another way: terrified.

Between 2004 and 2016, black men and women gave between 88 percent and 95 percent of their votes to the Democratic candidate for president. This year, Trump won 18 percent of the vote among black men — a staggering number for a Republican.

To put that in visceral terms, of every six black men who voted, one voted for Trump.

He also made significant gains with Hispanic voters and even Muslim voters.

Trump has had significant accomplishments as president — halting the liberal, activist tilt of the courts, standing up to China, striking peace treaties that offer fresh hope in the Middle East peace, firing up the economy — but perhaps none is as important or has more far-reaching implications than his transformation of the GOP into a multiracial party. For all of his high principles and good hair, the last Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, could never have dreamed of such success among non-white voters.

So why are so many progressive and black intellectual elites so upset about the American political parties achieving so much more racial balance?

Some cynics might see it as simply sour grapes over the left’s loss of power and influence. Democrats assumed only they could speak for minorities, who it now turns out have their own ideas. But it also reflects a fundamental difference between how Americans view race and racism.

Over the past few decades, progressives have insisted racism is built into the system and the system must change (in progressive ways) to curb it — though it’s never been clear if they think it can ever be satisfactorily defeated. Those on the right, meanwhile, view racism as an issue of individuals holding irrational beliefs regarding minorities, which can be organically overcome.

In the 2020 election, we now see that millions of minority voters rejected the idea that their votes should be bound by identity politics, or as Joe Biden put it, that if you don’t vote Democratic, you ain’t black. That remark didn’t come out of nowhere. He was simply saying out loud what many on the left have long believed.

Fact is, Trump made the most direct appeal to non-white voters we’ve seen from a Republican in most of our lifetimes. And it worked.

This is also good news for America, and especially minorities. We now have a GOP that will be eager to maintain these gains, and a Democratic Party that can no longer take minority votes for granted.

And we can now stop believing the color of a person’s skin gives us certainty about their political affiliation — and that in and of itself strikes a blow at racism. It’s exciting: Individuals can be treated as individuals, rather than lumped into political boxes based on their racial group.

Some may find it ironic that it was Trump, of all people, who’s most responsible for this. But what matters is that the body politic has landed in a better, more equal and more promising place.

May our parties now be about politics, not racial division, and may every American feel free, regardless of skin color, to embrace the party of their choice.

Voir de même:

Présidentielle américaine: « Comme en 2016, les médias ont confondu prétention morale et réalité des faits »

TRIBUNE – La vague bleue annoncée par les sondeurs et espérée par des journalistes américains majoritairement anti-Trump n’a pas eu lieu, estime l’essayiste Renaud Beauchard*, qui regrette que la presse ait troqué l’objectivité pour le militantisme.

Renaud Beauchard

Leçons d’une élection américaine chaotique

Au terme d’une élection extraordinairement serrée, deux certitudes se dégagent: Trump n’était pas un accident de l’histoire, et l’intelligentsia prodémocrate qui a fait de sa détestation un programme a sous-estimé sa résilience. Benjamin Haddad dresse le bilan géopolitique du sortant contesté, tandis que Renaud Beauchard souligne que Trump est «à la fois le plus grand bonimenteur de l’histoire américaine et la personne sur laquelle on a le plus menti».


Le décalage entre les attentes grandioses d’une vague bleue annoncée par les sondages à grand renfort de médias comme en 2016 et l’incertitude caractérisée qui a régné hier rapporte la preuve éclatante qu’aucune des leçons de l’élection de 2016 n’ont été apprises. Pire, le zèle appliqué à ne pas comprendre ce qui s’est passé il y a quatre ans a conduit tous les leviers d’influence gravitant autour du Parti démocrate à se persuader qu’ils pouvaient propulser au-delà de la ligne d’arrivée un candidat sans programme, sans faire campagne et à la faveur de la seule détestation de Trump.

Faut-il le rappeler? Trump a été élu en tant qu’incarnation d’un rejet d’une grande partie d’Américains de la corruption d’une classe dirigeante fondant son titre à gouverner sur une expertise technocratique, et compensant son manque de légitimité par une revendication de plus en plus stridente d’expertise morale.

Contrairement aux craintes maintes et maintes fois exprimées, Trump n’a pas troqué sa dépouille d’animateur de téléréalité pour celle de dictateur, pas même de dictateur d’opérette. De dictature nous n’avons point vu venir. En revanche, nous avons vu la classe dirigeante destituée du bien qu’elle croyait lui revenir de droit se comporter comme un «gouvernement impérial en exil» se drapant dans sa supériorité morale pour se lancer dans une inquisition prolongée mêlant espionnage politique, mensonges constants au public sur des complots inexistants, et remise au goût du jour d’expressions maccarthystes comme la «déloyauté au pays».

De toutes les institutions abîmées non pas par Trump, mais plutôt par le sentiment de panique collective des élites nommé «Trump Derangement Syndrome», nulle n’en ressort moins affaiblie que les médias d’informations. Pour preuve du caractère endémique et banal du mensonge installé au cœur d’institutions hier saluées comme des modèles d’éthique journalistique, on citera les propos édifiants d’un chroniqueur du Washington Post à propos des révélations du New York Post sur l’affaire Hunter Biden: «Nous devons traiter les fuites sur Hunter Biden comme s’il s’agissait d’une opération menée par des services de renseignement étrangers – même si ça n’est probablement pas le cas.»

«Consentement des masses»

Quelques éclaircissements sont nécessaires pour montrer comment le journalisme américain a abandonné toute prétention à la vérité pour investir le champ moral et le rôle joué par l’accession de Trump à la présidence dans ce drame. Nous savions que le rôle de la presse avait été reformulé dès l’entre-deux-guerres sous l’impulsion de l’intellectuel néolibéral Walter Lippmann comme une mission de «manufacture du consentement des masses» à des choix publics décidés de façon de plus en plus technocratique du fait de la complexité croissante de la «grande société» advenue avec l’ère industrielle. une presse d’opinion très marquée au XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle succédait une presse se revendiquant de l’autorité de la science, organisée autour d’une éthique de «neutralité objective» qui a survécu cahin-caha jusqu’en 2016.

La victoire de Trump à la primaire républicaine de 2016 a fait voler cet équilibre en éclats pour des raisons autant éthiques que commerciales. Sur le plan éthique, ce changement est méthodiquement explicité dans un article de Jim Rutenberg paru dans le New York Times le 7 août 2016 intitulé «Trump met à l’épreuve les normes d’objectivité dans le journalisme». Selon Rutenberg, la perspective d’une présidence Trump était si dangereuse que le rôle du journaliste n’était plus de présenter les faits de façon neutre, mais «de se conformer aux attentes de vérité de ses lecteurs et spectateurs, et à la vérité factuelle, d’une façon qui tienne face au jugement de l’histoire.»

Il s’agissait d’un abandon pur et simple du critère de la neutralité objective au profit de celui de la clarté morale. Ce choix éthique était d’autant plus facile à faire qu’il se justifiait commercialement pour des médias alors menacés existentiellement du fait de l’éclatement du paysage médiatique en bulles cognitives partisanes consécutif à l’apparition de l’information en continu et de l’internet. Traiter copieusement du phénomène Trump tout en dénonçant l’installation de l’Antéchrist à la Maison-Blanche s’est révélé un extraordinaire gisement de contenus et de profits pour les médias mainstream.

Quoi qu’il se passe, tous les Américains sont les perdants de cette dialectique tragique

Un autre article du New York Times daté du 23 juin 2020 signé de Wesley Lowery titré «Une redéfinition de l’objectivité, dirigée par des journalistes noirs», permet d’en comprendre les aboutissants. Son auteur expose que l’objectivité est toujours jugée à l’aune d’un hypothétique lecteur impartial, invariablement assumé comme étant blanc. Appliquant ce traitement à l’Administration Trump, Lowery en déduit que Trump étant ontologiquement un raciste entouré de suprémacistes blancs,la clarté morale impose de traiter toute information concernant la Maison-Blanche, non pas sous l’angle de l’objectivité factuelle ou encore moins du respect d’institutions elles-mêmes souillées par le racisme, mais en prenant en compte à tout moment le racisme indélébile de l’homme occupant la fonction et du parti le soutenant.

Complétant les pièces du puzzle, c’est au nom de ce même principe de clarté morale que deux sénateurs démocrates, Mark Warner et Mazie Hirono, ont eu la brillante idée, après les révélations du scandale Cambridge Analytica, de menacer les grandes entreprises de la Silicon Valley de réglementation, à moins qu’elles ne s’engagent à «débusquer» les contenus fomentant la «discorde». Une recommandation que Twitter et Facebook ont appliqué à la lettre en censurant moins de deux semaines avant l’élection les contenus du New York Post rapportant des faits de corruption allégués à l’encontre de Hunter et Joe Biden, alors qu’ils se sont fait depuis quatre ans la chambre d’écho des allégations non vérifiées les plus folles concernant l’influence russe dans la vie politique américaine.

Plus que le choix de la personne qui occupera la Maison-Blanche à partir de janvier prochain, c’est cette question du rapport à la vérité que Trump, à la fois le plus grand bonimenteur de l’histoire américaine et la personne sur laquelle on a le plus menti, est parvenu à inviter au cœur des débats de la dernière ligne droite. Quoi qu’il se passe, tous les Américains sont les perdants de cette dialectique tragique.

* Professeur associé à l’American University Washington College of Law, à Washington DC, Renaud Beauchard est l’auteur de «Christopher Lasch. Un populisme vertueux» (Michalon, collection «Le bien commun», 2018).

Voir encore:

Lawyers Prepare for Court Battles in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin

The Republican and Democratic parties have poured legal resources into three swing states where litigation could slow the tally of millions of mail-in ballots

Democrats, Republicans and voting-rights groups are readying for postelection legal battles in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—closely contested states where the late tallying of absentee ballots could result in litigation.

The Trump and Biden campaigns and the two major parties have poured legal resources into these three states, which President Trump crucially flipped from Democrats in his 2016 victory, and where he is closely trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, according to Real Clear Politics polling averages.

While other swing states are also seeing election litigation, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin pose particular challenges because of their ballot-counting rules. None have yet begun tallying millions of mail-in ballots, as other states have done, and election officials in these states say they may report results on Wednesday and beyond.

Election law experts warn that any period of uncertainty over the election’s winner could spark legal fights. Adding to the focus on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan: They are all split between Democratic governors and Republican-run legislatures, teeing up a partisan clash over counting votes.

Justin Riemer, the Republican National Committee’s chief counsel, said Pennsylvania is “certainly the epicenter, I think right now, for problems,” and a focus for both parties. The Republican Party has dozens of people deployed to Pennsylvania to monitor the situation and communicate with election officials at the state and county level, Mr. Riemer said.

Pennsylvania voters have requested a record number of more than 3 million absentee ballots this year. The state chapter of Common Cause, a left-leaning voting-rights advocacy group, has assigned 2,000 volunteers to voting sites in 11 counties that the group believes could have election-day problems. This army of poll watchers can funnel complaints to lawyers working with Common Cause, which has been involved in pre-election lawsuits over voting laws this year.

In Michigan, top Democratic attorneys will spend Election Day holed up in a “boiler room” at a hotel in Detroit, watching for problems across the state. Michigan has the country’s most decentralized election system, with different clerks and ballots in 1,600 districts. Each will have one poll watcher from each party, plus more for the absentee-ballot counting room. Republican lawyers said they would raise any issues with state officials, while bracing for possible litigation.

In Wisconsin, Democrats and Republicans have election-day litigation teams on standby. “If we have to document or challenge anything, we’ll do it,” said Wisconsin GOP Chairman Andrew Hitt.

Those efforts track with national moves by the Democratic and Republican parties, which have retained attorneys across the country with experience in election law, both nationally and at home. “We have been planning for any postelection litigation and recounts for well over a year,” said the RNC’s Mr. Riemer.

The Democratic Party began building what it calls voter-protection infrastructure much earlier than in previous election cycles, spreading tens of thousands of lawyers across the country and staffing programs in battlegrounds—like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan—in early 2020.

“Our job is to make sure voters know all their options for voting and to protect their vote and make sure it’s counted,” said David Bergstein, director of battleground-state communications for the Democratic National Committee.

In a year when Covid-19 upended the rules for ballots, partisan disputes over voting rules and deadlines have resulted in lawsuits in at least 44 states, according to the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. Minnesota has also emerged as a potential postelection field of battle after a federal appeals court suggested Thursday that its extension of a mail-in vote deadline was unconstitutional.

But Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan stand out for their distinct rules for counting mail-in ballots. All three have received a record number of mail-in ballots, but laws in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin prohibit officials from counting them until Election Day. In Michigan, election officials in larger districts can process ballots—meaning opening and sorting them—during a 10-hour window on Nov. 2.

In recent weeks, a lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Republicans reached the U.S. Supreme Court. A 4-4 order let stand a state Supreme Court decision allowing officials to count mail-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day. The court on Wednesday refused Republicans’ second request to hear the case before Election Day, but left open the possibility for postelection litigation.

Justice Samuel Alito, who backed the Pennsylvania Republicans’ position, suggested in a statement accompanying the order that considering those mail-in votes valid would allow state courts to undercut election rules set by the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature.

Newly sworn-in Justice Amy Coney Barrett could be a decisive vote when she begins hearing cases.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general, a Democrat, has directed county election boards to separate ballots received after Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Democrats’ request to extend Wisconsin’s ballot-receipt deadline past Election Day.

In Michigan, a state appeals court ruled in Republicans’ favor earlier this month and blocked a 14-day extension for votes postmarked by Nov. 2.

Lawyers are gaming out what happens if prolonged ballot battles cause Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan to have no clear result before Dec. 8, the deadline for states to appoint presidential electors, and the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14. If vote counting collides with these deadlines, it is possible for a governor and state legislature to send different electors to Congress.

“We’re in uncharted legal territory,” said Mark Medish, co-founder of Keep Our Republic, a nonprofit formed this summer to preserve election integrity.

Voir enfin:

Les démocrates en ont-ils ?

(New York) Le temps est venu pour les démocrates de se battre comme des républicains, c’est-à-dire de frapper en dessous de la ceinture.

Depuis 2017, David Faris, politologue à l’Université Roosevelt de Chicago, martèle ce message dans des articles, des entrevues et un livre intitulé It’s Time to Fight Dirty.

Au cours des 20 dernières années, fait-il valoir, les républicains ont utilisé tous les moyens nécessaires pour renforcer leur représentation au Congrès et à la Cour suprême.

Ils ont adopté des mesures pour réduire la participation électorale des minorités, des pauvres et des étudiants, qui tendent à voter pour les démocrates.

Ils ont maximisé leur propre vote en découpant les circonscriptions électorales de certains États de façon hyper partisane.

Ils ont privé les démocrates d’un siège à la Cour suprême en refusant d’examiner la nomination du juge Merrick Garland pour remplacer Antonin Scalia en 2016.

La liste ne s’arrête pas là. Mais ce siège « volé » à la Cour suprême a convaincu David Faris que les démocrates devaient envisager des mesures de représailles. Dans It’s Time to Fight Dirty, publié en 2018, il leur a proposé une série d’actions pour assurer que le système de gouvernement américain reflète la volonté d’une majorité d’électeurs.

Figurent parmi ces actions : l’ajout de sièges à la Cour suprême ; l’attribution du statut d’État à la capitale fédérale (le district de Columbia) et à Porto Rico ; l’abolition du « filibuster », technique d’obstruction parlementaire permettant à une minorité de 40 sénateurs de bloquer l’adoption d’un projet de loi.

Les propositions de David Faris ont vite gagné des adeptes au sein de la gauche démocrate. Mais elles semblaient d’emblée trop radicales pour les plus modérés. Deux ans plus tard, ce n’est plus tout à fait le cas.

Et la détermination des républicains de confirmer la nomination de la juge Amy Coney Barrett à la Cour suprême avant même l’élection présidentielle n’est pas étrangère à ce changement.

« Ils sont faibles »

David Faris se garde de se réjouir trop fort de la popularité soudaine de ses idées.

« Dans un sens, c’est décevant et, d’une certaine façon, effrayant que nous ayons atteint le point où nous devons en parler, dit-il en entrevue. Je pense que les républicains auraient pu endiguer ce mouvement en faveur de l’élargissement de la Cour suprême s’ils avaient fait preuve d’un peu plus de retenue dans la façon dont ils ont traité cette instance. »

D’un autre côté, c’est encourageant dans la mesure où, au moment d’écrire mon livre, je pensais moi-même que l’élargissement de la Cour suprême était improbable. Or, le fait de voir que des gens au Congrès comme Chuck Schumer et Jerry Nadler parlent aujourd’hui de ces idées signifie que nous avons parcouru beaucoup de chemin pour qu’elles deviennent réalité.

Mais David Faris se garde aussi de se réjouir trop vite.

Pour que l’une ou l’autre de ses idées se concrétisent, Joe Biden doit succéder à Donald Trump en tant que président, Chuck Schumer doit remplacer Mitch McConnell comme chef de la majorité au Sénat et Nancy Pelosi doit rester présidente de la Chambre des représentants.

Si ce trifecta devient réalité, les démocrates devront en outre prouver qu’ils en ont. Or, certains sont sceptiques à ce sujet.

« Ils sont faibles, ce sont des poules mouillées et ils ont peur », a déclaré l’analyste Jeffrey Toobin sur CNN lundi dernier. « Il y a une différence dans la façon dont les démocrates et les républicains mènent ces combats, et nous verrons si les démocrates apprennent quelque chose des républicains ici. Oui, c’est intéressant que Chuck Schumer ait dit que rien n’est exclu, mais ce n’est pas un engagement à faire quoi que ce soit. »

Comment expliquer la différence entre la façon dont les républicains et les démocrates mènent leurs combats ?

L’avis d’Obama

En répondant à cette question, David Faris évoque d’abord la menace existentielle que font peser sur le Parti républicain les changements démographiques. Il soulève ensuite la question de la polarisation politique, qui a contribué à son avis à une plus grande radicalisation des républicains que des démocrates.

« La droite comprend mieux à l’heure actuelle que certaines des choses qu’elle veut faire ne sont pas très populaires et qu’elle pourrait avoir besoin de violer les normes pour les faire passer au Congrès, ou pour faire en sorte que le pouvoir judiciaire ait l’apparence qu’elle souhaite », a-t-il dit.

De leur côté, a-t-il ajouté, les démocrates ont tendance à croire que « le temps joue en leur faveur » et que « le public punira l’hypocrisie ».

Cette attitude pourrait ne pas survivre à la confirmation de la juge Amy Coney Barrett, dont la philosophie juridique est aux antipodes de celle de Ruth Bader Ginsburg, icône féministe. Il y a même lieu de se demander si elle n’appartient pas déjà au passé, dans une certaine mesure. Après tout, la Chambre des représentants à majorité démocrate a adopté fin juin un projet de loi destiné à donner le statut d’État à la capitale fédérale. Barack Obama s’est pour sa part montré favorable à l’idée d’abolir le « filibuster » pour permettre l’adoption de nouvelles mesures pour protéger le droit de vote.

« Si tout cela demande d’éliminer l’obstruction systématique, une autre relique de Jim Crow, afin de garantir les droits de chaque Américain, alors c’est ce que nous devrions faire », a déclaré l’ancien président lors des funérailles de la figure des droits civiques John Lewis, fin juillet.

Il n’y a pas longtemps, Joe Biden écartait la plupart de ces idées du revers de la main, disant notamment se méfier des conséquences imprévues. Aujourd’hui, il qualifie de « légitimes » les questions sur le sujet, mais refuse d’y répondre. Sa prudence ne permet pas encore de conclure qu’il n’en a pas.

Voir par ailleurs:

Solution miracle ou fausse bonne idée ? Sept questions sur le vote par correspondance, qui fait débat avant le second tour des municipales

Pour l’heure, le gouvernement a rejeté l’idée de rétablir ce système supprimé en 1975 à cause des nombreuses fraudes qu’il générait. Mais plusieurs personnalités appellent à le réactiver pour le 28 juin, en raison des incertitudes autour de l’épidémie de Covid-19.

Ilan Caro
France Télévisions

Permettre au plus grand nombre de voter sans prendre le risque de relancer l’épidémie. Pour éviter l’abstention massive observée le 15 mars lors du premier tour des élections municipales, de plus en plus d’élus ou d’observateurs politiques militent pour la possibilité de voter par correspondance le 28 juin, date choisie par l’exécutif pour le second tour malgré les incertitudes sur l’évolution du Covid-19. Le ministre de l’Intérieur Christophe Castaner s’est montré prêt à étudier cette possibilité, mardi 26 mai. Répondant à une question de la députée LR Josiane Corneloup sur le recours au vote par correspondance, Christophe Castaner a affirmé que l’objectif du gouvernement était de faire « en sorte qu’un maximum de Français puissent voter », dans « un cadre légal ou dans un cadre réglementaire qui peut évoluer d’ici au jour de l’élection« .

Si elle s’engageait dans cette voie, la France imiterait ainsi d’autres pays comme l’Allemagne, la Suisse ou les Etats-Unis. Pour l’heure, le gouvernement a rejeté l’idée de rétablir ce système supprimé en 1975 à cause des nombreuses fraudes qu’il générait. Pour ses promoteurs, le temps presse, puisque le scrutin doit se tenir dans seulement un mois.

Pourquoi certains demandent-ils la possibilité de voter à distance ?

« Si chacun d’entre nous peut décider en son âme et conscience de voter ou de ne pas voter, aucun d’entre nous ne saurait être empêché de voter. C’est ce qui s’est passé le 15  mars et c’est une injustice, une rupture du contrat démocratique », estime le maire de Nancy, Laurent Hénart, dans une interview au JDD. Le 15 mars, le premier tour du scrutin a en effet été marqué par une forte abstention (55,34%, contre 36,45% au premier tour des municipales 2014), liée en grande partie aux craintes face à l’épidémie de coronavirus.

Laurent Hénart demande donc, comme d’autres élus, « la possibilité d’expérimenter le vote par correspondance dans les communes volontaires ». Une solution qui permettrait selon lui « à chacun de s’exprimer sans risque ». Et qui éviterait aux communes d’organiser un scrutin physique. « Tous les bureaux de vote ne pourront pas respecter les préconisations du Conseil scientifique », explique-t-il à franceinfo. « A Nancy, j’ai 57 bureaux, 700 à 800 assesseurs dont les trois quarts ont plus de 65 ans. Comment faire fonctionner les bureaux dans ces conditions ? » s’interroge le patron du Mouvement radical.

Le maire de Nancy n’est pas le seul à plaider pour un vote par correspondance le 28 juin. « Je propose que – s’il y a des communes volontaires – l’on puisse expérimenter le vote par correspondance que l’on a utilisé en France pendant longtemps et qui a été abandonné, et le vote numérique, le vote par internet », a plaidé François Bayrou sur BFMTV. « On le fait pour les associations, les organisations syndicales, la totalité des consultations pour désigner des représentants notamment chez les enseignants », rappelle le patron du MoDem. Selon lui, « rien n’est plus facile que de garantir la sincérité du scrutin car toutes les listes électorales sont numérisées ».

Même demande du côté de Rachida Dati. Il faut que tous ceux qui veulent voter puissent voter. « Quel message on enverrait aux Français si on disait aux plus vulnérables qu’on n’a pas besoin d’eux pour la démocratie ? » a lancé l’ancienne garde des Sceaux sur RTL, réclamant entre autres « le rétablissement du vote par correspondance ».

Pour Sylvain Brouard, directeur de recherches à Science Po, « le risque, c’est qu’en faisant coûte que coûte un second tour dans les mêmes conditions et avec l’expérience du premier tour, le taux d’abstention sera encore plus fort ». Interrogé par franceinfo, il estime que le vote postal serait « la seule bonne solution ».

Le vote par correspondance, comment ça marcherait ?

Cette modalité de vote est actuellement possible en France pour l’élection des députés par les Français de l’étranger. Les partisans du vote par correspondance expliquent qu’il pourrait être mis facilement en oeuvre, par exemple via la propagande électorale.

Avant chaque scrutin, les électeurs reçoivent à domicile les professions de foi des candidats. Il suffirait d’y ajouter les bulletins de vote, l’enveloppe bleue que l’on met habituellement dans l’urne, ainsi que l’enveloppe permettant l’envoi postal, comportant le numéro de l’électeur et sa signature. « Ensuite, il y a plusieurs modalités de retour. Soit vous le faites par la poste, soit vous le déposez dans des boîtes dédiées », par exemple en mairie, détaille Sylvain Brouard.

Une fois reçus en mairie, les bulletins seraient alors mis dans des urnes, et le dépouillement serait organisé selon la procédure classique.

Dans quels pays est-il utilisé ?

La crise du Covid-19 a poussé certains pays à faciliter le recours au vote postal, mais la plupart d’entre eux l’utilisaient déjà auparavant. L’exemple le plus cité concerne les élections municipales en Bavière (Allemagne). Le premier tour, organisé le 18 mars en pleine épidémie, a enregistré une hausse de la participation, grâce à un plus fort taux de vote par correspondance. Un succès, à tel point que pour le second tour, le 29 mars, les bureaux de vote sont restés fermés, le vote postal devenant l’unique moyen d’accomplir son devoir de citoyen.

Instauré en 1957 en Allemagne pour faciliter le vote des personnes âgées ou handicapées, il a connu un succès grandissant à chaque élection, jusqu’à atteindre 28,6% des votes aux élections fédérales de 2017, note Le Monde.

En Suisse, chaque électeur est également libre de se rendre aux urnes ou de voter par correspondance, et même par voie électronique dans certains cantons. Aux Etats-Unis, où Donald Trump refuse sa généralisation à l’ensemble du territoire, l’Utah, l’Oregon, le Colorado, Hawaï et l’Etat de Washington sont passés depuis plusieurs années au vote postal à 100%, sans fraudes majeures.

Pourquoi la France l’a banni en 1975 ?

En France, le vote par correspondance a existé de l’après-guerre à 1975, date à laquelle une loi l’a interdit. Principale raison invoquée : les fraudes que ce système permettait. La presse de l’époque regorge d’histoires de scrutins truqués, notamment en Corse. Comme cette élection de 1973, dans une petite commune de l’île, où 200 votes par correspondance avaient été jugés irréguliers. « Trente-cinq d’entre eux avaient pu être décomptés grâce à des certificats médicaux établis par un médecin de Marseille décédé en 1971… deux ans plus tôt », relatait ainsi Le Monde.

Autre cas emblématique : le 2 novembre 1975, lors du premier tour des municipales à Ajaccio, la liste du parti bonapartiste avait recueilli 603 voix sur les 670 votes par correspondance. Mais en englobant le vote physique, ce même parti ne recueillait au total que 3 799 suffrages sur 11 308 suffrages exprimés

Quelques années plus tôt, des élus corses, principalement de gauche, avaient demandé l’abolition de ce système. « Le vol de suffrages est en quelque sorte légalisé depuis l’institution du vote par correspondance et les abus commis en son nom », critiquait ainsi le maire communiste de Sartène, Joseph Tramoni.

Fin 1975, un projet de loi est donc déposé pour mettre fin au vote par correspondance. Le 4 décembre, devant l’Assemblée nationale, le ministre de l’Intérieur de l’époque, Michel Poniatowski, détaillait le type de fraudes relevées aux quatre coins de la France : bourrages d’urnes, « oubli » de bulletins dans le pli envoyé aux électeurs, faux certificats médicaux (à l’époque nécessaire pour voter par correspondance), etc. La loi fut définitivement votée le 19 décembre.

Extrait d'une intervention du ministre de l'Intérieur, Michel Poniatowski, le 4 décembre 1975 devant l'Assemblée nationale. (ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE)

Extrait d’une intervention du ministre de l’Intérieur, Michel Poniatowski, le 4 décembre 1975 devant l’Assemblée nationale. (ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE)

Entre les fraudes potentielles des électeurs eux-mêmes et celles réalisées une fois les bulletins arrivés en mairie, le vote par correspondance est jugé peu sécurisé par les spécialistes du droit électoral. « C’est un sytème qui permet totalement la fraude, car vous n’êtes sûr ni de l’émetteur ni du récepteur », tranche Jean-Pierre Camby, professeur associé à l’université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, ancien haut fonctionnaire à l’Assemblée nationale et auteur de Bureau de vote, mode d’emploi (éditions Dalloz).

Y a-t-il des obstacles juridiques ?

Rétablir la possibilité de voter par correspondance nécessite le vote d’une loi. « Comme cette possibilité a déjà existé en 1975, il suffit d’un article de rétablissement », plaide Laurent Hénart. Début avril, la députée LR Josiane Corneloup a d’ailleurs déposé une proposition de loi en ce sens, proposition qui n’a aucune chance d’aboutir tant que le gouvernement s’y oppose.

Le vote d’une loi en un temps très resserré n’est en réalité pas un véritable obstacle, puisqu’il est toujours possible de légiférer en urgence. Le principal souci est plutôt d’ordre constitutionnel, du fait de la variation des modalités de vote entre le premier et le second tour d’une même élection, souligne Jean-Pierre Camby. Dans une note publiée sur internet, le professeur de droit public Romain Rambaud, met en avant « le principe de stabilité du droit électoral », qui consiste à ne pas changer les règles du scrutin trop peu de temps (par exemple moins d’un an) avant l’échéance.

Un risque d’inconstitutionnalité plus que relatif, selon le chercheur Sylvain Brouard. « Le Conseil constitutionnel a su se montrer assez coulant sur les derniers textes compte tenu de l’urgence sanitaire », remarque-t-il.

Les mairies seraient-elles capables de l’organiser ?

Laurent Hénart l’assure : centraliser les bulletins des 57 bureaux de vote de la ville de Nancy par courrier ne serait pas un problème. Pour Sylvain Brouard, c’est aussi « quelque chose de relativement simple, qui va plus vite que le déroulement d’un scrutin sur une journée dans les bureaux de vote ». D’ailleurs, avance le chercheur, les Etats américains qui l’ont adopté « l’ont fait avant tout pour des questions de coût ».

Si le vote par correspondance venait à être choisi pour le 28 juin, les agents territoriaux se verraient contraints d’appliquer des procédures bien différentes de celles qu’ils ont l’habitude de suivre scrutin après scrutin. « En termes de logistique, ce serait très lourd », estime un fonctionnaire rompu à l’organisation des élections dans sa commune, interrogé par franceinfo. « Il faudrait être sûr que les plis avec les professions de foi et les bulletins arrivent au moins deux semaines en amont afin d’être sûr qu’ils puissent être renvoyés dans les temps. » Le fonctionnaire rappelle en outre qu’une part non négligeable des électeurs n’habitent plus à l’adresse indiquée sur les listes électorales. « Et imaginez une grève de La Poste pile à ce moment-là ! »

Qu’envisage de faire le gouvernement ?

Le ministre de l’Intérieur, Christophe Castaner, a évacué la possibilité de rétablir le vote par correspondance. A moins que la pression des élus et de l’opinion ne s’amplifie dans les jours à venir, il ne faudra donc compter que sur un assouplissement des règles de vote existantes.

L’idée d’autoriser un même électeur à disposer de deux procurations (au lieu d’une seule actuellement), donc à voter à la place de deux autres électeurs qui lui ont donné procuration, pourrait recevoir les faveurs du gouvernement. Cette idée est notamment soutenue par la droite sénatoriale. Dans une interview au Parisien, Christophe Castaner propose également « d’élargir le nombre de personnes habilitées à établir des procurations », par exemple les directeurs d’Ehpad.

Voir aussi:

Le vote par correspondance peut-il faire capoter la présidentielle américaine ?

On s’attend à un record de bulletins envoyés par la poste. Des voix qui pourraient être contestées, surtout si le résultat est serré entre Trump et Biden.

