Yesterday U.S. president Joe Biden held a speech in Pennsylvania in which he incited the public against those who want to Make America Great Again.
The optics were a bit scary, …
…, as were his words:
Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.
[T]here is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.
And here, in my view, is what is true: MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.
MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — 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.
They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.
They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.
And they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections.
They tried everything last time to nullify the votes of 81 million people. This time, they’re determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people.
That’s why respected conservatives, like Federal Circuit Court Judge Michael Luttig, has called Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans, quote, a “clear and present danger” to our democracy.
MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.
Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans: We must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving American democracy than MAGA Republicans are to — to destroying American democracy.
Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election: either they win or they were cheated. And that’s where MAGA Republicans are today. (Applause.)
MAGA Republicans look at America and see carnage and darkness and despair. They spread fear and lies –- lies told for profit and power.
The MAGA Republicans believe that for them to succeed, everyone else has to fail. They believe America — not like I believe about America.
The speech was, hmm …, aggressive. What does he expect to come from it? A civil war?
Sure, Biden spoke out against violence:
And this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. We do not encourage violence.
We hear — you’ve heard it — more and more talk about violence as an acceptable political tool in this country. It’s not. It can never be an acceptable tool.So I want to say this plain and simple: There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever. (Applause.)
We saw law enforcement brutally attacked on January the 6th …
But guess who, on January 6th, also spoke out against violence:
I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.
Speaking out against violence makes little difference when, at the same time, there are so many loaded accusation leveled against the political opponent. Especially dangerous is Biden’s quote of judge Luttig who called MAGA Republicans a “clear and present danger” to democracy.
According to Wikipedia:
Clear and present danger was a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, or assembly.
That doctrine has since been replaced but that Biden, a lawyer, uses it is unwise. He will be accused of wanting to suppress free speech.
Next to MAGA the word “democracy” was at the core of Biden’s speech. It appears 31 times.
Both speeches, Trump’s and Biden’s are somewhat similar to each other. Both describe their side as threatened, both emphasize their political successes, both entice against the political opponent to the applause of their own followers. They both follow the typical Hollywood script of good versus evil.
As the New York Times notes:
If it sounded like a repeat of the 2020 campaign cycle, in some ways it is, although the incumbent and likely challenger have changed places. A country torn apart by ideology, culture, economics, race, religion, party and grievance remains as polarized as ever.
But while such a form of speech works well for Trump with his MAGA crowd, I doubt that Biden partisans or even swing voters are willing to follow the same script. They will rather look at inflation, gas prices and the slump in the house market to decide on their vote.
Biden’s speech was meant to prop up his party for the mid-term election. I think it failed to do that.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.