Within less than a week until midterm elections, President Biden gave a thirty-minute speech Wednesday night discussing the importance of preserving democracy. He began by addressing the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, in their home last week. For the rest of the speech he emphasized the importance of saving democracy, a word he used 38 times.
After acknowledging the Pelosi attack, he discussed the events of January 6. He referred to the motivation behind the January 6 mob, the idea that the 2020 election results were invalid, as “the Big Lie.”
“It’s a lie that fueled the dangerous rise in political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years,” Biden said.
Biden echoed a tone from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address as he discussed the way to make America “a more perfect union.”
“We must vote, knowing what’s at stake is not just the policy of the moment, but institutions that have held us together as we have sought a more perfect union are also at stake,” Biden said. “We must vote knowing who we have been, what we’re at risk of becoming.”
He then mirrored Ronald Reagan’s idea that freedom must be fought for and protected.
“From the very beginning, nothing has been guaranteed about democracy in America. Every generation has had to defend it, protect it, preserve it, choose it, for that’s what democracy is: It’s a choice — a decision of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Biden said.
Biden revisited Trump’s denial of the 2020 election results to deter politicians from questioning election results. He called the questioning of elections “un-American.”
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America — for governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state — who won’t commit — they will not commit to accepting the results of elections that they’re running in,” Biden said. “That is a path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented, it’s unlawful, and it’s un-American.”
Biden spoke out against violence (caused by MAGA Republicans) saying that differences would be settled at the ballots.
“We don’t settle our differences in America with a riot, a mob, or a bullet, or a hammer. We settle them peacefully at the ballot box,” Biden said.
Biden has received pushback, even among his own party, for neglecting to reference the most pressing issues in daily American life. Fellow Democrat Hank Sheinkopf wonders if Biden’s speech will be enough to sway the public.
"People are worried about disorder. And whenever there's disorder -- in this case in crime and economic news -- they tend to vote for the opposition," Sheinkopf said.