US President Joe Biden said that “equality and democracy are under attack in the United States” and warned his countrymen that his predecessor Donald Trump and his supporters are an extremist threat to the nation and its future, the Associated Press reported.
This is an attempt by Biden to cast the November election in a new light as part of a battle for the soul of the nation, which, in his words, is “the work of my presidency,” AP notes.
Biden used a prime-time speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to argue that Trump and his allies, united by the slogan “Make America Great Again,” are a challenge to the system of government, to the country’s reputation abroad and the way of life of its citizens.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republicans who support him represent extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said. He said they were “determined to take this country backwards”, “encouraging totalitarian leaders and fanning the flames of political violence”.
Biden’s apparent effort to marginalize Trump and his supporters marks a sharp reversal in line for the president, who in his inaugural speech preached his desire for national unity. White House officials said the speech reflected Biden’s growing concern with the ideological propositions of Trump’s allies and his adamant denial of the 2020 election results.
“MAGA (MAGA) forces are determined to take this country back,” Biden said. “Back to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry the one you love.”
America must now choose whether to go forward or go backward,” the president said, urging citizens to “vote, vote, vote” to protect their democracy. “For a long time, we were convinced that American democracy was guaranteed, but it is not,” Biden stressed.
In the first year of his presidency, Biden has largely avoided mentioning Trump by name, but he has now begun to make distinct references to his predecessor. Now, emboldened by his party’s recent legislative victories and worried about the prospect of Trump returning to the headlines, Biden has stepped up his attacks and last week likened MJJ’s philosophy to “semi-fascism.”
This weekend, Trump is planning a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania – Biden’s hometown.
Sn. Associated Press
In his speech in Philadelphia, Biden also returned to the 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, which he said brought him out of political retirement to take on Trump. Biden pointed out that in the coming months the country will face a similar crossroads and defined the protection of national values as “the work of my presidency – a mission in which I believe with all my soul.”
Raising his voice over Trump supporters outside the statehouse, Biden said he was not condemning the 74 million people who voted for Trump in 2020. Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MJJ Republicans, the president stressed. . But without a doubt, the Republican Party today is dominated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.
Biden’s speech was billed as an official, taxpayer-funded event, a sign that the president sees defeating Trump’s agenda as a political goal.
The president’s speech was broadcast live on the White House website, but the major television channels did not broadcast it live.
There are far more Americans, of all backgrounds and beliefs, who reject MAGA’s extreme ideology than there are who embrace it, Biden said. He urged Americans to come together, to unite behind “the single goal of protecting our democracy, regardless of your ideology.”
Biden also condemned political violence in all its forms and said “we cannot allow violence to become normal.”
In a preemptive rebuttal from Scranton last night, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy accused Biden of trying to divide Americans and blasted what Democrats have accomplished in Washington, citing rising inflation, crime and government spending.
“Over 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,” McCarthy said. “He launched an attack on our democracy. His policies have wounded America’s soul, weakened America’s spirit, and betrayed America’s confidence.”
Asked about McCarthy’s criticism, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said earlier yesterday that “we understand we hit a sore spot” with the Republican leader. Jean-Pierre recalled previous statements by Republicans that Trump was responsible for the storming of the Capitol.