Le Point.fr avec AFP


Affaire Hunter Biden: Attention, une censure peut en cacher une autre ! (Guess who after releasing for the last three years the most unfounded rumors about the US president and refusing for weeks to seriously cover the NYPost’s investigation into Joe Biden’s repeated lies about his alleged ignorance of his son’s obvious influence peddling in Ukraine, Russia and China, is now calling out Trump supporters for disrupting Biden’s speeches ?)

1 novembre, 2020
Biden campaign 'glad' Post's Hunter Biden exposés censoredhttps://tra.img.pmdstatic.net/fit/https.3A.2F.2Fi.2Einsider.2Ecom.2F5f9d480969331a0011bc68d1.3Fformat.3Djpeg/812x609/background-color/ffffff/quality/70/trump-supporters-disrupt-biden-speech-he-calls-them-ugly-folks-2020-10.jpgTrump's "Look At This Photograph" Biden Meme - YouTube

The allegations about Hunter Biden's business dealings in China, explained - ABC News

 

S’ils se taisent, les pierres crieront! Jésus (Luc 19 : 40)
Oui, les médias sont partisans. Particulièrement contre la haine, le sexisme, le racisme, l’incompétence, la belligérance, l’inégalité, et j’en passe. Jim Roberts (New York Times, 2016
If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him? Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place? Covering Mr. Trump as an abnormal and potentially dangerous candidate is more than just a shock to the journalistic system. It threatens to throw the advantage to his news conference-averse opponent, Hillary Clinton, who should draw plenty more tough-minded coverage herself. She proved that again last week with her assertion on “Fox News Sunday” that James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had declared her to be truthful in her answers about her decision to use a private email server for official State Department business — a grossly misleading interpretation of an F.B.I. report that pointed up various falsehoods in her public explanations. And, most broadly, it upsets balance, that idealistic form of journalism with a capital “J” we’ve been trained to always strive for. But let’s face it: Balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy. For the primaries and caucuses, the imbalance played to his advantage, captured by the killer statistic of the season: His nearly $2 billion in free media was more than six times as much as that of his closest Republican rival. Now that he is the Republican nominee for president, the imbalance is cutting against him. Journalists and commentators are analyzing his policy pronouncements and temperament with an eye toward what it would all look like in the Oval Office — something so many of them viewed as an impossibility for so long. (…) there was Mr. Scarborough on Wednesday asking the former Central Intelligence Agency director Michael V. Hayden whether there were safeguards in place to ensure that if Mr. Trump “gets angry, he can’t launch a nuclear weapon,” given the perception that he might not be “the most stable guy.” Then Mr. Scarborough shared an alarming conversation he said he had with a “foreign policy expert” who had given Mr. Trump a national security briefing. “Three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Scarborough said, describing one of the questions as “If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Speaking with me later, Mr. Scarborough, a Republican, said he had not contemplated sharing the anecdote with the audience until just before he did “When that discussion came up, I really didn’t have a choice,” Mr. Scarborough said. “That was something I thought Americans needed to know.” Mr. Trump has denied Mr. Scarborough’s account. (He told The New York Times in March he would use nuclear weapons as “an absolutely last step.” But when the MSNBC host Chris Matthews challenged him for raising the possibility he would use them, Mr. Trump asked, “Then why are we making them?”) Mr. Scarborough, a frequent critic of liberal media bias, said he was concerned that Mr. Trump was becoming increasingly erratic, and asked rhetorically, “How balanced do you have to be when one side is just irrational?” Mr. Scarborough is on the opinion side of the news business. It’s much dodgier for conventional news reporters to treat this year’s political debate as one between “normal” and “abnormal,” as the Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein put it recently. In a sense, that’s just what reporters are doing. And it’s unavoidable. Because Mr. Trump is conducting his campaign in ways we’ve not normally seen. No living journalist has ever seen a major party nominee put financial conditions on the United States defense of NATO allies, openly fight with the family of a fallen American soldier, or entice Russia to meddle in a United States presidential election by hacking his opponent (a joke, Mr. Trump later said, that the news media failed to get). And while coded appeals to racism or nationalism aren’t new — two words: Southern strategy — overt calls to temporarily bar Muslims from entry to the United States or questioning a federal judge’s impartiality based on his Mexican heritage are new. (…) “When controversy is being stoked, it’s our obligation to report that,” said the Washington Post managing editor Cameron Barr. “If one candidate is doing that more aggressively and consistently than the other, that is an imbalance for sure.” But, he added, “it’s not one that we create, it’s one that the candidate is creating. » (…) The media reaction to it all has been striking, what The Columbia Journalism Review called “a Murrow moment.” It’s not unusual to see news stories describe him as “erratic” without attribution to an opponent. The “fact checks” of his falsehoods continue to pile up in staggering numbers, far outpacing those of Mrs. Clinton. And, on Sunday, the CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter called upon journalists and opinion makers to challenge Mr. Trump’s “dangerous” claims that the electoral system is rigged against him. Failure to do so would be unpatriotic, Mr. Stelter said. While there are several examples of conservative media criticism of Mr. Trump this year, the candidate and his supporters are reprising longstanding accusations of liberal bias. “The media is trying to take Donald Trump out,” Rush Limbaugh declared last week. A lot of core Trump supporters certainly view it that way. That will only serve to worsen their already dim view of the news media, which initially failed to recognize the power of their grievances, and therefore failed to recognize the seriousness of Mr. Trump’s candidacy. (…) It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be like in the most powerful office in the world. It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters. But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable. Jim Rutenberg (NYT, Aug. 7, 2016)
Le scénario le plus probable pour que des troubles civils se produisent est une victoire de Trump. Il y a des millions de personnes dans ce pays qui ont été poussées par le Parti démocrate à croire que Trump ne méritait pas d’être élu en 2016. Qu’il a été introduit clandestinement à la Maison Blanche par des agents russes. Ils vont encore le penser en 2020. Il y a de grandes villes dans ce pays qui n’attendent que ça pour s’enflammer. Il y a beaucoup de gens ches les  BLM,  les Antifa, sur la gauche radicale qui ont hâte de brûler leurs villes. C’est la plus grande menace à laquelle ce pays est confronté. Elle est lancée tous les soirs ces derniers temps et je pense qu’une victoire de Trump pourrait se faire dans la douleur dans un premier temps pour ce pays. Douglas Murray
Le Dr Fauci a demandé l’obligation du port du masque la semaine dernière, ce n’est pas une déclaration politique comme ces malfaisants là-bas avec leurs klaxons, c’est un devoir patriotique, pour l’amour de Dieu. Ces gars ne sont pas très polis mais ils sont comme Trump. Joe Biden
Je n’ai jamais parlé à mon fils de ses relations d’affaires à l’étranger. Joe Biden
A aucun moment je n’ai discuté avec mon père des affaires de la société ou de mes services au conseil, y compris de ma décision initiale de rejoindre le conseil. Hunter Biden
Papa m’a dit: ‘J’espère que tu sais ce que tu fais’, et j’ai dit: ‘Oui.’ Hunter Biden (concernant Burisma)
Ce que je voulais dire par là, c’est que j’espère que tu y as bien réfléchi. J’espère que tu sais exactement ce que tu fais ici. C’est tout ce que je voulais dire. Rien de plus que cela parce que je n’ai jamais parlé de mon entreprise ou de leur entreprise, celle de mes fils ou de ma fille. Et je n’en ai jamais discuté car ils savent où je dois faire mon travail et c’est tout et ils doivent se faire leur propre jugement. Joe Biden
Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait beaucoup de choses qui se seraient passées dans ma vie si mon nom de famille n’était pas Biden. Parce que mon père était vice-président des États-Unis. Hunter Biden
Une photo obtenue par « Tucker Carlson Tonight » de Fox News montre l’ancien vice-président Joe Biden et son fils Hunter jouant au golf dans les Hamptons avec Devon Archer, qui a siégé au conseil d’administration de la société ukrainienne de gaz naturel Burisma Holdings avec Hunter. Plus tôt ce mois-ci, Joe Biden a déclaré à Fox News dans l’Iowa qu’il n’avait jamais discuté des relations commerciales de son fils avec lui. «Je n’ai jamais parlé à mon fils de ses relations commerciales à l’étranger», a déclaré Biden, pointant du doigt le président Trump. «Je sais que Trump mérite une enquête. Il viole toutes les normes fondamentales d’un président. Vous devriez lui demander pourquoi il est au téléphone avec un dirigeant étranger, essayant d’intimider un dirigeant étranger. Vous devriez regarder Trump. Hunter Biden a déclaré au New Yorker précédemment que lui et son père avaient parlé ‘une seule fois’ du travail de Hunter Biden en Ukraine. Une source proche d’Archer a déclaré à Fox News que la photo avait été prise en août 2014. Des informations contemporaines indiquent que le vice-président était aux Hamptons à l’époque. Hunter Biden et Archer ont rejoint le conseil d’administration de Burisma Holdings le 20 avril 2014. Fox News
La présence de Hunter Biden au conseil d’administration de Burisma était très gênante pour tous les responsables américains qui poussaient à la création d’un programme de lutte contre la corruption en Ukraine. George Kent (ancien chef de mission adjoint par intérim à l’ambassade des États-Unis à Kiev, Ukraine)
Trump is the perfect man for these times, not all times, perhaps not most times, but these times. (…) Republicans are not doing a good job explaining the stakes in this election. They must explain (…) that the Democratic Party, which has been taken by its radical wing, is leading a revolution. This makes the coming election the most important one since the election of 1860. (…) Unlike most elections, this one is much more than a contest over particular policies—like health care or taxes. Rather, like the election of 1860, this election is a contest between two competing regimes, or ways of life. Two ways of life that cannot exist peacefully together. One way of life, I’ll call it “the traditional American way of life,” is based on individual rights, the rule of law, and a shared understanding of the common good. This way of life values hard work, self-reliance, volunteerism, patriotism, and so on. In this way of life there are no hyphenated Americans. We are all just Americans. Colorblindness is our aspiration. The other way of life I call multiculturalism. Others call it “identity politics” or “cultural Marxism” or “Intersectionality”. The multicultural movement, which has taken over the Democratic party, is a revolutionary movement. I do not mean a metaphorical revolution. It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow the American Founding as President Trump said in his excellent Mt. Rushmore speech. Republicans should say the same thing. Republicans everywhere, at every level, and at every opportunity. Multiculturalism conceives of society, not as a community of individuals with equal rights but as a collection of cultural identity groups—defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. According to the multiculturalists, all these identity groups are oppressed by white males. Their goal is to have each identity group proportionally represented in all institutions of American society. As should be immediately clear, achieving this proportional representation requires a never-ending redistribution of wealth and power from some groups—and not just from whites—to other groups. Such a massive redistribution can only be achieved by a tyrannical government and like in all tyrannies, one where dissenters are silenced. In order to achieve this proportional representation, the Democrats require not just endless affirmative action but genuine socialism, open borders, unrestricted trade, seizing guns, sanctuary cities, and much more. The Black Lives Matter/Democrats understand (which Republicans seem not to), that if they are to achieve this policy agenda they must get Americans to change their values, their principles, and the way they understand themselves. They must get us to believe that national borders and colorblindness are racist; that we are not one culture but many; that the most important thing in our history—the thing around which all else pivots—is slavery. More broadly, the multiculturalists must get us to believe that we are unworthy—not just that we have sinned (which of course we have)—but that we are irredeemably sinful, or, in the language of today, “systemically racist.” And sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and all the other “ists” and phobias. Simply put, multiculturalism must get us to believe we are bad. This suggests one way to frame the coming election: as a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good and a man, Biden, who is controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. I do not think it is any more complicated than that. For the multiculturalist to change traditional values and principles they must destroy, or radically restructure, the institutions that teach those values and principles. The most important of these institutions is family, but also very important is religion, education (which they have mostly destroyed already) and community life, replacing the latter with government bureaucrats. It is here—in these value-teaching institutions—that we see the underpinnings of the Revolution. This is where the real action is. Republicans seem to be missing in action. Republicans need to explain that BLM and their Democratic enablers wish to destroy the traditional mother-father family. To substantiate this claim, Republicans have only to point to the BLM mission statement. The mission statement, written by avowed Marxists, also lets us know that BLM holds transgenderism to be the burning issue of our time. Republicans must also explain that religion, because it teaches American values, is also on the chopping block. Republicans also must make American see that the taking down of statues is not about removing a few confederate generals; it’s about destroying America’s past, as is the New York Times 1619 Project. The rioters, and their BLM-Democrats enablers, are tearing down the statues even of people like Frederick Douglass who fought against slavery. This is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. Frederick Douglass was a great American. He believed that America in her soul was not racist. He believed in hard work and self-reliance. And because of his embrace of American values the BLM-Democrats have to get rid of him. They must also get rid of Abraham Lincoln, for it is he who best explains what we should aspire to. And it is he who is the best defender of the American Founding. In one sense, this election is a referendum on the Founding. Whether America was founded in 1619, as the BLM-Democrats contend, or, in 1776 as Lincoln, and, until recently, all Americans believed. Republicans must make more of political correctness and cancel culture, which, as we have seen so vividly of late, brutally punishes apostates. Who does Twitter think it is, censoring an American president? Republicans simply cannot stand for that. (…) In order to make the case that the Democrats are leading a revolution, Republicans must delegitimize Black Lives Matter—the organization, of course, not the sentiment. To BLM and their Democratic enablers, Republicans must say: “Absolutely, black lives matter. They just don’t matter to you. You don’t care about Mr. Floyd, the black businesses you have destroyed, the blacks who are getting killed because you have forced the police to back off. You’re here for destruction. Not black lives, not any lives.” After delegitimizing Black Lives Matter, the next step for Republicans is to tie BLM’s revolutionary agenda around the necks of Democrats. The BLM wing of the Democratic party has captured the entire party. Run-of-the-mill Democrats may not agree with all of the BLM agenda but they go-along, so they might as well agree. Joe Biden is one of the go-along Democrats. So do not expect all Democrats to sing the BLM tune; even so, most will kneel before them. Listen to Biden. On one occasion Biden said, “Let’s be clear, transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.” A year ago, Biden may not have even known what transgenderism is. He does not seem to know it, but he has been radicalized. Biden now regularly talks about “systemic” racism. On one occasion Biden said, though without evidence, there is “absolutely systemic racism in law enforcement.” “[But] it’s not just in law enforcement,” he continued, “it’s across the board. It’s in housing, it’s in education . . . It’s in everything we do.” He is wrong on every count, but if indeed he believes that racism is in “everything we do,” that it is systemic, then he believes, whether he admits or not, that the system must be overturned. Biden does not realize it, but he is calling for the overthrow of the American way of life. I presume that is not his intent, but when the words he is reading off his BLM teleprompter get translated into policy, that will be the consequence — the destruction of the American way of life. (…) Republicans must make it clear that these are the “Biden riots.” (…) I know President Trump has many faults. I myself sometimes cringe listening to him. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy. He is a braggart, often misinformed, petty, sometimes even vengeful. And more. And yet, we are very lucky to have him. I am almost prepared to say that having him is Providential. How else to explain that we find ourselves with this most unusual, most unpresidential man who has just the attributes most needed for this moment. At any other time, he might well have been a bad president. But in these times—these revolutionary times—he is the best president we could have had. He has the indispensable attribute of a leader: courage. As a leader must, he goes where others are afraid to go. And he has common sense, which means he generally wants to go to the right place. Above all else, and above anyone else, Trump is committed to America. He is unreservedly, unquestionably pro-America. He feels no guilt for America’s past. He makes no apologies. He concedes nothing. These may not always be the attributes one wants in a President, but in this day of woke guilt they are the most essential things. And Trump has unlimited confidence in America. In this time of national doubt, this too is just what the doctor ordered. He thinks our culture is “incredible” and that’s the way he wants to keep it. Trump not only thinks America is incredible, he knows we are in a fight for our lives. And despite what one hears ad nauseum from the Democrats, Trump is perhaps among the least racist presidents we have ever had. Trump is not defending the white way of life; he is defending the American way of life, a colorblind way of life which is open to anyone who is willing to embrace it. If we want to save our country, then we should support him—unequivocally. (…) I think this election is that important, and I think Trump is that good. (…) Remember, Trump versus Biden is the choice between a man who believes America is good and a man who is controlled by a movement which believes America is bad. Tom Klingenstein
Alors que le 3 novembre approche, les démocrates ne cessent de répéter qu’une réélection du turbulent milliardaire serait une catastrophe pour le pays, sa seule présence à la Maison-Blanche constituant selon eux un danger terrible, qui ouvrirait la voie au chaos et à une dictature rampante. Mais le sentiment d’une apocalypse est aussi très présent sur la droite, où l’on craint que le retour des démocrates aux affaires ne scelle la victoire définitive de la révolution identitariste et multiculturaliste «woke», qui, partie des universités, est en train déborder dans la presse libérale et la gauche du «parti de l’âne». «Nous sommes au bord d’un abîme», affirme le prêtre conservateur catholique Ed Meeks. Depuis la révolution sociétale des années 1960, qui a vu les idées de la gauche libérale triompher et l’emprise de la religion refluer, les conservateurs se sont toujours sentis sur la défensive, jugeant avoir largement perdu la bataille culturelle, notamment après la décision Roe vs Wade de la Cour suprême autorisant l’avortement dans tous les États. Plusieurs auteurs célèbres, Alan Bloom, Christopher Lasch, ont brillamment décrit ce processus. L’arrivée de Ronald Reagan et sa révolution conservatrice avaient certes réarmé la droite, mais ce «retour de flamme» fut très provisoire. En réalité, si les conservateurs ont continué à revendiquer les valeurs chrétiennes, le libéralisme sociétal a poursuivi ses avancées, du mariage gay, plutôt bien accepté, à une approche de plus en plus révolutionnaire du genre, qui remet en cause la famille traditionnelle et les différences biologiques entre les sexes, en passant par la bataille pour la «Justice sociale», qui, au nom de la lutte antiraciste et antisexiste, entend rejeter aujourd’hui tout l’héritage intellectuel et culturel occidental. Certes, avec l’arrivée de Donald Trump à la présidence, les conservateurs se sont sentis requinqués, presque surpris d’avoir trouvé en ce milliardaire divorcé – et incapable de réciter un verset de la Bible -, un allié aussi résolu des «valeurs chrétiennes». L’arrivée de trois nouveaux juges conservateurs à la Cour suprême a galvanisé leurs troupes. Mais le sentiment dominant reste celui d’une planète républicaine sur la défensive. Après la mort tragique, en pleine campagne électorale, de George Floyd, un Afro-Américain tué par un policier, le débat légitime sur les violences policières a tourné à une discussion sur le racisme supposément «systémique» de la police et des institutions américaines, menant au démantèlement de dizaines de statues de personnalités, sur fond d’émeutes et de violences. Même Lincoln et Frederick Douglas, exemples de l’antiracisme, note Kligenstein, n’ont pas été épargnés, suscitant une inquiétude grandissante chez les conservateurs et nombre de libéraux jusqu’ici accommodants. Trump a pris position sur ce sujet brûlant dès le mois de juin, dans son discours de Rushmore. Trois mois plus tard, Joe Biden se rendait à Gettysburg, un haut lieu de la guerre civile américaine, pour appeler à l’apaisement. Mais les républicains disent ne pas se sentir rassurés par son approche très conciliante et soulignent que la gauche «woke», qui tient tous les lieux de pouvoir «gramsciens» – l’université, la presse, Hollywood -, pourrait se sentir pousser des ailes. Même si le phénomène reste peu couvert par la presse américaine, une ambiance révolutionnaire continue d’agiter les campus. Ces derniers jours, l’université de Chicago comme celle de NorthWestern dans l’Illinois, ont notamment été le siège de manifestations violentes et de destructions organisées des groupes d’étudiants de Black Lives Matter, qui revendiquent la dissolution de la police du campus. Dans une lettre ouverte, le président de Northwestern, Morton Schapiro, s’est indigné du vandalisme et des appels à «tuer les cochons» de policiers des manifestants. Il a expliqué avoir été harcelé par des dizaines d’activistes venus chanter «Va te faire enc… Morty» devant sa maison en pleine nuit. «C’est une abomination», a-t-il écrit, tout en disant soutenir les revendications de justice de Black Lives Matter. L’un de ses amis a envoyé sa lettre à des dizaines de collègues à travers le pays, les appelant à exprimer leur soutien. Beaucoup de professeurs conservateurs, qui se sentaient déjà isolés, parfois forcés de participer à des réunions pour s’excuser de leur «blanchité», se demandent où s’arrêtera cette radicalisation. Elle les pousse évidemment vers Trump, qui a annulé de semblables programmes en parlant de propagande antiaméricaine. Laure Mandeville
Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media. The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression. The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication. (…) the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality that led to the bizarre spectacle of my being censored by my own media outlet are ones that are by no means unique to The Intercept. These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom. I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and — regardless of the risks involved — simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates. (…) the brute censorship this week of my article — about the Hunter Biden materials and Joe Biden’s conduct regarding Ukraine and China, as well my critique of the media’s rank-closing attempt, in a deeply unholy union with Silicon Valley and the “intelligence community,” to suppress its revelations — eroded the last justification I could cling to for staying. It meant that not only does this media outlet not provide the editorial freedom to other journalists, as I had so hopefully envisioned seven years ago, but now no longer even provides it to me. In the days heading into a presidential election, I am somehow silenced from expressing any views that random editors in New York find disagreeable, and now somehow have to conform my writing and reporting to cater to their partisan desires and eagerness to elect specific candidates. (…) American media is gripped in a polarized culture war that is forcing journalism to conform to tribal, groupthink narratives that are often divorced from the truth and cater to perspectives that are not reflective of the broader public but instead a minority of hyper-partisan elites. The need to conform to highly restrictive, artificial cultural narratives and partisan identities has created a repressive and illiberal environment in which vast swaths of news and reporting either do not happen or are presented through the most skewed and reality-detached lens. With nearly all major media institutions captured to some degree by this dynamic, a deep need exists for media that is untethered and free to transgress the boundaries of this polarized culture war and address a demand from a public that is starved for media that doesn’t play for a side but instead pursues lines of reporting, thought, and inquiry wherever they lead, without fear of violating cultural pieties or elite orthodoxies. Glenn Greenwald
Il est difficile d’éviter de conclure que les employeurs et partenaires étrangers de Hunter cherchaient à tirer parti de la relation de Hunter avec Joe, soit en recherchant une influence inappropriée, soit en en monnayant l’accès. Robert Weissman (Public Citizen)
Au strict minimum, il y a une énorme apparence de conflit, et il y a toutes les raisons de penser que les investisseurs avec lesquels il travaille veulent qu’il s’associe à eux parce qu’il est le fils de l’ancien vice-président et maintenant candidat à la présidentielle. [Joe Biden] aurait dû encourager son fils à ne pas prendre ces positions. Robert Weissman (Public Citizen)
After a year at Georgetown, Hunter transferred to Yale Law, where he completed his degree, in 1996. Then he returned to Wilmington with Kathleen and Naomi. Joe Biden was running for reëlection in the Senate, and he appointed Hunter as his deputy campaign manager. Hunter rented an apartment close to his father’s campaign headquarters, and also got a job as a lawyer with MBNA America, a banking holding company based in Delaware, which was one of the largest donors to his father’s campaigns. At the age of twenty-six, Hunter, who was earning more than a hundred thousand dollars and had received a signing bonus, was making nearly as much money as his father. In January, 1998, the conservative reporter and columnist Byron York wrote, in The American Spectator, “Certainly lots of children of influential parents end up in very good jobs. But the Biden case is troubling. After all, this is a senator who for years has sermonized against what he says is the corrupting influence of money in politics.” (…) Hunter’s name appeared regularly in newspaper stories decrying the cozy relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. An informal arrangement was established: Biden wouldn’t ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn’t tell his father about them. “It wasn’t like we all sat down and agreed on it,” Hunter told me. “It came naturally.” (…) Hunter had heard that, during the primaries, some of Obama’s advisers had criticized him to reporters for his earmarking work. Hunter said that he wasn’t told by members of the Obama campaign to end his lobbying activities, but that he knew “the writing was on the wall.” Hunter told his lobbying clients that he would no longer represent them, and resigned from an unpaid seat on the board of Amtrak, a role for which, Hunter said, the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had tapped him. “I wanted my father to have a clean slate,” Hunter told me. “I didn’t want to limit him in any way.” In September, 2008, Hunter launched a boutique consulting firm, Seneca Global Advisors, named for the largest of the Finger Lakes, in New York State, where his mother had grown up. In pitch meetings with prospective clients, Hunter said that he could help small and mid-sized companies expand into markets in the U.S. and other countries. In June, 2009, five months after Joe Biden became Vice-President, Hunter co-founded a second company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz, Senator John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune, and Devon Archer, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model who started his finance career at Citibank in Asia and who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. (Heinz and Archer already had a private-equity fund called Rosemont Capital.) Heinz believed that Hunter would share his aversion to entering into business deals that could attract public scrutiny, but over time Hunter and Archer seized opportunities that did not include Heinz, who was less inclined to take risks. In 2012, Archer and Hunter talked to Jonathan Li, who ran a Chinese private-equity fund, Bohai Capital, about becoming partners in a new company that would invest Chinese capital—and, potentially, capital from other countries—in companies outside China. In June, 2013, Li, Archer, and other business partners signed a memorandum of understanding to create the fund, which they named BHR Partners, and, in November, they signed contracts related to the deal. Hunter became an unpaid member of BHR’s board but did not take an equity stake in BHR Partners until after his father left the White House. In December, 2013, Vice-President Biden flew to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping. Biden often asked one of his grandchildren to accompany him on his international trips, and he invited Finnegan to come on this one. Hunter told his father that he wanted to join them. According to a Beijing-based BHR representative, Hunter, shortly after arriving in Beijing, on December 4th, helped arrange for Li to shake hands with his father in the lobby of the American delegation’s hotel. Afterward, Hunter and Li had what both parties described as a social meeting. Hunter told me that he didn’t understand why anyone would have been concerned about this. “How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?” he said. Hunter’s meeting with Li and his relationship with BHR attracted little attention at the time, but some of Biden’s advisers were worried that Hunter, by meeting with a business associate during his father’s visit, would expose the Vice-President to criticism. The former senior White House aide told me that Hunter’s behavior invited questions about whether he “was leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn’t done in that White House. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on.” When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,” a former adviser told me. For another venture, Archer travelled to Kiev to pitch investors on a real-estate fund he managed, Rosemont Realty. There, he met Mykola Zlochevsky, the co-founder of Burisma, one of Ukraine’s largest natural-gas producers. Zlochevsky had served as ecology minister under the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych. After public protests in 2013 and early 2014, the Ukrainian parliament had voted to remove Yanukovych and called for his arrest. Under the new Ukrainian government, authorities in Kiev, with the encouragement of the Obama Administration, launched an investigation into whether Zlochevsky had used his cabinet position to grant exploration licenses that benefitted Burisma. (The status of the inquiry is unclear, but no proof of criminal activity has been publicly disclosed. Zlochevsky could not be reached for comment, and Burisma did not respond to queries.) In a related investigation, which was ultimately closed owing to a lack of evidence, British authorities temporarily froze U.K. bank accounts tied to Zlochevsky. In early 2014, Zlochevsky sought to assemble a high-profile international board to oversee Burisma, telling prospective members that he wanted the company to adopt Western standards of transparency. Among the board members he recruited was a former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, who had a reputation as a dedicated reformer. In early 2014, at Zlochevsky’s suggestion, Kwaśniewski met with Archer in Warsaw and encouraged him to join Burisma’s board, arguing that the company was critical to Ukraine’s independence from Russia. Archer agreed. When Archer told Hunter that the board needed advice on how to improve the company’s corporate governance, Hunter recommended the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was “of counsel.” The firm brought in the investigative agency Nardello & Co. to assess Burisma’s history of corruption. Hunter joined Archer on the Burisma board in April, 2014. Three months later, in a draft report to Boies Schiller, Nardello said that it was “unable to identify any information to date regarding any current government investigation into Zlochevsky or Burisma,” but cited unnamed sources saying that Zlochevsky could be “vulnerable to investigation for financial crimes” and for “perceived abuse of power.” Vice-President Biden was playing a central role in overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine, and took the lead in calling on Kiev to fight rampant corruption. On May 13, 2014, after Hunter’s role on the Burisma board was reported in the news, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said that the State Department was not concerned about perceived conflicts of interest, because Hunter was a “private citizen.” Hunter told Burisma’s management and other board members that he would not be involved in any matters that were connected to the U.S. government or to his father. Kwaśniewski told me, “We never discussed how the Vice-President can help us. Frankly speaking, we didn’t need such help. » Several former officials in the Obama Administration and at the State Department insisted that Hunter’s role at Burisma had no effect on his father’s policies in Ukraine, but said that, nevertheless, Hunter should not have taken the board seat. As the former senior White House aide put it, there was a perception that “Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father’s message.” The same aide said that Hunter should have recognized that at least some of his foreign business partners were motivated to work with him because they wanted “to be able to say that they are affiliated with Biden.” A former business associate said, “The appearance of a conflict of interest is good enough, at this level of politics, to keep you from doing things like that.” In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”  (…) When I asked him about it, he told me that he had been given the diamond by the Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming, who was trying to make connections in Washington among prominent Democrats and Republicans, and whom he had met in the middle of the divorce. Hunter told me that two associates accompanied him to his first meeting with Ye, in Miami, and that they surprised him by giving Ye a magnum of rare vintage Scotch worth thousands of dollars. Hunter was on the board of the World Food Program USA, a nonprofit that generates support for the U.N. World Food Programme, and he had hoped that Ye would make a large aid donation. At dinner that night, they discussed the donation, and then the conversation turned to business opportunities. Hunter offered to use his contacts to help identify investment opportunities for Ye’s company, CEFC China Energy, in liquefied-natural-gas projects in the United States. After the dinner, Ye sent a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter’s hotel room with a card thanking him for their meeting. “I was, like, Oh, my God,” Hunter said. (In Kathleen’s court motion, the diamond is estimated to be worth eighty thousand dollars. Hunter said he believes the value is closer to ten thousand.) When I asked him if he thought the diamond was intended as a bribe, he said no: “What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn’t in office.” Hunter said that he gave the diamond to his associates, and doesn’t know what they did with it. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird,” he said. Hunter began negotiating a deal for CEFC to invest forty million dollars in a liquefied-natural-gas project on Monkey Island, in Louisiana, which, he said, was projected to create thousands of jobs. “I was more proud of it than you can imagine,” he told me. In the summer of 2017, Ye talked with Hunter about his concern that U.S. law-enforcement agencies were investigating one of his associates, Patrick Ho. Hunter, who sometimes works as a private lawyer, agreed to represent Ho, and tried to figure out whether Ho was in legal jeopardy in the U.S. That November, just after Ye and Hunter agreed on the Monkey Island deal, U.S. authorities detained Ho at the airport. