Joe Biden accused his predecessor Donald Trump of “extremism” and warned of an “attack on democracy.” It is a serious accusation, but it is simply politically accurate. For months, Trump has been appearing increasingly more radical. But the Republicans are not profiting from it—quite the opposite.
Joe Biden warned against “extremism” in an address Thursday and lamented the “assault” on “equality and democracy” that Donald Trump and his followers embody, calling it “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” This was unusually harsh language for the president. Yes, Biden unleashed a downright verbal attack on his potential challenger in the 2024 election, right in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
In many respects, Biden delivered an accurate political analysis. Trump has ratcheted up his extremism since he lost the 2020 election. For example, this week, he raised the possibility of pardoning those charged in the storming of the Capitol and stated that he was even offering money to some of them. (“They were in my office two days ago.”).
A party that applauds this kind of playing with fire runs roughshod over democracy and freedom. But the Republicans have long ceased to be a party; they are a cult of Trump. The Grand Old Party is “dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump,” as Biden aptly put it without demonizing every Republican or Republican voter.
Polemics Instead of Political Solutions
While the president has recently exceeded expectations with respect to legislative achievements, Trump & Co. are essentially standing around empty-handed. Instead of presenting solutions for widespread existential concerns, they just talk about the “stolen election” of 2020. After Biden’s appearance in Philadelphia, Trump & Co. posted video excerpts of the speech altered with a graphic voice-over of Adolf Hitler and image of his moustache. To anyone who wants to win a majority that way, To those who want to win majorities that way, have a good time!
In fact, these people have had limited success. This week, Trumpist candidate Sarah Palin lost a special election in Alaska to a Democrat. Pro-tip: Ten weeks out from the U.S. midterm elections, it would be smart for the Republicans to quickly come to their senses. A party can manage that, but a cult, not really.