President Biden’s Fiery and Controversial Speech
In a prime-time address outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Biden delivered a speech that has caused an uproar from both sides of the aisle since it aired. This differed from his usual addresses as it took a harder, direct stance against Trump and a fragment of the Republican Party that the President referred to as, “[extremists] that [threaten] the very foundations of our republic.” These “MAGA Republicans” as Biden referred to them— meaning those who back Donald Trump— do not make up the majority of Republicans, he went on to say.
Differing from certain Republican politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ted Cruz, centrists and Democrats criticized the President’s speech for a different reason: the background. The building was illuminated with red lighting– something many raced to call “fascist dog whistles” and even took to Twitter comparing Biden to Adolf Hiter. The main point, however, was the Marines standing behind the President. As the politicization of the military is growing, people of all opinions took issue with the soldiers being on-screen during his speech.
What has come in the days since has been a slinging of accusations; Biden called Trump a threat to democracy, so Trump accused Biden of the same thing at his rally. Whether the President’s speech will have a significant impact on the upcoming midterm elections is uncertain, seeing as there has been an almost equal outpouring of support for the address.
Liberal Political Commentary
Presidential addresses are important; they’re how the American people hear straight from the head of government about the state of politics in the White House. This address served its purpose, and it's daring messaging warned the people of what many already feel: democracy is in danger. Sometimes language needs to be moderated for the sake of productive conversation, but in situations as dire as these, it’s unwise to do so. No measure is too far when the “threats to democracy” in question broke into the capitol building.
The criticism of his speech is understandable, but he took care to mention that the Republican Party as a whole is not responsible for democracy’s decline in the US. Many who take issue with the message he presented seem to forget that “MAGA Republicans” rioted at the US capitol at the direction of Donald Trump. The red lighting was a bit of an odd choice, yes, but having Marines in the background shouldn’t have been an issue. No message was being projected by soldiers standing in the back, it’s very possible that they were security detail.
Conservative Political Commentary
President Biden made a very partisan speech in Philadelphia. The speech was aimed directly at his predecessor Donald Trump and even called him out directly by name. Republicans very understandably were aggravated at the assault of a segment of their party. Representative Fitzgerald stated it was the utmost hypocrisy for Biden to call for a coming together of Americans while simultaneously alienating a section of them. Biden also stated many trump supporters were un-American in their pursuit to find election fraud in the previous election. His wording was sharp and antagonistic throughout the speech likening MAGA Americans to the worst enemy of democracy. He stated “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards. Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy. No right to contraception, no right to marry who you love” and that the current political climate was in a “Battle for the soul of this nation”.
Ronna McDaniel stated Biden was “the divider-in-chief and epitomizes the current state of the Democrat Party: one of divisiveness, disgust, and hostility towards half the country,"(Liptak et al). This seems to be the overall sentiment felt by most republicans. Congressman McCarthy, a staunch supporter of Trump, stated, “In the past two years, Joe Biden has launched an assault on the soul of America, on its people, on its laws, on its most sacred values. He has launched an assault on our democracy. His policies have severely wounded America’s soul, diminished America’s spirit and betrayed America’s trust. “According to Miller and Boak, an Iowa GOP member Jeff Kaufman accused Biden of “using the tactics of an authoritarian regime” by “trying to turn his political opponents into an enemy of the state. “It seems clear that by making such a partisan speech the President has alienated most conservatives in the country.
Liberal Journalist Opinion
The uproar caused by Biden’s speech is bizarre. American democracy is indeed backsliding, and the only unfortunate thing about the President’s message is that it took so long to say it directly. Donald Trump and “MAGA Republicans” are what political academics refer to as populists– people with political attitudes opposed to the government and all institutions related to it, who want them destroyed without having a plan to fix them.
To cut to the chase, the lighting choice was a non-issue. After all the colour of the Republican Party is red, so unless they’re admitting it’s tied to fascism the idea that he was “dog-whistling” to authoritarians with his background is absurd. With that being said, however, the Marines in the background were an interesting choice. The air of intimidation they presented is all too familiar to the gimmick of the “strongman” which is something that politicians like Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán capitalize on to push society backwards.
Written by Ashlyn Hill
Conservative Journalist Opinion
Biden’s speech was meant to be inflammatory. The wording used by Biden cannot be presented as anything but inflammatory and hostile towards MAGA republicans. Regardless of how Biden tried to separate MAGA republicans from more central Republicans his speech came across as derogatory to both. According to an article by the Washington Post MAGA republicans, the strictest definition given by Biden accounts for 50 million Americans. This is no small number of people that Biden alienated and accused in multiple different contexts of being Un-American. One of the foundational beliefs of MAGA Americans is their strong sense of patriotism and attacking that directly in a speech right before elections will definitely make those who identify as MAGA extremely infuriated. Never mind the lashing out being done by Republicans in office but on the ground level, republicans in practice (about 45% of Americans according to the same Washington Post article) are going to be offended. What Biden was trying to do was cause division amongst Republicans so that the more central-leaning Republicans might try and extricate themselves from MAGA affiliations but in actuality, Biden merely succeeded in angering a large faction of the voting sector.
Written by Alexis Walker
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