Thursday, February 2

Biden renounces the unifying speech and joins the campaign against ‘trumpism’

The night of mid-November 2020 in which Joe Biden was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election and the cold morning of January 2021 in which he was sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, the US president focused his message to call the unit. The country was split in half, with an increasingly polarized Congress and society, after the turbulent presidency of Donald Trump, topped off with his campaign against the election results and the storming of the Capitol. After more than a year and a half in office, Biden confirmed his change of course on Thursday night in a televised address to the nation in prime time: unity – an impossible goal given Trump’s dominance of the Republican party and his popularity in broad electoral bases – is no longer the goal; the goal is to combat ‘trumpism’. MORE INFORMATION Biden, on Al Zawahiri: “If you are a threat to our people, the US will find you” Biden was not informed of the FBI search of Trump’s house, according to the White House Biden defended that the movement created by the New York billionaire, the ‘MAGA Republicans’, referring to ‘Make America Great Again’, are the ‘extremism that threatens the pillars of our republic’. Given the persistence of Trump’s story -without support from courts or authorities- about electoral ‘theft’, his promotion of candidates who adhere to that dogma, the embarrassing and tragic episode of the Capitol, or the increase in threats to authorities, the president defended that “the MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy democracy.” In an attempt to maintain that unifying vision, Biden asserted that not all Republicans, “not even a majority of them,” are MAGA Republicans. Something that does not square well with Trump’s popularity levels among that electorate, with the polls on his preference for the presidential candidate in 2024 or with the results of this year’s primaries, where the candidates he has supported have prevailed. in a majority way. Even Biden himself undone his argument: “There is no doubt that the Republican party today is dominated, led and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.” Accusations and criticism The immediate response of the Republicans was to accuse him of hate speech, which puts the target on “half the country.” It was impossible not to remember Hillary Clinton, the loser against Trump in 2016, when in the campaign she said that half of the ‘trumpistas’ fit into what she called “a basket of deplorables”, one of her great missteps that election. For many in the US, Biden’s warning about the risk to democracy and the threat posed by ‘Trumpism’ is justified. But the president was not exempt from criticism, some from media circles, about the time, place and staging of the speech. It cannot be ignored that Biden gave his speech a little over two months before the legislative elections, in which the Democrats are risking their majorities for the minimum in Congress, and where the polls place them in a bad place. These addresses to the nation have historically been used to announce grand plans or address the country in the midst of attack, tragedy, or war. This message could have been this week or five months or a year ago. “Vote, vote, vote,” he told Americans on the big live television channels. Biden spoke from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the cradle of American democracy, where his Constitution was debated and drafted. Some consider this to be a partisan use of symbols (something Trump has already done at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington or at Mount Rushmore). But he was even more criticized because, in the background, he was being escorted by two uniformed members of the Marine Corps. “We need to make sure the Army stays out of politics whenever possible and it’s not okay for a Democrat to use the Army as a political tool, nor is it okay for a Republican to use it,” Allison Jaslow, who was executive director of the Army, criticized on CNN. Democratic Campaign Committee for Congress. The presence of the marines served Trump and his allies to launch exorbitant attacks against Biden. The former president assured on his social network, Truth Social, that Biden “threatened the US, including the possible use of military force.” Unity against Trump One of his great allies in the media is Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the host of the most widely watched political show in the country. Carlson took advantage of that image and the recent search of Trump’s mansion in Florida to say that Biden and the Democrats “are implicating the FBI and the Pentagon in this hunt for people who criticize them.” Biden’s speech was unifying in an aspect that suits him in an electoral key: the ‘everyone against Trump’ of Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans. That was the key to his victory in 2020: Biden did not excite anyone, but he was seen as the glue of various electorates – including the increasingly estranged Democratic factions – in the face of the threat of four more years of Trump. And that is the hope and intention of the president for the elections this fall, which he promoted with his speech: that the appointment with the polls is not a referendum on his work as president -inflation, persistence of the pandemic, embarrassment in Afghanistan- but about the possibility that ‘trumpism’ gains power.

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