President Joe Biden asks voters to save democracy from lies and violence

President Joe Biden asks voters to save democracy from lies and violence

President Joe Biden asks voters to save democracy from lies and violence

President Joe Biden speaks in support of Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings at Florida Memorial University on Tuesday in Miami Gardens, Florida (Evan Vucci, Associated Press)

Approximate reading time: 6-7 minutes

WASHINGTON – Warning that democracy itself is at risk, President Joe Biden on Wednesday night urged Americans to use their ballots within the next week. by-elections stand up against the lies, violence and dangerous “ultra MAGA” election disruptors who are trying to “succeed where they failed” to subvert the 2020 elections.

This is not the time to stand aside, he declared. “Silence is complicity.”

After weeks of upbeat talk about the U.S. economy and inflation, Biden turned to a darker, more urgent message he announced in the final days of 2018. midterm election voting that the country’s system of government is at risk because of former President Donald Trump’s election denial lies and the violence Biden says they inspired.

The president singled out “ultra MAGA” Republicans in reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, calling them a minority but a “driving force” in the Republican Party.

Pointing out in particular last Friday’s attack Of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Biden said Trump’s false claims about a stolen election “have fueled a dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years.”

“There is an alarming increase in the number of people in this country who accept political violence or simply remain silent,” Biden added. “We know in our bones that democracy is under threat, but we also know this. it is in our power to preserve our democracy.”

The president’s speech, which focused squarely on the ritual of voting and how those votes are counted, urged Americans to step back from inflammatory rhetoric that has fueled fears of political violence and challenges to election integrity. Biden played a dual role, speaking both as a president defending the pillars of democracy and as a Democrat trying to boost his party’s prospects against Republicans.

He called out the hundreds of candidates who rejected the results of the 2020 election and now refuse to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming midterm elections.

“This drive is trying to succeed where it failed in 2020 in suppressing voter rights and subverting the electoral system itself,” Biden said.

“That’s the road to chaos in America. It is unprecedented. It’s illegal. And it’s anti-American.”

Silence is complicity.

– President Joe Biden

The speech came days after a man who wanted to kidnap House Speaker Pelosi severely injured her husband, Paul PelosiIn their home in San Francisco, the latest example of the worst political violence has erupted with political power Rebellion of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol, and continued with alarming, though less spectacular, incidents.

Election workers across the country have questioned whether to return to work bullying and harassment increased before the election day. At least five people have been charged with federal crimes for harassing workers since early voting began.

Reports of people watching ballot boxes in Arizona, sometimes armed or wearing ballistic vests, have raised serious concerns about voter intimidation. Election officials across the country are preparing for confrontations at the polls. A flood of conspiracy theorists have signed up to work as party poll watchers.

Noting that it was the first federal election since the Capitol riots and Trump’s attempts to derail the 2020 presidential election, Biden urged voters to reject candidates who denied the results of the vote, which even the Trump administration announced. free from any pervasive fraud or interference.

Biden asked voters to “think long and hard about the moment we’re in.”

President Joe Biden speaks about threats to democracy ahead of next week's midterm elections Wednesday at the Columbus Club outside the U.S. Capitol in Union Square, Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks about threats to democracy ahead of next week’s midterm elections Wednesday at the Columbus Club outside the U.S. Capitol in Union Square, Washington. (Photo by Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

“In a normal year, we don’t often face the question of whether our vote will preserve democracy or put it in danger,” he said. “But we are this year.”

“I hope you will make the future of our democracy an important part of your vote and your voting decision,” Biden added, asking Americans to consider whether the candidates they support will respect the will of the people and accept the outcome. about their choice.

“The answer to that question is vital and in my opinion it should be decisive,” he said.

Biden also aimed to get ahead of conspiracy theories about the ongoing vote, saying Americans are voting early, by mail and absentee ballots, and it will take time to count them “legally and regularly.” Major changes to voting in 2020 due to the pandemic prompted more early voting and mail-in voting and record turnout. The results of the 2020 presidential elections were finalized for five days.

It is important for citizens to be patient,” said Biden.

Some Republicans sharply criticized Biden’s words. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who would be Speaker of the House if the GOP regains control of the House, tweeted: his policies that raised the cost of living. The American people aren’t buying it.”

Biden delivered his speech from Washington’s Union Station, located near the US Capitol, just six days before the polls close on November 8 and as more than 27 million Americans have already cast their ballots.

In a normal year, we don’t often face the question of whether our vote will preserve democracy or endanger it. But here we are this year.

– President Joe Biden

Before the speech, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Munger said he had reviewed the attack on Pelosi’s husband and believed today’s political climate called for more resources and better security for members of Congress after a massive increase in threats against lawmakers since the Capitol riots. He also made a rare appeal to end the frenzied conspiracy rumors swirling around the attack.

“Our brave men and women are working around the clock to accomplish this urgent mission during this divisive time,” he said in a statement. “At the same time, the significant change that will have an immediate impact will be for people in our country to turn down the temperature on political rhetoric before it’s too late.”

Biden last delivered a prime-time speech he called “continuous struggle for the soul of the nationon Sept. 1 outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where he denounced the “MAGA forces” of Trump and his supporters as a threat to the American system of government.

The new remarks come as hundreds of candidates who have falsely denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election are on ballots across the country, many poised to be elected to key election oversight roles.

Unlike the September announcements, which were criticized in some quarters for being paid for by taxpayers, Biden’s speech Wednesday night was hosted by the Democratic National Committee.

Many Americans remain pessimistic about the state of US democracy. An October poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 9% of adults think democracy is working “extremely” or “very well,” while 52% say it is not working well. :

Contributing Seung Min Kim


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