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top government officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC. In February, 2018, Ye was detained by Chinese authorities, reportedly as part of an anti-corruption investigation, and the deal with Hunter fell through. Hunter said that he did not consider Ye to be a “shady character at all,” and characterized the outcome as “bad luck.” Joe Biden is hardly the first politician to have faced scrutiny for the business dealings of a family member. In 1973, during the Watergate investigation, the Washington Post reported that Richard Nixon had the phone of his brother Donald tapped for at least a year, because he feared that Donald’s “various financial activities might bring embarrassment to the Nixon administration.” In the late seventies, the F.B.I. investigated President Jimmy Carter’s younger brother, Billy, after it emerged that he was on the payroll of the Libyan government. In an extensive report on the affair issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Biden was a member, Billy was quoted as saying that “he did not need anyone in Washington telling him how to conduct his private business.” Carter said that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to “discourage Billy from making any other trip to Libya” and “to keep him out of the newspapers for a few weeks.” Biden’s approach was to deal with Hunter’s activities by largely ignoring them. This may have temporarily allowed Biden to truthfully inform reporters that his decisions were not affected by Hunter. But, as Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him. It is clear that Hunter and Biden’s decades-old decision not to discuss business matters has exposed both father and son to attacks. (Biden declined to comment for this article.) In March of last year, Peter Schweizer, a conservative researcher and a senior editor-at-large at Breitbart, published “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.” Schweizer is best known for “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Clinton Rich,” which was released in May, 2015.  (…) “Secret Empires,” which details Hunter’s activities in China and Ukraine, focusses on what Schweizer calls “corruption by proxy,” which he defines as a “new corruption” that is “difficult to detect” and that, though often legal, makes “good money for a politician and his family and friends” and leaves “American politicians vulnerable to overseas financial pressure.” Schweizer often relies on innuendo to supplement his reporting. At one point, he describes “one of the few public sightings” of Hunter in Beijing, when Hunter, “dressed in a dark overcoat,” followed Biden into a shop to buy a Magnum ice cream. “Intentionally or not,” Schweizer writes, “Hunter Biden was showing the Chinese that he had guanxi”—connections. Schweizer asserts that “Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately ten days after Hunter visited China with his father.” In fact, the deal had been signed before the trip—according to the BHR representative, it was a business license that came through shortly afterward—and Hunter was not a signatory. Hunter and Archer said that they never met with any Chinese officials about the fund. And the deal wasn’t with Rosemont Seneca Partners but with a new holding company, established solely by Archer; Christopher Heinz was not part of the BHR transaction. Schweizer also asserts that the Chinese fund was “lucrative” for Hunter, but Hunter and his business partners told me that he has yet to receive a payment from the company. In October, 2017, the special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, indicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, on twelve counts, including committing conspiracy against the United States by failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine. (Manafort pleaded guilty to that charge in September, 2018.) Making a case that Hunter had his own Ukrainian scandal, Schweizer implies that Joe Biden had been consulted in advance about Hunter and Archer’s work with Burisma. On April 16, 2014, he notes, shortly before the announcement that Hunter and Archer had taken seats on the company’s board, Archer made a “private visit to the White House for a meeting with Vice-President Biden.” Hunter, Archer, and Archer’s son Lukas, who is now twelve, told me that the visit was arranged by Hunter for Lukas, who was working on a model of the White House for a grade-school assignment. Afterward, Lukas posted a picture on Instagram of himself shaking the Vice-President’s hand. Hunter and Archer said that Burisma was never discussed. Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has also aggressively promoted what he has called the “alleged Ukraine conspiracy” in interviews and on social media. Giuliani told me that, in the fall of 2018, he spoke to Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. Shokin told him that Vice-President Biden had him fired in 2016 because he was investigating Burisma and the company’s payments to Hunter and Archer. Giuliani said that, in January, 2019, he met with Yurii Lutsenko, Ukraine’s current prosecutor general, in New York, and Lutsenko confirmed Shokin’s version of events. On April 1, 2019, John Solomon, an opinion contributor to The Hill, wrote about Shokin’s claim that he had been conducting a corruption probe into Burisma and Hunter when he was dismissed. A month later, the Times reported that Hunter “was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.” The story, by Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, provoked some Democrats to express concern that the Times was again lending credence to allegations made by Schweizer and other Trump allies. Giuliani retweeted the article, and Trump called for the Justice Department to investigate. (…) There is no credible evidence that Biden sought Shokin’s removal in order to protect Hunter. According to Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, Shokin was removed because of concerns by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the U.S. government that he wasn’t pursuing corruption investigations. Contrary to the assertions that Shokin was fired because he was investigating Burisma and Zlochevsky, Hochstein said, “many of us in the U.S. government believed that Shokin was the one protecting Zlochevsky.” In May, Giuliani scheduled a visit to Ukraine, and told the Times that he would look into Hunter’s involvement with Burisma, “because that information will be very, very helpful to my client,” but then abruptly cancelled the trip, amid reports that Ukraine’s President-elect was unwilling to meet with him. A week later, on May 16th, Lutsenko appeared to shift his position on Burisma, telling Bloomberg News that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son, and that “a company can pay however much it wants to its board.” The reasons for his reversal were unclear, but Daria Kaleniuk, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, in Kiev, speculated that Lutsenko, in talking with Giuliani, had been trying to “pump his political muscle,” a strategy that had proved ineffective in the new political climate. That month, Hunter declined Burisma’s offer to serve another term on the board, believing that the controversy had become a distraction. But he said that he was proud of his work there, and that he thought the criticism was misplaced. “I feel the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me,” he told me. “Was it worth it? Was it worth the pain? No. It certainly wasn’t worth the grief.” He went on, “I would never have been able to predict that Donald Trump would have picked me out as the tip of the spear against the one person they believe can beat them.” And yet, to many voters, the controversy over Hunter’s business dealings will appear to have been avoidable, a product of Biden’s resistance to having difficult conversations, particularly those involving his family. Hunter said that, in his talks with his father, “I’m saying sorry to him, and he says, ‘I’m the one who’s sorry,’ and we have an ongoing debate about who should be more sorry. And we both realize that the only true antidote to any of this is winning. He says, ‘Look, it’s going to go away.’ There is truly a higher purpose here, and this will go away. So can you survive the assault?” Adam Entous
Count Sen. Ron Johnson among those not surprised that the press is ignoring a New York Post report about emails said to be from Hunter Biden’s laptop that suggest he introduced his father the Vice President to a representative of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. Or that Twitter and Facebook would run interference for the Bidens by banishing the Post dispatch from their platforms. Something similar happened last month when Mr. Johnson’s Homeland Security Committee and Chuck Grassley’s Finance Committee dropped a joint report on Hunter Biden’s financial dealings overseas. The committees tracked the heartburn the younger Mr. Biden’s involvement with Burisma caused the Obama Administration and dug up intriguing tidbits—such as a $3.5 million wire transfer from a Russian billionaire who had been married to the former mayor of Moscow. Most news accounts dismissed the Senate findings as offering no proof that either Biden did anything criminal. What a low bar. The report mentions, for example, a $100,000 spending spree for Hunter Biden, James Biden (the Vice President’s brother) and Sara Biden (the Vice President’s sister-in-law) financed by Gongwen Dong, a Chinese businessman with ties to China’s largest private oil and gas company. Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board was concerning enough within the Obama Administration that two U.S. officials, George Kent and Amos Hochstein, complained about it. Mr. Kent had been Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. In 2016 he emailed colleagues that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” At the least, the Senate report notes, Mr. Biden’s financial dealings raised “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns. There’s also whether it affected U.S. policy. In a September 2015 speech in Odessa, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt specifically named Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Ukraine official who is also owner of Burisma Holdings, as involved in Ukraine’s corruption. But three months later, Joe Biden advisers told him to avoid mentioning Zlochevsky in a speech. The question is whether his son’s presence on Mr. Zlochevsky’s board affected that decision. The Biden campaign says there was no meeting with the Ukrainian in question on Joe Biden’s official schedule. That doesn’t mean much: The January 2017 Oval Office meeting with Barack Obama and James Comey wasn’t on his official schedule either. Even so, the information unearthed by the committee suggests that Mr. Biden knew much more about his son’s involvement with Burisma than what he let on. Though he says he never discussed Hunter’s overseas business deals with his son, he certainly discussed them with Mr. Hochstein, who came to the Vice President in October 2015 with his concerns. At best Joe Biden had a see-nothing-wrong approach to his son; less generously, it was a wink and a nod of tacit approval. The Senate report further suggests that John Kerry, who served as Secretary of State at the time and whose stepson Chris Heinz was a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, was also not truthful when he said he knew nothing about it. Assuming the emails turned up by the New York Post are real, they provide significant detail about Hunter Biden’s way of doing business. Even if it wasn’t illegal, it was a classic example of Beltway influence-peddling for profit off his father’s name and position. This is a legitimate story with important information for voters who are being asked to trust Joe Biden for a return to normalcy. We doubt this is the kind of Washington self-interest and dishonesty as usual that most Americans have in mind. The Wall Street Journal
Si la question de savoir si Joe Biden a permis à son fils de profiter de l’influence du vice-président est pertinente pour la campagne présidentielle, des questions d’équilibre et de proportionnalité entrent également en jeu. NBC
Le FBI a été averti que des sections du dossier controversé Steele auraient pu faire partie d’une « campagne de désinformation russe visant à dénigrer les relations extérieures des États-Unis », selon des notes de bas de page récemment déclassifiées d’un rapport du gouvernement. CBS (Apr. 2020)
In April of 2014, the then-vice president led a U.S. delegation to Kiev tasked with rooting out corruption and advocating for Ukraine to diminish its reliance on Russian oil. The Obama administration had pledged aid money to support a fledgling Ukrainian administration recovering from a revolution that ousted the country’s previous leader. « You have to fight the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system right now, » Biden told the Ukrainian parliament during the first of several post-revolution visits to the country. « And with the right investments and the right choices, Ukraine can reduce its energy dependence and increase its energy security. » Within weeks of his visit, Ukraine’s largest energy producer, Burisma Energy, appointed Hunter Biden to a paid directorship on the firm’s board. Just months before, in December of 2013, there was a similar episode when the then-vice president led an Obama administration effort to tamp down tensions in the Far East. Hunter Biden disembarked from Air Force Two in Beijing alongside his father, ahead of a series of meetings between the vice president and several high-ranking members of China’s ruling party. Upon his departure, Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping a « good friend. » Within weeks of that visit, Hunter Biden was doing business there, as a participant in a firm called Bohai Harvest RST. The corporation formed a novel Chinese-American investment partnership that involved such Chinese state-owned firms as the Bank of China. Reports at the time said they sought to raise $1.5 billion. In response to questions from ABC News, Hunter Biden maintained that he and his father never talked about his overseas ventures. « At no time have I discussed with my father the company’s business, or my board service, » Hunter Biden said in statement forwarded to ABC News by his attorney. « Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain wrong. » An attorney for Hunter Biden told ABC News the vice president’s son merely accompanied his daughter, Finnegan Biden, on the Air Force Two trip to Beijing and conducted no business during the visit. obert Weissman, the president of progressive watchdog group Public Citizen and a frequent critic of business dealings by President Donald Trump’s children — including the Trump Organization’s ongoing development projects overseas — told ABC News that it can be challenging for the adult children of well-known political figures to carve out careers that don’t pose ethics concerns, but he considers Hunter Biden’s decisions concerning. (…) The Ukrainian energy firm Burisma tapped Hunter Biden — a Yale-trained attorney who worked at the Manhattan-based law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP — to lead its legal unit and « provide support for the company among international organizations, » according to the company’s announcement at the time. Hunter Biden and his associate at a business entity called Rosemont Seneca Partners — where Hunter Biden was a managing partner — both obtained board seats, and according to banking records reviewed by ABC News, the firm began collecting $166,666 payments each month. In a statement to ABC News, Biden said « at no time » was he « in charge of the company’s legal affairs » and said he « earned [his] qualifications for such a role based on [his] extensive prior board service. » Hunter Biden had served on other corporate boards, including as vice chairman of the board overseeing Amtrak. He had no known experience in Ukraine or the highly competitive energy field, but said in his statement that he joined the board « to help reform Burisma’s practices of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility. » But questions were raised at the time. Asked about the appointment in May of 2014 by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, then-press secretary Jay Carney responded that « Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens, and where they work does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president. » Ukraine is not the only foreign territory in which there are lingering questions about business conducted by Hunter Biden. His exact role in the Chinese investment fund Bohai Harvest RST remains unclear. The firm’s website described the venture as being « sponsored » by the government-controlled Bank of China, and securities filings in the U.S. say the fund was « to focus on mergers and acquisitions, and investment in and reforms of state-owned enterprise. » A source familiar with Hunter Biden’s involvement said he served as an unpaid director and has not yet received any returns on his investments from the fund, adding that he only became a minority stake-holder in the company in October 2017, with his current investment estimated at approximately $430,000. He continues to play an active role, according to his attorney. And that presents a problem for ethics experts. ABC news
Pour l’heure, rien ne laisse présumer, dans le cas de Hunter Biden, de quelconques irrégularités. Sa présence au conseil d’administration d’une société gazière ukrainienne, entre 2014 et 2019, alors même que son père avait la haute main sur le dossier ukrainien au sein de l’administration Obama (2008-2016), relève toutefois d’un mélange des genres douteux. C’est d’abord la personnalité de l’employeur de Hunter Biden qui interroge. Quoique apparu sur le tard sur la scène oligarchique ukrainienne, Mykola Zlotchevski en est un parfait représentant. L’homme, connu pour ses costumes de couleur et sa carrure de lutteur, a su jouer de son entregent politique pour faire prospérer ses affaires. Relativement modeste pendant des années, sa société d’exploitation d’hydrocarbures, Burisma, est devenue le numéro un privé du secteur… lorsque son patron était à la tête du comité parlementaire aux ressources naturelles, et plus encore ministre de l’écologie, sous la présidence de Viktor Ianoukovitch (2010-2015). Entre 2010 et 2012, la société Burisma a obtenu du ministère de l’écologie six nouvelles licences d’exploration gazière et quatre d’exploitation, principalement dans les Carpathes et dans la région de Dnipro, le hissant à la onzième place du classement des Ukrainiens les plus riches. « Son problème aujourd’hui n’est plus de s’enrichir, puisque tous ses actifs ont été obtenus avant 2014, mais de laver son image », souligne Kristina Berdynskikh, journaliste d’investigation au magazine Novoe Vremya. La période suivant la révolution de Maïdan, en 2014, est en effet riche de menaces, avec ses promesses d’assainissement de l’économie et de mise au pas des oligarques. M. Zlotchevski voit ainsi une partie de ses avoirs gelés au Royaume-Uni, et diverses enquêtes sont ouvertes contre lui en Ukraine. C’est à cette époque-là que l’oligarque se préoccupe de « relations publiques ». Début 2014, Burisma s’attache les services de l’ancien président polonais Aleksander Kwasniewski (1995-2005), intégré au conseil d’administration. Six mois plus tard, Hunter Biden le suit, pour un salaire atteignant, selon une source citée par le Wall Street Journal, 50 000 dollars (45 500 euros) mensuels. Les affaires du second fils de Joe Biden, ancien lobbyiste et ex-financier, ont déjà un parfum de soufre : Hunter est suspecté d’avoir mis en avant sa position familiale lors d’un voyage présidentiel fin 2013 à Pékin pour doper son business en Chine. Le Monde
En regardant le rapport de plus près, on lit qu’Elena Batourina a versé 3,5 millions de dollars non pas sur le compte en banque de Hunter Biden, mais sur celui de Rosemont Seneca Thornton, une entreprise de conseil en investissements, dont les sénateurs disent qu’elle a été cofondée par le fils cadet de Joe Biden. Le paiement, survenu en février 2014, aurait rémunéré un contrat de consultant. Les sénateurs glissent au passage qu’Elena Batourina semblait avoir bénéficié des pratiques corrompues de son mari. Mais rien n’y dit que Hunter Biden ait touché ne serait-ce qu’une partie de cet argent. Comme la précédente, cette accusation repose sur des documents que les sénateurs ne dévoilent pas. Impossible à vérifier donc. Mais les membres démocrates des commissions ayant examiné ces documents assurent à Politifact que rien ne relie Hunter Biden à cette transaction ni à l’entreprise bénéficiaire. L’avocat de Hunter Biden affirme également que son client n’a jamais touché cet argent et qu’il n’a jamais cofondé l’entreprise en question. Le cadet de Joe Biden a bien cocréé une société baptisée Rosemont Seneca en 2009, mais rien ne permet de dire, d’après Politifact, que les deux entreprises sont les mêmes. France info
Durant le second mandat de l’administration Obama, Hunter Biden conclut des accords commerciaux lucratifs avec un fonds d’investissement lié au gouvernement chinois, après que Hunter Biden a accompagné en 2013 son père lors d’un voyage à Pékin. Lors de ce voyage officiel, dans le hall d’un hôtel, Hunter Biden met son père en relation avec Jonathan Li, un partenaire d’affaires chinois. Des conseillers de Joe Biden s’inquiètent des apparences d’une telle présentation au pays des « guanxi » (réseaux de relations). Hunter Biden était un membre bénévole du conseil de BHR Partners, nouveau fonds d’investissement que Jonathan Li était sur le point de diriger. Plusieurs jours après le voyage des Biden en Chine, BHR Partners a obtenu du gouvernement chinois une licence d’exploitation. Trois ans plus tard, Hunter Biden prend une participation de 10 % dans BHR Partners grâce à un investissement de 420 000 $. En décembre 2013, Rosemont Seneca Partners, la petite société de conseil financier de Hunter Biden, participe à une opération de capital-investissement de 1,5 milliard $, impliquant une filiale de la Bank of China, la société de gestion de fonds Bohai Industrial Investment, et l’un des plus importants gestionnaires d’actifs de Chine, Harvest Fundation Management Co. Les sociétés ont utilisé du capital-risque appartenant à l’État chinois pour lever les fonds. Le Wall Street Journal qualifie de « l’une des plus grandes collaborations sino-étrangères en capital-investissement » pour tirer parti de la nouvelle zone de libre-échange de Shanghai et de la libéralisation de la politique chinoise visant à convertir le yuan en devises. Les conversions ont aidé le gouvernement chinois à investir dans des sociétés étrangères. En 2019, le New Yorker écrit un article dans lequel il indique comment Hunter Biden s’est vu offrir un diamant de 2,8 carats par le magnat de l’énergie chinois Ye Jianming. En octobre 2019, pour faire baisser la tension sur la campagne électorale de son père, Hunter Biden annonce qu’il quittera à la fin du mois le conseil d’administration de BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company. Toutefois, le 15 avril 2020, le New York Post révèle que Hunter Biden semble toujours faire partie du conseil d’administration de la société de capital-investissement chinoise qu’il a cofondée. Après une visite officielle du vice président Joe Biden en Ukraine, Hunter Biden rejoint, en juin 2014, le directoire d’une des plus importantes compagnies pétrolières et gazières ukrainienne, Burisma, dont le dirigeant, l’oligarque Mykola Zlochevsky, est ex-ministre de l’Écologie de l’ex-président Viktor Ianoukovytch. A partir de 2014, Zlochevsky est poursuivi par la justice ukrainienne et britannique pour blanchiment d’argent à travers Burisma. Hunter Biden, qui n’a alors aucune expérience en Ukraine ou dans le secteur de l’énergie, affirme dans un communiqué de presse : « Je crois que mon aide en tant que consultant d’une compagnie sur les questions de la transparence, de la gestion d’entreprise et de l’expansion internationale aidera l’économie de l’Ukraine et la prospérité de son peuple. En décembre 2015, peu avant la visite de Joe Biden à Kiev, l’ambassadeur américain, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, accuse les procureurs de protéger Mykola Zlochevsky, poursuivi par les autorités britanniques. Des chercheurs estiment à ce moment que la position de Hunter Biden peut nuire au message anticorruption porté par Joe Biden. Selon le Washington Post, Hunter Biden quitte en 2019 son poste au sein de Burisma, après cinq années de service, alors que Joe Biden a annoncé en avril sa candidature à la présidence. Selon le New York Times, « Hunter Biden et ses partenaires américains ont pris part au vaste effort de Burisma visant à rassembler des démocrates bien connectés à une époque où la société faisait face à des enquêtes soutenues non seulement par les forces ukrainiennes mais également par des responsables de l’administration Obama ». D’autres commentateurs soulèvent des problèmes de népotisme ou de conflit d’intérêts. Sur FoxBusiness, proche des partisans de Donald Trump, l’humoriste Bill Maher déclare que « ce gamin » a été payé 600 000 $ juste parce qu’il s’appelait Biden dans ce pays extrêmement corrompu qui venait d’avoir une révolution pour se débarrasser de la corruption. Le site Vox, proche de la gauche libérale, assimile Hunter Biden à ces personnes gravitant autour de la politique américaine, telles que Billy Carter, Tony Rodham et Neil Bush, tentant de capitaliser financièrement sur leurs proches à la Maison-Blanche et parviennent ainsi à s’enrichir sans réaliser d’actions d’envergure, mais affirme aussi que Joe Biden n’est pas intervenu pour aider son fils en Ukraine. Début 2016, l’administration Obama et les autorités européennes sont convaincus que le procureur général ukrainien Viktor Shokin ne fait pas assez pour lutter contre la corruption. Joe Biden décide en mars 2016 de menacer le président ukrainien Petro Porochenko de ne pas accorder un milliard de dollars si Viktor Shokin n’est pas renvoyé dans les six heures. Shokin est remplacé par « quelqu’un de solide ». Joe Biden rend public cette intervention en janvier 2018. De son côté, Viktor Shokin affirme qu’il a été licencié pour l’empêcher d’enquêter sur Hunter Biden. Iouri Loutsenko, procureur à partir de mai 2016, affirme avoir rencontré l’avocat de Donald Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, selon lui « obsédé par les possibles fautes commises par Joe Biden et son fils », mais avoir finalement décidé qu’il n’y avait pas de raison d’ouvrir une enquête contre Hunter Biden. Il considère en septembre 2018 que, si une enquête est ouverte sur Joe Biden et son fils, elle doit l’être aux États-Unis et non en Ukraine. En juillet 2019, le président Donald Trump demande par téléphone à son homologue, le président nouvellement élu Volodymyr Zelensky, de se renseigner pour savoir si l’ancien vice-président Biden a mis fin à une enquête sur une entreprise ukrainienne pour laquelle travaillait son fils. Iouri Loutsenko est à son tour limogé au mois d’août 2019 par le président Volodymyr Zelensky. Le 1er octobre 2019, une enquête est ouverte contre Iouri Loutsenko pour abus de pouvoir. Il est suspecté d’avoir « autorisé un business de paris illégaux ». Aux Etats-Unis, la Chambre des représentants, dominée par les démocrates, lance le 24 septembre 2019 une enquête en vue d’une procédure d’impeachment pour déterminer si le gel par Donald Trump d’une importante aide militaire à l’Ukraine est le résultat d’une volonté de faire pression sur l’exécutif ukrainien, afin que celui-ci lance une enquête sur Joe Biden, dans le but de mettre en difficulté sa campagne pour l’élection présidentielle de 2020. En mars 2020, le comité sénatorial de la Sécurité Intérieure (Homeland Security), dirigé par le républicain Ron Johnson, affirme vouloir poursuivre son enquête sur Hunter Biden, malgré les critiques des sénateurs démocrates, et malgré la priorité donnée à la lutte contre la pandémie de coronavirus. Wikipedia
Trump and his allies alleged that means Joe Biden has lied when he said he never discussed his son’s business roles. (…) The allegation that Hunter Biden has traded on his family name has been thoroughly explored in previous news stories, including a lengthy New Yorker investigation last year in which Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him.” Reports published while the elder Biden was still vice president raised ethical questions about the Burisma deal. While the question of whether Joe Biden enabled his son to profit from the vice president’s influence is relevant to the presidential campaign, issues of balance and proportionality also come into play. (…) An NBC News correspondent asked Bobulinski for an interview and for copies of documents in his possession, but he declined. “All of your questions will be answered on Tucker Carlson tonight,” Bobulinski wrote on Oct. 27. (…) At a meeting in May 2017 in Los Angeles, Bobulinski says Hunter Biden introduced him to the former vice president, saying: “This is Tony, dad, the individual I told you about that’s helping us with the business we are working and the Chinese.” Even if that statement was made, it says very little about how much Joe Biden knew, and nothing about whether he was involved. The Biden campaign has denied that Biden knew about the venture or stood to profit from it. NBC News has sought to obtain the documents on the alleged Hunter Biden laptop, but has been rebuffed. An NBC News correspondent sent a letter two weeks ago to Giuliani, seeking copies of the materials. His lawyer, Robert Costello, granted the correspondent the opportunity to review some Hunter Biden emails and other materials in person. The materials included copies of Hunter Biden identification documents that appeared to be genuine. But without taking possession of the copies, it was not possible to conduct the sort of forensic analysis that might help authenticate the emails and documents. It was Giuliani who ultimately told NBC News he would not be providing a copy of the hard drive. NBC News responded by asking if, instead of a full copy of the hard drive, he could just provide copies of the full set of emails. Giuliani did not agree to that proposal. NBC News then declined an offer of copies of a small group of emails. NBC News has also requested the documents from Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, but has not received a response. (…) The owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, John Paul Mac Isaac, has said a man he believes was Hunter Biden left a water-damaged Apple computer at his shop in April 2019 for repairs and data recovery. But Biden never retrieved the machine, Mac Isaac has said, and at some point he began to examine the data. He said he found material that disturbed him, though he has never publicly explained what that was. His lawyer said he contacted the FBI, which ultimately served a grand jury subpoena for the laptop and a hard drive. After hearing nothing from the FBI for months, Mac Isaac said he grew frustrated and turned a copy of the laptop’s contents over to Giuliani’s lawy. (…) According to the representative, Mac Isaac said he wrote to Giuliani’s team after trying to reach out to Republican members of Congress without success. (…) U.S. officials have refused to explain why they seized the laptops and what, if anything, they are investigating. NBC News attempted to speak to Mac Isaac, but he did not respond to requests for comment. NBC News published an article quoting responses he had given to The Daily Beast. His lawyer then sent NBC News a letter that said, “Your network and affiliates should cease any further discussion of Mr. Mac Isaac as much of the information you are presenting is false.” James Rosen, a reporter for the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest operator of local television stations, reported this week that a Justice Department official told him the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden and his associates last year focused on allegations of money-laundering — and that the probe remains active. NBC News has not confirmed any such investigation. Rosen also reported that the FBI interviewed former Biden associate Bobulinski last week. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that Bobulinski initiated the interview. Bobulinski said the FBI told him he’s “listed as a material witness,” but law enforcement officials say the FBI does not use that term in this context. Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News. He has not asserted — nor has the Biden campaign — that the laptop did not belong to Hunter Biden. If he did leave the machine in Delaware, it would have marked at least the second time he has left behind a laptop. According to two people familiar with the matter, a different Hunter Biden laptop landed in the custody of the DEA in February when they executed a search warrant on the Massachusetts office of a psychiatrist accused of professional misconduct. The psychiatrist has not been charged with a crime. NBC
Il y a cinq jours, le reporter d’investigation Glen Greenwald claquait la porte du site américain d’information The Intercept, l’accusant d’avoir censuré un article sur Joe Biden et son fils en retirant «tous les passages critiques». Un développement non sans ironie, soulignait ce journaliste libertarien de gauche, détenteur du prix Pulitzer, notant qu’il avait cofondé ce média en 2014 précisément «pour défendre un journalisme indépendant». L’article de Greenwald, qui a depuis été publié sur son site personnel, se penche sur l’affaire des courriers électroniques de Hunter Biden, fils du candidat démocrate, accusé par la campagne de Trump d’avoir monnayé l’accès à son père auprès de compagnies privées en Ukraine et en Chine pour s’enrichir, lorsque ce dernier était vice-président des États-Unis. Sans préjuger de la véracité des accusations portées et de l’implication personnelle du candidat démocrate, le journaliste y explique qu’il est absolument nécessaire d’enquêter, vu que l’authenticité des e-mails en question, confirmés par plusieurs destinataires, dont l’un des ex-collaborateurs de Hunter Biden, n’a jamais été démentie, ni par la campagne démocrate ni par la famille. Son article décrit surtout le silence assourdissant de la plupart des médias sur cette affaire lancée dans la mêlée électorale par le tabloïd conservateur New York Post, le premier à publier ces e-mails, qui auraient été récupérés sur un ordinateur portable de Hunter déposé chez un réparateur. «L’union des entités les plus puissantes de la nation, y compris ses médias, a pris des mesures extraordinaires pour enterrer les questions», parce qu’elle est farouchement pro-Biden, dénonce Greenwald, soulignant notamment «la campagne de censure inhabituelle» lancée aussi par Facebook et Twitter contre le New York Post, dont le compte a été provisoirement gelé par Twitter en invoquant la nécessité de «vérifier les faits». Le journaliste critique aussi avec sévérité la manière dont les médias libéraux «mainstream» auraient accepté l’argument de la campagne de Biden selon lequel cette affaire serait une «opération russe». Il cite notamment l’étonnante publication par le Washington Post d’un avis d’expert qui expédie l’affaire en affirmant que «nous devons traiter les fuites (sur) Hunter Biden comme si elles étaient une opération d’agents extérieurs – même si elles ne le sont pas». Greenwald, dans son article, note aussi que les quelques membres de la presse généraliste qui ont essayé de discuter ces matériels ont été «vilipendés», comme par exemple la reporter du New York Times Maggie Haberman, affublée sur les réseaux sociaux du nom de «Maga Haberman» («Maga» étant l’acronyme du slogan de campagne de Donald Trump, « Make American Great Again »). «Le journalisme est en crise», alerte-t-il, et «les mêmes tendances à la répression, à la censure et à l’homogénéité idéologique qui empoisonnent la presse nationale en général ont atteint le média que j’ai cofondé». La rédaction de The Intercept a rétorqué qu’il n’y avait eu aucune censure, juste l’édition d’un papier afin de faire en sorte qu’il soit «juste et exact». La crise qu’évoque Glen Greenwald et la dérive partisane qui s’est emparée de la presse américaine ne datent pas d’hier. Si en 1974, juste après l’affaire du Watergate, les médias jouissaient d’une opinion favorable chez 70 % des citoyens, selon l’institut Gallup, ce chiffre tourne à peine autour de 30 % aujourd’hui, traduisant une dégringolade. «Nous n’écoutons plus», nous confiait la semaine dernière un pasteur lors d’un rassemblement du président, jugeant que ce dernier avait «raison d’utiliser son compte Twitter pour contourner le mur des médias». L’écrasante majorité des journaux et télévisions américains – près de 95 % – avaient déjà pris fait et cause pour Hillary Clinton en 2016. Depuis, rapporte le Centre d’études des médias de Harvard, la couverture de la présidence a été à plus de 90 % négative, l’idée de faire partir Trump avant terme tournant parfois à l’obsession. En 2020, après l’échec de la procédure de destitution du président et les résultats peu concluants de l’enquête sur sa supposée collusion avec la Russie, ces mêmes médias ont tous pris position pour Joe Biden, afin de «renvoyer le pire président des temps modernes», selon le Washington Post. On estime que sur les 13.000 journalistes en activité aux États-Unis, 80 % se situent dans l’opposition à Trump. Une disproportion qui explique le décalage entre la virulence de la couverture anti-Trump et la «complaisance» du corps journalistique à l’égard de Joe Biden. À la mi-septembre, le site Politico reconnaissait qu’une émission d’ABC avec Donald Trump comme invité avait tourné à l’«interrogatoire hostile», alors que Joe Biden avait droit, sur CNN à «des retrouvailles entre vieux amis». Pour justifier ce parti pris, la plupart des journalistes invoquent une situation «anormale», qui cessera avec le départ de Trump, principale source de «fausses nouvelles», estiment-ils. «Face à un candidat qui qualifie la presse d’ennemie du peuple, la disparité de traitement est hors sujet», veut croire Gabriel Kahn, professeur de journalisme. Trump est d’ailleurs loin d’être complètement isolé médiatiquement, puisqu’il bénéficie de la virulence de l’aile conservatrice du paysage médiatique, qui roule pour lui sans complexe. Le fer de lance de cette nébuleuse est évidemment la chaîne Fox News, aussi partiale pour Trump que les autres médias le sont contre lui [et] Derrière Fox se dresse aussi un univers de radios privées conservatrices chrétiennes, qui défendent activement le président. Ce face-à-face médiatique, qui reflète la division béante de l’Amérique, mais contribue aussi à l’aggraver, existait déjà sous Obama, avec l’opposition systématique de Fox et souvent de la chaîne progressiste MSNBC. Mais la nouveauté des années Trump vient de ce que les médias de la grande presse, jusqu’ici plus distanciés, même s’ils avaient déjà une coloration politique, ont dérivé eux aussi vers le combat, d’une manière plus subtile mais qui n’en reste pas moins problématique. La crise qui traverse le New York Times, «grande dame» du journalisme qui faisait naguère figure de référence incontournable, est à cet égard un résumé du glissement idéologique vers la gauche, au-delà du débat sur Trump. Comme l’ont montré plusieurs épisodes successifs, dont le départ de la journaliste Bari Weiss, accusée de ne pas avoir défendu les canons de «justice sociale», une guerre idéologique gronde en interne entre l’ancienne génération libérale, essentiellement préoccupée de journalisme et de faits, et une jeune génération «woke», qui considère que les préoccupations antiracistes ou antisexistes doivent colorer la couverture. La raison pour laquelle l’ancienne génération, toujours aux commandes mais désireuse d’apparaître inclusive, peine à maintenir l’étalon journalistique est la question clé de l’histoire. Laure Mandeville

Attention: une censure peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où à quelques jours de l’une des élections américaines les plus importantes et les plus disputées de l’histoire récente …

Et où avec la massive campagne de votes anticipés et par correspondance orchestrée par les Démocrates …

Plus de 80 millions d’électeurs ont déjà voté …

Et entre délais de comptage et recours pour fraudes …

La décision finale pourrait, entre deux menaces de violence d’extrême-gauche, prendre des jours, voire des semaines ou des mois …

Cherchez l’erreur ..

