Trump Saudi Arabia Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump rejoue l’Ancien Régime

PRINCETON – Il existe une forme de précédent au personnage Donald Trump dans l’histoire humaine. Réfléchissez quelques instants : Trump passe le plus clair de son temps dans le Bureau ovale, qui est désormais paré de rideaux couleur or, ou dans sa résidence de Mar-a-Lago, connue pour sa tour, ses portes bien gardées, et son très royal lit à baldaquin. Trump est une sorte de Louis XIV des temps modernes, qui vit dans son propre Versailles.

À l’instar de son équivalent historique, le 45e président des États-Unis est obsédé par la vérité et le mensonge, par le vrai et le faux. À l’occasion de son tout premier déplacement officiel au Royaume-Uni, Trump a demandé à défiler en carrosse sur la grande avenue du Mall. Moins de 100 jours après son investiture, il ordonne une frappe sur la Syrie alors même qu’il est en train de se délecter de « la plus belle part de gâteau au chocolat qui soit ».

Bien que l’histoire ne se répète pas, « elle rime » incontestablement, pour reprendre la formule de Mark Twain. Trump rime lui aussi avec le passé. Mais sa présidence n’est pas un replay du fascisme du XXe siècle, comme l’on fait valoir l’historien de Yale Timothy Snyder et plusieurs autres observateurs. Obsédé par la télévision, le président américain recrée davantage quelque chose de beaucoup plus ancien, de plus proche d’un conte de Disney : sa propre cour royale.

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