‘Sitting on a powder keg’: US braces for a year, and an election, like no other

The 60th US presidential election will decide whether Joe Biden’s stay at the White House will be extended by four years or Donald Trump will make a return. Amid fears of authoritarianism, oldest US president likely to face off against first president to be criminally charged The 60th US presidential election, which will unfold in 2024, will be quite unlike any that has gone before as the US, and the rest of the world, braces for a contest amid fears of eroding democracy and the looming threat of authoritarianism. It will be a fight marked by numerous unwanted firsts as the oldest president in the country’s history is likely to face the first former US president to stand trial on criminal charges. A once aspirational nation will continue its plunge into anxiety and divisions about crime, immigration, race, foreign wars and the cost of living. Democrat Joe Biden, 81, is preparing for the kind of gruelling campaign he was able to avoid during coronavirus lockdowns in 2020. Republican Donald Trump will spend some of his campaign in a courtroom and has vowed authoritarian-style retribution if he wins. For voters it is a time of stark choices, unique spectacles and simmering danger. “It feels to me as if America is sitting on a powder keg and the fuse has been lit,” said Larry Jacobs , the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “The protective shield that all democracies and social orders rely on – legitimacy of the governing body, some level of elite responsibility, the willingness of citizens to view their neighbors in a civic way – is in an advanced stage of decline or collapse. “It’s quite possible that the powder keg that America’s sitting on will explode over […]

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By Donato