Democracy is at stake, says Biden ahead of US midterms in speech at Washington

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On Wednesday, a speech by United States President Joe Biden, addressing the state of democracy warned that it is under assault by the election deniers as well as threatened by some candidates contesting for the midterm elections who would refuse to accept the result on November 8. 

Biden began his speech by addressing the recent attack on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi and said “Thankfully, by the grace of God, all survived,” and how the assailant was looking for the Speaker, Paul Pelosi’s attacker “entered the home asking ‘Where’s Nancy?’”. He added, “those were the same words used by the mob who stormed the Capitol on January 6”. 

In the almost 20-minute speech, Biden also spoke about the importance of the upcoming election, as well as some of the issues surrounding “political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years.” He added, “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.” 

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The incumbent US president also addressed some of the major issues faced by the country, “There is a lot at stake in these midterm elections from our economy, the safety of our streets, personal freedoms, future of healthcare, to our personal freedoms, the future of healthcare, social security, medicare, it’s all important…but there is something else at stake. Democracy itself”. 

He then went on to hold Former US president Donald Trump responsible for spreading the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen as well as inspiring the election deniers and candidates who “won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in.” This includes candidates running for every level of office in America including, governor, Congress, attorney general, secretary of state and so on, said Biden.  

“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president of the United States refused to accept the results of the 2020 election…to accept the will of the people…the fact that he lost. He’s abused his power and put loyalty to himself before loyalty to the Constitution,” said Biden. 

The US president also urged people to recognise what’s at stake calling this a moment of “national and generational importance,” and ended his speech saying that “the fate of the nation” lies with the people. 

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These remarks were made in the context of hundreds of candidates who have reportedly continued to delegitimize the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and some of whom are poised to hold critical offices in the country. A recent poll by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that at least 52% of Americans believe that democracy is not working well.

(With inputs from agencies) 

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