America cannot accept that “political violence becomes the norm”: this is the warning that Joe Biden launches to his compatriots on Thursday, a year after the violent assault on Capitol Hill by supporters of Donald Trump.
“We have to decide today which nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as the norm? Are we going to be a nation that allows partisan officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people ? Are we going to be a nation that does not live in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies? “, asks Joe Biden, according to an excerpt from the speech the US president is due to deliver to commemorate the events of January 6, 2021.
“We cannot afford to become that kind of nation”, he says in this passage communicated by the White House, a year after thousands of supporters of Donald Trump tried to prevent the certification of his election by the US Congress.
The 79-year-old Democrat will speak at 2:00 p.m. GMT in the Capitol’s “Hall of Statues” with Vice President Kamala Harris.
It is in this same imposing framework that a year ago, the United States and the world, astonished, saw supporters of the former American president parading, while outside, other rioters s ‘attacked the police.
Joe Biden has long chosen to treat his predecessor with contempt, for example by refusing to name him in public.
But this time, the American president is determined to publicly discuss the “special responsibility” of Donald Trump in this outburst of violence, the White House has already said.
Joe Biden “sees January 6 as the tragic crowning achievement of what four years of Trump’s presidency have done to this country”said spokesperson Jen Psaki on Wednesday.
Does the president want to give a more serious, more political turn to a mandate that gives the impression of getting bogged down?
After having focused for months on economic and social policy, the White House sees much of its hopes for reforms go up in smoke because of parliamentary blockage.
The new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, the memory of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan: all of these elements which day after day undermine Joe Biden’s confidence rating.
The American billionaire continues to claim, without proof, that he is the real winner of the election
Even more worrying: according to a very recent poll, only 55% of Americans believe he was elected regularly.
Because Donald Trump’s speeches have made their way into people’s minds: the American billionaire continues to claim, without proof, that he is the real winner of the election.
So of course, the Republican gave up speaking on Thursday, no doubt aware that the press conference he wanted to give from his luxurious Florida residence would be too much of a provocation. But the former president did not moderate his verb in any way. He again qualified Tuesday as “crime of the century” the fraud which, according to him, tainted the presidential election of 2020.
And in the Republican camp, few are those who dare to criticize Donald Trump out loud. The tenors of the Conservative Party have mostly chosen to keep a low profile on Thursday.
“Our great nation is now reeling on the edge of an ever deeper precipice”
The leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had estimated in February 2021 that the former president was “morally responsible” for the assault of January 6. But Thursday, he goes to a funeral in the south of the United States, very far from the ceremonies in Washington.
“Our great nation is now reeling on the edge of an ever deeper precipice. Without immediate action, we are in serious danger of experiencing a civil confrontation,” alarmed former President Jimmy Carter, in a column published by the New York Times.
To this deeply divided nation, Joe Biden wants to propose a way forward to strengthen democracy. The president is trying in particular to revive legislation on minority access to the right to vote. He will travel for this purpose on Tuesday to the state of southern Georgia, emblematic of past and present battles for civil rights.