March 22, 2023

In alarming speech, Biden warns Trump and his supporters are holding a dagger to the throat of America and democracy – Times of India

WASHINGTON: The United States remembered Jan 6, 2021 insurrection on its first anniversary with dire warnings from many quarters about the future of the country and frontal attack by President Joe Biden on his predecessor Donald Trump, accusing him of subverting democracy by creating a web of lies around an election he conclusively lost.
In a blistering speech delivered from the Statuary Hall in the heart of the Capitol that was overrun by a violent pro-Trump mob on January 6, Biden lit into Trump without once mentioning him by name, accusing him of rallying supporters to attack democracy and prevent a peaceful transfer of power.
“He cannot accept that he lost…his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy and our constitution,” Biden said in several sharp remarks aimed at the former President, calling him a “defeated former President.”
Accusing Trump and his mob of holding a “dagger at the throat of America and its democracy,” Biden cast the ongoing battle in an increasingly polarized America as one between democracy and autocracy. “”You can’t love a country only when you win,” Biden said in a jab at the former President and his supporters who cast themselves as patriots.
Biden’s speech, striking both for the location it was made from and its strong tone, was preceded by remarks by vice-president Kamala Harris, who also spoke of the danger to American democracy from Trump and his mob, comparing the January 6 insurrection to turning points in US history such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. “If we do not defend it…it will falter and fail,” she warned.
Biden went on to invoke global scrutiny of developments in America and its potential fall out, saying, “We’re living at an inflection point in history. Both at home and abroad, we’re engaged in a struggle between democracy and an autocracy… From China to Russia and beyond, they’re betting democracy’s days are numbered…They’ve actually told me democracy is too slow, too bogged down by division to succeed in today’s rapidly changing complicated world…They’re betting America will become more like them and less like us.”
“That is not who we are. That is not who we have ever been. And that is not who we should ever, ever be,” the US President said, pledging to uphold the country’s foundational ideals.
Shut out of big-time social media, Trump lashed back in a statement, accusing Biden of using his name to further divide America. “This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” he said.
But prominent political grandees, including a few Republicans, joined Biden in warning about the dangers Trump and his extremist and racist supporters posed to the idea of America, even as the former President continues to have a stranglehold on the Republican Party.
“Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late,” former President Jimmy Carter said in an oped headlined “I Fear for Our Democracy.”
Some surveys have shown that the US is now more polarized than ever before, with an upsurge of white nationalist and racist sentiment, often aimed at immigrants. At the heart of what is increasingly being described as a “battle for the soul of America,” shorn of verbiage, is a contest between competing visions of the United States: A diverse, plural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic America that has been in the works for decades and a white nativist America that fears it is being eclipsed.

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