The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that it exists. America, in the person of President Joe Biden, took that first step on Thursday night.
Back in 2009 I said the Tea Party, not foreign terrorism, was the greatest threat to America for the simple reason the Tea Party was here. Over the ensuing years the names of the organizations have changed and a leader in the person of Donald Trump has emerged. In the wake of what to them was a surprise loss in the 2008 election the Republican Party embraced the Tea Party. The Tea Party was not really original but mostly a morphing of other extreme right wing groups that had become an essential part of the Republican base albeit supplemented by some newly mobilized recruits.
With the emergence of the wannabe autocrat Trump these crazies felt that they were now accepted and their behavior acceptable. In short order the inmates have taken over the asylum. Today much of the elected Republican class is a collection of sycophants and cowards who go along to get along. Biden, and many others, label them the MAGA Republicans. They are the most clear and present threat to American democracy today. If you doubted it, January 6th made it crystal clear to all but the willfully blind.
Biden’s address violated many of the old rule -the same ones the crowd he warned us against have trampled on – but it was both necessary and truthful. He sounded the alarm as I’d expect any president to do when the nation is under attack. (Think of George W. Bush – far from my favorite president – on the evening of 9/11.)
Biden declared that, “Equality and democracy are under assault,” in the opening moments of his speech. He declared the solution to be, “We the people”. I agree with him on both counts. The MAGA forces (I’ll paraphrase and use his term for now) want to form an autocracy that conforms with their ideas. What the rank and file of that movement don’t realize is that after Trump, or his successor, takes power the masses will be divided, concurred and, at best, marginalized. We have seen this before in 1930s Europe with the rise of fascism.
The speech could well have been written by Jon Meacham whose thoughts were constantly reflected and verbiage used. It reads much like Meacham’s 2018 book, The Soul of America, (on the Recommended Reading List).
On the very day of the speech Trump took to a right wing radio show and said that if was reelected he would strongly consider pardoning the 1/6 convicts and apologizing to them. Days before Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham “warned” of riots in the streets if Trump were indicted. Let’s boil the “Mar-a-Lago affair” down to its simplest element: Trump was caught in possession of stolen goods.
Biden’s bottom line is mine: vote, vote, vote!!!!!!!
If the vote wasn’t so powerful why would the MAGA Republicans be working so hard to suppress and nullify it as well as intimidate potential voters in an effort to decrease turnout?
History will reflect that when the President sounded the alarm that the nation was under attack the three major TV networks chose to telecast reruns instead. Biden may not be a “sexy” speaker who “sells” but he was on the money!
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