Quand les médias qui dénoncent la perturbation de meetings de Joe Biden par des partisans de Trump

Et ont sorti depuis trois ans les rumeurs les plus infondées sur le président américain …

Dont le tristement célèbre faux dossier Steele, base de l’enquête de la CIA et du FBI sur la campagne 2016 de Trump …

Concocté à partir de ouï-dire et de potins de tiers provenant de sources de bas niveau par un chercheur britannique payé par l’équipe d’Hillary Clinton pour déterrer des boules puantes contre Trump …

Sont les mêmes qui pour protéger « leur candidat » avec l’aide des réseaux sociaux comme Tweeter ou Facebook …

Voire la démission forcée ou les pressions sur leurs propres journalistes …

Refusent depuis des semaines de couvrir sérieusement l’enquête du NY Post …

Sur les mensonges répétés d’un candidat qui face au soi-disant corrompu Trump se présente comme l’ultime Mr Propre …

Concernant sa prétendue ignorance de l’évident trafic d’influence de son fils en Ukraine, Russie ou Chine …

La presse, reflet partisan et accélérateur des divisions américaines

Les médias américains jouissaient d’une opinion favorable chez la majorité des citoyens après l’affaire du Watergate. Mais depuis, leur popularité a fortement dégringolé.

Laure Mandeville
1er novembre 2020

Il y a cinq jours, le reporter d’investigation Glen Greenwald claquait la porte du site américain d’information The Intercept, l’accusant d’avoir censuré un article sur Joe Biden et son fils en retirant «tous les passages critiques». Un développement non sans ironie, soulignait ce journaliste libertarien de gauche, détenteur du prix Pulitzer, notant qu’il avait cofondé ce média en 2014 précisément «pour défendre un journalisme indépendant».

L’article de Greenwald, qui a depuis été publié sur son site personnel, se penche sur l’affaire des courriers électroniques de Hunter Biden, fils du candidat démocrate, accusé par la campagne de Trump d’avoir monnayé l’accès à son père auprès de compagnies privées en Ukraine et en Chine pour s’enrichir, lorsque ce dernier était vice-président des États-Unis. Sans préjuger de la véracité des accusations portées et de l’implication personnelle du candidat démocrate, le journaliste y explique qu’il est absolument nécessaire d’enquêter, vu que l’authenticité des e-mails en question, confirmés par plusieurs destinataires, dont l’un des ex-collaborateurs de Hunter Biden, n’a jamais été démentie, ni par la campagne démocrate ni par la famille.

Accusation de censure

Son article décrit surtout le silence assourdissant de la plupart des médias sur cette affaire lancée dans la mêlée électorale par le tabloïd conservateur New York Post, le premier à publier ces e-mails, qui auraient été récupérés sur un ordinateur portable de Hunter déposé chez un réparateur. «L’union des entités les plus puissantes de la nation, y compris ses médias, a pris des mesures extraordinaires pour enterrer les questions», parce qu’elle est farouchement pro-Biden, dénonce Greenwald, soulignant notamment «la campagne de censure inhabituelle» lancée aussi par Facebook et Twitter contre le New York Post, dont le compte a été provisoirement gelé par Twitter en invoquant la nécessité de «vérifier les faits».

Le journaliste critique aussi avec sévérité la manière dont les médias libéraux «mainstream» auraient accepté l’argument de la campagne de Biden selon lequel cette affaire serait une «opération russe». Il cite notamment l’étonnante publication par le Washington Post d’un avis d’expert qui expédie l’affaire en affirmant que «nous devons traiter les fuites (sur) Hunter Biden comme si elles étaient une opération d’agents extérieurs – même si elles ne le sont pas».

Greenwald, dans son article, note aussi que les quelques membres de la presse généraliste qui ont essayé de discuter ces matériels ont été «vilipendés», comme par exemple la reporter du New York Times Maggie Haberman, affublée sur les réseaux sociaux du nom de «Maga Haberman» («Maga» étant l’acronyme du slogan de campagne de Donald Trump, « Make American Great Again »). «Le journalisme est en crise», alerte-t-il, et «les mêmes tendances à la répression, à la censure et à l’homogénéité idéologique qui empoisonnent la presse nationale en général ont atteint le média que j’ai cofondé». La rédaction de The Intercept a rétorqué qu’il n’y avait eu aucune censure, juste l’édition d’un papier afin de faire en sorte qu’il soit «juste et exact».

La crise qu’évoque Glen Greenwald et la dérive partisane qui s’est emparée de la presse américaine ne datent pas d’hier. Si en 1974, juste après l’affaire du Watergate, les médias jouissaient d’une opinion favorable chez 70 % des citoyens, selon l’institut Gallup, ce chiffre tourne à peine autour de 30 % aujourd’hui, traduisant une dégringolade. «Nous n’écoutons plus», nous confiait la semaine dernière un pasteur lors d’un rassemblement du président, jugeant que ce dernier avait «raison d’utiliser son compte Twitter pour contourner le mur des médias».

Le fer de lance de cette nébuleuse est évidemment la chaîne Fox News, aussi partiale pour Trump que les autres médias le sont contre lui

L’écrasante majorité des journaux et télévisions américains – près de 95 % – avaient déjà pris fait et cause pour Hillary Clinton en 2016. Depuis, rapporte le Centre d’études des médias de Harvard, la couverture de la présidence a été à plus de 90 % négative, l’idée de faire partir Trump avant terme tournant parfois à l’obsession. En 2020, après l’échec de la procédure de destitution du président et les résultats peu concluants de l’enquête sur sa supposée collusion avec la Russie, ces mêmes médias ont tous pris position pour Joe Biden, afin de «renvoyer le pire président des temps modernes», selon le Washington Post.

On estime que sur les 13.000 journalistes en activité aux États-Unis, 80 % se situent dans l’opposition à Trump. Une disproportion qui explique le décalage entre la virulence de la couverture anti-Trump et la «complaisance» du corps journalistique à l’égard de Joe Biden. À la mi-septembre, le site Politico reconnaissait qu’une émission d’ABC avec Donald Trump comme invité avait tourné à l’«interrogatoire hostile», alors que Joe Biden avait droit, sur CNN à «des retrouvailles entre vieux amis».

Pour justifier ce parti pris, la plupart des journalistes invoquent une situation «anormale», qui cessera avec le départ de Trump, principale source de «fausses nouvelles», estiment-ils. «Face à un candidat qui qualifie la presse d’ennemie du peuple, la disparité de traitement est hors sujet», veut croire Gabriel Kahn, professeur de journalisme.

Trump est d’ailleurs loin d’être complètement isolé médiatiquement, puisqu’il bénéficie de la virulence de l’aile conservatrice du paysage médiatique, qui roule pour lui sans complexe. Le fer de lance de cette nébuleuse est évidemment la chaîne Fox News, aussi partiale pour Trump que les autres médias le sont contre lui, avec une mention spéciale pour le show du journaliste vedette Tucker Carlson, qui bat des records d’audience. Derrière Fox se dresse aussi un univers de radios privées conservatrices chrétiennes, qui défendent activement le président.

Ce face-à-face médiatique, qui reflète la division béante de l’Amérique, mais contribue aussi à l’aggraver, existait déjà sous Obama, avec l’opposition systématique de Fox et souvent de la chaîne progressiste MSNBC. Mais la nouveauté des années Trump vient de ce que les médias de la grande presse, jusqu’ici plus distanciés, même s’ils avaient déjà une coloration politique, ont dérivé eux aussi vers le combat, d’une manière plus subtile mais qui n’en reste pas moins problématique. La crise qui traverse le New York Times, «grande dame» du journalisme qui faisait naguère figure de référence incontournable, est à cet égard un résumé du glissement idéologique vers la gauche, au-delà du débat sur Trump.

La question clé de l’histoire

Comme l’ont montré plusieurs épisodes successifs, dont le départ de la journaliste Bari Weiss, accusée de ne pas avoir défendu les canons de «justice sociale», une guerre idéologique gronde en interne entre l’ancienne génération libérale, essentiellement préoccupée de journalisme et de faits, et une jeune génération «woke», qui considère que les préoccupations antiracistes ou antisexistes doivent colorer la couverture. La raison pour laquelle l’ancienne génération, toujours aux commandes mais désireuse d’apparaître inclusive, peine à maintenir l’étalon journalistique est la question clé de l’histoire.

La manière choquante dont le New York Times a par exemple rendu compte de la décapitation du professeur d’histoire Samuel Paty, annonçant que la police avait «tiré et abattu un homme, à la suite d’une attaque au couteau», au lieu de titrer sur le fait majeur de la décapitation de l’enseignant par un islamiste, illustre avec éclat à quel point le prisme antiraciste obsessionnel qui domine le débat aux États-Unis déteint sur sa couverture.

Peu de journaux semblent épargnés. Un journaliste nous confie qu’au Christian Science Monitor, journal plutôt situé à droite, les jeunes reporters exigent désormais des anciens qu’ils fassent des statistiques sur les sources qu’ils citent: femmes, hommes, Noirs, Blancs, Latinos… afin de maintenir une «juste» proportion dans la couverture… La question n’est désormais plus seulement la fiabilité des sources, mais leur origine raciale ou leur genre.

Voir aussi:

Guerre culturelle en Amérique: la dernière chance des conservateurs

DÉCRYPTAGE – Avec l’arrivée de Trump à la présidence, les conservateurs se sont sentis requinqués, presque surpris d’avoir trouvé en ce milliardaire divorcé et incapable de réciter un verset de la Bible, un allié aussi résolu des valeurs chrétiennes.

Laure Mandeville

Il y a quelques jours, Thomas Kligenstein, président de l’Institut Claremont, influent think-tank conservateur californien, prenait solennellement la parole dans une vidéo pour appeler ses compatriotes républicains à comprendre l’enjeu de «l’élection la plus importante que l’Amérique ait connue depuis 1860». «Le parti démocrate chevauche une révolution» qui vise à changer «le projet américain des Pères fondateurs», mettait-il en garde. La bataille présidentielle de 2020 n’est pas «une compétition entre des programmes sur la santé ou la fiscalité, mais une bataille pour deux modes de vie qui ne peuvent coexister pacifiquement», ajoutait-il.

Dans sa vidéo au ton assez dramatique, l’intellectuel conservateur oppose l’approche républicaine, universaliste, mettant en avant les droits individuels des citoyens sans prise en compte de leur couleur de peau, au projet multiculturaliste de la gauche américaine, qui considère la société «non pas comme une communauté d’individus mais comme une collection de groupes culturels communautaires définis par leur race, leur ethnicité ou leur genre». Pour les progressistes, «toutes ces identités sont opprimées par les mâles blancs et leur but est de représenter de manière proportionnelle tous les groupes dans toutes les institutions américaines», affirme Kligenstein, qui avertit que cette obsession d’une représentation proportionnelle «amènerait à une redistribution sans fin de la richesse, qui ne pourrait être réalisée que par un gouvernement tyrannique et omniprésent».

«Les multiculturalistes veulent nous convaincre que l’Amérique se définit par l’esclavage, qu’elle est mauvaise et systémiquement raciste et qu’il faut donc tout changer», ajoute Kligenstein dans sa vidéo. Un constat qui l’amène à plaider pour un vote clair en faveur du président sortant.

L’intellectuel est persuadé qu’un président Biden serait impuissant à arrêter la vague révolutionnaire qui a pris racine dans son parti. Trump, à l’inverse, «ne se sent pas coupable et considère que l’Amérique est bonne» intrinsèquement. Pour cette seule raison, «c’est l’homme providentiel» de la droite, note Kligenstein, reprenant une idée que beaucoup de conservateurs expriment désormais ouvertement, après l’avoir beaucoup critiqué. «Trump n’est pas un président pour tous les temps… Mais pour les temps révolutionnaires que nous vivons, c’est exactement l’homme qu’il nous faut», car il a du «courage, et est capable d’aller là où personne n’ose aller», dit encore le président de l’Institut Claremont, tout en reconnaissant que «ses paroles», «sa mesquinerie», «son esprit de rancune» le font parfois «grincer des dents».

Les multiculturalistes veulent nous convaincre que l’Amérique se définit par l’esclavage, qu’elle est mauvaise et systémiquement raciste et qu’il faut donc tout changer.

Thomas Kligenstein, président de l’Institut Claremont.

Dans la bataille qui se joue en Amérique, on a parfois l’impression que la pandémie du Covid-19 est le thème qui a écrasé tout le reste. Mais cette impression est trompeuse. Les guerres culturelles et la question plus générale de la direction existentielle que prendra le pays sont dans tous les esprits, comme l’exprime la sortie de Kligenstein.

Alors que le 3 novembre approche, les démocrates ne cessent de répéter qu’une réélection du turbulent milliardaire serait une catastrophe pour le pays, sa seule présence à la Maison-Blanche constituant selon eux un danger terrible, qui ouvrirait la voie au chaos et à une dictature rampante. Mais le sentiment d’une apocalypse est aussi très présent sur la droite, où l’on craint que le retour des démocrates aux affaires ne scelle la victoire définitive de la révolution identitariste et multiculturaliste «woke», qui, partie des universités, est en train déborder dans la presse libérale et la gauche du «parti de l’âne». «Nous sommes au bord d’un abîme», affirme le prêtre conservateur catholique Ed Meeks.

La victoire du libéralisme sociétal

Depuis la révolution sociétale des années 1960, qui a vu les idées de la gauche libérale triompher et l’emprise de la religion refluer, les conservateurs se sont toujours sentis sur la défensive, jugeant avoir largement perdu la bataille culturelle, notamment après la décision Roe vs Wade de la Cour suprême autorisant l’avortement dans tous les États. Plusieurs auteurs célèbres, Alan Bloom, Christopher Lasch, ont brillamment décrit ce processus. L’arrivée de Ronald Reagan et sa révolution conservatrice avaient certes réarmé la droite, mais ce «retour de flamme» fut très provisoire.

En réalité, si les conservateurs ont continué à revendiquer les valeurs chrétiennes, le libéralisme sociétal a poursuivi ses avancées, du mariage gay, plutôt bien accepté, à une approche de plus en plus révolutionnaire du genre, qui remet en cause la famille traditionnelle et les différences biologiques entre les sexes, en passant par la bataille pour la «Justice sociale», qui, au nom de la lutte antiraciste et antisexiste, entend rejeter aujourd’hui tout l’héritage intellectuel et culturel occidental.

Certes, avec l’arrivée de Donald Trump à la présidence, les conservateurs se sont sentis requinqués, presque surpris d’avoir trouvé en ce milliardaire divorcé – et incapable de réciter un verset de la Bible -, un allié aussi résolu des «valeurs chrétiennes». L’arrivée de trois nouveaux juges conservateurs à la Cour suprême a galvanisé leurs troupes. Mais le sentiment dominant reste celui d’une planète républicaine sur la défensive.

Trump n’est pas un président pour tous les temps… mais, pour les temps révolutionnaires que nous vivons, c’est exactement l’homme qu’il nous faut.

Thomas Kligenstein, président de l’Institut Claremont.

Après la mort tragique, en pleine campagne électorale, de George Floyd, un Afro-Américain tué par un policier, le débat légitime sur les violences policières a tourné à une discussion sur le racisme supposément «systémique» de la police et des institutions américaines, menant au démantèlement de dizaines de statues de personnalités, sur fond d’émeutes et de violences. Même Lincoln et Frederick Douglas, exemples de l’antiracisme, note Kligenstein, n’ont pas été épargnés, suscitant une inquiétude grandissante chez les conservateurs et nombre de libéraux jusqu’ici accommodants.

Trump a pris position sur ce sujet brûlant dès le mois de juin, dans son discours de Rushmore. Trois mois plus tard, Joe Biden se rendait à Gettysburg, un haut lieu de la guerre civile américaine, pour appeler à l’apaisement. Mais les républicains disent ne pas se sentir rassurés par son approche très conciliante et soulignent que la gauche «woke», qui tient tous les lieux de pouvoir «gramsciens» – l’université, la presse, Hollywood -, pourrait se sentir pousser des ailes.

Même si le phénomène reste peu couvert par la presse américaine, une ambiance révolutionnaire continue d’agiter les campus. Ces derniers jours, l’université de Chicago comme celle de NorthWestern dans l’Illinois, ont notamment été le siège de manifestations violentes et de destructions organisées des groupes d’étudiants de Black Lives Matter, qui revendiquent la dissolution de la police du campus.

Dans une lettre ouverte, le président de Northwestern, Morton Schapiro, s’est indigné du vandalisme et des appels à «tuer les cochons» de policiers des manifestants. Il a expliqué avoir été harcelé par des dizaines d’activistes venus chanter «Va te faire enc… Morty» devant sa maison en pleine nuit. «C’est une abomination», a-t-il écrit, tout en disant soutenir les revendications de justice de Black Lives Matter.

L’un de ses amis a envoyé sa lettre à des dizaines de collègues à travers le pays, les appelant à exprimer leur soutien. Beaucoup de professeurs conservateurs, qui se sentaient déjà isolés, parfois forcés de participer à des réunions pour s’excuser de leur «blanchité», se demandent où s’arrêtera cette radicalisation. Elle les pousse évidemment vers Trump, qui a annulé de semblables programmes en parlant de propagande antiaméricaine.

Voir également:

 

Tom Klingenstein explains why 2020 may be the most consequential election since 1860—and why President Trump is the man most uniquely suited to the moment. Read his entire remarks from the October speech below, via American Greatness.

Klingenstein is a principal in the investment firm of Cohen, Klingenstein, LLC and the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute.

THOMAS KLINGENSTEIN: My name is Tom Klingenstein. I am the chair of the board of the Claremont Institute which is a conservative think tank, managing partner of a New York investment firm and playwright.

I wish to make three points. First, Trump is the perfect man for these times, not all times, perhaps not most times, but these times. Second, Republicans are not doing a good job explaining the stakes in this election. They must explain, and this is my third point, that the Democratic Party, which has been taken by its radical wing, is leading a revolution. This makes the coming election the most important one since the election of 1860. Let’s begin there.

Unlike most elections, this one is much more than a contest over particular policies—like health care or taxes. Rather, like the election of 1860, this election is a contest between two competing regimes, or ways of life. Two ways of life that cannot exist peacefully together.

One way of life, I’ll call it “the traditional American way of life,” is based on individual rights, the rule of law, and a shared understanding of the common good. This way of life values hard work, self-reliance, volunteerism, patriotism, and so on.

In this way of life there are no hyphenated Americans. We are all just Americans. Colorblindness is our aspiration.

The other way of life I call multiculturalism. Others call it “identity politics” or “cultural Marxism” or “Intersectionality”.

The multicultural movement, which has taken over the Democratic party, is a revolutionary movement. I do not mean a metaphorical revolution. It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow the American Founding as President Trump said in his excellent Mt. Rushmore speech. Republicans should say the same thing. Republicans everywhere, at every level, and at every opportunity.

Multiculturalism conceives of society, not as a community of individuals with equal rights but as a collection of cultural identity groups—defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. According to the multiculturalists, all these identity groups are oppressed by white males.

Their goal is to have each identity group proportionally represented in all institutions of American society. As should be immediately clear, achieving this proportional representation requires a never-ending redistribution of wealth and power from some groups—and not just from whites—to other groups. Such a massive redistribution can only be achieved by a tyrannical government and like in all tyrannies, one where dissenters are silenced.

In order to achieve this proportional representation, the Democrats require not just endless affirmative action but genuine socialism, open borders, unrestricted trade, seizing guns, sanctuary cities, and much more.

The Black Lives Matter/Democrats understand (which Republicans seem not to), that if they are to achieve this policy agenda they must get Americans to change their values, their principles, and the way they understand themselves.

They must get us to believe that national borders and colorblindness are racist; that we are not one culture but many; that the most important thing in our history—the thing around which all else pivots—is slavery. More broadly, the multiculturalists must get us to believe that we are unworthy—not just that we have sinned (which of course we have)—but that we are irredeemably sinful, or, in the language of today, “systemically racist.” And sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and all the other “ists” and phobias. Simply put, multiculturalism must get us to believe we are bad

This suggests one way to frame the coming election: as a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good and a man, Biden, who is controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. I do not think it is any more complicated than that.

For the multiculturalist to change traditional values and principles they must destroy, or radically restructure, the institutions that teach those values and principles. The most important of these institutions is family, but also very important is religion, education (which they have mostly destroyed already) and community life, replacing the latter with government bureaucrats. It is here—in these value-teaching institutions—that we see the underpinnings of the Revolution. This is where the real action is. Republicans seem to be missing in action.

Republicans need to explain that BLM and their Democratic enablers wish to destroy the traditional mother-father family. To substantiate this claim, Republicans have only to point to the BLM mission statement. The mission statement, written by avowed Marxists, also lets us know that BLM holds transgenderism to be the burning issue of our time.

Republicans must also explain that religion, because it teaches American values, is also on the chopping block.

Republicans also must make American see that the taking down of statues is not about removing a few confederate generals; it’s about destroying America’s past, as is the New York Times 1619 Project. The rioters, and their BLM-Democrats enablers, are tearing down the statues even of people like Frederick Douglass who fought against slavery. This is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. Frederick Douglass was a great American. He believed that America in her soul was not racist. He believed in hard work and self-reliance. And because of his embrace of American values the BLM-Democrats have to get rid of him.

They must also get rid of Abraham Lincoln, for it is he who best explains what we should aspire to. And it is he who is the best defender of the American Founding. In one sense, this election is a referendum on the Founding. Whether America was founded in 1619, as the BLM-Democrats contend, or, in 1776 as Lincoln, and, until recently, all Americans believed.

Republicans must make more of political correctness and cancel culture, which, as we have seen so vividly of late, brutally punishes apostates.

Who does Twitter think it is, censoring an American president? Republicans simply cannot stand for that.

And Republicans must explain, as I earlier explained, that the multiculturalists are trying to get us to believe that we are systemically racist so that we will surrender to their policy agenda. This too must not be allowed to stand. The American people need to hear what they know in their hearts: they are not racists. Republicans should stand up and say, “no, America is not racist.” Period.

If Americans are systemically anything, it is a systemic commitment to freedom and equal rights for all.

Perhaps most importantly, Republicans must say over and over that America is “incredible,” to use President Trump’s adjective of choice. They must remind the American people that, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, America has brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any country in the history of mankind. Most Americans know this, but this too they need to hear from their leaders.

In order to make the case that the Democrats are leading a revolution, Republicans must delegitimize Black Lives Matter—the organization, of course, not the sentiment. To BLM and their Democratic enablers, Republicans must say: “Absolutely, black lives matter. They just don’t matter to you. You don’t care about Mr. Floyd, the black businesses you have destroyed, the blacks who are getting killed because you have forced the police to back off. You’re here for destruction. Not black lives, not any lives.”

After delegitimizing Black Lives Matter, the next step for Republicans is to tie BLM’s revolutionary agenda around the necks of Democrats.

The BLM wing of the Democratic party has captured the entire party. Run-of-the-mill Democrats may not agree with all of the BLM agenda but they go-along, so they might as well agree. Joe Biden is one of the go-along Democrats.

So do not expect all Democrats to sing the BLM tune; even so, most will kneel before them.

Listen to Biden. On one occasion Biden said, “Let’s be clear, transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.” A year ago, Biden may not have even known what transgenderism is. He does not seem to know it, but he has been radicalized.

Biden now regularly talks about “systemic” racism. On one occasion Biden said, though without evidence, there is “absolutely systemic racism in law enforcement.” “[But] it’s not just in law enforcement,” he continued, “it’s across the board. It’s in housing, it’s in education . . . It’s in everything we do.”

He is wrong on every count, but if indeed he believes that racism is in “everything we do,” that it is systemic, then he believes, whether he admits or not, that the system must be overturned. Biden does not realize it, but he is calling for the overthrow of the American way of life. I presume that is not his intent, but when the words he is reading off his BLM teleprompter get translated into policy, that will be the consequence — the destruction of the American way of life.

Biden demurs. There is nothing to fear from Biden says Biden: “Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?” No, he does not, but what he does look like is a sap.

Republicans must make it clear that these are the “Biden riots.”

This brings me to my last point: Trump. I know President Trump has many faults. I myself sometimes cringe listening to him. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy. He is a braggart, often misinformed, petty, sometimes even vengeful. And more.

And yet, we are very lucky to have him. I am almost prepared to say that having him is Providential. How else to explain that we find ourselves with this most unusual, most unpresidential man who has just the attributes most needed for this moment. At any other time, he might well have been a bad president. But in these times—these revolutionary times—he is the best president we could have had.

He has the indispensable attribute of a leader: courage. As a leader must, he goes where others are afraid to go. And he has common sense, which means he generally wants to go to the right place.

Above all else, and above anyone else, Trump is committed to America. He is unreservedly, unquestionably pro-America. He feels no guilt for America’s past. He makes no apologies. He concedes nothing. These may not always be the attributes one wants in a President, but in this day of woke guilt they are the most essential things. And Trump has unlimited confidence in America. In this time of national doubt, this too is just what the doctor ordered. He thinks our culture is “incredible” and that’s the way he wants to keep it.

Trump not only thinks America is incredible, he knows we are in a fight for our lives.

And despite what one hears ad nauseum from the Democrats, Trump is perhaps among the least racist presidents we have ever had. Trump is not defending the white way of life; he is defending the American way of life, a colorblind way of life which is open to anyone who is willing to embrace it.

If we want to save our country, then we should support him—unequivocally. I am. I think this election is that important, and I think Trump is that good. I hope you agree.

Remember, Trump versus Biden is the choice between a man who believes America is good and a man who is controlled by a movement which believes America is bad.

Joe Biden s’en prend aux «  affreux » partisans de Trump qui ont perturbé son rassemblement au Minnesota à coup de klaxons de voiture
Business insider
31 octobre  2020

Joe Biden, a qualifié une foule de partisans de Trump de « gens laids » après avoir tenté d’interrompre son rassemblement de campagne en faisant sonner leurs klaxons de voiture, en sonnant des cloches et en scandant. « Le Dr Fauci a appelé à un mandat de masque la semaine dernière, ce n’est pas une déclaration politique comme ces gens laids là-bas qui bipent leurs cornes, c’est un devoir patriotique pour l’amour de Dieu », a déclaré Biden au-dessus du bruit. Le rassemblement électoral de Biden au Minnesota survient alors que les deux campagnes prennent d’assaut les principaux États du champ de bataille dans une tentative de dernière minute de rallier le soutien avant le jour des élections. Visitez la page d’accueil de Business Insider pour plus d’histoires . Le candidat démocrate du, Joe Biden, a critiqué vendredi une foule de partisans de Trump qui perturbaient son rassemblement de campagne à Saint-Paul, dans le Minnesota, les qualifiant de «laids» qui n’étaient «pas très polis

Vidéos du rallye montrent Biden essayant de parler au-dessus d’un groupe de partisans de Trump qui se tenaient devant les portes de l’événement, bipant les klaxons de leur voiture, sonnant des cloches et scandant «Joe est un escroc».

Le rallye drive-in, organisé dans un parking, était sur invitation seulement.

Conformément aux précautions contre la pandémie et, comme la plupart des événements de la campagne de Biden , le petit groupe de participants devait se distancer socialement et se garer à environ 10 à 20 pieds l’un de l’autre.

Cependant, un groupe de partisans sans masque de Trump s’était rassemblé près des portes à l’extérieur du parking, chahutant l’ancien vice-président alors qu’il tentait de parler de la pandémie COVID-19.

« Le Dr Fauci a demandé l’obligation du port du masque la semaine dernière, ce n’est pas une déclaration politique comme ces malfaisants là-bas avec leurs klaxons, c’est un devoir patriotique pour l’amour de Dieu », a déclaré Biden, selon une vidéo de l’événement.

« Ces gars ne sont pas très polis mais ils sont comme Trump. Mais écoutez, ils iront bien. Nous allons nous occuper d’eux aussi. Nous devons nous unir, nous battre pour tout ça.,les gars », a ajouté Biden.

« Il y a une raison pour laquelle ils ne veulent pas m’entendre parce qu’ils savent que le président ne dit rien. Ils ont donc l’habitude de ne rien entendre. »

Regardez le moment ci-dessous:

—Charlie Kirk (@ charliekirk11) 31 octobre 2020 Voici un aperçu de la scène en face des portes, qui semblaient paisibles.

– Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) 30 octobre 2020 Le rassemblement électoral de Biden dans le Minnesota survient alors que sa campagne et celle de Trump prennent d’assaut les États du champ de bataille du Midwest dans une tentative de dernière minute pour rallier le soutien avant le jour des élections mardi.

Biden a commencé la journée avec un événement dans l’Iowa, puis a prononcé deux discours dans le Minnesota.

Il doit comparaître samedi avec l’ancien président Barack Obama dans le Michigan pour « discuter du rapprochement des Américains pour faire face aux crises auxquelles le pays est confronté », a annoncé la campagne Biden, selon CNN.

Pendant ce temps, Trump se concentre sur les États industriels historiquement démocratiques tels que le Michigan, le Wisconsin et la Pennsylvanie dans les prochains jours.

Il s’est également exprimé vendredi dans le Minnesota, qui n’a pas voté pour un candidat républicain à la présidentielle depuis 1972.

Voir également:

Présidentielle américaine : que cache l' »affaire Hunter Biden », que le camp Trump remet sur le tapis ?

En pleine campagne pour l’élection présidentielle, le fils cadet de Joe Biden est la cible de rumeurs colportées par Donald Trump et une partie du camp républicain. Mais les preuves formelles manquent.

Benoît Zagdoun
France Télévisions

« La famille Biden est une entreprise criminelle », martèle-t-il dans ses meetings. « Enfermez-le », scandent ses supporters à propos de Joe Biden, comme ils le clamaient déjà en 2016 au sujet d’Hillary Clinton. A la traîne dans les intentions de vote, Donald Trump accuse son rival à la présidentielle américaine de corruption. Et pour atteindre le père, il vise le fils cadet : Hunter Biden.

Ses manœuvres sont apparues au grand jour en septembre 2019, lorsque le contenu d’un coup de fil avec son homologue ukrainien a été révélé. Le locataire de la Maison Blanche semblait lui demander de lancer une enquête sur Hunter et Joe Biden dans son pays, avec, dans la balance, le versement d’une aide américaine.

Ces révélations ont valu à Donald Trump un procès en destitution. Il a évité l' »impeachment » et le dossier Hunter Biden a été enterré quelques mois. Mais il a ressurgi dans les dernières semaines de la campagne, alimenté par de nouvelles révélations douteuses. Franceinfo démêle le vrai du « fake » dans cette prétendue « affaire Hunter Biden ».

