President Joe Biden’s September 1 Independence Hall Address: Excerpts by Ron Malzer
President Biden: “As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault. We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise. Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.
“There is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country. MAGA Republicans look at America and see carnage and darkness and despair. They spread fear and lies –- lies told for profit and power.
“But I see a very different America. And I will not stand by and watch elections in this country stolen by people who simply refuse to accept that they lost.
“In my view, MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.
“They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.
“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.
“They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.
“They are a “clear and present danger” to our democracy.
“There are far more Americans — far more Americans from every — from every background and belief who reject the extreme MAGA ideology than those that accept it. And, folks, it is within our power, it’s in our hands — yours and mine — to stop the assault on American democracy.
“MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.
“We’re all called, by duty and conscience, to confront extremists who will put their own pursuit of power above all else.
“Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans: We must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving American democracy than MAGA Republicans are to — to destroying American democracy.
“So I want to say this plain and simple: There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever.
“We saw law enforcement brutally attacked on January the 6th. We’ve seen election officials, poll workers — many of them volunteers of both parties — subjected to intimidation and death threats. And — can you believe it? — FBI agents just doing their job as directed, facing threats to their own lives from their own fellow citizens.
“History tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy.
“For a long time, we’ve told ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed, but it’s not.
We have to defend it, protect it, stand up for it — each and every one of us.
“We can’t afford to leave anyone on the sidelines. We need everyone to do their part. So speak up. Speak out. Get engaged. Vote, vote, vote!
“And if we all do our duty — if we do our duty in 2022 and beyond, then ages still to come will say we — all of us here — we kept the faith. “