US President Joe Biden lashed out hard at the Republican MAGA movement in a TV speech on Thursday evening (local time). “They’re trying to go back in time to an America where you don’t have the right to freedom of choice, privacy or contraception,” Biden said.
US President Joe Biden lashed out at President Donald Trump and his supporters in a 24-minute speech. Nothing less than “the soul of the country” is at stake, Biden said in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our republic,” he warned. He thus looks ahead to the midterm elections in November, in which the Democrats and Republicans will compete for a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the run-up to those elections, a number of Trump-promoting politicians have already won important victories.
The president emphasized in his speech that not all Republicans are extremists and that there are still plenty of mainstream Republicans to work with. Still, he says America needs to face the truth: “It’s clear that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans. And that’s a threat.’ MAGA stands for ‘Make America Great Again’, a slogan that Trump gave an extreme nationalist and Christian-conservative overtone.
“They’re trying to go back in time to an America where you don’t have the right to agency, privacy or contraception,” the president said, saying he was obligated to tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be. The president stated in no uncertain terms that Trump supporters do not respect the constitution and the legal system and that they are trying to thwart free elections. ‘They flourish under chaos’ and ‘live in the shadow of lies’, it sounded, among other things.
Biden therefore called for unity against Trump and his cronies. “It is in our hands, yours and mine, to stop this attack on American democracy,” he said. “We have long reassured ourselves that American democracy is infallible. But that is not the case. We must defend and protect democracy together.’
A hardened tone
American media note that Biden’s rhetoric has undergone a turnaround. While in his first year he preferred not to dwell on the previous president and chose to look ahead and emphasize unity, his tone has hardened in recent speeches. Biden sounds more combative and a lot tougher on Trump’s supporters. The midterm elections will undoubtedly have something to do with that, but observers say Biden would also feel empowered by recent political victories and by Trump’s response to the search of his Florida residence.
“Can you believe it, FBI agents who are just doing their jobs are now being threatened by their fellow citizens,” Biden referred to the Mar-a-lago search. Trump had subsequently leaked the names of the FBI agents present, exposing them to intimidation and death threats. In order not to further politically burden the Trump investigation, Biden was previously very cautious about statements about the search and the lawsuits that his predecessor is facing.