Biden’s stark warning: The U.S. is threatened by its citizens

Biden’s stark warning: The U.S. is threatened by its citizens
President Joe Biden speaks outside Independence Hall on September 1 in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/AP)

American presidents nearly typically concentrate on external forces like the Soviet Union, international terrorism, or even the coronavirus when they utilize the prime-time hour to address the public about serious concerns confronting the nation.

However, President Biden stated that a new threat—one that originates within the nation's borders—puts American democracy at risk when he addressed Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

The radicalism that threatens the fundamental basis of our nation is represented by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, according to Biden.

Photo by Sophie Smith / Unsplash

In a startling shift, the president of the United States declared that the 246-year American experiment was under the gravest threat from his predecessor and his supporters, a group that presumably includes millions of individuals.

A president of the United States hasn't made such a stern warning about the conduct and threat presented by fellow citizens since the American Civil War.

The claim confirmed Biden's abrupt departure from his goal of unifying the nation throughout the campaign.

Although Biden has long emphasized Trump's singular ineptitude for leadership, his venomous remarks on Thursday expanded the imagined threat to encompass the hordes of "MAGA Republicans" who support Trump, his lies, and his assault on American traditions.

President Biden emphasized that radical viewpoints are threatening American democracy from within.

The president attempted to draw a distinction between Trump and his supporters and "normal" Republicans, such as those who had collaborated on bipartisan legislation with Democrats, in his vehement rebuke.

The majority of Republicans are not even MAGA Republicans, according to Biden. Not all Republicans subscribe to their radical ideology. I am aware of this because I have had contact with these moderate Republicans.

The concern for Biden, though, is whether he can effectively isolate "MAGA Republicans" as a group for the rest of the country to unite against, or if the language will backfire because too many conservatives and Republicans will feel targeted. After all, Trump received more than 74 million votes in the 2020 election.

Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

Beyond that, it's unclear exactly who falls under the category of a "MAGA Republican," while Biden seemed to focus on those who rashly contest election results and support armed conflict.

In an effort to maintain the difference, Biden told reporters on Friday, "I don't believe every Trump fan to be a threat to the country."

"I do think anyone who pushes for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it is used, refuses to recognize the outcome of an election, or insists on altering the method you tally the votes," he continued.

Steering republicans away from the maga crowd or trump fans is resulting to be a challenge.

The majority of Trump fans, however, accept the former president's demands to annul the 2020 election and elect candidates who promise to change election laws, as well as his pledge to pardon those responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

A longstanding friend of Biden's, Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del. ), claimed the president struggled with his address on Thursday.

Coons pointed out that throughout his presidential campaign, Biden was frequently attacked for being too enthusiastic about the possibility of unifying the nation and ridiculed by other Democrats for foreseeing an outbreak of bipartisanship in Washington.

Photo by History in HD / Unsplash
“I think it was very hard for him to decide to give this speech and to give this speech,” Coons said. “It was full-throated. It was passionate. It was from his heart. But he has spent most of his first two years barely referencing the [former] president, trying to focus on moving forward, hoping that the country would come closer together rather than seem closer to breaking apart.”

On their side, supporters of Trump and the MAGA movement quickly saw Biden's remarks as an act of war. Joe Biden has declared war on the Red States of America.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida tweeted this. I really hope not! And although Biden sought to claim that he was just taking aim at a small minority of pro-Trump demonstrators, GOP leaders are trying to portray Biden's words as directed at a broad swath of Americans.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said, "Joe Biden just labeled all of us enemies of the state. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) claimed on Thursday that President Biden "has chosen to divide, humiliate, and denigrate his fellow Americans." “Why? only because they oppose his programs. Not that kind of leadership.

This isn't the first time a president has highlighted a threat from within or civil unrest.

After Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser last month that many in the GOP were turning toward "semi-fascism," McCarthy also asked that Biden apologize "for slandering tens of millions of Americans as fascists."

Few Republicans, however, jumped at the chance to contest Biden's main arguments, which were that many individuals under Trump's influence are seeking to undermine the foundations of American democracy, such as the idea that voters who lose an election should respect the outcome.

Instead, a lot of people tried to change the topic to Biden's ideas by criticizing his record on inflation, crime, and immigration.

When slave-owning states attempted to split from the union in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln fought valiantly to keep the union together. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a warning against the rise of fascism.

Biden is hardly the only president or presidential contender in recent years to attack a significant portion of the American population and perhaps risk electoral repercussions for saying so.

statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt outside the National World War II Museum
Photo by Jessica Tan / Unsplash

When referring to certain working-class voters in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said, "They grow bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antagonism to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment, as a means to justify their frustrations."

Hillary Clinton, Obama's opponent in the Democratic primary, instantly capitalized on the remarks to paint Obama as being callous to regular Americans.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate for president, asserted that 47% of Americans are freeloaders who rely on the government. My duty isn't to worry about such folks, Romney added, "because I'll never persuade them to be responsible for their own lives and accept personal responsibility."

And in 2016, Clinton had issues of her own when she said that half of Trump's followers fit into what she dubbed "the basket of deplorables," which she defined as "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic." When Trump won, some of his fans hosted a "DeploraBall" to celebrate. The word became their rallying cry.

All rights belong to The Washington Post which is solely responsible for all content.

This article originally appeared in The Washington Post: Biden’s stark warning: The U.S. is threatened by its own citizens

Read more