Biden pushed to speak out more as US democracy concerns grow

President Joe Biden (AP Photo file)

President Joe Biden has gotten the same troubling questions from worried world leaders, ones that he never thought he would hear.

“Is America going to be all right?” they ask. “What about democracy in America?”

While Biden has tried to offer America’s allies assurances, he has only occasionally emphasized the gravity of the threat to democracy from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the repeated lie from the man he defeated, Donald Trump, that the 2020 election was stolen. And he’s not discussed the very real concerns about a growing collection of insurrection sympathizers installed in local election posts and changes by Republicans to election laws in several states.

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Now, as the anniversary of that deadly day nears, the Democratic president is being urged to reorder priorities and use the powers of his office to push voting rights legislation that its adherents say could be the only effective way to counter the rapidly emerging threats to the democratic process.

Associated Press said the tension in Biden’s approach reflects his balancing of the urgent needs of Americans to make progress on the highly visible issues of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy and the less visible, but equally vital, issue of preserving trust in elections and government.

The president plans to deliver a speech on Jan. 6 focused on sustaining democracy — voting rights won’t be part of the remarks but will be the topic of another speech soon, White House aides said.