Politics, U.S.A.


If the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida home in Mar-a-Lago did anything, it was to confirm what many feared: that he wants to announce his second run for the White House sometime soon.

It was “an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for president in 2024,” Trump said in a statement shortly after dozens of agents entered his home. Never before had anything like that happened to a former U.S. president. But that’s because there was never anyone like Donald Trump.

The FBI search is linked to the documents that Trump took home after his presidency. Those materials, according to law, belong to the National Archives and are not Trump’s personal property. Earlier this year, 15 boxes with other documents were already removed from Mar-a-Lago.

It’s still too early to know whether Trump committed a crime. And even if he did, it is not very clear whether that would block him from launching another presidential bid. What we do know is that Trump has divided the country, and that he is a danger to democracy.

The majority of Republicans, according to some polls, believe the “big lie” that Trump won the last presidential elections. The three conservative justices he appointed to the Supreme Court helped to end the nationwide right to abortion. Few presidents have been as anti-immigration as Trump, whose administration separated thousands of children from their parents. There are still 185 children whose parents have not been located, according to an in-depth investigation by the magazine The Atlantic. And despite the many mass murders during his rule, Trump has always refused to support gun controls.

To sum up: On the key issues of U.S. life – from elections to abortions to immigration and crime – Trump was always a divisive factor. And he still is.

How did we get to this point? At which point did the most powerful country in the world lose its way, to the point of putting its democracy at risk.

The quickest and most simplistic answer would be this: Since Donald Trump launched his campaign for the presidency of the United States in 2015. But more than 330 million people live in this country, so it’s also our fault that the biggest liar and egocentric politician of our time could accumulate to much power.

Authoritarian systems and dictatorships arise not only out of the ambition of a single man, but also the indifference and lack of resistance to his plans from the rest of the population. When Trump launched his first presidential bid in June of 2015, many of us sounded the alarm. His speech was openly racist – he called Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists” – and his attacks on journalists were constant. He had his bodyguards expel me from a news conference. He was willing to do anything to reach the White House.

But no one listened to us. Millions swallowed his line. And he reached the presidency, by winning the vote. And four years later, when he lost the 2020 election, he did not want to leave power and incited an insurrection to remain illegally in the White House.

He failed. He is a loser. But the United States was never closer to losing its democracy. Trump put at risk the marvelous experiment started in 1776. Trump says the search of his home in Mar-a-Lago “could only take place in broken, Third World countries.” What he doesn’t understand is that what is truly shameful and retrograde is to insist that he won an election which he lost, and then promote a violent effort to try to remain in the White House. A democrat does not do that.

I don’t exaggerate when I say that the United States is currently facing an extended sense of desperation. Voters are not happy with the divisions in the country or the political options they have. Many don’t want Trump, but they don’t want President Joe Biden either. Two out of three Democrats would prefer someone other than Biden as presidential candidate, according to a New York Times poll. But the same poll showed Biden would beat Trump again.

In 2024, Biden will be 81 years old and Trump 78. Where is the new generation of U.S. leaders? In other countries, like Mexico and Colombia, when voters wanted to move away from decades of traditional politicians, their ballots went to the left, with Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Gustavo Petro. But in the United States the possible move is toward younger candidates from the same parties.

The modern United States – the country of Google, Apple, Hollywood, Netflix, Tesla, Instagram, Twitter and Amazon, among others – is stuck between two less than desirable options.

And yet …

Maybe it’s my immigrant soul, but I believe that in the end, the United States will do the right thing and save its democracy. This is an extraordinary experiment in which millions of us have benefited for more than two centuries. Today, it is being threatened. Trump’s ego is like a Black Hole, it sucks in everything. But he will not overcome millions of people ready to do the right thing. That’s the bet: a future without Trump.

By Jorge Ramos Ávalos

Image: Matt Johnson license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Jorge Ramos has been the anchorman for Noticiero Univision since 1986. He writes a weekly column for more than 40 newspapers in the United States and Latin America, and provides daily radio commentary for the Radio Univision network. Ramos also hosts Al Punto, Univision’s weekly public affairs program offering analysis of the week’s top stories, and Fusion’s AMERICA with Jorge Ramos, a news program geared towards young adults. Ramos has won eight Emmy awards and is the author of ten books, most recently, STRANGER - The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era.

A survey conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center found that Ramos is the second most recognized Latino leader in the country. Latino Leaders magazine chose him as one of “The Ten Most Admired Latinos” and “101 Top Leaders of the Latino Community in the U.S.”