Biden, Trump trade verbal attacks, escalate partisan struggle; ‘democracy fairy tale’ shattered
Published: Sep 04, 2022 10:27 PM
Supporters of former president Donald Trump gather along Southern Blvd near Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in West Palm Beach, Florida, the US, on February 15. Photo: VCG

Supporters of former president Donald Trump gather along Southern Blvd near Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in West Palm Beach, Florida, the US, on February 15. Photo: VCG

In US history, the war of words between Democrats and Republicans normally focuses on differences of policies and political ideas, but now it seems like the two sides are treating each other, and even ordinary voters, as "the enemy of the state," a "threat to democracy," and even as displaying "semi-fascism," as US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are escalating their struggle to unite their supporters to serve their goals in the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.

This just proves that the two sides have completely abandoned the voters that support their opponents, and wish to make the partisan struggle between legitimate political parties into a "confrontation between ourselves and the enemies," so they can maximize the effect to mobilize and encourage their supporters to join the intensifying political struggle, which makes the tragedy of US democracy even worse, said experts. 

Such a situation will further undermine the image of US democracy and "the fairytale of democracy" that the US is trying to sell worldwide, and the internal struggles will also weaken US national strength and decision-making during the major power competition initiated by Washington itself, analysts noted.

War of words

Trump, on Saturday night US time, blasted Biden's address to the nation earlier in the week, calling it the most "vicious" speech ever given by an American president, Fox News reported.

"This week, Joe Biden came to Philadelphia to give the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president," Trump told a raucous crowd in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania while campaigning for Republican candidates.  "Vilifying 75 million citizens, plus another probably 75 to 150 if we want to be accurate about it, as threats to democracy and enemies of the state. You're all 'enemies' of the state." 

Trump continued, "He's  the enemy of the state if you want to know the truth," according to the report. 

Biden was widely criticized by conservatives for his speech in Philadelphia on Thursday in which he claimed that "equality and democracy are under assault" by "MAGA forces," said the Fox News' report. 

At the speech, Biden launched an all-out assault on former Trump and his "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) Republicans, saying they "pose a clear and present danger" to American democracy, CNBC reported.

"It's in our hands, yours and mine, to stop the assault on American democracy," Biden said Thursday from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, urging Americans to reject fear and violence. "I believe America is at an inflection point, one of those moments that determine the shape of everything that's to come after," the report said. 

Chinese analysts said that US politicians would criticize each other, but are cautious in criticizing or even attacking the ordinary voters that support their opponents, because they want to make themselves look decent and to jointly shape an "inclusive" image for the US political system, but now it seems like the two parties of the US are abandoning such political correctness. 

At another speech on August 25, Biden lashed out at Republicans who have embraced the MAGA philosophy central to Trump's presidency, saying it's "like semi-fascism," CNBC reported.

"What we're seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It's not just Trump, it's the entire philosophy that underpins the - I'm going to say something, it's like semi-fascism," Biden said.

A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, Nathan Brand, rebuked Biden for the remark later on August 25,calling it "despicable."

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that "in US history, it would be rare to see a sitting president and a former president having a war of words like this. It proves that the polarization of the US is continuing to intensify and there is no sign of unity to heal the divided America."

Before Biden was elected, he was trying to stress his "decency," but the latest war of words shows that "Biden is becoming more and more like Trump." 

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that the reason the two parties' elites decided to further intensify the struggle rather than heal the divisions is that "they want to rally their supporters as much as they can ahead of the midterm election."

Both Biden and Trump, or Democrats and Republicans, have already abandoned the Americans who vote for their opponents, a tragedy for US democracy when Americans can only make a choice between "the guilty" (Trump, who's being investigated) and "the incompetent" (Biden, who failed to solve problems and heal the country).

According to The New York Times on Friday, The FBI's search of Trump's Florida club and residence last month turned up 48 empty folders marked as containing classified information, a newly disclosed court filing shows, raising the question of whether the government had fully recovered the documents or any remain missing. 

Trump and many Republicans accused the Biden administration of weaponizing the law-enforcement agencies to prosecute political rivals, and some analysts believe that Trump could still have a chance to overturn the jeopardy by appealing to the Supreme Court.

'Disunited states of America'

A divided America is making the world increasingly concerned. The British media Economist's latest magazine cover shows the Statue of Liberty teetering as she does the splits on the base of the statue which is broken into two, with the title "The disunited states of America."  

The Economist's headline article with the picture is titled "American states are now Petri dishes of polarization, only electoral reform can make them work properly." The article said "America is not going to have another civil war, as some feverish pundits speculate, but it has already endured political violence, and that could get worse," and it also said "American dysfunction poses a risk to the world."

Lü said since Biden has labeled the MAGA movement as "semi-fascism," far-left groups like the Antifa movement might use this to further legitimize their fight against Trump's supporters, and more violent conflicts could be encouraged. 

Chinese analysts raised concerns that a polarizing America will make the decision-making in Washington more short-sighted and driven by domestic politics rather than looking at the bigger picture and considering the common interests shared by the international community, so US decision-making will be more selfish and unpredictable. Whether it comes from Democrats or Republicans, it will both bring uncertainties to world peace and stability.

From Trump to Biden, many facts have proven that neither Democrats nor Republicans, will stabilize global supply chains because they all make selfish and short-sighted policies to serve US hegemony and they all make surprise provocations to add more damage to the world peace; they will not solve domestic problems for American people and they all failed to unite the US, instead making it more divided, said a Beijing-based expert on international relations who asked for anonymity.

"More and more countries around the globe are aware of the trend of polarization in the US. And they will stay away from the US or at least not follow Washington too closely, because it's too risky to follow a country with great uncertainties and inconsistencies. In other words, the US has to admit that it's unqualified to be the role model or even the leader of the world," he said.