Biden Warns Voters a Second Trump Presidency Will Threaten Democracy – On Thursday, Joe Biden made a striking and passionate declaration, significantly elevating the stakes in the upcoming US presidential election. He issued a strong warning, asserting that American democracy was at risk due to a potentially vengeful Donald Trump, who is expected to be his opponent next year.
Despite facing stagnant approval ratings and concerns about his age, President Biden aimed to awaken his dormant supporters and engage undecided voters by outlining the perceived threats he believed a second Trump presidency would pose to America’s standing as a global exemplar of democratic governance. Declaring US history at “an inflexion point”, Biden said the country’s character and future was threatened by the authoritarian values of Trump’s self-styled Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement.
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“There is something dangerous happening in America,” he told an audience in Phoenix, Arizona. “There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy: the MAGA movement. History has brought us to a new time of testing.” “All of us are being asked right now: What will we do to maintain our democracy?”
Biden cited the late John McCain, a former Republican senator with whom he had a strong relationship, to underline what he thought were the selfless ideals of democracy, at times speaking in almost audible whispers to emphasize his message. According to reporters in the audience, a heckler prompted him to pause early in his speech by asking why he had not proclaimed a climate emergency.
In spite of making only one mention of Trump by name during his speech, Biden sought to draw a contrast between democratic traditions and norms and his predecessor’s actions. Democracy, he said, “means rule of the people, not rule of the monarchy, not rule of money, not rule of the mighty.” “Regardless of party, that means free and fair elections, respecting the outcome, win or lose. It means you cannot love your country only when you win.”
“Democracy means rejecting and repudiating political violence. Regardless of party, such violence is never, never, never acceptable in America. It’s undemocratic and it must never be normalized to gain political power.” The last comments were an apparent reference to the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6 when a Trump-inspired mob tried to stop the ratification of Biden’s presidential election victory by the US congress.
Despite Trump’s failure to overturn the 2020 election result, Biden warned that the danger had not passed. “Today, democracy is still at risk. This is not hyperbole. It’s a simple truth,” he said. The threat of violence continued unabated, he said, most recently aimed at general Mark Milley, the chair of the US armed forces joint chiefs of staff, whom Trump recently said in a social media post was guilty of “treason.”
“Frankly, these MAGA extremists have no idea what the hell they’re talking about,” Biden said. The pro-democracy speech was delivered at an event honoring the memory of McCain, one of Biden’s political adversaries and twice a GOP presidential candidate, who frequently criticized Trump before his death in 2018.
Biden depicted his relationship with McCain as a fitting paean to American democracy because the two men frequently engaged in across-the-aisle bipartisan cooperation when they were US senators despite being from different parties, a feature the president said the character of today’s Republican party has all but precluded. “There is no doubt that today’s Republican party is driven and intimidated by MAGA extremists,” he said.
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“Their extreme agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American democracy as we know it.” Biden has reportedly been regularly portraying Trump as a threat to democracy to donors at events to raise funds for next year’s election. Thursday’s speech was the first time he had done so publicly since before last year’s congressional mid-term elections and indicated that he intended to make the theme a central presidential campaign issue.