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Can Biden Still Lead the Fight for Democracy?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the 2024 presidential election and the threat to American democracy posed by former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It examines Biden's performance in a recent presidential debate, where he failed to effectively hold Trump accountable for his anti-democratic actions. The article also analyzes the debate around the importance of protecting democracy as a key election issue.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Debate and Biden's Performance

1. What were the key issues that came up during the presidential debate, and how did Biden and Trump respond?

  • The debate focused on Trump's role in the January 6th Capitol riot, with Trump deflecting and refusing to take responsibility, while Biden accused Trump of inciting the insurrection.
  • Trump also accused Biden of "weaponizing" the justice system and imprisoning "innocent" Americans, while Biden struggled to coherently explain his policies and positions.
  • Biden missed opportunities to strongly condemn Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, instead focusing on the events of January 6th.

2. How did Biden's performance in the debate impact the Democratic party's concerns about his candidacy?

  • Democratic leaders and donors were "justifiably panicked" about Biden's poor performance, which was intended to assuage concerns about his age and cognitive abilities but had the opposite effect.
  • Biden appeared geriatric and struggled to answer questions coherently, turning opportunities into liabilities, such as when he started talking about undocumented immigrants when the topic turned to abortion.
  • Biden's biggest failure was his inability to effectively hold Trump accountable for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, missing a chance to alter the perception that voters are more concerned about Biden's age than Trump's authoritarianism.

[02] The Importance of Protecting Democracy as an Election Issue

1. What are the different perspectives on the importance of protecting democracy as a key election issue?

  • Some pundits and politicians, like Sen. Mitt Romney, believe the "threat to democracy pitch is a bust" and dismiss it as a low priority for voters.
  • However, many polls have shown that protecting democracy is a major issue for voters, with 74% of voters citing it as a top concern, behind only the economy and inflation.
  • The article argues that even if voters don't prioritize democracy as highly as other issues, it is still a critical responsibility of leadership to confront and address threats to democratic institutions.

2. How does the article respond to the argument that voters are not especially concerned about the health of American democracy?

  • The article contends that this argument is flawed, as there is ample evidence that voters do see protecting democracy as a pressing issue.
  • It suggests that even if voters were less concerned about democracy, it would still be the responsibility of political leaders to make the case for its importance and confront the serious threats posed by Trump's anti-democratic actions.
  • The article argues that Biden's failure to effectively communicate the gravity of Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election represents a "profound failure to inform the country" about the threat to American democracy.

3. What are the specific anti-democratic actions by Trump that the article highlights, and why does it argue they must be forcefully addressed?

  • The article details Trump's extensive efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, including organizing slates of fake electors, pressuring election officials to "find" votes, and attempting to replace the acting Attorney General to pursue baseless voter fraud claims.
  • It argues that these actions represent the "most flagrant abuse of power in American history" and that treating them as just another campaign issue would be a "historic mistake."
  • The article contends that allowing Trump back into the presidency after his clear authoritarian intentions would place the United States "on the precipice of authoritarianism."
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