Each of our hosts watched the broadcast of President Biden’s speech in Philadelphia on 9/1/2022. Read the President’s full remarks per the White House website here. Read Carol Jenkins’ response below.
The speech itself was welcome: to hear the President of the United States clearly state that these are not normal times; that our Constitution is under direct threat—and the MAGA Republicans are the ones threatening it—served to reaffirm what we already know. At least we are living in the same reality of the duly elected leader of our country.
And, yes, the solution to this is to vote. The converted could be comforted by this speech, but I doubt it was persuasive to any election deniers. And I’m not sure any speech would be. But the speech is the collective prayer that all democracy lovers recite daily:
Please, let there be enough of the Constitution-loving, silent Americans left who will vote for it and will insist on counting the votes.
The fact that the three major television networks chose to skip the speech and carry on with entertainment programming pointed to a key element of our endangered country: a failing media.
The speech arrived on the same day that a January 6th insurrectionist, a former NYPD officer, was sentenced to ten years in prison for his wanton violence at the Capitol. It was the longest sentence delivered so far—but this observer doubts even that as a deterrent to the rage fomented by the MAGA world.
In the end, I think President Biden’s most powerful words were his off-the-cuff remarks the other day that MAGA Republicans have no idea how powerful women can be—and that they are about to find out. Another piece of the democracy lovers’ prayer: let it be so.
Carol Jenkins is an advocate for human, civil and women’s rights, an award-winning author and Emmy-winning former television journalist. As President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality, sister organizations dedicated to the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment she steered the organizations through their legislative, judicial and educational work to advance the constitutional amendment.
Featured image source: The Philadelphia Inquirer