While questions swirl about his plans to seek a second term, and as Republicans prepare to take control of the House when the calendar turns to 2023, President Joe Biden delivered a short speech before Christmas urging Americans to forego partisan politics that have divided the country and “spread a little kindness.”
Biden talked about the Christmas story, reflected on the coronavirus pandemic, and recognized that the holiday season can be difficult for people who have lost loved ones.
“It was 50 years ago this week that I lost my first wife and my infant daughter in a car accident, which required the help of professionals like https://www.joneswilson.com/practice_areas/las-vegas-car-accident-attorneys.cfm, and my two sons were badly injured, when they were out shopping for a Christmas tree,” Biden said. “I know how hard this time of year can be.
“But here’s what I learned long ago: No one—no one can ever know what someone else is going through, what’s really going on in their life, what they’re struggling with, what they’re trying to overcome,” Biden continued.
‘Simple Acts of Kindness’
Biden implored people to participate in “simple acts of kindness that can lift a spirit, provide comfort, and perhaps maybe even save a life.”
“So, this Christmas, let’s spread a little kindness,” Biden said.
Biden transitioned his message into a speech that encouraged unity.
“Our politics have gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan. And too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors; as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans. We’ve become too divided.
“But as tough as these times have been, if we look a little closer, we see bright spots all across the country: the strength, the determination, the resilience that’s long defined America,” Biden continued.
Biden added that “COVID no longer controls our lives” and that “people are back to work” and “in fact, more people are working than ever before,” and then encouraged Americans to “really look at each other, not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of ‘Team Red’ or ‘Team Blue’ but as who we really are: fellow Americans. Fellow human beings worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.”
The address was in stark contrast to Biden’s heated remarks on multiple occasions in the weeks leading to the November midterm elections.
In August, Biden compared supporters of former President Donald Trump’s “America First” platform to “semi-fascism.”
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the—I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”
On Sept. 1, Biden stood in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia and continued his barrage against Trump and advocates of the former president’s views.
“Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology,” Biden continued. “I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.
“But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.
MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.
They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.”
Biden added that “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards—backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.
“They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.
They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.
And they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections.”
‘Silence is Complicity’
A Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll released after the address showed that 60 percent of respondents believed that Biden’s speech divided the country while 40 percent said the words united America and moved the country forward.
Less than a week before the November midterms, Biden delivered a speech when he said that “extreme MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections” and that “democracy is on the ballot this year.”
“There’s an alarming rise in the number of our people in this country condoning political violence or simply remaining silent, because silence is complicity,” Biden added.
New Emergency Funds for Ukraine
Biden made the Christmas speech a day after meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House where the two leaders discussed the Russia-Ukraine war and the announcement that the Biden administration authorized an additional $1.85 billion in support for Ukraine’s military.
The package includes a Patriot missile defense system, which is designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits, which convert aerial munitions into smart bombs.
A day after Biden’s Christmas address, the House approved a $1.7 trillion spending package that avoided a government shutdown and included $45 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine.
During a press conference after meeting with Zelenskyy in the Oval Office, Biden said that his administration will “give Ukraine what it needs to be able to defend itself, to be able to succeed, and to succeed on the battlefield.”
The $1.7 trillion omnibus bill could be the last prominent piece of legislation that Biden signs before Republicans take control of the House in January.
His Christmas address emphasized cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.
“I sincerely hope that this holiday season will drain the poison that has affected our politics that has set us against one another,” Biden said. “I hope this Christmas season marks a fresh start for our nation.”