Biden insists on the risk that Trump poses to US democracy | International
The United States is experiencing an almost permanent electoral campaign. With elections every two years (between presidential and midterm elections) and a long primary process, the race for the White House that will culminate in the vote on November 5, 2024 is already launched. The president of the United States, Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, and his probable rival, Donald Trump, have already entered into hand-to-hand combat in the face of a renewed duel. Both have been this week in Michigan, one of the decisive states, competing for the vote of industrial workers. And this Thursday, Biden accused Trump and his followers of being a danger to democracy and the Constitution. “Something dangerous is happening in the United States. There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy. The MAGA movement,” Biden said, referring to the acronym for Make America Great Again. [Hacer Estados Unidos grande otra vez]Trump's motto. “Democracies can die when people are silent,” he has warned.
“Not all Republicans—not even most Republicans—adhere to the extremist MAGA ideology. I know this because I have been able to work with Republicans my entire career. But there is no doubt that today's Republican Party is fueled and intimidated by MAGA extremists. "His extremist agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American democracy as we know it," he insisted at an event in Tempe (Arizona), in which he was interrupted at some point by one of the attendees.
The president has presented himself as a dam against threats against “a democracy that is at risk”: “I have made the defense, protection and preservation of American democracy the central cause of my presidency,” he assured, with a huge American flag behind it, flanked by two smaller ones. The message is not new. Biden raised it upon taking office and has given three speeches in the last year with similar arguments. This time, however, he wanted to reiterate his warning in an act of tribute to his friend, the late Republican Senator John McCain, who confronted Trump, and who exemplifies a way of doing politics diametrically opposed to that of the former president.
Along with personal anecdotes from his relationship with McCain, Biden has decided to emphasize the danger to the institutions of Trumpist extremism. She has also done so on the same day that the first session of the formal investigation for a possible impeachment to Biden, a case brought up by the president of the House, Kevin McCarthy, to please the hard wing of the Republican Party.
“From Gettysburg to my inaugural address, to the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection, to [los discursos del] Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Union Station in Washington, I have spoken about the danger of electoral denialism and political violence and the battle for the soul of America,” Biden recalls.
“I have come to honor the McCain Institute and Library because they are the home of a proud Republican who put the country first. Our commitment should be no less, because democracy should unite all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation,” the president said. “As I have always made clear, democracy is not a partisan issue. “It is an American issue,” he added.
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“Now, today, in Phoenix, Arizona, at an institute dedicated to the defense of democracy named after a true patriot, I am here to speak about another threat to our democracy that we too often ignore: the threat to our institutions , to our own Constitution and to the very character of our nation”, had previously prepared the ground.
Biden arrived at the White House with the purpose of healing wounds and uniting the country after a turbulent period marked by the divisive figure of Trump, but polarization not only has not subsided, but has increased. Trump has used his indictment for 91 crimes in four different cases to present himself as a victim of political persecution and attack the Department of Justice, the FBI, judges and prosecutors. In his party, very few have dared to oppose him and raise their voices against him. This Thursday, Biden recalled the threats of revenge from Trump and his people if they win the elections.
With his tribute to McCain, Biden wants to show that it is possible to heal wounds. Trump could not host a similar event with a high-profile Democrat. In this climate of confrontation, Trump accuses Biden in his speeches of being a puppet managed by the “radical left” and “environmental extremists.” The former president promotes the impeachment of Biden and the partial closure of the Government due to lack of funding.
Opposition to Trump
Following the legislative and local elections in November 2022, many saw Trump's prominence during the campaign—and the extremist candidates he promoted—as the cause of the Republican Party's disappointing results. Trump scared away moderate voters and mobilized Democrats. However, the Republican base blindly supports him and he leads the presidential primary polls with more than 40 points ahead of the runner-up, Ron DeSantis.
Biden's popularity in the polls is very low, and although he tries to show off the achievements of his mandate, the role of opposition to Trump may be more electorally profitable than his own management. It worked for him in the 2020 presidential elections and in the 2022 legislative elections. The Trumpist threat has not disappeared, so the president returns to the fray, although the doubt remains whether his message will be somewhat worn out.
“We are at a turning point in our history, one of those moments that only happen once every few generations. In which the decisions we make today will determine the course of this country—and the world—for the coming decades,” the president reiterated, who already said that the previous elections, the legislative elections of 2022, represented that turning point.
“That is why you, I, and all Americans committed to preserving our democracy have a special responsibility. We have to defend America's values embodied in our Declaration of Independence because we know that MAGA extremists have already proven that they will not. We must defend our Constitution and the institutions of democracy because MAGA extremists have made it clear that they will not. History is watching. The world is watching. And most importantly, our children and grandchildren will hold us accountable,” he added. “The soul of America depends on the soul of the Americans,” he said towards the end of his speech.
Accompanied by Ambassador Cindy McCain, widow of John McCain, the McCain family, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, and Arizona congressmen, he has announced funding from the American Rescue Plan to build the McCain Library in collaboration with the McCain Institute and the Arizona StateUniversity. It will be a new multipurpose facility that will offer education, work and health monitoring programs to disadvantaged communities in the state.
The investigation against Biden begins in the House of Representatives
Biden's speech in defense of democracy has coincided with the first session of a House of Representatives commission to formally investigate him as a preliminary step to a possible political process. (impeachment). Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, for years for his business dealings during the time his father was vice president. Some of those deals seem questionable, but they have found no evidence to show that Joe Biden, in his current or previous office, abused his office or accepted bribes. The investigation is a concession to members of the hardline Republican Party, but a conviction and removal of Biden is unfeasible.
"We are 62 hours away from shutting down the United States Government and Republicans are launching an impeachment campaign, based on a long-discredited and debunked lie," said Jamie Raskin, Democratic spokesperson on the commission, in his opening statement.
Republican James Comer, chairman of the committee where the hearing was held, has maintained that Hunter Biden took advantage of access to Joe Biden, the family brand. "Republicans imply that the son of the then vice president was well aware of the power and status of his father when he did business and that if he was hired it was to gain access to his father.
Republicans have called Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley as an expert. On his day, he spoke out in favor of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 and against the first of the two cases against President Donald Trump. Turley has said that he does not believe the evidence so far supports filing charges of impeachment against Biden, but that there are reasons to initiate an investigation such as "demonstrably false" statements by Biden about his son's businesses and the multimillion-dollar movement of funds under suspicion of influence peddling.
Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, called by Democrats, has said he had not heard any evidence to bring charges of impeachment against the president. "Any additional investigation is being done to ensure that Mr. Biden has to prove his innocence rather than the committee being able to connect the dots in a convincing and persuasive manner," Gerhardt said in his opening statement.
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