Joe Biden, the man who ran for president as a “uniter,” has been the farthest thing from that as president. The latest example was the divisive, televised speech he gave in Philadelphia on September 1, standing on a podium in front of the iconic Independence Hall, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, with two Marines in formal dress uniform standing behind him. (Exploiting them as a prop for a partisan political speech was shameful.) Biden’s tirade angrily denounced “MAGA Republicans” as extremists who would destroy our democracy. A week before, he resorted to similar inflammatory rhetoric at a Democrat rally in Maryland branding Republican ideology as fascist.
Independence Hall was shrewdly chosen as a setting for his defense of democracy theme, a word he belabored 31 times. For the record, the United States of America, by the founders’ design, is decidedly not a pure democracy. The word “democracy” appears not even once in either of those two founding documents, while Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees a “Republican Form of Government.”
Our founders created an ingenious and unique constitutional republic. It includes some democratic institutions like the House of Representatives with seats apportioned to the states in proportion to their population. But it pointedly restrains them with the anti-democratic guard rails of a republic, like the partial sovereignty of each state; the Senate with two seats for each state regardless of population; the Electoral College; the presidential veto that requires a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress to override; the process of amending the Constitution, ultimately requiring ratification by the three-quarters of the state legislatures; and the Bill of Rights that limits government powers and protects individual liberty from what the founders regarded as the tyranny of the majority.
I know, politicians and most people routinely use the term “democracy” loosely and imprecisely as shorthand for a nation with representative government and free elections. But I’m not splitting hairs when I make the distinction between a pure democracy and a constitutional republic. That distinction is vital to understanding our system of government. But I digress, so back to Biden’s speech.
Contrary to Biden’s claim, Republican ideology is the farthest thing from fascism, which is a dictatorial form of totalitarian government control of the people and the economy. MAGA Republicans and non-MAGA Republicans, alike, are committed to limited government. It’s Democrats who favor big government. Leftists wield that F-word, fascism, against conservatives as a meaningless slur, much as a four-year-old calls another kid a doo-doo head.
The political strategy of Biden’s tirade was transparent. With his overall approval rating in the tank, especially on the economy at an abysmal 30%, and with 70% of Americans saying we’re on the wrong track, Democrats are fearful of a nationwide Republican wave. Remember the immortal words of James Carville, Bill Clinton’s chief campaign strategist in 1992, who zeroed in on the key to his victory over President George H. W. Bush, the Republican incumbent during a recession, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Democrats clearly can’t run on their record of the last two years with control of Congress.
So, to shift attention from runaway inflation, economic recession, illegal immigration and the border crisis, foreign policy malfeasance, energy disruption, the crime wave, public education turmoil and more, Democrats are running against Donald Trump (who’s not actually on the 2022 ballot). Hence, the attack on so-called MAGA Republicans — the term repeated 13 times in Biden’s rant — as a substitute for Trump, compounded with a rehashing of January 6.
That assault on the Capitol by a mob of several hundred frenzied Trump supporters was, indeed, a disgraceful act. But it came nowhere close to overturning the election, overthrowing our government or “destroying our democracy.” Election fraud is a far greater threat. The lawbreakers have been prosecuted and the worst have gone to jail. The more than 100,000 Trump supporters who peacefully rallied in Washington that day were lawfully demonstrating as multitudes on the left have done for their causes inflicting far more damage to property and disturbance of the peace.
It was the symbolism of January 6 that was most disturbing. But it was an isolated incident far exceeded by the sheer scale of chaos by leftists during Trump’s presidency, which literally started on the day after his election with street protests and disruptions, escalating to the rampage of riots and looting attached to the Black Lives Matter summer of violence, incited and justified by radical leftists like Rep. Maxine Waters. None of that was criticized in Biden’s speech. Nor were the boisterous protests by pro-abortion activists, in violation of federal law, outside the homes of conservative justices after Roe V. Wade was overturned.
Biden’s tirade was a cavalcade of lies and hypocrisy. Among the worst, his claim that MAGA Republicans don’t respect the Constitution. Nonsense. It’s Democrats who believe in a “living Constitution” where progressive judges override constitutional intent and the law with their notion of what they feel it ought to say. The Democrats’ progressive base tramples on freedom of speech, censoring and canceling those with whom they disagree. Biden condemned MAGA election deniers but failed to include Democrat election deniers like Hillary Clinton who proclaimed Trump to be an “illegitimate president” who stole the 2016 election.
The rest of Biden’s speech was a repetition of platitudes sounding like a typical State of the Union address or his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention.
MAGA is symbolized by the red hat worn by a diverse bunch of Republicans and non-Republicans among the 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Biden’s sweeping condemnation is an insult and injustice to all of them. Ironically, he concluded his speech by describing America as “the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” Isn’t that the goal of MAGA Republicans and all those who truly love America, if not the malcontents and progressives who don’t?
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.
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