Two months before the the congressional midterms, President Joe Biden says the Republican Party, still dominated by Donald Trump, poses a huge threat to American democracy.
Biden delivered a speech, which lasted for less than half an hour, in front of the historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia, considered the symbolic cradle of democracy in the U.S. It was here that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed.
Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, traditionally one of the key states for presidential election results. In November, there will be several election clashes in Pennsylvania, including a gubernatorial election. One of the candidates is a declared Trumpist, Doug Mastriano, who assisted the former president in his effort to undo the 2020 presidential election results. The governor has a considerable amount of influence in the election process.
Donald Trump is again spinning his web of regrets and accusations. People linked to him are running for positions on electoral commissions, state legislatures and Congress, echoing their leader about an overwhelming conspiracy of the liberal elite. Polls show that more than half of Republican voters don’t believe that Biden was legally elected.
The result is an increased risk of political violence, which was expressed in the already memorable resurrection by Trump supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Biden issued warnings about such violence Thursday evening.
Biden: Blind Loyalty Is Killing Democracy
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans (Trump’s conspiracy theorists named after his ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan) represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic,” Biden said.
The president also said he did not consider all Republicans to be extremists. However, “there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans,” which pose a serious threat to the country.
“You can’t love your country only when you win,” he added.
In his opinion, Trumpists “thrive on chaos,” “do not respect the Constitution” or the rule of law, “promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence.” Biden gave as an example the numerous threats against FBI agents following a search of Trump’s Florida property. Such threats, Biden continued, undermine trust in law enforcement officers and cannot take place in a law-abiding country.
Republicans who have dared to criticize Trump’s actions are also receiving numerous threats. Some of them, including the party’s influential Rep. Liz Cheney, have already paid the political price by losing primary elections in their respective districts.
“History tells us blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy,” Biden said.
Democracy Cannot Be Taken for Granted
The president spoke two months before the midterm elections in which Democrats face the tough task of keeping control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The election results will also be a test of Trump’s popularity, which, despite mounting legal troubles, including the accelerating investigation into the possession of classified documents, increasingly signal his possible run in the 2024 election.
That is why Biden called this year’s elections a “battle for the soul of the nation.” He spoke similarly about it in 2020.
“For a long time, we’ve reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it is not,” Biden said. “We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us.”
“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” he said. “Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”
Biden’s Approval Ticks Up
Political opponents tried to shout down the president’s speech. At one point, Biden replied that they had the right to do so because “we are still a democracy.”
In addition to the dark tones, there were also lighter moments in the speech when the president spoke about his administration’s achievements. He has actually seen some success recently, from better-than-expected data on new jobs to working out a compromise on the package of social-climate reforms.
The decline in fuel prices translated into a certain improvement in Biden’s ratings. According to the latest Gallup survey from August, 44% of Americans support what Biden has done compared to 38% in July.
McCarthy: Biden Has Launched an Attack on America’s Soul
Trump will speak Saturday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the city where Biden was born.
In a radio interview on Thursday, former President Trump announced that if he ran and won the election, he would seriously consider pardoning those sentenced for storming the Capitol.
“We’ll be looking very, very seriously at full pardons because we can’t let that happen,” Trump blurted out on Wendy Bell Radio. “And I mean full pardons. To many, an apology. They’ve been so badly treated.”
Kevin McCarthy, a Republican leader in the House of Representatives and a strong supporter of Trump, has already made a speech in Scranton. In that speech, he accused Biden, stating that he “launched an assault on the soul of America” and demanded an apology for the president’s words about the Republican Party, referring to Biden’s assessment from last week that the Trumpists in this group had opted for “semi-fascism.”
McCarthy painted a picture of America collapsing under a Democrat, where inflation rages, borders are open, schools are closed due to COVID, and crime is rocking cities.
“In the past two years, Joe Biden has launched an assault on the soul of America, on its people, on its laws, on its most sacred values. He has launched an assault on our democracy. His policies have severely wounded America’s soul, diminished America’s spirit, and betrayed America’s trust,” argued McCarthy.