Biden sends a stark warning about political violence ahead of midterms: ‘We can’t take democracy for granted any longer’

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CNN

President Joe Biden warned Americans on Wednesday that the future of the country’s democracy could rest on next week’s midterm elections, an urgent call six days before the final ballots are released in a contest the president has drafted in almost existential terms. .

“We can no longer take democracy for granted,” the president said from Union Station in Washington, blocks from the U.S. Capitol where a mob tried to interrupt the certification of the 2020 election.

It was a sharp message to Americans considering sitting out next week’s congressional elections that the country’s future was at stake. Biden suggested that the preponderance of candidates for office at every level of government who have denied the results of the latest presidential contest was a flashing red warning sign for the country.

“As I stand here today, there are candidates for every level of office in America—for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state who will not commit to accepting the results of the election they find themselves in,” said Biden. “That is the road to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s illegal. And it’s un-American.”

Biden’s speech put the blame for the plight of the national situation squarely at the feet of his predecessor, Donald Trump, and accused the former president of cultivating a lie that has spread in a web of conspiracies that has already led to targeted violence.

“This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans, and impartial officials simply doing their jobs, is the result of lies told for power and profit, lies of conspiracy and malice, lies repeated over and over to create a cycle. of anger, arouse hatred. , vitriol and even violence,” Biden said. “Right now we have to confront those lies with the truth, the future of our nation depends on it.”

“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president … refuses to accept the will of the people,” Biden said.

The speech — a political event hosted by the Democratic National Committee, not the White House — underscored the points Biden has been making for weeks since a prime-time speech in Philadelphia. Yet it deviated from the central focus of the Democrats’ closing message in the medium term, which was a brighter portrait of economic recovery.

Biden’s message Wednesday was anything but optimistic, though he remained hopeful that Americans would reject the threatening forces he described. Aid workers said Biden was forced to give the address after an attack last week on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband by an intruder who, according to his social media, was wallowing in right-wing conspiracies, including election fraud.

Biden noted that most Americans, and even most Republicans, would not use violence. But he said those who would have had great influence.

“I believe the voices that apologize or call for violence and intimidation are a clear minority in America,” Biden said. “But they are loud and they are determined.”

Biden and his team had considered giving a speech on democracy for some time, but their decision-making in recent days has been shaped by what they saw as a wave of anti-democratic rhetoric and threats of violence. But the attack on Paul Pelosi worried Biden and his top advisers; the shocking home break-in and attack on Pelosi brought the 82-year-old into hospital for surgery and he has since been recovering from a skull fracture, among other injuries.

Prosecutors: Attacker woke Pelosi and stood next to his bed

Advisers said ahead of the speech that Biden felt it would be important for him to directly condemn these kinds of threats and acts of violence.

The theme of protecting the soul of the nation — and the pillars of the country’s democratic system — was central to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. The president has spoken on these topics during his presidency since, but the speech by Wednesday marked an effort to emphatically underline what’s at stake heading into the midterms.

Defending democracy has been an energizing feature of Biden’s thinking this political season and has emerged more abundantly in his off-camera conversations with Democrats. The day before his speech in Washington, Biden warned a group of Democratic donors in Florida that “democracy is on the agenda” this year — and offered a preview of his message for a day later.

“How can you say you really care about democracy when you deny the existence of a victory? The only way to win is either you win or the other guy cheated,” he said at the event, which was held in an oceanfront backyard of a mansion in Golden Beach, Florida.

“This has not happened since the civil war. It sounds like hyperbole, but it hadn’t happened since, as bad as it is now,” he said.

Biden’s reference to the Civil War hardly seemed coincidental; he was seen this week with a copy of historian Jon Meacham’s new book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle,” which examines how America’s 16th president confronted secession and threats to democracy.

Meacham is an informal advisor to Biden and has helped write some of his most high-profile speeches.

Biden previously explained the commitment two months ago, traveling to Philadelphia where he issued an urgent rebuke to Trump and those aligned with his efforts to undermine democracy.

“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under attack,” Biden said at the time. “We don’t do ourselves a favor by doing otherwise.”

Biden at the time warned sharply against what he called “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic”.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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