Hunter Biden serait lié à un réseau de trafic sexuel 

Les accusations du camp Trump. « Hunter Biden a payé des femmes non résidentes ressortissantes de Russie ou d’autres pays d’Europe de l’Est et qui semblent être liées à un ‘réseau de prostitution ou de traite des êtres humains en Europe de l’Est’. » Cette accusation figure dans un rapport(*tous les liens qui suivent dans cet article sont en anglais) sur les activités d’Hunter Biden, publié le 23 septembre par les comités sénatoriaux de la Sécurité intérieure et des Finances, tous deux dirigés par des républicains. Elle a été relayée sur Facebook par de nombreux internautes, comme celle-ci.

Les arguments du camp Biden. Les élus conservateurs promettaient depuis un an des révélations explosives sur les affaires du fils cadet de Joe Biden. Mais ils se sont contentés de publier, à six semaines de la présidentielle, 87 pages compilant des informations déjà rendues publiques et des insinuations reposant sur des preuves plutôt légères, note Politico. Des allégations sans preuves, qui résonnent comme un écho de la campagne de désinformation en provenance de Russie, relève le New York Times.

Il faut se référer à une note de bas de page du rapport pour en savoir un peu plus. Sa lecture atténue considérablement la portée de l’accusation. Les sénateurs écrivent que celle-ci repose sur des documents en leur possession, mais qu’ils ne produisent pas. Le résumé qu’ils en font est truffé de formules comme « possible », « supposée », « potentielle », « qui semble être »… Interrogé sur cette accusation précise par une animatrice de radio conservatrice à la publication du rapport, l’un des deux sénateurs, Ron Johnson, a reconnu qu’ils n’avaient « pas beaucoup d’informations à ce sujet ».

Il a été question de prostitution dans la vie de Hunter Biden, en 2017, lorsque, en plein divorce, son ex-épouse Kathleen Buhle Biden a porté plainte en justice contre lui pour avoir dépensé leur argent « de manière extravagante » en « drogue, alcool, prostituées, clubs de strip-tease et cadeaux à des femmes avec lesquelles il avait des relations sexuelles », rapportait Associated Press. Hunter Biden a nié avoir engagé des prostituées, indiquait le New Yorker en 2019.

Hunter Biden aurait reçu 3,5 millions de dollars de la femme de l’ex-maire de Moscou

Les accusations du camp Trump. « Hunter Biden a reçu un transfert d’argent de 3,5 millions de dollars de la part d’Elena Batourina, l’épouse de l’ancien maire de Moscou. » Là encore, l’accusation est tirée du rapport des sénateurs. Elle a été reprise par Donald Trump, quatre jours plus tard dans une conférence de presse, le président faisant mine de s’interroger sur les raisons de ce paiement.

Les arguments du camp Biden. En regardant le rapport de plus près, on lit qu’Elena Batourina a versé 3,5 millions de dollars non pas sur le compte en banque de Hunter Biden, mais sur celui de Rosemont Seneca Thornton, une entreprise de conseil en investissements, dont les sénateurs disent qu’elle a été cofondée par le fils cadet de Joe Biden. Le paiement, survenu en février 2014, aurait rémunéré un contrat de consultant. Les sénateurs glissent au passage qu’Elena Batourina semblait avoir bénéficié des pratiques corrompues de son mari. Mais rien n’y dit que Hunter Biden ait touché ne serait-ce qu’une partie de cet argent.

Comme la précédente, cette accusation repose sur des documents que les sénateurs ne dévoilent pas. Impossible à vérifier donc. Mais les membres démocrates des commissions ayant examiné ces documents assurent à Politifact que rien ne relie Hunter Biden à cette transaction ni à l’entreprise bénéficiaire.

L’avocat de Hunter Biden affirme également que son client n’a jamais touché cet argent et qu’il n’a jamais cofondé l’entreprise en question. Le cadet de Joe Biden a bien cocréé une société baptisée Rosemont Seneca en 2009, mais rien ne permet de dire, d’après Politifact, que les deux entreprises sont les mêmes.

Hunter Biden aurait présenté un homme d’affaires ukrainien à son père

Les accusations du camp Trump. « Un e-mail explosif révèle comment Hunter Biden a présenté un homme d’affaires ukrainien à son papa vice-président. » Tel est le titre de l’article du New York Post paru le 14 octobre, propageant la dernière rumeur en date sur Hunter et Joe Biden.

D’après les informations du tabloïd, un conseiller du directoire de Burisma, une entreprise ukrainienne productrice de gaz naturel, a envoyé l’e-mail suivant au fils cadet de Joe Biden en avril 2015 : « Cher Hunter, merci de m’avoir invité à [Washington] DC et de m’avoir donné l’opportunité de rencontrer votre père et d’avoir passé du temps ensemble. C’est vraiment un honneur et un plaisir. »

A l’époque, Joe Biden est le vice-président de Barack Obama et, contrairement à ses prédécesseurs, il joue un rôle important au sein de l’administration, notamment en matière de politique étrangère. Il est notamment chargé du dossier ukrainien, au moment où les tensions entre Kiev et Moscou se tendent après la chute du président pro-russe ukrainien en 2014. A la même période, son fils cadet, Hunter, est recruté au sein du conseil d’administration de Burisma, entreprise détenue par un ancien ministre de l’ex-pouvoir pro-russe, Mykola Vladislavovytch Zlotchevski, inquiété par la justice. Le nouveau job du fils du vice-président fait craindre des conflits d’intérêts à la Maison Banche, rapportent Reuters et le New York Times.

Les arguments du camp Biden. La genèse de ce scoop est tellement rocambolesque qu’elle soulève des questions sur l’authenticité de cet e-mail, dont le New York Post ne produit qu’une image. Tout commence en avril 2019 dans un magasin d’informatique de Wilmington, la ville du Delaware où Joe Biden a débuté sa carrière politique et où il vit toujours.

Le commerçant raconte qu’un ordinateur portable a été déposé dans sa boutique de réparation, relate le Washington Post. L’homme, bien qu’il admette être aveugle, assure avoir reconnu son client : Hunter Biden. Trois mois s’écoulent et l’ordinateur est toujours là. Intrigué, le commerçant déclare avoir fait une copie du disque dur et l’avoir envoyée à Rudolph Giuliani, l’avocat personnel de Donald Trump. Et l’ancien maire de New York de faire suivre ce matériau au New York Post.

Rudy Giuliani essaie de longue date d’obtenir des informations croustillantes sur Hunter Biden. A tel point qu’il a été régulièrement en contact avec un avocat ukrainien, qui s’est avéré être un agent du renseignement russe depuis des décennies, répandant de fausses informations en lien avec la présidentielle, selon les autorités fédérales américaines, rappelle Business Insider.

Du côté des Biden, on dément toute rencontre. L’avocat de Hunter Biden déclare au Washington Post qu’il « sai[t] avec certitude que cette prétendue rencontre n’a jamais eu lieu ». Le porte-parole de la campagne de Joe Biden affirme lui aussi qu’il n’y a aucune trace d’un tel rendez-vous dans l’agenda du vice-président en 2015. Les membres de son équipe d’alors n’en ont aucun souvenir non plus.

L’ex-conseiller en politique étrangère de Joe Biden, qui dit avoir assisté à « toutes ses réunions sur l’Ukraine », garantit que l’ex-vice-président « n’a jamais rencontré ce type ». « En fait, je n’avais jamais entendu parler de ce type jusqu’à ce que l’histoire du New York Post éclate », tranche-t-il. L’ambassadeur américain en Ukraine, qui travaillait en lien étroit avec Joe Biden, ne trouve lui non plus aucune trace de cet individu. Même le rapport – pourtant à charge – des sénateurs républicains n’en parle pas. Reste la possibilité d’une poignée de mains et de quelques mots échangés entre deux portes au détour d’un événement quelconque.

Au vu de ces éléments, Twitter comme Facebook ont choisi de réduire la visibilité de cette information suspecte, limitant ses partages comme ceux de posts l’évoquant.

Joe Biden aurait exigé la démission d’un procureur ukrainien pour protéger son fils

Les accusations du camp Trump. « On parle beaucoup du fils de Biden, du fait que Biden a arrêté la procédure, et beaucoup de gens veulent savoir, ce serait donc formidable si vous pouviez faire quelque chose avec le procureur général. (…) Biden s’est vanté d’avoir arrêté l’accusation, alors si vous pouviez vous renseigner (…) Tout ça me semble horrible. » Voici ce que Donald Trump glisse à l’oreille de son homologue ukrainien Volodymyr Zelensky en juillet 2019, au cours d’un coup de fil dont la retranscription a fuité. Le président américain sous-entend que Joe Biden, lorsqu’il était vice-président de Barack Obama, aurait fait pression pour qu’une enquête judiciaire visant son cadet Hunter Biden en Ukraine cesse. A l’époque, l’avocat personnel de Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, ne manque pas une occasion de porter cette accusation lui aussi.

Les arguments du camp Biden. En 2015, l’Ukraine, dont le pouvoir pro-russe a été renversé par un soulèvement populaire un an plus tôt, se dote d’un nouveau procureur général : Viktor Chokine. Celui-ci hérite notamment des dossiers visant le groupe gazier Burisma, où travaille Hunter Biden, et son patron, Mykola Zlochevsky. Mais un an plus tard seulement, Viktor Chokine est débarqué.

L’administration Obama a bien fait pression pour son renvoi, mais elle n’était pas la seule. L’Union européenne et le FMI y étaient favorables. Steven Pifer, qui a suivi le dossier ukrainien sous les administrations Clinton et Bush fils, estime dans Politifact que « tout le monde avait le sentiment que Chokine ne faisait pas son travail et devait être renvoyé ». Un point de vue partagé par Daria Kaleniuk, qui dirige l’Anti-Corruption Action Center en Ukraine. Chokine était accusé de couvrir la corruption et de saboter les réformes. Les dossiers Burisma et Zlochevsky étaient eux aussi au point mort, confirme à Bloomberg un ancien adjoint de Chokine, Vitaly Kasko.

Iouri Loutsenko, le successeur de Shokin, déclare à Bloomberg que ni Burisma ni Hunter Biden ne sont visés par des enquêtes en Ukraine. « Hunter Biden n’a violé aucune loi ukrainienne – du moins pour le moment, nous ne voyons aucun acte répréhensible », assure-t-il. Iouri Loutsenko confie aussi avoir rencontré l’avocat personnel de Donald Trump pour évoquer le sujet du fils Biden, mais avoir finalement décidé qu’il n’y avait pas de raisons d’ouvrir une enquête contre lui. Il a été limogé, quelques semaines après le coup de fil de Donald Trump au président ukrainien.

« A aucun moment je n’ai discuté avec mon père des affaires de la société ou de mes services au conseil, y compris de ma décision initiale de rejoindre le conseil », a juré dans le New York Times son fils Hunter en mai 2019. « Je n’ai jamais parlé à mon fils de ses relations d’affaires à l’étranger », a confirmé Joe Biden en septembre 2019.

Hunter Biden aurait profité du statut de son père pour faire des affaires en Chine

Les accusations du camp Trump. Depuis des mois, Donald Trump et son camp attaquent Joe Biden en le taxant d’être « une marionnette de la Chine ». Ils pointent les bonnes affaires réalisées par le fils cadet du candidat démocrate. Ils avancent la somme astronomique d’1,5 milliard de dollars, accusent Hunter Biden d’avoir « utilisé son nom » pour obtenir ces contrats et blâment son père pour l’avoir « laissé faire ».

Ces accusations trouvent leur source dans un documentaire diffusé par TheBlaze, un site conservateur. Le film s’appuie sur un livre à charge paru en 2019, signé Peter Schweizer : Empires secrets : comment la classe politique américaine cache la corruption et enrichit la famille et les amis.

Les arguments du camp Biden. En juin 2013, Hunter Biden s’associe à un homme d’affaires chinois, Jonathan Li. Avec d’autres partenaires, ils créent un fonds d’investissements : BHR. Hunter Biden siège au conseil d’administration, mais sans y être rémunéré, raconte le New Yorker. En décembre, son père est en visite à Pékin. Il vient y rencontrer le président Xi Jinping. D’après un représentant de BHR interrogé par le New Yorker, Hunter arrange une entrevue entre son associé et son père. Li peut ainsi serrer la main du vice-président dans le hall de l’hôtel de la délégation américaine. Rien de plus, assure l’avocat de Hunter Biden.

Au sein de l’équipe du vice-président, certains ont fait part de leur embarras face à ce mélange des genres. Mais ils confient ne pas oser en parler au vice-président. Plusieurs experts en politique étrangère, sollicités par Politifact, jugent eux aussi que Hunter Biden a placé à cette occasion son père dans une position délicate.

La somme de 1,5 milliard de dollars évoquée par le camp Trump apparaît dans un article du Wall Street Journal en juillet 2014. Celui-ci évoque un objectif de levée de fonds. A ce moment-là, Hunter Biden avait déjà quitté la Chine depuis six mois. L’avocat du fils Biden assure que cette somme colossale n’a jamais été atteinte et que l’opération s’est arrêtée à 4,2 millions de dollars. L’avocat de Hunter Biden assure à Politifact que son client n’a pris des parts dans BHR qu’en octobre 2017, après la fin des fonctions de son père au sein de l’administration américaine. Il a acquis 10% du fonds, pour un montant de 420 000 dollars.

Voir de même:

Facebook admet qu’il a bloqué «  incorrectement  » certaines publicités politiques en raison de «  problèmes techniques  », la campagne de Joe Biden le critiquant pour être «  totalement non préparé ‘
30 octobre  2020
Source: businessinsider.com

Facebook a « incorrectement » bloqué certaines publicités politiques en raison de « problèmes techniques » lors de la mise en œuvre de son interdiction des nouvelles publicités dans la semaine précédant le jour du scrutin, a déclaré la société dans un article de blog jeudi. Facebook a déclaré qu’il s’agissait d’un processus automatisé et qu ‘ »aucune publicité n’a été suspendue ou rejetée par une personne, ou en raison de considérations partisanes ». Plus tôt jeudi, la campagne de Biden avait critiqué Facebook après que des milliers de ses publicités aient été bloquées, affirmant qu’elle n’avait « aucune idée de l’ampleur du problème, des personnes qu’il affecte et de leur plan pour le résoudre ». « Il est tout à fait clair que Facebook n’était pas du tout préparé à gérer cette élection malgré quatre ans pour se préparer », a déclaré la campagne à Business Insider dans un communiqué.

Facebook a admis jeudi qu’il avait « indûment » restreint ou interrompu certaines publicités sur des problèmes politiques et sociaux en raison de problèmes techniques avec ses systèmes de vérification des publicités.

Voir de plus:

The Hunter Biden Business
Joe’s son was trading on his father’s name and position to cash in
The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 15, 2020

Count Sen. Ron Johnson among those not surprised that the press is ignoring a New York Post report about emails said to be from Hunter Biden’s laptop that suggest he introduced his father the Vice President to a representative of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. Or that Twitter and Facebook would run interference for the Bidens by banishing the Post dispatch from their platforms.

Something similar happened last month when Mr. Johnson’s Homeland Security Committee and Chuck Grassley’s Finance Committee dropped a joint report on Hunter Biden’s financial dealings overseas. The committees tracked the heartburn the younger Mr. Biden’s involvement with Burisma caused the Obama Administration and dug up intriguing tidbits—such as a $3.5 million wire transfer from a Russian billionaire who had been married to the former mayor of Moscow.

Most news accounts dismissed the Senate findings as offering no proof that either Biden did anything criminal. What a low bar. The report mentions, for example, a $100,000 spending spree for Hunter Biden, James Biden (the Vice President’s brother) and Sara Biden (the Vice President’s sister-in-law) financed by Gongwen Dong, a Chinese businessman with ties to China’s largest private oil and gas company.

Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board was concerning enough within the Obama Administration that two U.S. officials, George Kent and Amos Hochstein, complained about it. Mr. Kent had been Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. In 2016 he emailed colleagues that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” At the least, the Senate report notes, Mr. Biden’s financial dealings raised “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns.

There’s also whether it affected U.S. policy. In a September 2015 speech in Odessa, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt specifically named Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Ukraine official who is also owner of Burisma Holdings, as involved in Ukraine’s corruption. But three months later, Joe Biden advisers told him to avoid mentioning Zlochevsky in a speech. The question is whether his son’s presence on Mr. Zlochevsky’s board affected that decision.

The Biden campaign says there was no meeting with the Ukrainian in question on Joe Biden’s official schedule. That doesn’t mean much: The January 2017 Oval Office meeting with Barack Obama and James Comey wasn’t on his official schedule either.

Even so, the information unearthed by the committee suggests that Mr. Biden knew much more about his son’s involvement with Burisma than what he let on. Though he says he never discussed Hunter’s overseas business deals with his son, he certainly discussed them with Mr. Hochstein, who came to the Vice President in October 2015 with his concerns. At best Joe Biden had a see-nothing-wrong approach to his son; less generously, it was a wink and a nod of tacit approval.

The Senate report further suggests that John Kerry, who served as Secretary of State at the time and whose stepson Chris Heinz was a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, was also not truthful when he said he knew nothing about it.

Assuming the emails turned up by the New York Post are real, they provide significant detail about Hunter Biden’s way of doing business. Even if it wasn’t illegal, it was a classic example of Beltway influence-peddling for profit off his father’s name and position.

This is a legitimate story with important information for voters who are being asked to trust Joe Biden for a return to normalcy. We doubt this is the kind of Washington self-interest and dishonesty as usual that most Americans have in mind.

Voir encore:

Here’s what happened when NBC News tried to report on the alleged Hunter Biden emails

Analysis: Trump complains the media isn’t reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails. But NBC News met obstacles, including Rudy Giuliani, when it tried.
NBC

The complaints from President Donald Trump and his allies have been growing louder as the election approaches: Why isn’t the mainstream media covering the Hunter Biden laptop story?

Trump and his allies say there is evidence of corruption in emails and documents allegedly found on a laptop belonging to Democrat Joe Biden’s son. They say those and other documents show that Hunter Biden used his father’s influence to enrich himself through business deals in Ukraine and China, and that his father not only facilitated that, but may have benefited financially.

But the Wall Street Journal and Fox News — among the only news organizations that have been given access to key documents — found that the emails and other records don’t make that case. Leaving aside the many questions about their provenance, the materials offered no evidence that Joe Biden played any role in his son’s dealings in China, let alone profited from them, both news organizations concluded.

As to Ukraine, a single email published by the New York Post suggests Joe Biden may have had a meeting with a representative of a Ukrainian company that employed his son. Trump and his allies alleged that means Joe Biden has lied when he said he never discussed his son’s business roles. The Biden campaign denies the meeting happened.

The lack of major new revelations is perhaps the biggest reason the story has not gotten traction, but not the only one. Among others: Most mainstream news organizations, including NBC News, have not been granted access to the documents. NBC News asked by email, text, phone call and certified mail, and was ultimately denied.

And, although no evidence has emerged that the documents are the product of Russian disinformation, as some experts initially suggested, many questions remain about how the materials got into the hands of Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has met with Russian agents in his effort to dig dirt on the Bidens.

U.S. intelligence agencies have informed the White House that Giuliani has been in contact with alleged Russian intelligence agents. The FBI has been looking into whether the Russians played any role, and no official has ruled that out.

At the same time, dozens of former intelligence officials have said the story has the hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation. After the election interference of 2016, the news media is especially wary of doing anything to further an effort by a foreign government to intervene in a presidential campaign.

Another factor tamping down coverage of the story is that there isn’t much new in what the laptop documents appear to reveal. The allegation that Hunter Biden has traded on his family name has been thoroughly explored in previous news stories, including a lengthy New Yorker investigation last year in which Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him.” Reports published while the elder Biden was still vice president raised ethical questions about the Burisma deal.

While the question of whether Joe Biden enabled his son to profit from the vice president’s influence is relevant to the presidential campaign, issues of balance and proportionality also come into play.

Trump, according to the same good government advocates who have criticized Hunter Biden, is ethically challenged when it comes to appearing to use the power of his office to enrich himself and his family. David Farenthold of The Washington Post has used federal and other records to calculate that the federal government has spent at least $2.5 million on food and lodging at Trump properties since Trump took office. Earlier this month, Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska who is up for re-election, told supporters that Trump’s family “has treated the presidency like a business opportunity.”

Yet stories about Trump’s children and their business dealings are not dominating the news cycle in the days before the election, because they have already been covered, just as the Hunter Biden story has been covered. (Trump’s tax information, on the other hand, has been covered extensively by The New York Times, because the secret tax data obtained by the newspaper revealed important new information about his tax payments and his business dealings.)

‘No role for Joe Biden’

The first story about the Hunter Biden laptop appeared in the New York Post, a conservative tabloid. One of the bylines was that of a former producer for Fox News pundit Sean Hannity.

The New York Times reported that a Post reporter who did much of the work declined to allow his byline to appear on the story.

The Times also reported that the Trump campaign initially shopped the story to the Wall Street Journal, hoping that a mainstream news organization would validate their assertions that the documents hinted at corruption.

The Journal didn’t do that.

The Journal published a story focusing on claims about an alleged deal proposal in China — claims made by a former Hunter Biden associate named Tony Bobulinski, who came forward after the laptop story broke to say that the senior Biden was well aware of his son’s arrangements.

After examining text messages provided by Bobulinski, the Journal reported that “the venture — set up in 2017 after Mr. Biden left the vice presidency and before his presidential campaign — never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals, according to people familiar with the matter. Corporate records…show no role for Joe Biden.”

Fox News, meanwhile said it “reviewed emails from Bobulinski related to the venture — and they don’t show that the elder Biden had business dealings with SinoHawk Holdings, or took any payments from them or the Chinese.”

An NBC News correspondent asked Bobulinski for an interview and for copies of documents in his possession, but he declined.

“All of your questions will be answered on Tucker Carlson tonight,” Bobulinski wrote on Oct. 27.

On air, to make his case that Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings, Bobulinski described an encounter he says he had with the senior Biden.

At a meeting in May 2017 in Los Angeles, Bobulinski says Hunter Biden introduced him to the former vice president, saying: “This is Tony, dad, the individual I told you about that’s helping us with the business we are working and the Chinese.”

Even if that statement was made, it says very little about how much Joe Biden knew, and nothing about whether he was involved.

The Biden campaign has denied that Biden knew about the venture or stood to profit from it.

The laptop

NBC News has sought to obtain the documents on the alleged Hunter Biden laptop, but has been rebuffed.

An NBC News correspondent sent a letter two weeks ago to Giuliani, seeking copies of the materials.

His lawyer, Robert Costello, granted the correspondent the opportunity to review some Hunter Biden emails and other materials in person. The materials included copies of Hunter Biden identification documents that appeared to be genuine. But without taking possession of the copies, it was not possible to conduct the sort of forensic analysis that might help authenticate the emails and documents.

It was Giuliani who ultimately told NBC News he would not be providing a copy of the hard drive. NBC News responded by asking if, instead of a full copy of the hard drive, he could just provide copies of the full set of emails. Giuliani did not agree to that proposal. NBC News then declined an offer of copies of a small group of emails.

NBC News has also requested the documents from Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, but has not received a response.

Key questions remain about the origins of the laptop and how it got into Giuliani’s hands.

The owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, John Paul Mac Isaac, has said a man he believes was Hunter Biden left a water-damaged Apple computer at his shop in April 2019 for repairs and data recovery.

But Biden never retrieved the machine, Mac Isaac has said, and at some point he began to examine the data. He said he found material that disturbed him, though he has never publicly explained what that was. His lawyer said he contacted the FBI, which ultimately served a grand jury subpoena for the laptop and a hard drive.

After hearing nothing from the FBI for months, Mac Isaac said he grew frustrated and turned a copy of the laptop’s contents over to Giuliani’s lawyer.

A representative for Giuliani said one of Giuliani’s companies received an e-mail from Mac Isaac saying he had the laptop and thought Giuliani should be aware of its contents. The representative said Mac Isaac provided a copy of the hard drive to Giuliani’s team.

According to the representative, Mac Isaac said he wrote to Giuliani’s team after trying to reach out to Republican members of Congress without success.

Giuliani’s attorney said Mac Isaac did not ask for or receive payment for the copy of the drive.

The subpoena, which was published by the New York Post, was signed by a federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Wilmington.

A photo of a receipt provided to Mac Isaac by FBI agents was published on the Fox News website. It contained an FBI code, 272D, which the bureau uses to signify an investigation into money laundering where the unlawful activity is unknown.

U.S. officials have refused to explain why they seized the laptops and what, if anything, they are investigating.

NBC News attempted to speak to Mac Isaac, but he did not respond to requests for comment. NBC News published an article quoting responses he had given to The Daily Beast. His lawyer then sent NBC News a letter that said, “Your network and affiliates should cease any further discussion of Mr. Mac Isaac as much of the information you are presenting is false.”

James Rosen, a reporter for the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest operator of local television stations, reported this week that a Justice Department official told him the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden and his associates last year focused on allegations of money-laundering — and that the probe remains active.

NBC News has not confirmed any such investigation.

Rosen also reported that the FBI interviewed former Biden associate Bobulinski last week.

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that Bobulinski initiated the interview.

Bobulinski said the FBI told him he’s “listed as a material witness,” but law enforcement officials say the FBI does not use that term in this context.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News. He has not asserted — nor has the Biden campaign — that the laptop did not belong to Hunter Biden.

If he did leave the machine in Delaware, it would have marked at least the second time he has left behind a laptop.

According to two people familiar with the matter, a different Hunter Biden laptop landed in the custody of the DEA in February when they executed a search warrant on the Massachusetts office of a psychiatrist accused of professional misconduct. The psychiatrist has not been charged with a crime.

Hunter Biden was not a target of the search or the investigation, and his lawyer ultimately got his laptop back. It’s not clear why his computer was left in the doctor’s office.

Melissa Russo and Jonathan Dienst contributed

Voir aussi :

Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?
Joe Biden’s son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life.
Adam Entous
The New Yorker
July 1, 2019

In today’s political culture, people running for President may announce their candidacy on the steps of their home-town city hall or on “The View,” but the full introduction comes with their book. Some candidates’ memoirs tell stories of humble beginnings and of obstacles overcome; some describe searches for identity; some earnestly set out detailed policy agendas. Nearly all are relentlessly bland. In 2017, Joe Biden, a longtime senator from Delaware, Barack Obama’s Vice-President for eight years, and now a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, published an unusually raw memoir about the death, two years earlier, of his forty-six-year-old son, Beau, describing how it had threatened to undo him but ultimately brought his family closer. Beau, his father writes, was “Joe Biden 2.0,” a war veteran, a prosecutor, and a promising politician who “had all the best of me, but with the bugs and flaws engineered out.”

In the early months of the 2020 race, Joe Biden holds a lead over his many Democratic Party rivals, but he is hardly invulnerable. He is seventy-six and sometimes shows it. He often stumbles when defending his five-decade public history. Some voters will not easily overlook his support for the Iraq War, his treatment of Anita Hill and loose management of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, his handsy, close-talking behavior with women, or his descriptions of his “civil” working relationships with segregationist lawmakers. Even his admirers concede that he is prone to senatorial bloviation. What often seems to redeem him with voters, as a former senior White House aide put it recently, is “how he’s responded to tragedy and what he’s learned from it.”

Yet the family story that Biden tells in “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” largely glosses over a central character in Biden’s life. Biden writes, “I was pretty sure Beau could run for President some day, and, with his brother’s help, he could win.” Hunter Biden, who is forty-nine, is described as a supportive son and sibling. In speeches, Biden rarely talks about Hunter. But news outlets on the right and mainstream media organizations, including the Times, have homed in on him, reprising old controversies over Hunter’s work for a bank, for a lobbying firm, and for a hedge fund, and scrutinizing his business dealings in China and Ukraine.

There is little question that Hunter’s proximity to power shaped the arc of his career, and that, as the former aide told me, “Hunter is super rich terrain.” But Donald J. Trump and some of his allies, in their eagerness to undermine Biden’s candidacy, and possibly to deflect attention from their own ethical lapses, have gone to extreme lengths, promoting, without evidence, the dubious narrative that Biden used the office of the Vice-President to advance and protect his son’s interests.

At the same time, the gossip pages have seized on Hunter’s tumultuous private life. He has struggled for decades with alcohol addiction and drug abuse; he went through an acrimonious divorce from his first wife, Kathleen Buhle Biden; and he had a subsequent relationship with Beau’s widow, Hallie. He was recently sued for child support by an Arkansas woman, Lunden Alexis Roberts, who claims that he is the father of her child. (Hunter has denied having sexual relations with Roberts.)

On May 17th, the day before Hunter planned to appear at one of his father’s rallies, at Eakins Oval, in Philadelphia, Breitbart News published a story based on a Prescott, Arizona, police report from 2016 that named Hunter as the suspect in a possible narcotics offense.

Onstage at the rally, Jill Biden introduced her husband. “The Biden family is ready,” she said. “We will do this as we always have—as a family.” Seated in white chairs to the side of the stage were Ashley Biden, Hunter’s half sister; Ashley’s husband, Howard Krein; Beau’s children, Natalie and Robert Hunter; Hunter’s three daughters, Maisy, Finnegan, and Naomi; and Naomi’s boyfriend, Peter. The last seat in the row, with a piece of paper on it that said “Reserved,” remained empty.

In one of my early conversations with Hunter, he told me about his sadness at having missed his father’s event. “Beau and I have been there since we were carried in baskets during his first campaign,” he said. “We went everywhere with him. At every single major event and every small event that had to do with his political career, I was there. I’ve never missed a rally for my dad. The notion that I’m not standing next to him in Philadelphia, next to the Rocky statue, it’s heartbreaking for me. It’s killing me and it’s killing him. Dad says, ‘Be here.’ Mom says, ‘Be here.’ But at what cost?”

Hunter speaks in the warm, circuitous style of his father. Through weeks of conversations, he became increasingly open about his setbacks, aware that many of the stories that he told me would otherwise emerge, likely in a distorted form, in Breitbart or on “Hannity.” He wanted to protect his father from a trickle of disclosures, and to share a personal narrative that he sees no reason to hide. “Look, everybody faces pain,” he said. “Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”

Hunter Biden was born in 1970, a year and a day after Beau and a year and nine months before their sister, Naomi. His father was twenty-seven, and won his first election, to the New Castle County Council, in November of that year. Two years later, in an immense leap of ambition, he decided to run for the U.S. Senate.

Biden pledged that, in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, he would never own a stock or a bond. Whatever money he had, he spent on property. His father, Joseph Biden, Sr., managed a Chevrolet dealership in Wilmington, and Joe grew up in a house with his parents, his three siblings, his aunt Gertie, and two uncles. He tried to re-create this arrangement for his own family. He liked historic houses, and bought a center-hall Colonial, built in 1723, on a four-acre lot in the village of North Star, about thirty minutes west of Wilmington. “The large houses were a way for all of us, including aunts and uncles, to have something special,” Hunter said.

Joe Biden depended on his family to help staff his campaigns. His sister, Valerie, who taught at the Quaker day school Wilmington Friends, served as his campaign manager. His brother Jimmy oversaw fund-raising; Frankie, the youngest, helped organize volunteers. When the children were babies, Biden’s wife, Neilia, carried them to community meetings. In November, 1972, Joe Biden was elected to the Senate.

That December, while Biden was in Washington interviewing staff for his new office, Neilia took the children to Wilmington, to go Christmas-tree shopping. At an intersection, the family car collided with a truck. Neilia and Naomi were killed almost instantly. Beau sustained numerous broken bones, and Hunter suffered a severe head injury. Hunter has frequently said that his first memory is of waking up in a hospital bed next to Beau, who turned to him and said, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” On January 5, 1973, Biden was sworn in as a senator in his sons’ hospital room.

