Speed Reads

a stark warning

Biden urges Americans to fight extremism 'that threatens the very foundations of our republic'

In a fiery address to the nation Thursday night, President Biden night warned that "Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," before declaring he will "defend democracy with every fiber of my being."

Speaking from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Biden referred to the space as "sacred ground," where the Declaration of Independence was approved and the Constitution was written and debated. "These two documents and the ideas they embody, equality and democracy, are the rock upon which the nation is built," Biden said. Both equality and democracy are now under assault, he continued, and "we do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise."

After warning about the extremism of "Trump and the MAGA Republicans," Biden said he wants "to be very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even a majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology," though it's clear "the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country."

MAGA Republicans "do not respect the Constitution," Biden said. "They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election, and they're working right now as I speak in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself."

Having failed to overturn the 2020 election and "nullify the votes of 81 million people," these "MAGA forces" are "determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people" in 2022 and 2024, Biden said, but "we are not powerless in the face of these threats. We are not bystanders in this ongoing attack on democracy.  There are far more Americans, far more Americans from every background and belief, who reject the extreme MAGA ideology than those that accept it. Folks, it's in our power, in our hands, yours and mine, to stop the assault on American democracy."

Biden reminded listeners that "history tells us the blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy. For a long time we told ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed, but it's not. We have to defend it, protect it, stand up for it, each and everyone of us," united.

There are good things happening in the U.S., Biden stressed, and "now America must choose to move forward or to move backwards, to build a future or obsess about the past. To be a nation of hope and unity and optimism or a nation of fear and division and darkness. MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger, they thrive on chaos, they live not in the light of truth but in the shadows of lies. Together, we can choose a different path. We can choose a better path, forward to the future, a future of possibility — to build and dream and hope."