President Joe Biden told Americans on Wednesday that the fate of the country’s democracy could rest on next week’s midterm elections, the president made an urgent appeal six days before the final vote in the race for the status quo.
“We cannot take democracy for granted,” the president said as he tried to decertify the 2020 election from Union Station in Washington, blocks from the US Capitol.
It was a stark message to Americans sitting in next week’s congressional elections that the future of the country is at stake. Biden pointed out that the predominance of candidates for office at every level of government who denied the results of the last presidential race is a red flashing warning sign for the country.
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running 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’re in,” Biden said. “This is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s illegal. And it’s un-American.”
Biden’s speech blamed former President Donald Trump for the dire national situation at the feet of former President Donald Trump, accusing the former president of fostering lies that fed into a web of conspiracies that had already led to targeted violence.
“This intimidation, this attack on Democrats, Republicans, and non-partisan officials is a lie, a conspiracy, and a vicious cycle of anger, hate, and lies told for power and gain.” , vitriol and even violence,” the ruling said. “Now we have to face those lies with the truth, the future of our country depends on it.”
“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president … refused to accept the will of the people,” Biden said.
The speech — a political event hosted not by the White House but by the Democratic National Committee — underscored the points Biden has been making for weeks since his prime-time address in Philadelphia. However, it diverged from the central focus of Democrats’ closing midterm message, which was a bright picture of economic recovery.
Biden’s message on Wednesday was optimistic, though he remains hopeful that Americans will not accept the threatening powers he has described. Biden said he was prompted to deliver the address last week by his social media attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, a hacker who was involved in right-wing conspiracies, including election fraud.
Biden made sure to remember that most Americans, and even most Republicans, would not resort to violence. But he spoke of those who would diminish his influence.
“I believe the voices that promote or call for violence and intimidation are a distinct minority in America,” Biden said. But they are loud and determined.
Biden and his team had been considering giving a speech on the topic of democracy, but their decision-making in recent days has been shaped by what they’ve seen of anti-democratic rhetoric and threats of violence. But the attack on Paul Pelosi shocked Biden and his top advisers; The shocking domestic assault and assault on Pelosi landed the 82-year-old in the hospital for surgery, where he has since been recovering from a fractured skull and other injuries.
Prosecutors: Attacker woke Pelosi up, stood by her bed
Advisers said Biden felt it was important to directly condemn these types of threats and acts of violence before the speech.
The theme of protecting the nation’s soul — and the pillars of the nation’s democracy — has been central to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. The president has spoken about these topics throughout his presidency, but Wednesday’s speech sought to underscore the issue heading into the midterms.
The preservation of democracy has been an animating feature of Biden’s thinking this political season, and has come up frequently in his off-camera conversations with Democrats. A day before speaking in Washington, Biden warned a group of Democratic donors in Florida that “democracy is at stake” this year — and a day later he previewed his message.
“How can you claim to care about democracy when you deny the existence of victory?” The only way you can win is either you win or the other guy cheats,” he said at the event, which was held at an oceanfront mansion in Golden Beach, Florida.
“This has not happened since the Civil War. It sounds like hyperbole, but it hasn’t been since then, as bad as it is now,” he said.
Biden’s reference to the Civil War was hardly accidental; This week he was spotted holding a copy of historian John Meacham’s new book, “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Struggle,” which explores how America’s 16th president faced secession and the threats to democracy.
Meacham is an informal adviser to Biden and has helped write some of his most famous speeches.
Biden traveled to Philadelphia two months ago to deliver an urgent rebuke consistent with his attempts to undermine Trump and democracy.
“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under attack,” Biden said at the time. “We don’t do ourselves any favors to pretend otherwise.”
Biden warned at the time about what he called “extremism that threatens the foundations of our republic.”