President Joe Biden

President Biden's "The Battle for the Soul of the Nation" Speech

September 1, 2022

A note from Choose Democracy Now’s Dale Anderson:

President Biden gave a speech on September 1, 2022 entitled “The Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation” on prime time television.  He made the speech from Independence Hall in Philadelphia where America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution were created.  His message was a warning to all Americans about the ongoing MAGA-Republican assault on our Democracy.

President Biden has been raising alarm about the threat to our democracy the radical right wing of the GOP represents since becoming President.  Those that considered similar warnings by academics “alarmist” prior to the 2020 election, were silenced with the MAGA-led violent attack on congress on January 6, 2021 – evidence of the party’s disdain for truth, the rule of law, our constitution and our democracy.

At a time when the GOP is defending the former President’s purloining state secrets and concealing them in his home, and when participants in the January 6th rally are winning primary elections to run for congress, it is important for all Americans to hear President Biden’s warning.

The following is an excerpt from the speech. A link to the full speech can be found below as well as a link to comments about the importance of the speech by Umair Haque.

Speech Excerpt

“Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t be pro-insurrectionist and pro-American.  They’re incompatible. We can’t allow violence to be normalized in this country. It’s wrong. We each have to reject political violence with all the moral clarity and conviction this nation can muster.  Now.

We can’t let the integrity of our elections be undermined, for that is a path to chaos. Look, I know politics can be fierce and mean and nasty in America. I get it. I believe in the give-and-take of politics, in disagreement and debate and dissent.

We are a big, complicated country.  But democracy endures only if we, the people, respect the guardrails of the republic. Only if we, the people, accept the results of free and fair elections. Only if we, the people, see politics not as total war but mediation of our differences.

Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election: either they win or they were cheated. And that’s where MAGA Republicans are today.  They don’t understand what every patriotic American knows: You can’t love your country only when you win. It’s fundamental. American democracy only works only if we choose to respect the rule of law and the institutions that were set up in this chamber behind me, only if we respect our legitimate political differences.

I will not stand by and watch the will of the American people be overturned by wild conspiracy theories and baseless, evidence-free claims of fraud.  

I will not stand by and watch elections in this country stolen by people who simply refuse to accept that they lost.

I will not stand by and watch the most fundamental freedom in this country — the freedom to vote and have your vote counted — be taken from you and the American people.”

Independence Hall
Independence Hall in Philadelphia where America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution were created