The US Congress approved the election results. Donald Trump said that while he did not agree with the results, power would be handed over on January 20. The 79-year-old Joe Biden will become the next US president. Meanwhile, four people are dead, several dozen injured, the building of the American parliament is plundered. In the hustle and bustle of yesterday’s events in Washington, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- there has long been talk of a dysfunctional US electoral system in which each state votes according to its own procedures. This creates a space of uncertainty, some solutions are anachronistic and completely inconsistent on a national scale. I drew attention to this last autumn.
- amazingly weak level of security of the Capitol and the engulfment of the services responsible for it. The first reports reveal a picture of the mess and lack of coordination between Washington’s government and federal services. This is one of the manifestations of a weakening power that is unable to cope with internal problems, which undermines its seriousness and the position of the “world gendarme”.
- Trump’s election rhetoric certainly radicalized the protesters, though he called for a stop when the Congress was being stormed. But it is obvious what left-wing and liberal commentators do not want to remember that last year’s example of the black lives matter movement paved the way. For weeks, the streets of the USA were spilled with the violence of leftist militias, shops were plundered, monuments were knocked down, people were killed and left-wing authorities justified it. In such a climate, it was only a matter of time before Trump supporters turned to symmetrical methods.
- US domination in the world has so far been based on several aspects. In addition to military strength, these were: a) economic advantage, which is rapidly diminishing b) an attractive socio-cultural model which, due to the liberal decay of the West, has been experiencing a sharp internal crisis for years, and c) the charm of a stable democracy based on unshakable procedures and institutions, which is now ending before our eyes.
The course of world affairs is accelerating towards a world with many power centres. In Poland we are very late in reacting to this process, and the government and the left-liberal part of the opposition are trapped in the 1990s as if nothing had changed and the West, led by the USA, was still a monolith and a global hegemon. For many years, we have been trying to make our compatriots aware that the only option is a prudent foreign policy aimed at cooperation with various centers of power in the world.
Robert Winnicki is a Polish MP.