Biden to give prime-time speech on ‘battle for the soul of the nation’ | Joe Biden

Joe Biden will deliver a primetime speech on Thursday on “the continuing battle for the soul of the nation,” the White House said.

Calling the speech a major speech, the White House said Biden would discuss how America’s position in the world and its own democracy are at stake.

The speech will take place in Philadelphia and comes two months before the midterm elections in which Democrats will try to hold Congress, while Republican supporters of Donald Trump’s big lie will try to win seats, gubernatorial mansions and key electoral positions in the states.

Biden will speak outside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, where Abraham Lincoln delivered a keynote speech before the Civil War in 1861, and where the body of the 16th President was put on public display after his assassination four years later.

Next to Independence Hall is congress hall, where Congress sat between 1790 and 1800, while Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States. This year, Democrats have growing hopes of holding the House and Senate.

The White House said Biden would “speak about the progress we’ve made as a nation to protect our democracy, but how our rights and freedoms are still under attack.” And it will make it clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy.

The speech was announced on Monday as Republicans complained about Biden’s recent characterization of Trump and his supporters as “semi-fascists” in their refusal to accept the 2020 election result.

On Sunday, Chris Sununu, governor of New Hampshire and relatively moderate, told CNN“The fact that the president comes out and insults just half of America [and] effectively calls half of America semi-fascist, he’s trying to stir up controversy. He’s trying to stoke that anti-Republican sentiment just before the election. It’s horribly inappropriate.

Biden also warned Americans against “ultra-maga Republicans,” a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Biden’s fondness for the phrase “soul of the nation” is well established. Derived from the title of a book by historian Jon Meacham – The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, published in 2018 – the phrase or variations have appeared in Biden’s speeches and remarks for some time.

In July 2021, Biden spoke at the National Constitution Center on “protecting the sacred and constitutional right to vote.”

He then said“We did it in 2020. The battle for America’s soul – in this battle, the people voted. Democracy prevailed. Our constitution has held. We have to do it again.

Meacham has advised Biden and attended White House discussions with other historians.

In May, Meacham said such a discussion “wasn’t about ‘How do I shape my legacy?’ It was, ‘How have previous presidents handled fundamental crises’…it was, ‘How do you articulate a case for democracy with all its inherent mess?’

Nonetheless, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, recently announced the president’s interest in his place in history.

The Biden administration, Klain said, had “delivered the biggest economic stimulus package since [Franklin D] Roosevelt’s largest infrastructure plan since [Dwight D] Eisenhower, the most confirmed judges since [John F] Kennedy, the second largest health care bill since [Lyndon B] Johnson, and the greatest climate change bill in history.”

Klain also pointed to “the first time we’ve done gun control since President [Bill] Clinton was here, the first time an African American woman [Ketanji Brown Jackson] was referred to the United States Supreme Court.

“I think that’s a record to bring to the American people,” he said.

It was not immediately clear whether Biden would refer in this week’s speech to another historic use of Independence Hall with strong relevance in modern America: the long aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and protests for the racial justice he inspired.

As the historian Ted Widmer said in 2020, in the 1850s, the room was “used as an enclosure for African Americans who were taken [after escaping from slavery].

“They would arrive in Philadelphia and freedom in the underground railroadthen they would be recaptured, often even if they were rightfully free, they would be incarcerated in a prison inside Independence Hall, and sent back south.

“So this building had become sullied in the eyes of a lot of Americans.”

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