Do you want to keep democracy?, Joe Biden asked in his address to the nation.
Sleepy Joe has finally woken up, and that´s in a way that felt like a slap in the face to me and Americans. In his address to the nation yesterday, he said: “We have to be honest. There is too much in the United States that, because of Donald Trump, threatens the foundations of our democracy.”
If that doesn´t snap you out of your haze, I don´t know what will. I myself, reacted by sitting up straight on my couch. And then I got nervous. The speech was, in all its simplicity, about how we must ensure that democracy survives under the pressure of the political violence of extreme national MAGA groupings.
Our time is not the first where the United States has been divided. Historically, when things have been so bad that an American president has addressed the nation, division within the population has led to war and a national identity crisis.
I am obviously not the only one who occasionally loose sleep over the situation in America. Today, the country’s president found it necessary to say that if we are not careful, we risk that our children will not grow up in a democracy with the same freedoms as we have today. “Equality and democracy are under attack. Don’t take our democracy for granted, stand up for it, fight for it,” Joe Biden said.
“As Biden talked about the United States being at a crossroads, I get more nervous. This was not just another political speech from a political leader. This was serious.
It is very rare that Biden mentions Trump by name. But today, he did just that several times. Without sugarcoating his words, he warned that Trump and his MAGA supporters are actively using violence and threats as a tool and that they are willing to use any means to get the results they want. But “you can’t only love the United States when you win,” Biden shouted. “Blind loyalty to one person is fatal for a democracy.”
Several times since the attempted coup on January 6 last year, I have come across ordinary Americans who have expressed a fear that the political mood and Trump’s influence are now so inflamed that it could lead to a civil war.
Biden argued that “that’s not how we are”.
But maybe that is the way Americans are? Maybe they’ve always been that way? Maybe we just haven’t seen it until now, because the hatred has been directed against populations abroad or against African Americans within the country’s borders – and not against ordinary white Americans, whose only “flaws” in the eyes of Trump and his supporters are, that they are democrats?
Biden and Trump are the personification of the choice America faces. Democracy versus autocracy, a dynamic society versus conservative stagnation, inclusion versus exclusion, international orientation versus isolationism.
Joe Biden is a seasoned politician to the core. He believes in the Constitution, the democratic process and has been part of the game in Congress and the White House for decades. He is known for seeking consensus across political party lines, inviting everyone to negotiations and believing in the process. Trump, on the other hand, is a completely different beast with no political experience and with an attitude that he wants things his way – at any cost and by any means. The diplomat against the tyrant, the negotiator against the aggressor.
As Biden talked about the United States being at a crossroads, I got more nervous. This was not just another political speech from a political leader. This was serious. Quiet, whispering Joe stood there under the whir of historic wings and said that we must fight for what we believe in—and that if we don’t, we’ll lose our democracy.
“We are not powerless, we must not stand by. We stand for honesty, decency, democracy,’ he said rather dictatingly. He also said that together we can do anything. Still, I had a knot in my stomach, thinking about how we are going to stop national extremists from intimidating and threatening their way into an agenda and a society far from what I associate with a free democracy, and how democracy might feel after the next election.
Frygter Joe Biden en amerikansk borgerkrig?
Skal vi have demokratiske rettigheder eller ufrihed? spurgte Joe Biden i sin tale til nationen.