The two languages ​​of Biden and Trump

USA 2020

The editorial by Gerardo Morina

The two languages ​​of Biden and Trump
CdT Archive

The two languages ​​of Biden and Trump

CdT Archive

When the electoral campaign for the US presidential elections was still in progress, Antonio Scurati, a successful Italian writer famous for having published two of Mussolini’s fictional biographies (that are part of a tetralogy to be completed) wrote an article in the Corriere della Sera ”entitled“ The vote, a gamble on the body of Donald Trump”. The analysis is particularly interesting when, after the elections, the striking contrast between the characteristics of the outgoing president (when and if he wishes) and those of those who, like the winner Joe Biden, embody the spirit of who intends to redeem the United States for four years lived, at least by one of the two souls of America, with great suffering.

Scurati compares Trump to a clown, but in a functional sense

Scurati’s premise is that Donald Trump is not the bearer of a fascist political culture, he is not descended from Mussolini, founder of fascism. He is, however, unworthy, aware or unaware, to the extent that Mussolini was - the archetype of populist leadership, he was the first example of that type of leader who does not lead the masses foregoing them towards distant goals and ideals that the masses struggle to achieve - noticing but following them but always taking a step back - grabbing their their moods - ‘almost’ always bad moods.

Scurati compares Trump to a clown, but in a functional sense, in the sense that The Donald finds his strength in ‘clowning’, not his weakness, because like every populist leader he communicates with the electorate ‘through the pre-reflexive vibrations of the body’.

In the course of this close combat, Scurati concludes, there is no doubt that democracy is degrading.

Thucydides already noticed this in his day. In the third book of the Peloponnesian War’ the sharp Greek historian argues that a major factor in Athens’ decline from dysfunctional democracy to tyranny and anarchy through demagogy was a particular language change, when people began to define things randomly, without order, making words lose their true and accepted meaning.

Totally different is Joe Biden’s political, verbal and bodily language. As much Trump practices (yells) a shouted and non-inclusive politics and takes refuge in a perennial blue dress to hide the fact of being overweight, so much Biden offers an image of calm reasonableness, modesty and style. By the time of his inauguration in the White House next January (provided that Trump is not forcibly taken away by the police) Biden will be 78 years old and will hardly be able to run for a second term. Yet so far no one has ever seen him grow old.

Having suffered two tragedies, first the death of his first wife who died in a car accident together with their young daughter, then that of his son Beau not long ago due to a brain tumour, predisposed him not only to a spirit of resilience, not only to the habit of talking only about essential facts, but above all to humility and the ability to communicate with all the souls of the nation without distinction. It was badly needed.

A lifelong lean physique, Joe has a wardrobe that has remained the same since he attended Syracuse University School of Law in the 1960s. He already embodied the ‘American Classic’ typology of the WASP style (except for the fact that he was a Catholic), wore the ‘penny loafers’ (the classic moccasins) and wore inimitable button shirts -down. The only difference since then is that his clothing has become even more refined and has long since managed to dominate his irrepressible gab. Today his language is as dry as his bearing and he predominantly uses the first person plural. Which, in contrast to its predecessor, means union, brotherhood, team spirit: not me, but all of us Americans.

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