Joe Biden and Donald Trump Both Agree That Democracy Is Under Threat

Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump agree that democracy in the U.S. is under threat, but they have very different reasons for thinking so.

Biden and Trump have issued stark warnings about the state of American democracy, with the president describing his predecessor as a threat to the country during a prime time speech on Thursday night.

By contrast, Trump has taken aim at the Department of Justice and the FBI to support his warning that democracy is being undermined following an August 8 raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence as part of an investigation into the handling of classified documents.

"America has never suffered this kind of ABUSE in Law Enforcement!" Trump wrote on this Truth Social platform on August 14.

"For the FBI to RAID the home of the 45 President of the United States, or any President for that matter, is totally unheard of and unthinkable. This Break In was a sneak attack on democracy (our Republic!), and was both unannounced and done at a time when the President was not even present," he said.

The former president said the raid was for "political, not legal reasons, and our entire Country is angry, hurt, and greatly embarrassed by it."

Trump has suggested that the FBI search of his home was politically motivated, implicitly accusing the Biden administration of attacking him.

The former president's attorneys have also implied in court filings that the DOJ's actions could be related to the fact that Trump remains the leading choice for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

However, President Biden's concerns about the future of U.S. democracy center on Trump's actions and the actions of what the president has repeatedly called "MAGA [Make America Great Again] Republicans."

Biden was unflinching in his criticism of Trump in a major speech on Thursday night and warned that MAGA Republicans were a danger to American democracy.

"Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," Biden said.

The president also addressed continuing false claims that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from Trump, saying MAGA Republicans "refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they're working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself."

Trump and Biden both believe that democracy is in danger and a majority of Americans agree.

Trump, Biden and Protests
Barbara Jordan and other supporters of former President Donald Trump gather along Southern Blvd near Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on February 15, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump, inset left, and Joe Biden, inset right, have expressed serious concern about the future of democracy. JOE RAEDLE/DREW ANGERER/ALEX WONG/GETTY

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 67 percent of Americans believe democracy is in danger of collapse compared to 29 percent who did not.

That belief was bipartisan, with 69 percent of both Democrats and Republicans saying they believed democracy was in danger, as well as 66 percent of independents.

Biden and Trump have addressed themselves to an issue that is of major concern to Americans, but they have also appeared to blame each other for the problem and could face each other again in the 2024 presidential election.

The president has sought to frame the midterms as a battle for "the soul of the nation," while it may also be a referendum on Trump, who has backed a slew of Republican candidates who echo his rhetoric on election fraud.

It remains to be seen if either man can take actions that will reassure Americans about the health of democracy in the U.S. but bipartisan concern about the state of the republic look set to continue.

Newsweek has asked the White House and former President Trump's office for comment.