Es were unusually sharp words that Joe Biden addressed to his viewers. With his shirtsleeves rolled up, he stood at a high school in Rockville, Maryland, at the end of his speech and called out to the crowd, “We’re not going to let anyone tear America apart.” Supporters of Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again ideology. These are a “threat to our democracy”. “They refuse to recognize the will of the people. They advocate political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.” The thousands of listeners at the rally in the Democrat stronghold applauded. But Biden followed up with an appeal: “Therefore, those of you who love this country — Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans — must be stronger, more determined, more committed to saving America than MAGA Republicans are to destroying the country.” .” They all had to go vote – he called that twice into the microphone to the cheers of the crowd.
President Biden’s impassioned performance in Rockville, a Washington suburb, on Thursday evening may have marked the start of a determined Democratic campaign ahead of the November 8 congressional elections. And Biden left no doubt as to the direction things would take. While three-fourths of Americans polled in recent polls said the country is going in the wrong direction, the President in Rockville has been trying to turn the narrative into a positive one. There is no question that “we’ve had a tough couple of years,” Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser before his speech. But he painted a picture of a country emerging from the pandemic and from an economic crisis. You’ve “come far”.
It is now up to the Americans to determine the future of their country – and to protect its democracy. “What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the end of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said. It’s not just about Trump, but about the entire ideology, he went on to say, which in retrospect would become the most noticed exclamation of the evening: the entire ideology of the MAGA Republicans is like “half fascism”. These are unusual remarks from a president who has so far tried to establish contact between Democrats and Republicans – even if Biden made it clear in Rockville that this only applies to this part of the Republicans. “I respect conservative Republicans,” he had said elsewhere, “just not “MAGA Republicans.”
The Democrats want to defend their majority
The tone should also be sharper because there are just under two and a half months left until the midterm elections are where the Democrats want to defend their narrow majority in both houses of Congress. In the spring there were still few signs that this could succeed – especially since the presidential party traditionally performs worse at the halfway point in the legislative period. Interest in the congressional elections seems higher than usual this year. In the most recent Gallup poll, almost half of those surveyed said they were “quite a lot” concerned about the midterm elections – unusually much for July. It was therefore important to fifty percent to vote.
“I want to be very clear about what’s on the vote this year,” Biden said at the beginning of his speech in Rockville – the right to vote, “even democracy. Are you ready to fight for these issues now?” The President was unable to attend the event in Maryland come out with a big chest. After the disastrous poll numbers of the past few months, the Democrats have recently had some important successes. Not only have they taken up the fight for abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to abortion at the end of May – a key issue for many voters and one that is particularly calling Democrats to the ballot box. Biden had also managed to get the long-discussed reform package for social and tax reform through Congress, and after the two massacres in a supermarket in Buffalo and an elementary school in Uvalde in the spring, to push through slightly stricter gun laws and, slowly but surely, also to push record petrol prices down again. All of this is not enough to bring the Democrats success in November – but it could at least help put the party back on track.
At the same time, Trump is casting his shadow over the primaries from the Republican side. Again and again, candidates supported by him win the primaries, Trump repeatedly hints at a repeated candidacy in the presidential elections in 2024. Again and again Biden is asked whether he knew about the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate by the FBI , which was about classified documents he took from the White House. He knew absolutely nothing about it, “zero,” Biden replied to this question from a journalist on Wednesday. But for Trump supporters, the narrative of “Biden’s FBI” is one of the key issues right now leading up to the midterm elections.
Nathan Brand, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, criticized Biden’s statement of the “half fascism” of the MAGA ideology as “disgusting” in the evening. “The Democrats don’t care about the suffering Americans – they never have.” Trump is not just a former president. “He’s a defeated former President!”