Former Vice President Joe Biden isn’t sitting idly by as President Trump dismantles his and President Obama’s legacy. He’s been a steady and vocal critic of the new administration for some time, and today he lashed-out with his most heavy-handed critique yet.
In an opinion piece in the Atlantic published Sunday, Biden took aim at President Trump’s botched response to the deadly white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the deep and emotional piece, he sounded the alarm about the larger implications Trump’s action and rhetoric portends for our society.
“If it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now,” he wrote. “We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.”
“The giant forward steps we have taken in recent years on civil liberties and civil rights and human rights are being met by a ferocious pushback from the oldest and darkest forces in America,” he continued. “Are we really surprised they rose up? Are we really surprised they lashed back? Did we really think they would be extinguished with a whimper rather than a fight?”
His stark framing of this battle raging in our country was matched only by his damning assessment of the man leading the assault on the other side.
“Did we think the charlatans and the con-men and the false prophets who have long dotted our history wouldn’t revisit us,” he asked, “once again prop up the immigrant as the source of all our troubles…?”
In a nod to the many normally Democratic voters who desperately took a chance on Trump in 2016, he derided the President for preying on “the hopelessness and despair that has grown up in the hollowed-out cities and towns,” across the American midwest.
Then Biden dropped the hammer, accusing the President of proclaiming a “moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate,” and emboldening “white supremacists with messages of comfort and support.”
“This,” he concluded, “is a moment for this nation to declare what the president can’t with any clarity, consistency, or conviction: There is no place for these hate groups in America. Hatred of blacks, Jews, immigrants—all who are seen as “the other”—won’t be accepted or tolerated or given safe harbor anywhere in this nation.”
You can read the entire op-ed in the Atlantic here.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.