Biden’s Plea For Democracy Is A Strong Election-closing Argument For A Different Election

Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s eloquent defense of democracy was a message Americans needed to hear. But it was not the one voters most want now from their president – that relief is at hand from the soaring cost of living.

Biden’s speech Wednesday, delivered blocks from the US Capitol that was ransacked by ex-President Donald Trump’s mob on January 6, 2021, was a strong election-closing argument. But for an election other than the one taking place next week.

That’s not to say that the warning was misplaced. The fact that Biden felt the need to say, “We can’t take democracy for granted any longer,” underscores the grave threat posed to America’s core values by political violence and election denialism. If a president does not safeguard this historic legacy, who will? The chaos and violence Trump incited after the 2020 election show what unfolds when a president chooses to try to destroy democracy for personal gain.

Biden’s speech was deeply personal, reflecting his own view of the mission handed him by history. It was also highly political given that the midterm elections, which feature scores of pro-Trump candidates spouting his stolen election nonsense, are only five days away. And it came days after the latest shocking example of political violence – the attack on the 82-year-old husband of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And since Biden launched his 2020 campaign as a quest to save America’s soul from what he sees as the aspiring autocracy of Trump, it was a statement of a mission unaccomplished – as well as a potential opening volley of a possible 2024 showdown for the White House between the 45th and 46th presidents.

“You have the power, it’s your choice, it’s your decision, the fate of the nation, the fate of the soul of America lies, as it always does, with the people,” Biden told voters.

What is the election really about?

Elections should be about more than one thing. Voters can walk and chew gum at the same time. But the harsh truth is this: In Washington, where just a glimpse of the towering Capitol dome reminds politicians and their media chroniclers of the January 6 horror, the threat to democracy feels visceral.

But in the heartlands of Pennsylvania, the suburbs of Arizona and cities everywhere, the gut check issue is less the somewhat abstract and age-old concept of self-government. It’s the more basic one of feeding a family. This is an election more about the cost of a cart full of groceries or the price of a gallon of gasoline than America’s founding truths.

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