Biden harshly attacks Trump, 'It's a risk for democracy'

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Biden harshly attacks Trump, 'It's a risk for democracy'

“Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War has freedom and democracy been under attack here at home as they are today. What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack both in homeland and abroad, at the same time”. Joe Biden thus began his speech of about an hour on the State of the Union, in a Congress divided in half: with the Dems who peeled their hands for a long time and repeatedly calling for “four more years” and the Republicans who remained always seated without applauding, someone with a Maga hat contesting the president despite the invitation to decorum from the speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who also clapped his hands on several occasions.

A politically strong speech, full of optimism, revolving around America's 'comeback', during which the dem leader showed clarity and vigour, even joking about his 81 years, the real electoral Achilles' heel: “at my age certain things become clearer than ever. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I've been here a long time.”

His speech had two lines, one on ongoing international conflicts and the other on internal politics, with Donald Trump always in his sights, even if he never named him directly. The first of the 13 broadsides came immediately, when he spoke about the war in Ukraine, urging the Republicans to approve aid to Kiev and accusing the tycoon of “submitting” to the 'tsar'. “My message to Putin is clear: the United States will not back down, I will not back down,” he said. He then defined Trump's invitation to Putin to “do what he wants” with the NATO countries that do not pay their fair share as “scandalous”, reiterating that with him, however, the Alliance is stronger, as demonstrated by the new membership of Sweden, whose prime minister was among the guests in the White House chamber.

On the Middle Eastern front, the commander in chief – who, arriving at the Capitol, dribbled past the pro-Palestinian protests by car – officially announced that he had ordered the US army “an emergency mission” to create a temporary dock on the coast of Gaza that can receive large ships for humanitarian aid… without American troops on the field”. But he also warned that Israel “must do its part”, not using aid “as a bargaining chip”, and that “it has the fundamental responsibility of protect innocent civilians in Gaza” in a war with unprecedented human costs. The president also reiterated his call for an immediate six-week, two-state ceasefire as the only solution for peace and security for all parties.

As for Beijing, Biden assured that the US can win the challenge of competition for the 21st century and claimed to have done much more than his predecessor, “despite his tough talk on China”.

But it is on the domestic front where Biden aimed most to win back the American vote and rise in the polls, where he is at historic lows. For this reason he boasted a record economy “that the whole world now envies us”, the battle for reproductive, civil and workers' rights, the reduction of student debt, the fight against fentanyl and gun violence, the defense of welfare, the renewal of infrastructure and the supply chain. In particular, he insisted on the right to abortion after the abolition of 'Roe v. Wade', warning that the power of women will also be felt in the next elections as in 2022 and 2023. Then, referring to Trump, he assured that he will not “demonize” migrants by saying that they “poison the blood of our country” and urged Congress to pass a border control law. Finally he relaunched the tax crusade to ensure that companies and billionaires pay their “fair share”, proposing a tax increase for them and relief for the poor.

The ending is again against Trump, to highlight the contrast with his rival: “my life has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. A future based on the fundamental values that have defined America: honesty, decency, dignity, equality . To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair chance. To not give hate a safe haven. Now some people my age see a different story: an American story of resentment, revenge and punishment. That's not me.”

Trump, despite some initial technical problems, managed to comment on Biden's “angry, divisive and hateful speech” on his social network Truth, blaming him for the fire in the Middle East for his condescension towards Iran and for the migration crisis on the border with Mexico.

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