Former US vice president Joe Biden penned a scathing op-ed in The Atlantic on Sunday, accusing President Donald Trump of emboldening white supremacists, calling on Americans to fight back for the “soul of this nation.”
“We have to do what our president has not,” he wrote. “We have to uphold America’s values. We have to do what he will not. We have to defend our Constitution. We have to remember our kids are watching. We have to show the world America is still a beacon of light.”
Biden and former President Barack Obama have kept relatively low profiles since Trump took office, carefully choosing when to speak out against the new president’s policies.
After Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia at the white supremacy rally that left one counter-protester dead, Obama shared a quote from Nelson Mandela, and Biden tweeted that “Racism and hate have no place here.”
In his commentary on Sunday, Biden said Trump’s “contempt for the US Constitution and willingness to divide this nation knows no bounds,” citing the president’s “moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate” and his pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Biden commended CEOs, military leadership, politicians of both parties, and students for speaking out against the violence in Charlottesville, and Trump’s statements on it. He wrote that he could see, “those with the courage to oppose hate far outnumber those who promote it,” and called on Americans to keep fighting.
“Joined together, we will win this battle for our soul,” Biden wrote. “Because if there’s one thing I know about the American people, it’s this: When it has mattered most, they have never let this nation down.”
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