The 2020 presidential campaign will be the most bitter in US history. Trump could be re-elected, or perhaps not. America in the next few years will be divided, resentful, and deeply changed.

The 59th presidential election in the history of the United States of America will take place on November 3rd, 2020. The current president Donald Trump will seek re-election, it is not yet clear who his democratic challenger will be; it could be the New York tycoon Michael Bloomberg. In order to understand better, here is a clarification and a forecast. The impeachment process (which we could translate as mistrust) officially started at the end of 2019 for Donald Trump, accused of putting pressure on Ukrainian politicians to create evidence to discredit his democratic opponents. 2/3 of the Congress vote is required to be disheartened. To date, according to many analysts, there is no such large majority willing to dishearten the American leader, so the most likely hypothesis is that Donald Trump remains firmly in his place. However, the discovery of new evidence cannot be excluded, in short, the situation is completely open and unpredictable.

America has become the nation of paradoxes: rich, powerful, technological, but also with the large metropolises crowded with homeless people, with tens of millions of citizens without medical care and with life expectancy which, instead of growing as happening in other advanced countries, has been falling for three consecutive years. Not surprisingly, therefore, a prediction that contains another paradox: Trump reconfirmed as president in November 2020 by the Americans who mostly detest him. Current national polls say something else, but in the US they have little value and among the democrats a strong candidate has not yet emerged capable of conquering the whole progressive galaxy. In the American electoral system, for historical reasons and relatively recent local legislative changes, the votes of the rural areas weigh more than those of the urban areas, those of the least populated states count more than in the more populated states such as California and New York, while the voters are “skimmed” through fairly demanding registration systems and keeping those who have had problems with justice away from the polls. As America is polarized today, Trump can be reconfirmed even if the Democrats take more than 50% (as already in 2016). It is easier for the Republicans to lose the Senate, in addition to the Chamber, already with a democratic majority. 

The opening of the Impeachment procedure against Donald Trump made in December does not seem to have affected the chances of victory for Trump nor the decision to kill the Iranian general Soleimani, designated a terrorist by the US, an initiative that could have opened a huge diplomatic crisis and which instead appears to be partially returned. At the moment, therefore, the bookmakers favor Donald Trump in the odds on the next winner of the American elections with Biden and Sanders who seem to be the only two at the moment to undermine him when the electoral campaign for the White House officially begins.  

The electoral machine has already started and on the democratic shore there is already great turmoil also in view of the choice of the candidate who will point straight to the White House. While on one hand Donald Trump’s candidacy among the Republicans seems practically obvious (despite the Impeachment case), there is great uncertainty among the Democrats with many pretenders for the conquest of the White House. On the American Democratic Party front, there are already many political leaders who have expressed their willingness to stand as candidates, who are gathering members and organizing their team in view of the primary elections of the beginning of 2020. At the moment, the four main antagonists in the race for conquest the leadership of the Democratic Party are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren. The first two are experienced politicians, over seventy who know very well not only the internal dynamics of the party but also the electoral moods of American citizens. Joe Biden has previously been twice vice president of the United States of America during the Obama administration and will present himself in the next Democratic primaries. Who will do it is also Bernie Sanders, 76 year old senator from Vermont, already nominated for the 2016 Primaries where he was defeated by Clinton. Sanders represents the left wing of the party and seems to have the upper hand in comparison with Elizabeth Warren who has very similar ideas, but who in the last period seems to be no longer particularly favored to become the leader of the Democrats. Warren is a 70-year-old senator from the state of Massachusetts and is a law professor specializing in bankruptcy law. The big news (but up to a certain point) is called Michael Bloomberg who in November announced that he wanted to run for the Democratic Party primaries with the aim of fighting Trump in the Presidential elections, in case of victory in his side. Bloomberg has decades of experience as mayor of New York but has a Republican background that could weigh particularly heavily. 

Whether Trump wins or loses in the end, the 2020 campaign will be the mirror of American society and the nation could be horrified at its reflection. This will almost certainly be the most bitter and acrimonious presidential campaign in American history, with the President’s invective tweet equaled only by the vitriol of his opponents’ attacks. Increasingly, Americans on both sides see their political opponents not only as those with whom they disagree politically, but basically as anti-Americans, who betray the nation’s core values, actively seeking to destroy what they care about most. Leaders and activists on both sides are already describing the stakes of this election campaign in existential and apocalyptic terms, proclaiming the prospect of a victory for the other side as the end of all that is true, good and beautiful in the United States.

Whether this logic is objectively excessive or not, the critical aspect remains that millions of people, who represent the entire ideological spectrum of the country, believe it. It is therefore difficult to imagine a scenario in which one of the two sides gently gives way to the other, recognizing their victory as legitimate. While some are tempted to attribute all national anguish and malaise to President Trump, his crude and combative style and the increasingly frantic and hysterical responses of his opponents, are more a symptom of underlying evils in the nation’s politics than not their cause. So, while at this juncture a definitive prediction on the success or failure of Trump’s campaign would be risky, a bet seems unfortunately safe: that America will emerge from the 2020 elections deeply divided, with half of the country deeply saddened and the status quo ante of pre-Trumpian politics that retreats more and more hopelessly into the mists of memory.

Image by Zach Gibson

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