trump at nato Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

La fonction présidentielle mise à mal

MADRID – « La présidence rend chaque homme qui l’exerce, peu importe sa taille, plus grand qu’il ne l’était auparavant », a dit un jour le président américain Lyndon B. Johnson. Donald Trump met aujourd’hui cette formule à rude épreuve. En la personne de Trump, qui parvient à réduire la fonction suprême à sa propre étroitesse, la présidence des États-Unis a peut-être trouvé un adversaire.

Le président des États-Unis – au sens de la fonction, plus que de la personne qui l’occupe – est un véritable pilier de l’ordre international. La présidence américaine fournit une direction et une conduite au système tout entier, tel un gouvernail permettant d’orienter le monde vers des eaux plus clémentes ou, lorsque cela est nécessaire, de le guider en période de perturbations créatrices.

Trump président, ce gouvernail semble rompu, et l’ensemble du système risque de se retrouver à la dérive dans des eaux périlleuses dont il lui sera très difficile de s’extraire, même lorsque le président américain cédera sa place. En effet, le véritable risque créé par la présidence Trump réside moins dans l’incertitude précaire des quatre prochaines années que dans l’émergence à long terme d’un ordre mondial dénué de cap, et par conséquent extrêmement instable.

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