Valerie and Jimmy devoted themselves to the boys’ recovery while Biden took up his role in the Senate. In 1975, he sold the North Star property, and the family moved into a house in Wilmington that had once been owned by members of the du Pont family. Biden, on returning from Washington, often put on a hazmat suit and went into the basement to scrape asbestos off the pipes. He, Hunter, and Beau planted trees and painted the house. Hunter told me that his father would dangle him upside down from the third-floor windows so that he could reach the eaves with a brush. So many people came and went that Tommy Lewis, an old friend of Biden’s who became one of his Senate aides, nicknamed the house the Station. Hunter recalled, “No door was ever locked. The pool was everyone’s pool.” He and Beau were “communal property,” he said. “Everyone had a hand in raising us.” In 1977, Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs, a high-school teacher. (Hunter calls Jill “Mom” and refers to Neilia as “Mommy.”)

Biden frequently took the boys to Washington with him when Congress was in session. Roger Harrison, who worked in Biden’s office for seven years, recalled that one of them often sat on Biden’s lap during staff meetings. If he was busy on the Senate floor, another senator would take Hunter and Beau to his office to hang out. Sometimes, to entertain themselves, the boys would wander over to the Senate gym and sit in a corner of the steam room, eavesdropping on lawmakers.

Beau and Hunter were fiercely close. They attended Archmere Academy, the Catholic high school that was their father’s alma mater. Friends called Beau, a stickler for rules, the Sheriff. Hunter told me, “If we wanted to jump off a cliff into a watering hole, I would say, ‘I’m ready, let’s go,’ and Beau would say, ‘Wait, wait, wait, before we do it, make sure there aren’t any rocks down there.’ ” Brian McGlinchey, a friend of Hunter’s who attended Archmere with the brothers, said, “Beau tended to lead with his head. Hunter often led with his heart.” At Archmere, Beau, with the help of Hunter, who distributed flyers, was elected student-body president. It was clear to family and friends that Beau would follow his father into politics. “Dad knew that is what Beau wanted,” Hunter said.

Biden sold off some of the land at the Station to help pay for Beau to go to the University of Pennsylvania, in 1987. That year, Hunter and Beau encouraged their father to run for President, and they were crushed when he withdrew from the race over allegations of plagiarism. (He was accused of copying large portions of a law-review article as a student, and of mimicking a speech given by the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.) Soon afterward, when Biden took his sons to a football game at the University of Pennsylvania, a group of hecklers started a chant about the plagiarism scandal. Hunter jumped to his feet, throwing punches, and his father and Beau had to pull him back.

Hunter enrolled at Georgetown University in 1988. He and Beau took out student loans to cover their university costs. Hunter worked odd jobs—parking cars at events and unloading sixty-pound boxes of frozen beef—to help pay for his room and board. Ted Dziak, a chaplain-in-residence in Hunter’s freshman dorm, told me, “Hunter was always out there, doing something to gain a little bit of money.”

In July, 1992, after graduating with a B.A. in history, Hunter began a year as a Jesuit volunteer at a church in Portland, Oregon. During that time, he met Kathleen Buhle, the daughter of a Chicago schoolteacher and a ticket salesman for the White Sox. Three months after they started dating, Kathleen got pregnant, and the two were married in July, 1993.

Beau attended Syracuse Law School, and began thinking about government service. Hunter imagined a more artistic career for himself. He admired Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff; his favorite novel at the time was Charles Bukowski’s début, “Post Office.” On a whim, he applied to, and was accepted into, the creative-writing program at Syracuse University, where Carver and Wolff had taught. He considered getting a joint M.F.A.-law degree at Syracuse, but, with a baby on the way, he decided to go straight to law school. He was rejected from Yale, his first choice, and enrolled at Georgetown Law. In December, 1993, his daughter Naomi was born.

After a year at Georgetown, Hunter transferred to Yale Law, where he completed his degree, in 1996. Then he returned to Wilmington with Kathleen and Naomi. Joe Biden was running for reëlection in the Senate, and he appointed Hunter as his deputy campaign manager. Hunter rented an apartment close to his father’s campaign headquarters, and also got a job as a lawyer with MBNA America, a banking holding company based in Delaware, which was one of the largest donors to his father’s campaigns. At the age of twenty-six, Hunter, who was earning more than a hundred thousand dollars and had received a signing bonus, was making nearly as much money as his father. In January, 1998, the conservative reporter and columnist Byron York wrote, in The American Spectator, “Certainly lots of children of influential parents end up in very good jobs. But the Biden case is troubling. After all, this is a senator who for years has sermonized against what he says is the corrupting influence of money in politics.”

Hunter shared his father’s love of old houses. In 1997, he bought a dilapidated estate in Wilmington, the original structure of which dated to before the Revolutionary War. The previous owner, Anna Sasso, recalled, “They seemed like the perfect family. They were teen-agers, practically. They were so enthusiastic.” That year, Beau started working as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia, and moved in with his brother’s family, taking over the third floor. Hunter was responsible for the mortgage and most of the expenses. In September, 1998, Hunter and Kathleen had their second daughter, Finnegan. On weekends, the house was a gathering place for friends, including a local woman named Hallie Olivere, whose parents owned a dry-cleaning business. Beau and Hallie married in 2002.

Hunter, by then an executive vice-president at MBNA, found the corporate culture stifling. “If you forgot to wear your MBNA lapel pin, someone would stop you in the halls,” he recalled. In 1998, he contacted William Oldaker, a Washington lawyer who had worked on his father’s Presidential campaign in 1987, for advice about how to get a job in the Clinton Administration. Oldaker called William Daley, the Commerce Secretary, who had also worked on Biden’s campaign. Daley, the son of the five-term mayor of Chicago, told me that, because of their shared experience growing up in political families, he empathized with Hunter, and asked his staff to evaluate him for a position as a policy director specializing in the burgeoning Internet economy. Hunter got the job, then sold the Delaware house for roughly twice what he’d paid for it and moved his family to a rental home in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington. Hunter and Kathleen sent Naomi and Finnegan—and later Maisy, who was born in 2000—to Sidwell Friends, one of Washington’s most exclusive and expensive schools. Hunter’s salary barely covered the rent, the school fees, and his family’s living expenses. “I’ve pretty much always lived paycheck to paycheck,” Hunter told me. “I never considered it struggling, but it has always been a high-wire act.”

In late 2000, near the end of President Clinton’s second term, Hunter again consulted Oldaker, who was starting a lobbying business, the National Group. Oldaker asked the co-founder of the firm, Vincent Versage, to teach Hunter the basics of earmarking—the practice of persuading lawmakers to insert language into legislation which directs taxpayer funds to projects that benefit the lobbyist’s clients. In 2001, Robert Skomorucha, an old Biden family friend who worked in the government-and-community-relations department at St. Joseph’s University, proposed that Hunter solicit earmarks for one of the university’s student-volunteer programs, at an underprivileged high school in Philadelphia. Timothy Lannon, the university’s president, who offered Hunter the contract, described Hunter to me as “like his dad: great personally, very engaging, very curious about things and hardworking,” adding that he had “a very strong last name that really paid off in terms of our lobbying efforts.”

Versage told me that the National Group had a strict rule: “Hunter didn’t do anything that involved his dad, didn’t do anything that involved any help from his dad.” Oldaker advised Hunter to restrict his clients to mostly Jesuit universities. “He wasn’t doing McDonnell Douglas or something,” Oldaker told me. Still, Hunter’s name appeared regularly in newspaper stories decrying the cozy relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. An informal arrangement was established: Biden wouldn’t ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn’t tell his father about them. “It wasn’t like we all sat down and agreed on it,” Hunter told me. “It came naturally.”

Oldaker’s office was across the street from the Bombay Club, an Indian restaurant that was popular with policymakers, lobbyists, diplomats, and journalists. The lounge there became an after-hours gathering place for Hunter, Versage, and a dozen of their colleagues. Irfan Ozarslan, the former general manager, said that he greeted Hunter at the door “at least three or four times a week.” The bartender at the time, Norman, told me that he would have a cigarette waiting for Hunter at his seat.

Joe Biden grew up around relatives with alcohol problems, and at a young age he decided to abstain. Hunter—who spoke frankly to me about his struggles with addiction—started drinking socially as a teen-ager. When he was a student at Georgetown, in the early nineties, he took up smoking Marlboro Red cigarettes, and occasionally used cocaine. Once, hoping to buy cocaine, he was sold a piece of crack, but he wasn’t sure how to take the drug. “I didn’t have a stem,” Hunter said. “I didn’t have a pipe.” Improvising, he stuffed the crack into a cigarette and smoked it. “It didn’t have much of an effect,” he said.

In 2001, Hunter, Kathleen, and their children moved back to Wilmington to be closer to the rest of the Biden family, and Hunter commuted to Washington on Amtrak, as his father did. Sometimes he missed the last train and stayed in a rental room at the Army and Navy Club. “When I found myself making the decision to have another drink or get on a train, I knew I had a problem,” he said. In 2003, Kathleen and the girls returned to Washington. Hunter recalled that Kathleen told him to get sober, starting by not drinking for thirty days. “And I wouldn’t drink for thirty days, but, on day thirty-one, I’d be right back to it,” he said. That September, on a business trip, he looked up rehabilitation centers, and soon admitted himself to Crossroads Centre Antigua for a month. The day after his return, Beau accompanied him to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, in Dupont Circle.

By the mid-two-thousands, a growing number of lawmakers were criticizing earmarking as a waste of taxpayer money and a boon to special interests. Hunter was concerned about his future as a lobbyist, and his financial worries increased in 2006, when he bought a $1.6-million house in an affluent neighborhood. Without the savings for a down payment, he took out a mortgage for a hundred and ten per cent of the purchase price.

In 2006, Hunter and his uncle Jimmy Biden, along with another partner, entered into a twenty-one-million-dollar deal to buy Paradigm, a hedge-fund group that claimed to manage $1.5 billion in assets. Hunter said that the deal sounded “super attractive,” but that it fell apart after he and Jimmy learned that the company was worth less than they thought, and that the lawyer they were working with was a convicted felon awaiting sentencing. Hunter and Jimmy, who together went on to buy a stake in the company, estimated that they lost at least $1.3 million on the initial venture, which Hunter described as “a tragicomedy.” To help repay a law firm that had put up the money to initiate the transaction, Hunter obtained a million-dollar note against his house from Washington First Bank, which was co-founded by Oldaker. On January 5, 2007, two days before Biden announced his decision to run for President, Hunter and Jimmy were sued by their former partner in New York. The suit was settled but resulted in a flurry of headlines.

In the lead-up to the January, 2008, Iowa Democratic Presidential caucuses, Hunter drove from Washington to Des Moines to campaign with his father. “I’m like his security blanket,” Hunter said. “I don’t tell the staff what to do. I’m not there giving directions or orders. I shake everybody’s hands. And then I tell him to close his eyes on the bus. I can say things to him that nobody else can.” Biden did poorly in Iowa, and soon dropped out of the race. On August 23, 2008, Obama, the Democratic nominee, publicly introduced Biden as his running mate. He praised Beau, who had recently become Delaware’s attorney general and was getting ready to deploy to Iraq with his National Guard unit.

Hunter had heard that, during the primaries, some of Obama’s advisers had criticized him to reporters for his earmarking work. Hunter said that he wasn’t told by members of the Obama campaign to end his lobbying activities, but that he knew “the writing was on the wall.” Hunter told his lobbying clients that he would no longer represent them, and resigned from an unpaid seat on the board of Amtrak, a role for which, Hunter said, the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had tapped him. “I wanted my father to have a clean slate,” Hunter told me. “I didn’t want to limit him in any way.”

In September, 2008, Hunter launched a boutique consulting firm, Seneca Global Advisors, named for the largest of the Finger Lakes, in New York State, where his mother had grown up. In pitch meetings with prospective clients, Hunter said that he could help small and mid-sized companies expand into markets in the U.S. and other countries. In June, 2009, five months after Joe Biden became Vice-President, Hunter co-founded a second company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz, Senator John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune, and Devon Archer, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model who started his finance career at Citibank in Asia and who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. (Heinz and Archer already had a private-equity fund called Rosemont Capital.) Heinz believed that Hunter would share his aversion to entering into business deals that could attract public scrutiny, but over time Hunter and Archer seized opportunities that did not include Heinz, who was less inclined to take risks.

In 2012, Archer and Hunter talked to Jonathan Li, who ran a Chinese private-equity fund, Bohai Capital, about becoming partners in a new company that would invest Chinese capital—and, potentially, capital from other countries—in companies outside China. In June, 2013, Li, Archer, and other business partners signed a memorandum of understanding to create the fund, which they named BHR Partners, and, in November, they signed contracts related to the deal. Hunter became an unpaid member of BHR’s board but did not take an equity stake in BHR Partners until after his father left the White House.

In December, 2013, Vice-President Biden flew to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping. Biden often asked one of his grandchildren to accompany him on his international trips, and he invited Finnegan to come on this one. Hunter told his father that he wanted to join them. According to a Beijing-based BHR representative, Hunter, shortly after arriving in Beijing, on December 4th, helped arrange for Li to shake hands with his father in the lobby of the American delegation’s hotel. Afterward, Hunter and Li had what both parties described as a social meeting. Hunter told me that he didn’t understand why anyone would have been concerned about this. “How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?” he said.

Hunter’s meeting with Li and his relationship with BHR attracted little attention at the time, but some of Biden’s advisers were worried that Hunter, by meeting with a business associate during his father’s visit, would expose the Vice-President to criticism. The former senior White House aide told me that Hunter’s behavior invited questions about whether he “was leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn’t done in that White House. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on.” When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,” a former adviser told me. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, “got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It’s like you’ve hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.”

For another venture, Archer travelled to Kiev to pitch investors on a real-estate fund he managed, Rosemont Realty. There, he met Mykola Zlochevsky, the co-founder of Burisma, one of Ukraine’s largest natural-gas producers. Zlochevsky had served as ecology minister under the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych. After public protests in 2013 and early 2014, the Ukrainian parliament had voted to remove Yanukovych and called for his arrest. Under the new Ukrainian government, authorities in Kiev, with the encouragement of the Obama Administration, launched an investigation into whether Zlochevsky had used his cabinet position to grant exploration licenses that benefitted Burisma. (The status of the inquiry is unclear, but no proof of criminal activity has been publicly disclosed. Zlochevsky could not be reached for comment, and Burisma did not respond to queries.) In a related investigation, which was ultimately closed owing to a lack of evidence, British authorities temporarily froze U.K. bank accounts tied to Zlochevsky.

In early 2014, Zlochevsky sought to assemble a high-profile international board to oversee Burisma, telling prospective members that he wanted the company to adopt Western standards of transparency. Among the board members he recruited was a former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, who had a reputation as a dedicated reformer. In early 2014, at Zlochevsky’s suggestion, Kwaśniewski met with Archer in Warsaw and encouraged him to join Burisma’s board, arguing that the company was critical to Ukraine’s independence from Russia. Archer agreed.

When Archer told Hunter that the board needed advice on how to improve the company’s corporate governance, Hunter recommended the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was “of counsel.” The firm brought in the investigative agency Nardello & Co. to assess Burisma’s history of corruption. Hunter joined Archer on the Burisma board in April, 2014. Three months later, in a draft report to Boies Schiller, Nardello said that it was “unable to identify any information to date regarding any current government investigation into Zlochevsky or Burisma,” but cited unnamed sources saying that Zlochevsky could be “vulnerable to investigation for financial crimes” and for “perceived abuse of power.”

Vice-President Biden was playing a central role in overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine, and took the lead in calling on Kiev to fight rampant corruption. On May 13, 2014, after Hunter’s role on the Burisma board was reported in the news, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said that the State Department was not concerned about perceived conflicts of interest, because Hunter was a “private citizen.” Hunter told Burisma’s management and other board members that he would not be involved in any matters that were connected to the U.S. government or to his father. Kwaśniewski told me, “We never discussed how the Vice-President can help us. Frankly speaking, we didn’t need such help.”

Several former officials in the Obama Administration and at the State Department insisted that Hunter’s role at Burisma had no effect on his father’s policies in Ukraine, but said that, nevertheless, Hunter should not have taken the board seat. As the former senior White House aide put it, there was a perception that “Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father’s message.” The same aide said that Hunter should have recognized that at least some of his foreign business partners were motivated to work with him because they wanted “to be able to say that they are affiliated with Biden.” A former business associate said, “The appearance of a conflict of interest is good enough, at this level of politics, to keep you from doing things like that.”

In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”

Hunter was not always at ease as the son of the Vice-President. He asked that the Secret Service stop deploying agents to accompany him, a request that was eventually granted. He also became offended when he felt that his father wasn’t treated respectfully enough by Obama and his advisers. In 2012, Biden, responding to a question about same-sex marriage on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that he was “absolutely comfortable” with all couples having the “exact same rights.” Obama had yet to publicly take a similar stance, and Biden’s statement upset some White House officials. Hunter thought that Obama and his advisers should have acknowledged his father’s good political instincts.

Hunter said that he limited his social interactions with Biden’s White House colleagues, because he didn’t want to be in a situation “where I’m playing golf with the President or one of his aides and look at my phone and see another headline that reads ‘President Makes Joke About Biden.’ ” Kathleen felt differently about the White House. Their daughter Maisy was in the same class at Sidwell Friends as Sasha, the Obamas’ younger daughter. The two girls became close, and Kathleen and Michelle Obama became friends, attending SoulCycle and Solidcore exercise classes together almost every day. Some evenings, they went out to dinner or had drinks at the White House. Kathleen went on vacations with Michelle, mutual friends, and their daughters.

Hunter saw himself as a provider for the Biden family; he even helped to pay off Beau’s law-school debts. But he often wished that, like his father and his brother, he could contribute more to society. Through his business, he got to know an Australian-American former military-intelligence officer named Greg Keeley, who regaled him with stories about his career in the Royal Australian Navy. After moving to the United States, at forty, Keeley had obtained an age waiver to join the U.S. Navy as a reservist. While on reserve duty at a U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan on September 11, 2011, he and members of his unit watched Vice-President Biden deliver a speech at the Pentagon about the attacks of 9/11. After the speech, Keeley sent an e-mail to Hunter to tell him that members of his unit thought the Vice-President’s message was “spot on.” Hunter passed the note on to his father, who wrote Keeley an e-mail. “Keep your heads down,” it said. “You are the finest group of warriors in all of history.”

Keeley helped convince Hunter that it wasn’t too late for him to join the Navy Reserves. He told me, “My message to him was: If you feel the call to serve, which I encouraged, it doesn’t really matter what your rank is and what’s on your shoulder board—it is that you’re serving your country. Hunter took that message to heart and acted upon it.” With a letter of recommendation from Keeley, Hunter applied for an age waiver, which the Navy granted. The service has a zero-tolerance drug-and-alcohol-abuse policy, and states that all recruits will be asked “questions about prior drug and alcohol use.” Hunter disclosed that he had “used drugs in the past,” but said that he was now sober, and the Navy granted him a second waiver.

Hunter had suffered his first relapse, after seven years of sobriety, in November, 2010, when he drank three Bloody Marys on a flight home from a business trip to Madrid. He continued to drink in secret for several months, then confided in Beau and returned to Crossroads Centre. He had another relapse in early 2013, after he suffered from a bout of shingles, for which he was prescribed painkillers. When the prescription ran out, he resumed drinking.

On May 7, 2013, he was assigned to a Reserve unit at Naval Station Norfolk. He had hoped to work in naval intelligence, but was given a job in a public-affairs unit. In a small, private ceremony at the White House, Hunter was sworn in by his father. Later that month, the night before Hunter’s first weekend of Reserve duty, he stopped at a bar a few blocks from the White House. Outside, Hunter said, he bummed a cigarette from two men who told him that they were from South Africa. He felt “amped up” as he was driving down to Norfolk, and then “incredibly exhausted.” He told me that he called Beau and said, “I don’t know what’s going on.” Beau drove from Delaware to meet Hunter at a hotel near the naval station. “He got me shipshape and drove me into the base,” he said. On his first day, Hunter had a urine sample taken for testing

A few months later, Hunter received a letter saying that his urinalysis had detected cocaine in his system. Under Navy rules, a positive drug test typically triggers a discharge. Hunter wrote a letter to the Navy Reserve, saying that he didn’t know how the drug had got into his system and suggesting that the cigarettes he’d smoked outside the bar might have been laced with cocaine. Hunter called Beau, who contacted Tom Gallagher, a former Navy lawyer who had worked with Beau at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia. Gallagher agreed to represent Hunter pro bono, but it became clear that, given Hunter’s history with drugs, an appeals panel was unlikely to believe the story that he had ingested cocaine involuntarily, and that appealing the decision would require closed-door hearings and the testimony of witnesses, increasing the likelihood of leaks to the press. Hunter decided not to appeal. Navy records show that Hunter’s discharge took effect on February 18, 2014.

Hunter did not tell anyone except his father and his brother about the reason for his discharge, and he tried to get his drinking under control. In July, 2014, he went to a clinic in Tijuana that provided a treatment using ibogaine, a psychoactive alkaloid derived from the roots of a West African shrub, which is illegal in America. Hunter then drove to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he met with Thom Knoles, a practitioner of Vedic meditation, who said that he advised Hunter to meditate twice a day, to help keep “his cravings for alcohol at bay.” Knoles said that Hunter struck him as “just a good man.” He was “nearly clean,” Knoles said. “But, to be honest, there is such a thing as a dry drunk. I could see that he was in a very delicate position.” Knoles said that Hunter told him about how much he relied on Beau for support and confessed that “his relationship with his other great, deep partner in life, his wife, had been brutalized by him through his loss of control.”

That fall, Hunter went to Big Sur, California, to attend a twelve-step yoga retreat at the Esalen Institute. Toward the end of his week there, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal contacted the Vice-President’s office, seeking comment on Hunter’s discharge from the Navy. At San Francisco International Airport, Hunter was waiting for his flight home when he saw the story on the front page of the Journal. “I was heartbroken,” he said.

In the summer of 2013, Hunter, Beau, and their families took a vacation together on Lake Michigan. During the trip, Beau became disoriented and was rushed to the hospital. He’d had a health scare in May, 2010, when—six months after he returned from Iraq—he suffered a stroke. He had appeared to recover quickly, and continued to work as Delaware’s attorney general, but he struggled to remember certain words, and sometimes talked about hearing music playing when there was none.

Soon after Beau’s admittance to the hospital, doctors identified a mass in his brain. It was glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor. Patients who receive similar diagnoses tend to live no longer than two years. As Beau received radiation treatment, his motor and speech skills started to decline. In the spring of 2015, he underwent an experimental procedure in which an engineered virus was injected directly into the tumor, but it was unsuccessful. In late May, doctors removed Beau’s tracheostomy tube, telling the family that he would likely die within a few hours. Beau kept breathing on his own for almost a day and a half before he died, surrounded by his family.

On June 6, 2015, thousands of people paid their respects at a service at St. Anthony of Padua Church, in Wilmington. The next day, President Obama, Ashley Biden, and Hunter, who was fearful of public speaking, delivered eulogies. On the drive back to Washington, Hunter—moved by the outpouring of support for him and his family at the funeral—told Kathleen that he was thinking about running for public office. She pointed out that he had only recently been discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine. They rode the rest of the way home in silence. (Kathleen declined to comment for this article.)

In couples therapy, Hunter and Kathleen had reached an agreement: if Hunter started drinking again, he would have to move out of the house. A day after their twenty-second anniversary, Hunter left a therapy session, drank a bottle of vodka, and moved out. Later that month, Zlochevsky, the Burisma co-founder, invited him to Norway on a fishing trip. Hunter brought along Maisy and Beau’s nine-year-old son, Robert. Hunter said that, every night, he and his colleagues on the trip drank a single shot of liquor before going to bed. Kathleen found out and was angry. Hunter began to confide in Hallie, whom he was growing closer to.

Hunter said that, in July, 2015, “I tried to show Kathleen: I want back in.” He enrolled as an outpatient in the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was prescribed two drugs, one to lessen his cravings and another to make him feel nauseated if he drank. He then enrolled in an inpatient program for executives at Caron Treatment Centers, where he used the pseudonym Hunter Smith. On returning to Washington, he began a program that required him to carry a Breathalyzer with a built-in camera.

That summer, Ashley Madison, a dating service for married people—which used the slogan “Life is short. Have an affair”—disclosed that hackers had breached its user data. In late August, Breitbart reported that it had found a “Robert Biden” profile among the leaked files. Hunter denied that the account belonged to him, but Kathleen was deeply embarrassed by the story. Two months later, Hunter and Kathleen agreed to formally separate. On October 21, 2015, Joe Biden appeared in the White House Rose Garden, flanked by Jill and Obama, and announced that he would not run for President in 2016, talking about the time that it had taken the family to recover from Beau’s death.

Until mid-December, Hunter practiced yoga daily. A teacher from his yoga studio told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person try as hard to heal as he did.” When Hunter stopped coming to class, the teacher went to his apartment, near Logan Circle, and knocked on the door. Hunter told me that he pretended not to be at home. For weeks, he said, he left the apartment only to buy bottles of Smirnoff vodka at Logan Circle Liquor. Several times a day, his father called him, and Hunter assured him that he was O.K. Eventually, Biden showed up unannounced at the apartment. Hunter said that his father told him, “I need you. What do we have to do?”

In February, 2016, Hunter went back to the Esalen Institute, and then spent a week skiing by himself at Lake Tahoe. When he returned to Washington, he enrolled in yet another addiction-treatment program, run by the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Center. On his way to Kolmac, he passed several homeless people, including a middle-aged woman who went by the name Bicycles, because of the bike she took with her everywhere. Later, whenever Hunter saw Bicycles near his apartment, he would give her a twenty-dollar bill to buy him a pack of Marlboro Reds and tell her to keep the change. One rainy night, Hunter said, he offered Bicycles his spare bedroom, and she stayed for several months.

In 2016, Hunter was consulting for five or six major clients. Once or twice a year, he attended Burisma board meetings and energy forums that took place in Europe. He said that, in June, 2016, while in Monte Carlo for a meeting, he went to a hotel night club and used cocaine that a stranger offered him in the bathroom. He told his counsellors at Kolmac about his relapse but refused to take a drug test, out of concern that the results could be used against him and published in the press. When Kolmac’s staff insisted that he take the test, he decided to leave the program.

In August, Hunter and Hallie went to the Hamptons with Hallie’s children. They texted constantly after getting back, and Hunter started to spend most nights in Delaware, at Hallie’s house, watching television until very late. “We were sharing a very specific grief,” Hunter recalled. “I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.”

That fall, Hunter made plans to go to the Grace Grove Lifestyle Center, in Sedona, Arizona. During a layover at Los Angeles International Airport, before his connecting flight to Phoenix, he went to a nearby hotel bar and realized that he had left his wallet on the plane. It had belonged to Beau and still contained his attorney-general identification badge, and also Hunter’s driver’s license, without which he couldn’t board his flight. Using a credit card he had in his pocket, Hunter checked into a hotel in Marina del Rey, where he waited for the airline to return the wallet.

Instead of going to Grace Grove, Hunter stayed in Los Angeles for about a week. He said that he “needed a way to forget,” and that, soon after his arrival in L.A., he asked a homeless man in Pershing Square where he could buy crack. Hunter said that the man took him to a nearby homeless encampment, where, in a narrow passageway between tents, someone put a gun to his head before realizing that he was a buyer. He returned to buy more crack a few times that week.

One night, outside a club on Hollywood Boulevard, Hunter and another man got into an argument, and a group of bouncers intervened. A friend of one of the bouncers, a Samoan man who went by the nickname Baby Down, felt sorry for Hunter and took him to Mel’s Drive-In to get some food, and to his hotel to pick up his belongings. Early on the morning of October 26th, Baby Down dropped Hunter off at the Hertz rental office at Los Angeles International Airport.

Hunter said that, at that point, he had not slept for several days. Driving east on Interstate 10, just beyond Palm Springs, he lost control of his car, which jumped the median and skidded to a stop on the shoulder of the westbound side. He called Hertz, which came to collect the damaged car and gave him a second rental. Later, on a sharp bend on a mountainous road, Hunter recalled, a large barn owl flew over the hood of the car and then seemed to follow him, dropping in front of the headlights. He said that he has no idea whether the owl was real or a hallucination. On the night of October 28th, Hunter dropped the car off at a Hertz office in Prescott, Arizona, and Grace Grove sent a van to pick him up.

Zachary Romfo, who worked at the Hertz office in Prescott, told me that he found a crack pipe in the car and, on one of the consoles, a line of white-powder residue. Beau Biden’s attorney-general badge was on the dashboard. Hertz called the Prescott police department, and officers there filed a “narcotics offense” report, listing the items seized from the car, including a plastic baggie containing a “white powdery substance,” a Secret Service business card, credit cards, and Hunter’s driver’s license. Later, according to a police report, Secret Service agents informed Prescott police that Hunter was “secure/well.” Subsequent test results indicated that the glass pipe contained cocaine residue, but investigators didn’t find any fingerprints on it. Public prosecutors in the county and the city declined to bring a case against Hunter, citing a lack of evidence that the pipe had been used by him. Jon Paladini, Prescott’s city attorney, told me that he was not aware of any requests by officials in Washington to drop the investigation into Hunter. “It’s a very Republican area,” he said. “I don’t think political favors, necessarily, would even work, had they been requested.”

After a week at Grace Grove, Hunter checked into a resort spa called Mii Amo, and called Hallie, who flew to meet him. During her stay, Hunter said, they decided to become a couple. When they returned to Delaware, they tried, unsuccessfully, to keep their relationship secret.

On December 9, 2016, Kathleen filed for divorce, and on February 23, 2017, she filed a motion in D.C. Superior Court seeking to freeze Hunter’s assets, alleging that he “created financial concerns for the family by spending extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.” The motion was leaked to the New York Post, along with the revelation that Hunter and Hallie were dating.

Kathleen told friends that she felt ostracized by the Biden family. Hunter denied hiring prostitutes, and said that he hadn’t been to a strip club in years. But, he said, the evening the story was published, “I went directly to a strip club. I said, ‘Fuck them.’ ”

The first that Biden heard of the relationship was when the Post asked his office for comment. Hunter issued a statement saying that he and Hallie were “incredibly lucky to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time.” Hunter told me he appealed to his father to make a statement, too: “I said, ‘Dad, Dad, you have to.’ He said, ‘Hunter, I don’t know if I should. But I’ll do whatever you want me to do.’ I said, ‘Dad, if people find out, but they think you’re not approving of this, it makes it seem wrong. The kids have to know, Dad, that there’s nothing wrong with this, and the one person who can tell them that is you.’ ” A former Biden aide confirmed that Biden agreed to issue a statement because of concerns about Hunter’s well-being. Biden told the Post, “We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. . . . They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them.” The Post ran the statement under the headline “Beau Biden’s Widow Having Affair with His Married Brother.”

In August, Hunter rented a house in Annapolis, Maryland, where he, Hallie, and her two children hoped to have some privacy, but, several months later, they split up. “All we got was shit from everybody, all the time,” Hunter said. “It was really hard. And I realized that I’m not helping anybody by sticking around.” (Hallie declined to comment.) In early 2018, he moved to Los Angeles. The idea, he said, was to “completely disappear.”

Hunter said that, in divorce proceedings, he offered to give Kathleen “everything,” including a monthly payment of thirty-seven thousand dollars for alimony, tuition, and child-care costs for a decade. Hunter told me that he was living on approximately four thousand dollars a month; he was hardly poor, but it was an adjustment. On occasion, transactions on his credit cards were declined.

One of Kathleen’s motions contains a reference to “a large diamond” that had come into Hunter’s possession. The motion seems to imply that it was one of Hunter’s “personal indulgences.” When I asked him about it, he told me that he had been given the diamond by the Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming, who was trying to make connections in Washington among prominent Democrats and Republicans, and whom he had met in the middle of the divorce. Hunter told me that two associates accompanied him to his first meeting with Ye, in Miami, and that they surprised him by giving Ye a magnum of rare vintage Scotch worth thousands of dollars.

