President Joe Biden warned the American public on Wednesday that the nation's democratic future may hang in next week's midterm elections.
He sent an intense message to Americans considering postponing next week's congressional elections that the country's future was at stake. Biden suggested that the dominance of candidates for office at all levels of government, who challenged the results of the last presidential election, is a flashing red flag for the country.
“As I stand here today, there are candidates running for every level of office in America – for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in,” Biden said. “That is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it is un-American.”
“This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans, and non-partisan officials just doing their jobs, is the consequence of lies told for power and profit, lies of conspiracy and malice, lies repeated over and over to generate a cycle of anger, hate, vitriol, and even violence,” Biden said. “In this moment, we have to confront those lies with the truth, the very future of our nation depends on it.”
“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president … refuses to accept the will of the people,” Biden said.
Biden's message on Wednesday was far from optimistic, but hope remained that Americans would reject the menacing power he described. House Speaker Pelosi was impelled to deliver a speech after an intruder attacked her husband.
“I believe the voices excusing or calling for violence and intimidation are a distinct minority in America,” Biden said. “But they’re loud and they are determined.”
Defending democracy has been a vibrant feature of Biden's mindset this season, appearing more often in off-camera conversations with Democrats. A day before his speech in Washington, Biden warned a group of Democratic donors in Florida that "democracy is on the ballot" this year, offering a sort of preview of his message a day later.
“How can you say that you in fact care about democracy when you deny the existence of a win? The only way you could win is either you win or the other guy cheated,” he said at the event, held in an oceanfront backyard of a mansion in Golden Beach, Florida.
“This has not happened since the Civil War. It sounds like hyperbole, but it hadn’t happened since then, as bad as it is now,” he said.
During a trip to Philadelphia two months ago, Biden lashed out at Trump and those who helped him in his attempt to undermine democracy.
“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” Biden said at the time. “We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise.”
At the time, Biden issued a firm warning about what he was calling “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”