Just days ahead of the midterm Congressional elections and President Biden issued yet another startling warning that America is staring into the abyss. He doesn't mean the nation faces economic calamity or a foreign policy disaster. Instead, Biden believes US democracy itself is in imminent danger - and that the threat is homegrown and potentially violent. He highlighted that there are hundreds of candidates running for office next week who are election deniers - in other words, who still dispute the 2020 presidential result and who may contest Tuesday's outcome too. Biden also said that the attack on the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi was part of a pattern that should worry all Americans.
ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore analyses the state of America's democracy in the run-up to the midterm elections
'In our bones, we know democracy is at risk,' Biden said
As the president put it: "This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisan officials just doing their jobs are the consequence of lies told for power and profit, lies of conspiracy and malice, lies repeated over and over to generate a cycle of anger, hate, vitriol and even violence." He added an appeal for Americans voters to reject conspiracy theories and election denialism next week: "This is the path to chaos in America.... At this moment, we have to confront those lies with the truth. The very future of our nation depends on it."
Republicans pre-emptively dismissed Biden's speech as "desperate and dishonest...(he) has demonised and smeared Americans, while making life more expensive for all". Certainly, Biden and the Democrats have a major political problem on their hands. American voters appear to care more about more economic issues than the future of the American democratic experiment. Polls suggest economic worries - and inflation in particular - are the biggest factor in driving how they will vote. That's why Republicans are likely to have a good night on Tuesday. It seems probable they will take control of the House of Representatives. And if they do well in several exceptionally tight races in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio and Arizona, they may win the big prize - control of the US Senate. That will be a major rebuke to President Biden, and will suggest that Americans see Biden's warnings about democracy as overly dramatic. The real test of whether Biden is correct in his analysis may not be far away - the 2024 presidential election, when Donald Trump is widely expected to stand again.
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