Hunter was on the board of the World Food Program USA, a nonprofit that generates support for the U.N. World Food Programme, and he had hoped that Ye would make a large aid donation. At dinner that night, they discussed the donation, and then the conversation turned to business opportunities. Hunter offered to use his contacts to help identify investment opportunities for Ye’s company, CEFC China Energy, in liquefied-natural-gas projects in the United States. After the dinner, Ye sent a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter’s hotel room with a card thanking him for their meeting. “I was, like, Oh, my God,” Hunter said. (In Kathleen’s court motion, the diamond is estimated to be worth eighty thousand dollars. Hunter said he believes the value is closer to ten thousand.) When I asked him if he thought the diamond was intended as a bribe, he said no: “What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn’t in office.” Hunter said that he gave the diamond to his associates, and doesn’t know what they did with it. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird,” he said.

Hunter began negotiating a deal for CEFC to invest forty million dollars in a liquefied-natural-gas project on Monkey Island, in Louisiana, which, he said, was projected to create thousands of jobs. “I was more proud of it than you can imagine,” he told me. In the summer of 2017, Ye talked with Hunter about his concern that U.S. law-enforcement agencies were investigating one of his associates, Patrick Ho. Hunter, who sometimes works as a private lawyer, agreed to represent Ho, and tried to figure out whether Ho was in legal jeopardy in the U.S. That November, just after Ye and Hunter agreed on the Monkey Island deal, U.S. authorities detained Ho at the airport. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top government officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC. In February, 2018, Ye was detained by Chinese authorities, reportedly as part of an anti-corruption investigation, and the deal with Hunter fell through. Hunter said that he did not consider Ye to be a “shady character at all,” and characterized the outcome as “bad luck.”

Joe Biden is hardly the first politician to have faced scrutiny for the business dealings of a family member. In 1973, during the Watergate investigation, the Washington Post reported that Richard Nixon had the phone of his brother Donald tapped for at least a year, because he feared that Donald’s “various financial activities might bring embarrassment to the Nixon administration.” In the late seventies, the F.B.I. investigated President Jimmy Carter’s younger brother, Billy, after it emerged that he was on the payroll of the Libyan government. In an extensive report on the affair issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Biden was a member, Billy was quoted as saying that “he did not need anyone in Washington telling him how to conduct his private business.” Carter said that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to “discourage Billy from making any other trip to Libya” and “to keep him out of the newspapers for a few weeks.”

Biden’s approach was to deal with Hunter’s activities by largely ignoring them. This may have temporarily allowed Biden to truthfully inform reporters that his decisions were not affected by Hunter. But, as Robert Weissman, the president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him.”

It is clear that Hunter and Biden’s decades-old decision not to discuss business matters has exposed both father and son to attacks. (Biden declined to comment for this article.) In March of last year, Peter Schweizer, a conservative researcher and a senior editor-at-large at Breitbart, published “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.” Schweizer is best known for “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Clinton Rich,” which was released in May, 2015. Research for that book was funded by the Government Accountability Institute, which Schweizer co-founded, in 2012, with Stephen Bannon. Under the law, the G.A.I. is a nonpartisan organization. But, as Joshua Green wrote, in “Devil’s Bargain,” his book about Bannon’s role in Trump’s rise, Bannon saw “Clinton Cash” as “the key to orchestrating Hillary Clinton’s downfall.” It was, Green writes, “the culmination of everything Bannon learned during his time in Goldman Sachs, Internet Gaming Entertainment, Hollywood, and Breitbart News.”

As Bannon and Schweizer had hoped, investigative journalists from the mainstream press followed up on Schweizer’s many examples of the Clintons’ purported conflicts of interest. In April, 2015, two weeks before Schweizer’s book came out, the Times published a front-page article, by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, that cited Schweizer’s research alongside Becker’s own reporting from 2008. The article singled out a Canadian mining magnate, Frank Giustra, who donated tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. The story suggested that the donations of Giustra and others might have created conflicts of interest, at a time when the Obama Administration was negotiating to allow the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom to gain control of a swath of America’s untapped uranium deposits by purchasing the Canadian company Uranium One. The Times was criticized for building on Schweizer’s work, and, two years later, Eileen Sullivan, in another Times article, wrote, “There has been no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced the Uranium One deal.” Still, “Clinton Cash” did exactly what Bannon hoped it would do, Green writes, “sullying Clinton’s image in a way that she never fully recovered from.”

“Secret Empires,” which details Hunter’s activities in China and Ukraine, focusses on what Schweizer calls “corruption by proxy,” which he defines as a “new corruption” that is “difficult to detect” and that, though often legal, makes “good money for a politician and his family and friends” and leaves “American politicians vulnerable to overseas financial pressure.” Schweizer often relies on innuendo to supplement his reporting. At one point, he describes “one of the few public sightings” of Hunter in Beijing, when Hunter, “dressed in a dark overcoat,” followed Biden into a shop to buy a Magnum ice cream. “Intentionally or not,” Schweizer writes, “Hunter Biden was showing the Chinese that he had guanxi”—connections.

Schweizer asserts that “Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately ten days after Hunter visited China with his father.” In fact, the deal had been signed before the trip—according to the BHR representative, it was a business license that came through shortly afterward—and Hunter was not a signatory. Hunter and Archer said that they never met with any Chinese officials about the fund. And the deal wasn’t with Rosemont Seneca Partners but with a new holding company, established solely by Archer; Christopher Heinz was not part of the BHR transaction. Schweizer also asserts that the Chinese fund was “lucrative” for Hunter, but Hunter and his business partners told me that he has yet to receive a payment from the company.

In October, 2017, the special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, indicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, on twelve counts, including committing conspiracy against the United States by failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine. (Manafort pleaded guilty to that charge in September, 2018.) Making a case that Hunter had his own Ukrainian scandal, Schweizer implies that Joe Biden had been consulted in advance about Hunter and Archer’s work with Burisma. On April 16, 2014, he notes, shortly before the announcement that Hunter and Archer had taken seats on the company’s board, Archer made a “private visit to the White House for a meeting with Vice-President Biden.” Hunter, Archer, and Archer’s son Lukas, who is now twelve, told me that the visit was arranged by Hunter for Lukas, who was working on a model of the White House for a grade-school assignment. Afterward, Lukas posted a picture on Instagram of himself shaking the Vice-President’s hand. Hunter and Archer said that Burisma was never discussed.

Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has also aggressively promoted what he has called the “alleged Ukraine conspiracy” in interviews and on social media. Giuliani told me that, in the fall of 2018, he spoke to Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. Shokin told him that Vice-President Biden had him fired in 2016 because he was investigating Burisma and the company’s payments to Hunter and Archer. Giuliani said that, in January, 2019, he met with Yurii Lutsenko, Ukraine’s current prosecutor general, in New York, and Lutsenko confirmed Shokin’s version of events.

On April 1, 2019, John Solomon, an opinion contributor to The Hill, wrote about Shokin’s claim that he had been conducting a corruption probe into Burisma and Hunter when he was dismissed. A month later, the Times reported that Hunter “was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.” The story, by Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, provoked some Democrats to express concern that the Times was again lending credence to allegations made by Schweizer and other Trump allies. Giuliani retweeted the article, and Trump called for the Justice Department to investigate. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Obama, tweeted, “Zero lessons have been learned from 2016: 1. Mainstream outlet credulously accepts Trump conspiracy about opponent 2. Trump propaganda machine uses story to spread the conspiracy on social media and through digital ads 3. Voters believe it, ignoring subsequent fact checks.”

There is no credible evidence that Biden sought Shokin’s removal in order to protect Hunter. According to Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, Shokin was removed because of concerns by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the U.S. government that he wasn’t pursuing corruption investigations. Contrary to the assertions that Shokin was fired because he was investigating Burisma and Zlochevsky, Hochstein said, “many of us in the U.S. government believed that Shokin was the one protecting Zlochevsky.” In May, Giuliani scheduled a visit to Ukraine, and told the Times that he would look into Hunter’s involvement with Burisma, “because that information will be very, very helpful to my client,” but then abruptly cancelled the trip, amid reports that Ukraine’s President-elect was unwilling to meet with him. A week later, on May 16th, Lutsenko appeared to shift his position on Burisma, telling Bloomberg News that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son, and that “a company can pay however much it wants to its board.” The reasons for his reversal were unclear, but Daria Kaleniuk, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, in Kiev, speculated that Lutsenko, in talking with Giuliani, had been trying to “pump his political muscle,” a strategy that had proved ineffective in the new political climate.

That month, Hunter declined Burisma’s offer to serve another term on the board, believing that the controversy had become a distraction. But he said that he was proud of his work there, and that he thought the criticism was misplaced. “I feel the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me,” he told me. “Was it worth it? Was it worth the pain? No. It certainly wasn’t worth the grief.” He went on, “I would never have been able to predict that Donald Trump would have picked me out as the tip of the spear against the one person they believe can beat them.”

And yet, to many voters, the controversy over Hunter’s business dealings will appear to have been avoidable, a product of Biden’s resistance to having difficult conversations, particularly those involving his family. Hunter said that, in his talks with his father, “I’m saying sorry to him, and he says, ‘I’m the one who’s sorry,’ and we have an ongoing debate about who should be more sorry. And we both realize that the only true antidote to any of this is winning. He says, ‘Look, it’s going to go away.’ There is truly a higher purpose here, and this will go away. So can you survive the assault?”

In early May, Hunter met a thirty-two-year-old South African woman named Melissa Cohen, a filmmaker who was working on a series of documentaries about indigenous tribes in southern Africa. A few days after their first date, Hunter had the word “shalom” tattooed in Hebrew letters on the inside of his left bicep, to match a tattoo that Cohen has in the same spot. On May 15th, less than a week after they met, he proposed. The next morning, she accepted, and he bought the simplest gold wedding bands he could find, then called a marriage service, which sent over an officiant.

A month later, on the roof deck of Cohen’s apartment, off the Sunset Strip, Cohen sat on a bench next to Hunter, who was wearing jeans and a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “BE FUCKING NICE.” Hunter recalled that, after the ceremony, “I called my dad and said that we just got married. He was on speaker, and he said to her, ‘Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again.’ ” Hunter paused, his eyes filling with tears. “And he said to me, ‘Honey, I knew that when you found love again that I’d get you back.’ ” Cohen rubbed his shoulders. He went on, “And my reply was, I said, ‘Dad, I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see it was the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me.’ ”

Hunter told me that, on a recent evening, he had seen reports on Twitter that Trump was calling for him to be investigated by the Justice Department. Then Hunter noticed a helicopter overhead. “I said, ‘I hope they’re taking pictures of us right now. I hope it’s a live feed to the President so he can see just how much I care about the tweets.’ ” He went on, “I told Melissa, ‘I don’t care. Fuck you, Mr. President. Here I am, living my life.’ ” ♦

Adam Entous became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 2018. He was a member of a team at the Washington Post that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Voir également:

Footnotes in watchdog report indicate FBI knew of risk of Russian disinformation in Steele dossier

Catherine Herridge

The FBI was warned sections of the controversial Steele dossier could have been part of a « Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations, » according to newly declassified footnotes from a government watchdog report.The December report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz examined the FBI’s investigation into alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as the FBI’s four surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.Horowitz concluded the FBI was justified in launching the investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, although he found 17 « significant inaccuracies and omissions » in the FBI’s handling of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) applications to surveil Page.But some of Horowitz’s findings were disputed by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a broader investigation. At the time, Durham said « we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened. »Several footnotes in Horowitz’s report were redacted, and Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson pushed for the declassification of four footnotes related to the Steele dossier, a collection of opposition research notes on the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer.The dossier was used, in part, by FBI investigators to secure four surveillance warrants for Page.Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation.  Steele had « frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting. »The footnote also indicates that warnings to the FBI’s Russia probe became more pronounced over time. »The (redacted) stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations. »Footnote 302 relates to the FBI’s efforts to verify information contained in the Steele dossier, commissioned by the DNC through opposition research firm Fusion GPS. »According to a document circulated among Crossfire Hurricane team members and supervisors in early October 2016, Person 1 had historical contact with persons and entities suspected of being linked to RIS (Russian Intel)……In addition, in late December 2016, Department Attorney Bruce Ohr told SSA 1 that he had met with Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS)  and that Simpson had assessed that Person 1 was a RIS (Russian intel) officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia. »The third footnote also relates to the Steele source.Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd, in a letter to Grassley and Johnson, wrote that the « fourth and final footnote presents unique and significant concerns. Specifically, the redacted information refers to information received by a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team regarding possible previous attempts by a foreign government to penetrate and research a company or individuals associated with Christopher Steele. »In the December FISA report, Horowitz found « the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or subsequent renewal applications. »The FBI declined to comment on the declassified footnotes, but said in an earlier statement of the ongoing audit into the bureau’s surveillance applications to the national security court or FISC, »The FBI and NSD’s filing with the FISC provides the Court with an update regarding some of the corrective actions that the FBI has made and continues to make to its FISA processes.  These steps are part of the 40-plus corrective actions that Director Wray ordered in December 2019. The FBI remains confident that these corrective actions will address the errors identified in earlier FISA applications that the IG reviewed in connection with its recent Woods Procedures audit as well as its review of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. » »Consistent with our duty of candor to the Court and our responsibilities to the American people, we will continue updating the FISC and the Department of Justice to ensure that our corrective steps are implemented in a timely manner and that our FISA authorities are exercised responsibly, » the statement added.In a statement, Grassley said the declassified footnotes indicate the roots of the Russia investigation were flawed. »…beginning early on and continuing throughout the FBI’s Russia investigation, FBI officials learned critical information streams that flowed to the dossier were likely tainted with Russian Intelligence disinformation. Despite later intelligence reports that key elements of the FBI’s evidence were the result of Russian infiltration to undermine U.S. foreign relations, the FBI still pushed forward with its probe. It would eventually spill over into the years-long special counsel operation, costing taxpayers more than $30 million and increasing partisan divisions. »Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Johnson said, « From the opening of the investigation, the FBI team kept accumulating exculpatory information. Yet rather than wind the investigation down, they ramped it up…Then it got worse. The FBI team excluded exculpatory information from its FISA application… »U.S. Attorney John Durham has a broad mandate to investigate the origins of the FBI Russia probe, which officially opened in July 2016, as well as actions taken to secure four surveillance warrants for Trump campaign aide Carter Page.  Those warrants are under review, and the Justice Department has already determined two lacked probable cause.Speaking to Fox News earlier this week before the declassified footnotes were public, Attorney General William Barr said of the Durham investigation, « …It takes some time to build a, to build the case. So he is diligently pursuing it. My own view is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness, there’s something far more troubling here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law, and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted. »Read the letter sent to Senators Grassley and Johnson below.
Voir de même:

Article on Joe and Hunter Biden Censored By The Intercept

An attempt to assess the importance of the known evidence, and a critique of media lies to protect their favored candidate, could not be published at The Intercept
Glenn Greenwald
Oct 29

I am posting here the most recent draft of my article about Joe and Hunter Biden — the last one seen by Intercept editors before telling me that they refuse to publish it absent major structural changes involving the removal of all sections critical of Joe Biden, leaving only a narrow article critiquing media outlets. I will also, in a separate post, publish all communications I had with Intercept editors surrounding this article so you can see the censorship in action and, given the Intercept’s denials, decide for yourselves (this is the kind of transparency responsible journalists provide, and which the Intercept refuses to this day to provide regarding their conduct in the Reality Winner story). This draft obviously would have gone through one more round of proof-reading and editing by me — to shorten it, fix typos, etc — but it’s important for the integrity of the claims to publish the draft in unchanged form that Intercept editors last saw, and announced that they would not “edit” but completely gut as a condition to publication:

Publication by the New York Post two weeks ago of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop, relating to Vice President Joe Biden’s work in Ukraine, and subsequent articles from other outlets concerning the Biden family’s pursuit of business opportunities in China, provoked extraordinary efforts by a de facto union of media outlets, Silicon Valley giants and the intelligence community to suppress these stories.

One outcome is that the Biden campaign concluded, rationally, that there is no need for the front-running presidential candidate to address even the most basic and relevant questions raised by these materials. Rather than condemn Biden for ignoring these questions — the natural instinct of a healthy press when it comes to a presidential election — journalists have instead led the way in concocting excuses to justify his silence.

After the Post’s first article, both that newspaper and other news outlets have published numerous other emails and texts purportedly written to and from Hunter reflecting his efforts to induce his father to take actions as Vice President beneficial to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, on whose board of directors Hunter sat for a monthly payment of $50,000, as well as proposals for lucrative business deals in China that traded on his influence with his father.

Individuals included in some of the email chains have confirmed the contents’ authenticity. One of Hunter’s former business partners, Tony Bubolinski, has stepped forward on the record to confirm the authenticity of many of the emails and to insist that Hunter along with Joe Biden’s brother Jim were planning on including the former Vice President in at least one deal in China. And GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who appeared in one of the published email chains, appeared to confirm the authenticity as well, though he refused to answer follow-up questions about it.

Thus far, no proof has been offered by Bubolinski that Biden ever consummated his participation in any of those discussed deals. The Wall Street Journal says that it found no corporate records reflecting that a deal was finalized and that « text messages and emails related to the venture that were provided to the Journal by Mr. Bobulinski, mainly from the spring and summer of 2017, don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture. »

But nobody claimed that any such deals had been consummated — so the conclusion that one had not been does not negate the story. Moreover, some texts and emails whose authenticity has not been disputed state that Hunter was adamant that any discussions about the involvement of the Vice President be held only verbally and never put in writing.

Beyond that, the Journal’s columnist Kimberly Strassel reviewed a stash of documents and « found correspondence corroborates and expands on emails recently published by the New York Post, » including ones where Hunter was insisting that it was his connection to his father that was the greatest asset sought by the Chinese conglomerate with whom they were negotiating. The New York Times on Sunday reached a similar conclusion: while no documents prove that such a deal was consummated, « records produced by Mr. Bobulinski show that in 2017, Hunter Biden and James Biden were involved in negotiations about a joint venture with a Chinese energy and finance company called CEFC China Energy, » and « make clear that Hunter Biden saw the family name as a valuable asset, angrily citing his ‘family’s brand’ as a reason he is valuable to the proposed venture. »

These documents also demonstrate, reported the Times, « that the countries that Hunter Biden, James Biden and their associates planned to target for deals overlapped with nations where Joe Biden had previously been involved as vice president. » Strassel noted that « a May 2017 ‘expectations’ document shows Hunter receiving 20% of the equity in the venture and holding another 10% for ‘the big guy’—who Mr. Bobulinski attests is Joe Biden. » And the independent journalist Matt Taibbi published an article on Sunday with ample documentation suggesting that Biden’s attempt to replace a Ukranian prosecutor in 2015 benefited Burisma.

All of these new materials, the authenticity of which has never been disputed by Hunter Biden or the Biden campaign, raise important questions about whether the former Vice President and current front-running presidential candidate was aware of efforts by his son to peddle influence with the Vice President for profit, and also whether the Vice President ever took actions in his official capacity with the intention, at least in part, of benefitting his son’s business associates. But in the two weeks since the Post published its initial story, a union of the nation’s most powerful entities, including its news media, have taken extraordinary steps to obscure and bury these questions rather than try to provide answers to them.

The initial documents, claimed the New York Post, were obtained when the laptops containing them were left at a Delaware repair shop with water damage and never picked up, allowing the owner to access its contents and then turn them over to both the FBI and a lawyer for Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani. The repair store owner confirmed this narrative in interviews with news outlets and then (under penalty of prosecution) to a Senate Committee; he also provided the receipt purportedly signed by Hunter. Neither Hunter nor the Biden campaign has denied these claims.

Publication of that initial New York Post story provoked a highly unusual censorship campaign by Facebook and Twitter. Facebook, through a long-time former Democratic Party operative, vowed to suppress the story pending its “fact-check,” one that has as of yet produced no public conclusions. And while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologized for Twitter’s handling of the censorship and reversed the policy that led to the blocking of all links the story, the New York Post, the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper, continues to be locked out of its Twitter account, unable to post as the election approaches, for almost two weeks.

After that initial censorship burst from Silicon Valley, whose workforce and oligarchs have donated almost entirely to the Biden campaign, it was the nation’s media outlets and former CIA and other intelligence officials who took the lead in constructing reasons why the story should be dismissed, or at least treated with scorn. As usual for the Trump era, the theme that took center stage to accomplish this goal was an unsubstantiated claim about the Kremlin responsibility for the story.

Numerous news outlets, including the Intercept, quickly cited a public letter signed by former CIA officials and other agents of the security state claiming that the documents have the “classic trademarks » of a “Russian disinformation” plot. But, as media outlets and even intelligence agencies are now slowly admitting, no evidence has ever been presented to corroborate this assertion. On Friday, the New York Times reported that “no concrete evidence has emerged that the laptop contains Russian disinformation” and the paper said even the FBI has “acknowledged that it had not found any Russian disinformation on the laptop.”

The Washington Post on Sunday published an op-ed — by Thomas Rid, one of those centrists establishmentarian professors whom media outlets routinely use to provide the facade of expert approval for deranged conspiracy theories — that contained this extraordinary proclamation: « We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t. »

Even the letter from the former intelligence officials cited by The Intercept and other outlets to insinuate that this was all part of some “Russian disinformation” scheme explicitly admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement,” though many media outlets omitted that crucial acknowledgement when citing the letter in order to disparage the story as a Kremlin plot:

 

Despite this complete lack of evidence, the Biden campaign adopted this phrase used by intelligence officials and media outlets as its mantra for why the materials should not be discussed and why they would not answer basic questions about them. “I think we need to be very, very clear that what he’s doing here is amplifying Russian misinformation, » said Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield about the possibility that Trump would raise the Biden emails at Thursday night’s debate. Biden’s senior advisor Symone Sanders similarly warned on MSNBC: “if the president decides to amplify these latest smears against the vice president and his only living son, that is Russian disinformation. »

The few mainstream journalists who tried merely to discuss these materials have been vilified. For the crime of simply noting it on Twitter that first day, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had her name trend all morning along with the derogatory nickname “MAGA Haberman.” CBS News’ Bo Erickson was widely attacked even by his some in the media simply for asking Biden what his response to the story was. And Biden himself refused to answer, accusing Erickson of spreading a « smear. »

That it is irresponsible and even unethical to mention these documents became a pervasive view in mainstream journalism. The NPR Public Editor, in an anazing statement representative of much of the prevailing media mentality, explicitly justified NPR’s refusal to cover the story on the ground that “we do not want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories . . . [or] waste the readers’ and listeners’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

To justify her own show’s failure to cover the story, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl resorted to an entirely different justification. “It can’t be verified,” the CBS reporter claimed when confronted by President Trump in an interview about her program’s failure to cover the Hunter Biden documents. When Trump insisted there were multiple ways to verify the materials on the laptop, Stahl simply repeated the same phrase: “it can’t be verified.”

After the final presidential debate on Thursday night, a CNN panel mocked the story as too complex and obscure for anyone to follow — a self-fulfilling prophecy given that, as the network’s media reporter Brian Stelter noted with pride, the story has barely been mentioned either on CNN or MSNBC. As the New York Times noted on Friday: « most viewers of CNN and MSNBC would not have heard much about the unconfirmed Hunter Biden emails…. CNN’s mentions of “Hunter” peaked at 20 seconds and MSNBC’s at 24 seconds one day last week. »

On Sunday, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour barely pretended to be interested in any journalism surrounding the story, scoffing during an interview at requests from the RNC’s Elizabeth Harrington to cover the story and verify the documents by telling her: « We’re not going to do your work for you. » Watch how the U.S.’s most mainstream journalists are openly announcing their refusal to even consider what these documents might reflect about the Democratic front-runner:

These journalists are desperate not to know. As Taibbi wrote on Sunday about this tawdry press spectacle:  » The least curious people in the country right now appear to be the credentialed news media, a situation normally unique to tinpot authoritarian societies. »

All of those excuses and pretexts — emanating largely from a national media that is all but explicit in their eagerness for Biden to win — served for the first week or more after the Post story to create a cone of silence around this story and, to this very day, a protective shield for Biden. As a result, the front-running presidential candidate knows that he does not have to answer even the most basic questions about these documents because most of the national press has already signaled that they will not press him to do so; to the contrary, they will concoct defenses on his behalf to avoid discussing it.

The relevant questions for Biden raised by this new reporting are as glaring as they are important. Yet Biden has had to answer very few of them yet because he has not been asked and, when he has, media outlets have justified his refusal to answer rather than demand that he do so. We submitted nine questions to his campaign about these documents that the public has the absolute right to know, including:

  • whether he claims any the emails or texts are fabricated (and, if so, which specific ones);
  • whether he knows if Hunter did indeed drop off laptops at the Delaware repair store;
  • whether Hunter ever asked him to meet with Burisma executives or whether he in fact did so;
  • whether Biden ever knew about business proposals in Ukraine or China being pursued by his son and brother in which Biden was a proposed participant and,
  • how Biden could justify expending so much energy as Vice President demanding that the Ukrainian General Prosecutor be fired, and why the replacement — Yuriy Lutsenko, someone who had no experience in law; was a crony of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko; and himself had a history of corruption allegations — was acceptable if Biden’s goal really was to fight corruption in Ukraine rather than benefit Burisma or control Ukrainian internal affairs for some other objective.

 

Though the Biden campaign indicated that they would respond to the Intercept’s questions, they have not done so. A statement they released to other outlets contains no answers to any of these questions except to claim that Biden “has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any business overseas.” To date, even as the Biden campaign echoes the baseless claims of media outlets that anyone discussing this story is “amplifying Russian disinformation,” neither Hunter Biden nor the Biden campaign have even said whether they claim the emails and other documents — which they and the press continue to label « Russian disinformation » — are forgeries or whether they are authentic.

The Biden campaign clearly believes it has no need to answer any of these questions by virtue of a panoply of media excuses offered on its behalf that collapse upon the most minimal scrutiny:

First, the claim that the material is of suspect authenticity or cannot be verified — the excuse used on behalf of Biden by Leslie Stahl and Christiane Amanpour, among others — is blatantly false for numerous reasons. As someone who has reported similar large archives in partnership with numerous media outlets around the world (including the Snowden archive in 2014 and the Intercept’s Brazil Archive over the last year showing corruption by high-level Bolsonaro officials), and who also covered the reporting of similar archives by other outlets (the Panama Papers, the WikiLeaks war logs of 2010 and DNC/Podesta emails of 2016), it is clear to me that the trove of documents from Hunter Biden’s emails has been verified in ways quite similar to those.

With an archive of this size, one can never independently authenticate every word in every last document unless the subject of the reporting voluntarily confirms it in advance, which they rarely do. What has been done with similar archives is journalists obtain enough verification to create high levels of journalistic confidence in the materials. Some of the materials provided by the source can be independently confirmed, proving genuine access by the source to a hard drive, a telephone, or a database. Other parties in email chains can confirm the authenticity of the email or text conversations in which they participated. One investigates non-public facts contained in the documents to determine that they conform to what the documents reflect. Technology specialists can examine the materials to ensure no signs of forgeries are detected.

This is the process that enabled the largest and most established media outlets around the world to report similar large archives obtained without authorization. In those other cases, no media outlet was able to verify every word of every document prior to publication. There was no way to prove the negative that the source or someone else had not altered or forged some of the material. That level of verification is both unattainable and unnecessary. What is needed is substantial evidence to create high confidence in the authentication process.

The Hunter Biden documents have at least as much verification as those other archives that were widely reported. There are sources in the email chains who have verified that the published emails are accurate. The archive contains private photos and videos of Hunter whose authenticity is not in doubt. A former business partner of Hunter has stated, unequivocally and on the record, that not only are the emails authentic but they describe events accurately, including proposed participation by the former Vice President in at least one deal Hunter and Jim Biden were pursuing in China. And, most importantly of all, neither Hunter Biden nor the Biden campaign has even suggested, let alone claimed, that a single email or text is fake.

Why is the failure of the Bidens to claim that these emails are forged so significant? Because when journalists report on a massive archive, they know that the most important event in the reporting’s authentication process comes when the subjects of the reporting have an opportunity to deny that the materials are genuine. Of course that is what someone would do if major media outlets were preparing to publish, or in fact were publishing, fabricated or forged materials in their names; they would say so in order to sow doubt about the materials if not kill the credibility of the reporting.

The silence of the Bidens may not be dispositive on the question of the material’s authenticity, but when added to the mountain of other authentication evidence, it is quite convincing: at least equal to the authentication evidence in other reporting on similarly large archives.

Second, the oft-repeated claim from news outlets and CIA operatives that the published emails and texts were “Russian disinformation” was, from the start, obviously baseless and reckless. No evidence — literally none — has been presented to suggest involvement by any Russians in the dissemination of these materials, let alone that it was part of some official plot by Moscow. As always, anything is possible — when one does not know for certain what the provenance of materials is, nothing can be ruled out — but in journalism, evidence is required before news outlets can validly start blaming some foreign government for the release of information. And none has ever been presented. Yet the claim that this was « Russian disinformation » was published in countless news outlets, television broadcasts, and the social media accounts of journalists, typically by pointing to the evidence-free claims of ex-CIA officials.

Worse is the “disinformation” part of the media’s equation. How can these materials constitute “disinformation” if they are authentic emails and texts actually sent to and from Hunter Biden? The ease with which news outlets that are supposed to be skeptical of evidence-free pronouncements by the intelligence community instead printed their assertions about « Russian disinformation » is alarming in the extreme. But they did it because they instinctively wanted to find a reason to justify ignoring the contents of these emails, so claiming that Russia was behind it, and that the materials were « disinformation, » became their placeholder until they could figure out what else they should say to justify ignoring these documents.

Third, the media rush to exonerate Biden on the question of whether he engaged in corruption vis-a-vis Ukraine and Burisma rested on what are, at best, factually dubious defenses of the former Vice President. Much of this controversy centers on Biden’s aggressive efforts while Vice President in late 2015 to force the Ukrainian government to fire its Chief Prosecutor, Viktor Shokhin, and replace him with someone acceptable to the U.S., which turned out to be Yuriy Lutsenko. These events are undisputed by virtue of a video of Biden boasting in front of an audience of how he flew to Kiev and forced the Ukrainians to fire Shokhin, upon pain of losing $1 billion in aid.

But two towering questions have long been prompted by these events, and the recently published emails make them more urgent than ever: 1) was the firing of the Ukrainian General Prosecutor such a high priority for Biden as Vice President of the U.S. because of his son’s highly lucrative role on the board of Burisma, and 2) if that was not the motive, why was it so important for Biden to dictate who the chief prosecutor of Ukraine was?

The standard answer to the question about Biden’s motive — offered both by Biden and his media defenders — is that he, along with the IMF and EU, wanted Shokhin fired because the U.S. and its allies were eager to clean up Ukraine, and they viewed Shokhin as insufficiently vigilant in fighting corruption.

“Biden’s brief was to sweet-talk and jawbone Poroshenko into making reforms that Ukraine’s Western benefactors wanted to see as,” wrote the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler in what the Post calls a “fact-check.” Kessler also endorsed the key defense of Biden: that the firing of Shokhin was bad for Burima, not good for it. “The United States viewed [Shokhin] as ineffective and beholden to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s corrupt oligarchs. In particular, Shokin had failed to pursue an investigation of the founder of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky,” Kessler claims.

But that claim does not even pass the laugh test. The U.S. and its European allies are not opposed to corruption by their puppet regimes. They are allies with the most corrupt regimes on the planet, from Riyadh to Cairo, and always have been. Since when does the U.S. devote itself to ensuring good government in the nations it is trying to control? If anything, allowing corruption to flourish has been a key tool in enabling the U.S. to exert power in other countries and to open up their markets to U.S. companies.

