Never has the comparison between the decline of the United States and that of the Roman Empire felt more legitimate. By refusing to condemn white supremacists, (almost encouraging them to resist), the President of the United States was already calling for the denial of the possible outcome of the elections. He seemed to provoke Americans, as if telling them: "Most of you may want to vote against me, but you will see I won’t allow myself to be defeated. Do not count on me to concede defeat. We will not give in to it." Never since the Civil War has America been so fundamentally divided. But in the 1860s, America was far from being the leading power that it became and still remains (for how long?).
Its internal divisions were of little or secondary importance to the world balance. In 2020, it is clear that there is only one winner in the first presidential debate: authoritarian regimes, with China at the forefront. Xi Jinping is the only one to emerge victorious from this sad parody of democracy. It is as if America has set itself the ambition of legitimizing the criticisms that its main opponents make of it. At a time when America is letting its divisions get out of control and is potentially at risk of sinking into violence, if not civil war, China's shadow is spreading over the world. America's democratic allies must learn to live with an America that not only no longer protects them, but through its disorders and convulsions, is a perfect anti-model, if not a direct threat to its democratic institutions. After America, who’s next?
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