Is American democracy really at risk?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

The Lincoln Memorial.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

President Biden is going on the offensive against former President Donald Trump and his MAGA base ahead of the fall midterms, trying to help Democrats hold onto their narrow majorities in the House and Senate. "Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," Biden said last week in a primetime speech slamming election deniers. On Labor Day, he doubled down on the attacks, saying in campaign rallies in Midwest swing states that "Trumpies" and "MAGA Republicans" were "coming for your Social Security" and "destroying democracy." Biden stressed that he wasn't referring to all Republicans, just those who embrace the "extreme ideology" of Trump's "Make America Great Again" movement.

Trump responded with broadsides of his own. He wrote on his Truth Social platform that the August FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, part of an investigation into his handling of classified documents, was a "sneak attack on democracy (our Republic!)." Over the weekend, Trump appeared at his first rally since the search, and called Biden's speech "the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president, vilifying 75 million citizens." Trump said Biden had essentially told Trump supporters they're "all enemies of the state. He's an enemy of the state, if you want to know the truth." Is this heated rhetoric just part of the fight for control of Congress, or is the future of the nation, and democracy, really at risk?

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.