By Joe Trippi
Freedom. It's a word that should set the blood of every red-blooded American boiling to defend, regardless of their political affiliation. But in a country that belts out "let freedom ring" with such fervor, the MAGA-controlled Republican Party is on a mission to snuff out freedom with unparalleled zeal.
Joe Biden knows this. But the mainstream media? Not so much.
In his reelection announcement video, President Biden asks, "Will we have more freedom or less freedom in the years ahead? More rights or fewer? I know what I want the answer to be, and I think you do too. Now's not the time to get complacent."
The battle for the soul of America has always been about the fight for more freedom and the creation of a more perfect union. It's not always been easy, and those who wish to pass our democracy onto future generations must remain vigilant. As Lincoln once said, "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide."
But we're in the dire straits of our politics today because the MAGA-controlled GOP, led by none other than Donald Trump himself, has decided to choose the latter.
For the MAGA crowd, the chaos of a debt default by the United States of America is worth it, no matter how many hardworking Americans lose their jobs, no matter how many businesses go under. No matter the catastrophic impact on the economy.
In states where the MAGA extremists have gained control, they're actively working to restrict or eliminate the freedom of women to make their own healthcare decisions. They're banning books, threatening or dictating to people who they can love, and making it harder for people to vote - the very bedrock of any democracy. And all of it is being bankrolled by dark money and powerful forces that prefer tax cuts for the wealthy, have no use for social security, and would rather privatize it than sustain it for those who have paid for it and need it.
Today, millions of American children are taking part in active shooter drills in school districts across the country. But the MAGA-controlled GOP shrugs it off. Meanwhile, there's a bill in the Texas legislature that mandates all fourth graders in the state receive training in how to treat gunshot wounds of their classmates. Seriously. You can't make this sh*t up. The trauma of active shooter drills isn't enough - now they need to be trained to tie tourniquets and apply pressure to open wounds.
The MAGA-controlled Republican Party has given up on democracy and any pretense of standing up for freedom. Even Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine is cheered as the war crimes pile up in trenches and burned-out buildings. Hundreds of thousands dead or maimed, millions displaced, and yet MAGA's supposed top contender calls it a mere territorial dispute. MTG, meanwhile, just cozies up to Putin.
That's why Biden's announcement and the contrast he presents to the nation is so crucial.
We're in a fight for the soul of the nation.
This is about fighting for more freedom, not less.
For more rights, not fewer.
For the freedom to love who you love.
The freedom to be who you are.
The freedom to read what you want to read.
For women to have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies and lives.
For the freedom to live free of gun violence or at least to know that our leaders are doing everything they can to make it so.
That is the contrast. That is what's at stake.
It's the F-word, baby. Freedom. And if you're not fighting for it, you're part of the problem.
The press is still treating this like a run-of-the-mill political contest between two normal parties.
But it's not. It's a fight to preserve your freedom or lose it all.
As Tom Nichols tweeted recently, "Honestly, if a Trump-Biden race is going to be covered as just another normal presidential contest - and people really accept it that way - we're already up the creek as a democracy."
Joe Biden gets it. But the way the press is reporting on the debt ceiling makes you wonder if they ever will. It's up to us, folks. And damn, it's going to take all of us.
Freedom is the message. Now go spread the word.