While Donald Trump poses by far the greatest threat, there are many other problems. President Joe Biden wants to convince Americans that democracy is once again at stake in the 2024 presidential election.
Listen To This Story
Those who are paying attention to the state of US democracy know that it is now in greater peril than at any other time in living memory.
While Donald Trump poses by far the greatest threat, there are many other problems. You need to look no further than uber-gerrymandered states like Wisconsin or North Carolina being turned into legislative GOP dictatorships, or the problem that the last two Republican presidents came to power after losing the popular vote.
Then there is a partisan Supreme Court that has eroded the Voting Rights Act and allowed rich people to flood politics with unlimited contributions.
In response, President Joe Biden wants to convince Americans that democracy is once again at stake in next year’s presidential election. In the 2022 midterms, this was a winning strategy, which was evidenced by many election deniers lost their races. That election, however, came on the heels of Trump’s attempted coup and was fresher on the minds of voters.
There is a concern that many Americans now feel that the threat to democracy has passed. After all, Biden was sworn in and the institutions held firm.
While that may sound true to casual observers, the reality looks different.
In the intelligence and homeland security community, it is often said that “terrorists only have to get it right once, we have to be right every time.”
This is also the case when it comes to the US and democracy. Right now, the country is once GOP win away from sliding into a form of autocracy. The challenge for defenders of democracy is to make voters understand that without sounding alarmist.
Biden has been trying to do just that.
“Somehow, we have to communicate to the American people that this is for real,” the president said in an interview with ProPublica that aired Sunday.
He noted that Trump and his cult want to dismantle the current system of government.
“There is a group of MAGA Republicans who genuinely want to have a fundamental change in the way the system works,” the president. “And that’s what worries me the most.”
And, while Trump just wanted to cling to power in 2020, even more is at stake for him this time around. Now that he is facing 91 criminal charges in four separate indictments, how he does in the election may be the difference between prison or no prison.
“I think Trump has concluded that he has to win,” Biden warned. “And they’ll pull out all the stops.”
Part of this is the intimidation of judges, witnesses, and jurors in these trials.
“I never thought I’d see a time when someone was worried about being on a jury because there may be physical violence against them if they voted the wrong way.”
In the interview, the president also identified Republican propaganda outlets like Fox News for driving an anti-democracy sentiment, for example by spreading lies about the 2020 election. He added that right-wing billionaire Elon Musk, who purchased Twitter only to then remove its guardrails against misinformation and disinformation, it also part of the problem.