Beyond that, if increasing prosecutorial independence and strengthening anti-corruption vigilance were really Biden’s goal in working to demand the firing of the Ukrainian chief prosecutor, why would the successor to Shokhin, Yuriy Lutsenko, possibly be acceptable? Lutsenko, after all, had « no legal background as general prosecutor, » was principally known only as a lackey of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, was forced in 2009 to « resign as interior minister after being detained by police at Frankfurt airport for being drunk and disorderly, » and « was subsequently jailed for embezzlement and abuse of office, though his defenders said the sentence was politically motivated. »

Is it remotely convincing to you that Biden would have accepted someone like Lutsenko if his motive really were to fortify anti-corruption prosecutions in Ukraine? Yet that’s exactly what Biden did: he personally told Poroshenko that Lutsenko was an acceptable alternative and promptly released the $1 billion after his appointment was announced. Whatever Biden’s motive was in using his power as U.S. Vice President to change the prosecutor in Ukraine, his acceptance of someone like Lutsenko strongly suggests that combatting Ukrainian corruption was not it.

As for the other claim on which Biden and his media allies have heavily relied — that firing Shokhin was not a favor for Burisma because Shokhin was not pursuing any investigations against Burisma — the evidence does not justify that assertion.

It is true that no evidence, including these new emails, constitute proof that Biden’s motive in demanding Shokhin’s termination was to benefit Burisma. But nothing demonstrates that Shokhin was impeding investigations into Burisma. Indeed, the New York Times in 2019 published one of the most comprehensive investigations to date of the claims made in defense of Biden when it comes to Ukraine and the firing of this prosecutor, and, while noting that « no evidence has surfaced that the former vice president intentionally tried to help his son by pressing for the prosecutor general’s dismissal, » this is what its reporters concluded about Shokhin and Burisma:

[Biden’s] pressure campaign eventually worked. The prosecutor general, long a target of criticism from other Western nations and international lenders, was voted out months later by the Ukrainian Parliament.

Among those who had a stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s younger son, who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.

The Times added: « Mr. Shokhin’s office had oversight of investigations into [Burisma’s billionaire founder] Zlochevsky and his businesses, including Burisma. » By contrast, they said, Lutsenko, the replacement approved by Vice President Biden, « initially continued investigating Mr. Zlochevsky and Burisma, but cleared him of all charges within 10 months of taking office. »

So whether or not it was Biden’s intention to confer benefits on Burisma by demanding Shokhin’s firing, it ended up quite favorable for Burisma given that the utterly inexperienced Lutesenko « cleared [Burisma’s founder] of all charges within 10 months of taking office. »

The new comprehensive report from journalist Taibbi on Sunday also strongly supports the view that there were clear antagonisms between Shokhin and Burisma, such that firing the Ukrainian prosecutor would have been beneficial for Burisma. Taibbi, who reported for many years while based in Russia and remains very well-sourced in the region, detailed:

For all the negative press about Shokhin, there’s no doubt that there were multiple active cases involving Zlochevsky/Burisma during his short tenure. This was even once admitted by American reporters, before it became taboo to describe such cases untethered to words like “dormant.” Here’s how Ken Vogel at the New York Times put it in May of 2019:

« When Mr. Shokhin became prosecutor general in February 2015, he inherited several investigations into the company and Mr. Zlochevsky, including for suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering. Mr. Shokin also opened an investigation into the granting of lucrative gas licenses to companies owned by Mr. Zlochevsky when he was the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. »

Ukrainian officials I reached this week confirmed that multiple cases were active during that time.

“There were different numbers, but from 7 to 14,” says Serhii Horbatiuk, former head of the special investigations department for the Prosecutor General’s Office, when asked how many Burisma cases there were.

“There may have been two to three episodes combined, and some have already been closed, so I don’t know the exact amount. » But, Horbatiuk insists, there were many cases, most of them technically started under Yarema, but at least active under Shokin.

The numbers quoted by Horbatiuk gibe with those offered by more recent General Prosecutor Rulsan Ryaboshapka, who last year said there were at one time or another “13 or 14” cases in existence involving Burisma or Zlochevsky.

Taibbi reviews real-time reporting in both Ukraine and the U.S. to document several other pending investigations against Burisma and Zlochevsky that was overseen by the prosecutor whose firing Biden demanded. He notes that Shokhin himself has repeatedly said he was pursuing several investigations against Zlochevsky at the time Biden demanded his firing. In sum, Taibbi concludes, « one can’t say there’s no evidence of active Burisma cases even during the last days of Shokin, who says that it was the February, 2016 seizure order [against Zlochevsky’s assets] that got him fired. »

And, Taibbi notes, « the story looks even odder when one wonders why the United States would exercise so much foreign policy muscle to get Shokin fired, only to allow in a replacement — Yuri Lutsenko — who by all accounts was a spectacularly bigger failure in the battle against corruption in general, and Zlochevsky in particular. » In sum: « it’s unquestionable that the cases against Burisma were all closed by Shokin’s successor, chosen in consultation with Joe Biden, whose son remained on the board of said company for three more years, earning upwards of $50,000 per month. »

The publicly known facts, augmented by the recent emails, texts and on-the-record accounts, suggest serious sleaze by Joe Biden’s son Hunter in trying to peddle his influence with the Vice President for profit. But they also raise real questions about whether Joe Biden knew about and even himself engaged in a form of legalized corruption. Specifically, these newly revealed information suggest Biden was using his power to benefit his son’s business Ukrainian associates, and allowing his name to be traded on while Vice President for his son and brother to pursue business opportunities in China. These are questions which a minimally healthy press would want answered, not buried — regardless of how many similar or worse scandals the Trump family has.

But the real scandal that has been proven is not the former Vice President’s misconduct but that of his supporters and allies in the U.S. media. As Taibbi’s headline put it: “With the Hunter Biden Exposé, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than the Actual Story.”

The reality is the U.S. press has been planning for this moment for four years — cooking up justifications for refusing to report on newsworthy material that might help Donald Trump get re-elected. One major factor is the undeniable truth that journalists with national outlets based in New York, Washington and West Coast cities overwhelmingly not just favor Joe Biden but are desperate to see Donald Trump defeated.

It takes an enormous amount of gullibility to believe that any humans are capable of separating such an intense partisan preference from their journalistic judgment. Many barely even bother to pretend: critiques of Joe Biden are often attacked first not by Biden campaign operatives but by political reporters at national news outlets who make little secret of their eagerness to help Biden win.

But much of this has to do with the fallout from the 2016 election. During that campaign, news outlets, including The Intercept, did their jobs as journalists by reporting on the contents of newsworthy, authentic documents: namely, the emails published by WikiLeaks from the John Podesta and DNC inboxes which, among other things, revealed corruption so severe that it forced the resignation of the top five officials of the DNC. That the materials were hacked, and that intelligence agencies were suggesting Russia was responsible, not negate the newsworthiness of the documents, which is why media outlets across the country repeatedly reported on their contents.

Nonetheless, journalists have spent four years being attacked as Trump enablers in their overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal cultural circles: the cities in which they live are overwhelmingly Democratic, and their demographic — large-city, college-educated professionals — has vanishingly little Trump support. A New York Times survey of campaign data from Monday tells just a part of this story of cultural insularity and homogeniety:

Joe Biden has outraised President Trump on the strength of some of the wealthiest and most educated ZIP codes in the United States, running up the fund-raising score in cities and suburbs so resoundingly that he collected more money than Mr. Trump on all but two days in the last two months….It is not just that much of Mr. Biden’s strongest support comes overwhelmingly from the two coasts, which it does…. [U]nder Mr. Trump, Republicans have hemorrhaged support from white voters with college degrees. In ZIP codes with a median household income of at least $100,000, Mr. Biden smashed Mr. Trump in fund-raising, $486 million to only $167 million — accounting for almost his entire financial edge….One Upper West Side ZIP code — 10024 — accounted for more than $8 million for Mr. Biden, and New York City in total delivered $85.6 million for him — more than he raised in every state other than California….

The median household in the United States was $68,703 in 2019. In ZIP codes above that level, Mr. Biden outraised Mr. Trump by $389.1 million. Below that level, Mr. Trump was actually ahead by $53.4 million.

Wanting to avoid a repeat of feeling scorn and shunning in their own extremely pro-Democratic, anti-Trump circles, national media outlets have spent four years inventing standards for election-year reporting on hacked materials that never previously existed and that are utterly anathema to the core journalistic function. The Washington Post’s Executive Editor Marty Baron, for instance, issued a memo full of cautions about how Post reporters should, or should not, discuss hacked materials even if their authenticity is not in doubt.

That a media outlet should even consider refraining from reporting on materials they know to be authentic and in the public interest because of questions about their provenance is the opposite of how journalism has been practiced. In the days before the 2016 election, for instance, the New York Times received by mail one year of Donald Trump’s tax returns and — despite having no idea who sent it to them or how that person obtained it: was is stolen or hacked by a foreign power? — the Times reported on its contents.

When asked by NPR why they would report on documents when they do not know the source let alone the source’s motives in providing them, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Barstow compellingly explained what had always been the core principle of journalism: namely, a journalist only cares about two questions — (1) are documents authentic and (2) are they in the public interest? — but does not care about what motives a source has in providing the documents or how they were obtained when deciding whether to reporting them:

The U.S. media often laments that people have lost faith in its pronouncements, that they are increasingly viewed as untrustworthy and that many people view Fake News sites are more reliable than established news outlets. They are good at complaining about this, but very bad at asking whether any of their own conduct is responsible for it.

A media outlet that renounces its core function — pursuing answers to relevant questions about powerful people — is one that deserves to lose the public’s faith and confidence. And that is exactly what the U.S. media, with some exceptions, attempted to do with this story: they took the lead not in investigating these documents but in concocting excuses for why they should be ignored.

As my colleague Lee Fang put it on Sunday: « The partisan double standards in the media are mind boggling this year, and much of the supposedly left independent media is just as cowardly and conformist as the mainstream corporate media. Everyone is reading the room and acting out of fear. » Discussing his story from Sunday, Taibbi summed up the most important point this way: « The whole point is that the press loses its way when it cares more about who benefits from information than whether it’s true. »

Voir enfin:

My Resignation From The Intercept
The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles.
Glenn Greenwald
Oct. 29, 2020

Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media.

The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.

The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.

I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose.

The censored article will be published on this page shortly (it is now published here, and the emails with Intercept editors showing the censorship are here). My letter of intent to resign, which I sent this morning to First Look Media’s President Michael Bloom, is published below.

As of now, I will be publishing my journalism here on Substack, where numerous other journalists, including my good friend, the great intrepid reporter Matt Taibbi, have come in order to practice journalism free of the increasingly repressive climate that is engulfing national mainstream media outlets across the country.

This was not an easy choice: I am voluntarily sacrificing the support of a large institution and guaranteed salary in exchange for nothing other than a belief that there are enough people who believe in the virtues of independent journalism and the need for free discourse who will be willing to support my work by subscribing.

Like anyone with young children, a family and numerous obligations, I do this with some trepidation, but also with the conviction that there is no other choice. I could not sleep at night knowing that I allowed any institution to censor what I want to say and believe — least of all a media outlet I co-founded with the explicit goal of ensuring this never happens to other journalists, let alone to me, let alone because I have written an article critical of a powerful Democratic politician vehemently supported by the editors in the imminent national election.

But the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality that led to the bizarre spectacle of my being censored by my own media outlet are ones that are by no means unique to The Intercept. These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom. I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and — regardless of the risks involved — simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates.

From the time I began writing about politics in 2005, journalistic freedom and editorial independence have been sacrosanct to me. Fifteen years ago, I created a blog on the free Blogspot software when I was still working as a lawyer: not with any hopes or plans of starting a new career as a journalist, but just as a citizen concerned about what I was seeing with the War on Terror and civil liberties, and wanting to express what I believed needed to be heard. It was a labor of love, based in an ethos of cause and conviction, dependent upon a guarantee of complete editorial freedom.

It thrived because the readership I built knew that, even when they disagreed with particular views I was expressing, I was a free and independent voice, unwedded to any faction, controlled by nobody, endeavoring to be as honest as possible about what I was seeing, and always curious about the wisdom of seeing things differently. The title I chose for that blog, “Unclaimed Territory,” reflected that spirit of liberation from captivity to any fixed political or intellectual dogma or institutional constraints.

When Salon offered me a job as a columnist in 2007, and then again when the Guardian did the same in 2012, I accepted their offers on the condition that I would have the right, except in narrowly defined situations (such as articles that could create legal liability for the news outlet), to publish my articles and columns directly to the internet without censorship, advanced editorial interference, or any other intervention permitted or approval needed. Both outlets revamped their publication system to accommodate this condition, and over the many years I worked with them, they always honored those commitments.

When I left the Guardian at the height of the Snowden reporting in 2013 in order to create a new media outlet, I did not do so, needless to say, in order to impose upon myself more constraints and restrictions on my journalistic independence. The exact opposite was true: the intended core innovation of The Intercept, above all else, was to create a new media outlets where all talented, responsible journalists would enjoy the same right of editorial freedom I had always insisted upon for myself. As I told former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller in a 2013 exchange we had in The New York Times about my critiques of mainstream journalism and the idea behind The Intercept: “editors should be there to empower and enable strong, highly factual, aggressive adversarial journalism, not to serve as roadblocks to neuter or suppress the journalism.”

When the three of us as co-founders made the decision early on that we would not attempt to manage the day-to-day operations of the new outlet, so that we could instead focus on our journalism, we negotiated the right of approval for senior editors and, especially the editor-in-chief. The central responsibility of the person holding that title was to implement, in close consultation with us, the unique journalistic vision and journalistic values on which we founded this new media outlet.

Chief among those values was editorial freedom, the protection of a journalist’s right to speak in an honest voice, and the airing rather than suppression of dissent from mainstream orthodoxies and even collegial disagreements with one another. That would be accomplished, above all else, by ensuring that journalists, once they fulfilled the first duty of factual accuracy and journalistic ethics, would be not just permitted but encouraged to express political and ideological views that deviated from mainstream orthodoxy and those of their own editors; to express themselves in their own voice of passion and conviction rather stuffed into the corporatized, contrived tone of artificial objectivity, above-it-all omnipotence; and to be completely free of anyone else’s dogmatic beliefs or ideological agenda — including those of the three co-founders.

The current iteration of The Intercept is completely unrecognizable when compared to that original vision. Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, it is rapidly becoming just another media outlet with mandated ideological and partisan loyalties, a rigid and narrow range of permitted viewpoints (ranging from establishment liberalism to soft leftism, but always anchored in ultimate support for the Democratic Party), a deep fear of offending hegemonic cultural liberalism and center-left Twitter luminaries, and an overarching need to secure the approval and admiration of the very mainstream media outlets we created The Intercept to oppose, critique and subvert.

As a result, it is a rare event indeed when a radical freelance voice unwelcome in mainstream precincts is published in The Intercept. Outside reporters or writers with no claim to mainstream acceptability — exactly the people we set out to amplify — have almost no chance of being published. It is even rarer for The Intercept to publish content that would not fit very comfortably in at least a dozen or more center-left publications of similar size which pre-dated its founding, from Mother Jones to Vox and even MSNBC.

Courage is required to step out of line, to question and poke at those pieties most sacred in one’s own milieu, but fear of alienating the guardians of liberal orthodoxy, especially on Twitter, is the predominant attribute of The Intercept’s New-York based editorial leadership team. As a result, The Intercept has all but abandoned its core mission of challenging and poking at, rather than appeasing and comforting, the institutions and guardians most powerful in its cultural and political circles.

Making all of this worse, The Intercept — while gradually excluding the co-founders from any role in its editorial mission or direction, and making one choice after the next to which I vocally objected as a betrayal of our core mission — continued publicly to trade on my name in order to raise funds for journalism it knew I did not support. It purposely allowed the perception to fester that I was the person responsible for its journalistic mistakes in order to ensure that blame for those mistakes was heaped on me rather than the editors who were consolidating control and were responsible for them.

The most egregious, but by no means only, example of exploiting my name to evade responsibility was the Reality Winner debacle. As The New York Times recently reported, that was a story in which I had no involvement whatsoever. While based in Brazil, I was never asked to work on the documents which Winner sent to our New York newsroom with no request that any specific journalist work on them. I did not even learn of the existence of that document until very shortly prior to its publication. The person who oversaw, edited and controlled that story was Betsy Reed, which was how it should be given the magnitude and complexity of that reporting and her position as editor-in-chief.

It was Intercept editors who pressured the story’s reporters to quickly send those documents for authentication to the government — because they was eager to prove to mainstream media outlets and prominent liberals that The Intercept was willing to get on board the Russiagate train. They wanted to counter-act the perception, created by my articles expressing skepticism about the central claims of that scandal, that The Intercept had stepped out of line on a story of high importance to U.S. liberalism and even the left. That craving — to secure the approval of the very mainstream media outlets we set out to counteract — was the root cause for the speed and recklessness with which that document from Winner was handled.

But The Intercept, to this very day, has refused to provide any public accounting of what happened in the Reality Winner story: to explain who the editors were who made mistakes and why any of it happened. As the New York Times article makes clear, that refusal persists to this very day notwithstanding vocal demands from myself, Scahill, Laura Poitras and others that The Intercept, as an institution that demands transparency from others, has the obligation to provide it for itself.

The reason for this silence and this cover-up is obvious: accounting to the public about what happened with the Reality Winner story would reveal who the actual editors are who are responsible for that deeply embarrassing newsroom failure, and that would negate their ability to continue to hide behind me and let the public continue to assume that I was the person at fault for a reporting process from which I was completely excluded from the start. That is just one example illustrating the frustrating dilemma of having a newsroom exploit my name, work and credibility when it is convenient to do so, while increasingly denying me any opportunity to influence its journalistic mission and editorial direction, all while pursuing an editorial mission completely anathema to what I believe.

Despite all of this, I did not want to leave The Intercept. As it deteriorated and abandoned its original mission, I reasoned to myself — perhaps rationalized — that as long as The Intercept at least continued to provide me the resources to personally do the journalism I believe in, and never to interfere in or impede my editorial freedom, I could swallow everything else.

But the brute censorship this week of my article — about the Hunter Biden materials and Joe Biden’s conduct regarding Ukraine and China, as well my critique of the media’s rank-closing attempt, in a deeply unholy union with Silicon Valley and the “intelligence community,” to suppress its revelations — eroded the last justification I could cling to for staying. It meant that not only does this media outlet not provide the editorial freedom to other journalists, as I had so hopefully envisioned seven years ago, but now no longer even provides it to me. In the days heading into a presidential election, I am somehow silenced from expressing any views that random editors in New York find disagreeable, and now somehow have to conform my writing and reporting to cater to their partisan desires and eagerness to elect specific candidates.

To say that such censorship is a red line for me, a situation I would never accept no matter the cost, is an understatement. It is astonishing to me, but also a reflection of our current discourse and illiberal media environment, that I have been silenced about Joe Biden by my own media outlet.

Numerous other episodes were also contributing causes to my decision to leave: the Reality Winner cover-up; the decision to hang Lee Fang out to dry and even force him to apologize when a colleague tried to destroy his reputation by publicly, baselessly and repeatedly branding him a racist; its refusal to report on the daily proceedings of the Assange extradition hearing because the freelance reporter doing an outstanding job was politically distasteful; its utter lack of editorial standards when it comes to viewpoints or reporting that flatter the beliefs of its liberal base (The Intercept published some of the most credulous and false affirmations of maximalist Russiagate madness, and, horrifyingly, took the lead in falsely branding the Hunter Biden archive as “Russian disinformation” by mindlessly and uncritically citing — of all things — a letter by former CIA officials that contained this baseless insinuation).

I know it sounds banal to say, but — even with all of these frustrations and failures — I am leaving, and writing this, with genuine sadness, not fury. That news outlet is something I and numerous close friends and colleagues poured an enormous amount of our time, energy, passion and love into building.

The Intercept has done great work. Its editorial leaders and First Look’s managers steadfastly supported the difficult and dangerous reporting I did last year with my brave young colleagues at The Intercept Brasil to expose corruption at the highest levels of the Bolsonaro government, and stood behind us as we endured threats of death and imprisonment.

It continues to employ some of my closest friends, outstanding journalists whose work — when it overcomes editorial resistance — produces nothing but the highest admiration from me: Jeremy Scahill, Lee Fang, Murtaza Hussain, Naomi Klein, Ryan Grim and others. And I have no personal animus for anyone there, nor any desire to hurt it as an institution. Betsy Reed is an exceptionally smart editor and a very good human being with whom I developed a close and valuable friendship. And Pierre Omidyar, the original funder and publisher of First Look, always honored his personal commitment never to interfere in our editorial process even when I was publishing articles directly at odds with his strongly held views and even when I was attacking other institutions he was funding. I’m not leaving out of vengeance or personal conflict but out of conviction and cause.

And none of the critiques I have voiced about The Intercept are unique to it. To the contrary: these are the raging battles over free expression and the right of dissent raging within every major cultural, political and journalistic institution. That’s the crisis that journalism, and more broadly values of liberalism, faces. Our discourse is becoming increasingly intolerant of dissenting views, and our culture is demanding more and more submission to prevailing orthodoxies imposed by self-anointed monopolists of Truth and Righteousness, backed up by armies of online enforcement mobs.

And nothing is crippled by that trend more severely than journalism, which, above all else, requires the ability of journalists to offend and anger power centers, question or reject sacred pieties, unearth facts that reflect negatively even on (especially on) the most beloved and powerful figures, and highlight corruption no matter where it is found and regardless of who is benefited or injured by its exposure.

Prior to the extraordinary experience of being censored this week by my own news outlet, I had already been exploring the possibility of creating a new media outlet. I have spent a couple of months in active discussions with some of the most interesting, independent and vibrant journalists, writers and commentators across the political spectrum about the feasibility of securing financing for a new outlet that would be designed to combat these trends. The first two paragraphs of our working document reads as follows:

American media is gripped in a polarized culture war that is forcing journalism to conform to tribal, groupthink narratives that are often divorced from the truth and cater to perspectives that are not reflective of the broader public but instead a minority of hyper-partisan elites. The need to conform to highly restrictive, artificial cultural narratives and partisan identities has created a repressive and illiberal environment in which vast swaths of news and reporting either do not happen or are presented through the most skewed and reality-detached lens.

With nearly all major media institutions captured to some degree by this dynamic, a deep need exists for media that is untethered and free to transgress the boundaries of this polarized culture war and address a demand from a public that is starved for media that doesn’t play for a side but instead pursues lines of reporting, thought, and inquiry wherever they lead, without fear of violating cultural pieties or elite orthodoxies.

I have definitely not relinquished hope that this ambitious project can be accomplished. And I theoretically could have stayed at The Intercept until then, guaranteeing a stable and secure income for my family by swallowing the dictates of my new censors.

But I would be deeply ashamed if I did that, and believe I would be betraying my own principles and convictions that I urge others to follow. So in the meantime, I have decided to follow in the footsteps of numerous other writers and journalists who have been expelled from increasingly repressive journalistic precincts for various forms of heresy and dissent and who have sought refuge here.

I hope to exploit the freedom this new platform offers not only to continue to publish the independent and hard-hitting investigative journalism and candid analysis and opinion writing that my readers have come to expect, but also to develop a podcast, and continue the YouTube program, “System Update,” I launched earlier this year in partnership with The Intercept.

To do that, to make this viable, I will need your support: people who are able to subscribe and sign up for the newsletter attached to this platform will enable my work to thrive and still be heard, perhaps even more so than before. I began my journalism career by depending on my readers’ willingness to support independent journalism which they believe is necessary to sustain. It is somewhat daunting at this point in my life, but also very exciting, to return to that model where one answers only to the public a journalist should be serving.

* * * * * * * *

LETTER OF INTENT TO RESIGN

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: ResignationDate: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 10:20:54 -0300From: Glenn Greenwald <xxxxxxxx@theintercept.com>To: Michael Bloom <xxxxxxxxx@firstlook.media>, Betsy Reed <xxxxxxx@theintercept.com>

Michael –

I am writing to advise you that I have decided that I will be resigning from First Look Media (FLM) and The Intercept.

The precipitating (but by no means only) cause is that The Intercept is attempting to censor my articles in violation of both my contract and fundamental principles of editorial freedom. The latest and perhaps most egregious example is an opinion column I wrote this week which, five days before the presidential election, is critical of Joe Biden, the candidate who happens to be vigorously supported by all of the Intercept editors in New York who are imposing the censorship and refusing to publish the article unless I agree to remove all of the sections critical of the candidate they want to win. All of that violates the right in my contract with FLM to publish articles without editorial interference except in very narrow circumstances that plainly do not apply here.

Worse, The Intercept editors in New York, not content to censor publication of my article at the Intercept, are also demanding that I not exercise my separate contractual right with FLM regarding articles I have written but which FLM does not want to publish itself. Under my contract, I have the right to publish any articles FLM rejects with another publication. But Intercept editors in New York are demanding I not only accept their censorship of my article at The Intercept, but also refrain from publishing it with any other journalistic outlet, and are using thinly disguised lawyer-crafted threats to coerce me not to do so (proclaiming it would be “detrimental” to The Intercept if I published it elsewhere).

I have been extremely disenchanted and saddened by the editorial direction of The Intercept under its New York leadership for quite some time. The publication we founded without those editors back in 2014 now bears absolutely no resemblance to what we set out to build — not in content, structure, editorial mission or purpose. I have grown embarrassed to have my name used as a fund-raising tool to support what it is doing and for editors to use me as a shield to hide behind to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes (including, but not only, with the Reality Winner debacle, for which I was publicly blamed despite having no role in it, while the editors who actually were responsible for those mistakes stood by silently, allowing me to be blamed for their errors and then covering-up any public accounting of what happened, knowing that such transparency would expose their own culpability).

But all this time, as things worsened, I reasoned that as long as The Intercept remained a place where my own right of journalistic independence was not being infringed, I could live with all of its other flaws. But now, not even that minimal but foundational right is being honored for my own journalism, suppressed by an increasingly authoritarian, fear-driven, repressive editorial team in New York bent on imposing their own ideological and partisan preferences on all writers while ensuring that nothing is published at The Intercept that contradicts their own narrow, homogenous ideological and partisan views: exactly what The Intercept, more than any other goal, was created to prevent.

I have asked my lawyer to get in touch with FLM to discuss how best to terminate my contract. Thank you –

Glenn Greenwald

Voir par ailleurs:

Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism

Jim Rutenberg
The New York Times
Aug. 7, 2016

If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.

But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?

Covering Mr. Trump as an abnormal and potentially dangerous candidate is more than just a shock to the journalistic system. It threatens to throw the advantage to his news conference-averse opponent, Hillary Clinton, who should draw plenty more tough-minded coverage herself. She proved that again last week with her assertion on “Fox News Sunday” that James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had declared her to be truthful in her answers about her decision to use a private email server for official State Department business — a grossly misleading interpretation of an F.B.I. report that pointed up various falsehoods in her public explanations.

And, most broadly, it upsets balance, that idealistic form of journalism with a capital “J” we’ve been trained to always strive for.

But let’s face it: Balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy. For the primaries and caucuses, the imbalance played to his advantage, captured by the killer statistic of the season: His nearly $2 billion in free media was more than six times as much as that of his closest Republican rival.

Now that he is the Republican nominee for president, the imbalance is cutting against him. Journalists and commentators are analyzing his policy pronouncements and temperament with an eye toward what it would all look like in the Oval Office — something so many of them viewed as an impossibility for so long.

You can see it from the minute the television news day starts, on the set of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. A few months ago media writers were describing a too-cozy relationship between Mr. Trump and the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Yet there was Mr. Scarborough on Wednesday asking the former Central Intelligence Agency director Michael V. Hayden whether there were safeguards in place to ensure that if Mr. Trump “gets angry, he can’t launch a nuclear weapon,” given the perception that he might not be “the most stable guy.”

Then Mr. Scarborough shared an alarming conversation he said he had with a “foreign policy expert” who had given Mr. Trump a national security briefing. “Three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Scarborough said, describing one of the questions as “If we have them, why can’t we use them?”

Speaking with me later, Mr. Scarborough, a Republican, said he had not contemplated sharing the anecdote with the audience until just before he did.

“When that discussion came up, I really didn’t have a choice,” Mr. Scarborough said. “That was something I thought Americans needed to know.”

Mr. Trump has denied Mr. Scarborough’s account. (He told The New York Times in March he would use nuclear weapons as “an absolutely last step.” But when the MSNBC host Chris Matthews challenged him for raising the possibility he would use them, Mr. Trump asked, “Then why are we making them?”)

Mr. Scarborough, a frequent critic of liberal media bias, said he was concerned that Mr. Trump was becoming increasingly erratic, and asked rhetorically, “How balanced do you have to be when one side is just irrational?”

Mr. Scarborough is on the opinion side of the news business. It’s much dodgier for conventional news reporters to treat this year’s political debate as one between “normal” and “abnormal,” as the Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein put it recently.

In a sense, that’s just what reporters are doing. And it’s unavoidable. Because Mr. Trump is conducting his campaign in ways we’ve not normally seen.

No living journalist has ever seen a major party nominee put financial conditions on the United States defense of NATO allies, openly fight with the family of a fallen American soldier, or entice Russia to meddle in a United States presidential election by hacking his opponent (a joke, Mr. Trump later said, that the news media failed to get). And while coded appeals to racism or nationalism aren’t new — two words: Southern strategy — overt calls to temporarily bar Muslims from entry to the United States or questioning a federal judge’s impartiality based on his Mexican heritage are new.

“If you have a nominee who expresses warmth toward one of our most mischievous and menacing adversaries, a nominee who shatters all the norms about how our leaders treat families whose sons died for our country, a nominee proposing to rethink the alliances that have guided our foreign policy for 60 years, that demands coverage — copious coverage and aggressive coverage,” said Carolyn Ryan, The New York Times’s senior editor for politics. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t vigorously pursue reporting lines on Hillary Clintonwe are and we will.”

You can fairly say about Mrs. Clinton that no presidential candidate has secured a major party nomination after an F.B.I. investigation into her use of a private email server for, in some cases, top-secret national security information. That warrants scrutiny, along with her entire record. But the candidates do not produce news at the same rate.

“When controversy is being stoked, it’s our obligation to report that,” said the Washington Post managing editor Cameron Barr. “If one candidate is doing that more aggressively and consistently than the other, that is an imbalance for sure.” But, he added, “it’s not one that we create, it’s one that the candidate is creating.”

Some of it was baked into the two candidacies. Mrs. Clinton has been around so long that voters can more easily envision what her presidency would look like. And to say she hasn’t been amply scrutinized is to ignore the fact that there are more “gates” affixed to her last name — Travelgate, Whitewatergate, now Emailgate — than there are gates in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Mr. Trump is a political novice who has spent his career running a private company and starring in a hit reality show. He’s hardly an unknown, but there is so much we still don’t know about his views and his familiarity with the major issues. His positions would be big news even if they didn’t so often seem to break with decades-old policy consensus (which they do).

The media reaction to it all has been striking, what The Columbia Journalism Review called “a Murrow moment.” It’s not unusual to see news stories describe him as “erratic” without attribution to an opponent. The “fact checks” of his falsehoods continue to pile up in staggering numbers, far outpacing those of Mrs. Clinton. And, on Sunday, the CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter called upon journalists and opinion makers to challenge Mr. Trump’s “dangerous” claims that the electoral system is rigged against him. Failure to do so would be unpatriotic, Mr. Stelter said.

While there are several examples of conservative media criticism of Mr. Trump this year, the candidate and his supporters are reprising longstanding accusations of liberal bias. “The media is trying to take Donald Trump out,” Rush Limbaugh declared last week.

A lot of core Trump supporters certainly view it that way. That will only serve to worsen their already dim view of the news media, which initially failed to recognize the power of their grievances, and therefore failed to recognize the seriousness of Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

This, however, is what being taken seriously looks like. As Ms. Ryan put it to me, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is “extraordinary and precedent-shattering” and “to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous with readers.”

It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be like in the most powerful office in the world.

It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters. But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.