2020 Election: The European mirage that Biden's victory was a done deal
"We journalists have not understood the United States," a cry of disgust and confusion is rising in Europe.
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It has been a very long night for most European commentators and journalists following the U.S. elections minute by minute until dawn and, of course, much more so for their special envoys in Washington and other cities in the United States.
At the beginning of Nov. 3, imbued by the polls and a certain media snowball, Democrat Joe Biden's victory was going to be a comfortable one — a horse ride. Around six o'clock in the morning on Nov. 4, prestigious international journalists such as Ramón Lobo, who had predicted that the United States was risking democracy if Trump won, were reflecting on their assumptions while blankly staring at the television screen.
"We journalists must reflect," said Lobo, "because now I see that we have not understood the United States.
The international reporter and writer referred to the narrow margin separating the two candidates, when Trump's victory in Florida had already been announced.
At 8 a.m. on Nov. 4, the vote count gave Biden 225 electoral votes to Trump's 213, a slim margin of 1.4%.
This is not the seven-point lead the international press announced with great fanfare last week, in spite of a few articles from experts that warned of a possible last-minute electoral turnaround.
While some journalists now point out that Democrat Biden's program is flawed and based on his opposition to everything Trump stands for, other foreign political analysts claim that in reality, the U.S. economy has not collapsed during the time of the pandemic as European economies have done, and even bring up the fact that the Latinx vote is not as Democratic as was thought, and is partly influenced by the fact that the predicted economic collapse has not been as hard or as sour in the country.
Although, of course, it has not been taken into account that a resilient economy does not mean a better quality of life, especially when the healthcare system is overwhelmed by COVID-19, at the center of which are the Black and Brown lives.
Perhaps the desire to see a conciliatory politician in power whose discourse is moderate and does not shake the world with tariff pressures, climate denials, and racist and inappropriate comments, or because of the push of Black Lives Matters, the press has found itself in this particular mirage that most Americans want broad progress and airs of change.
International trumpets are beginning to sound and Joe Biden's leadership is being questioned in comparison to the magnetism and forcefulness of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
"Do we really know what the American people are like and how they feel?" asked Ramon Lobo. "Have we seen reality or just what we wanted to see?"
Again, the electorate is not divided into colors, nor races or identities. It is more complex, it is moved by many things and it may be that, as happens in most countries, there is a silent vote that supports the extreme right and does so with dissimulation, without daring to raise its voice, but with the ballot in such convulsive times as these.
Everything has not yet been determined in these historic elections, but there is no doubt that we will draw a lesson of value regardless of whether the result is blue or, as many fear in Europe, purple.