On Thursday night, President Joe Biden delivered a message to the country he described as a commentary on “the soul of the nation.” Biden did not discuss the economy, the pandemic, or even policy. Instead, he took the opportunity to discuss his predecessor, Donald Trump, and what Biden dubbed “MAGA Republicans.”
Biden’s definition of MAGA Republicans include those who believe the 2020 general election was rife with fraud. “They refuse to accept the results of a free election,” Biden claimed.
Biden took the stage with Marines at his back. The stage itself was dark, with red and black dominating the backdrop. Critics described the backdrop as foreboding, and detractors mentioned that Biden appeared to be shouting throughout much of the speech.
Biden claims that the Republican Party is “dominated, driven by, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.” He added that he had worked with “mainstream” Republicans in the past, and he was certain to mark a difference between the two.
However, within the Republican Party, many refer to those “mainstream” Republicans as “RINOs” (Republicans in Name Only).
The Republicans who utilize the term “RINO” to describe a political leader usually do so when said Republican typically votes with Democrats on most issues, contrary to the wishes of their constituents. For instance, Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill earlier this year are often referred to as “RINOs” by members of the Republican Party.
Biden claims that “MAGA” Republicans do not respect the Constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. Within this context, the president made numerous references to the riot that occurred on January 6, 2021. Most Republicans have condemned the riots that took place on January 6.
Biden said that MAGA Republicans as a movement wishes to undermine the legal “framework of the country” as well as most of the rights provided in the Constitution. “They promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat . . . to the very soul of this country.”
Biden drew the ire of many Americans last week when he referred to MAGA Republicans as “semi-facists.” Biden said that America is “seeing the death knell” of the movement.
These comments come at a time when many blocks of traditional Democratic voters – particularly minorities – are changing their voting affiliation to Republican. Troves of Hispanic voters who have been lifelong Democrats are moving to the Republican side of the aisle. This summer, a special election in Texas to fill a vacant house seat, flipped from Democrat to Republican when Mayra Flores (R-TX) won the special election. Flores has become outspoken on the border crisis. She is a first generation American as well.
Biden’s speech was a trending topic on Twitter after its conclusion. Some users said they had always voted Democrat, but Biden’s speech was over the line. Twitter users also pointed out the backdrop for Biden’s speech, likening it to something an “authoritarian” leader would use, particularly to send a threatening message.
Prior to Biden’s speech, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), also offered his own address to the nation. McCarthy spoke plainly, “The world is more dangerous, more unstable, and more chaotic. We are losing our safety, our prosperity, and our freedom. Peace and security have been replaced by hostility and aggression. This is the record of Joe Biden.”
McCarthy told listeners that Biden was correct on one point – that “democracy” is on the voting block in the November midterm elections. McCarthy went on to say that President Biden “and the radical left” in Congress are “dismantling American democracy” in plain sight of the American people.
McCarthy said that he and “every Republican running for Congress” is in the race in order to keep America from going in the wrong direction “before it is too late.”
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