Friday, June 24

100 Days of Biden: Under the Eyes of Roosevelt | Opinion

United States President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
United States President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.TOM BRENNER / Reuters

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The portrait is directly in front of the presidential desk. Joe Biden works under his gaze. Also under his inspiration. The dimensions of the crisis, the social emergency, the crisis of democracy, the dilapidated state of the world, and then the responses of the White House with the stimulus plan, investments in infrastructure and the rapid reaction to the pandemic, all coincide . Even the 100 days, crowned with a speech before both houses of Congress, a custom established in 1933 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to limit the time of action, define his presidency and restore hope to citizens.

The United States was not then the first military superpower nor did it yet have the capacity to lay the foundations of international order. That first Roosevelt, the one with 100 days, barely attended to foreign policy. Focused on getting out of the crisis, he was going in the opposite direction to the rest of the world, especially Europe, ridden by extremism and right towards total war. The world did not work synergistically. Now there is no domestic policy that is not also foreign.

All the messages and domestic plans of these 100 days have their international repercussion. The double and colossal package, the 1.8 trillion dollars to get out of the recession and the two trillion investments in infrastructure, will have a drag-and-drop effect on the global economy. Public spending and government, two worn pieces in political discourse since Ronald Reagan, regain their prestige. It is even recovered by the unions, the minimum wage, corporation tax and basic income.

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Roosevelt still did not think of the world: Hitler had not invaded France nor had the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. With his 100 days, Biden has already returned to the world after the Trumpist destruction. But a return to institutions, pacts and multilateralism is not enough for confidence to return. American democracy has an external account pending that is strictly internal: to ensure that there will not be another Trump who puts the political system on the brink of destruction and thus restore reliability and predictability to the White House.

A new foreign policy is not built, nor is the confidence of the partners suddenly regained in 100 days. And less when there are absolute novelties in the nascent geopolitical map for which the old recipes are useless. The construction of a new system of relations with authoritarian powers, China and Russia especially, in which democracies are not held hostage by global economic interests, will require a little more time, a lot of intelligence and also trial and error, that is, failures. and successes.

For now, under the gaze of Roosevelt and only in 100 days, Biden has set the bar of principles high against state crimes, genocides and human rights violations. It is also a double-sided requirement, which first of all obliges whoever formulates it.

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