Friday, June 21, 2024

Biden: Forget Inalienable Rights; Freedom Must Be ‘Earned’

'Freedom has never been guaranteed. Every generation has to earn it, fight for it, defend it in the battle between autocracy and democracy, between the greed of a few, and the rights of many....'

(Headline USA) President Joe Biden offered a tone-deaf commemoration of Memorial Day that echoed the political tensions of the day with little attention to honoring the fallen soldiers for whom the holiday is dedicated.

The weekend began with Biden paying special recognition to another fallen hero of the Left: George Floyd.

Other Democrats likewise sought to score political points, with Minnesota’s far-left Gov. Tim Walz declaring Saturday as “George Floyd Remembrance Day.”

Initially, Biden’s boilerplate speech on Monday, while delivering remarks at a solemn remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, was inoffensive, if unremarkable.

Before the ceremony began, Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In his speech, Biden pledged that the United States would continue the work of the nation’s fallen toward creating a more perfect union, “for which they lived, and for which they died for.”

He said each generation must ensure the sacrifice of the country’s service members is not in vain.

While others have said similar things about the idea the “freedom isn’t free” and must be fought for, the idea that American’s needed to “earn” it, as if it were a privilege to be revoked, may have struck some the wrong way in the context of Biden’s past proclivity toward despotism and demagoguery, both in word and deed.

“Freedom has never been guaranteed,” Biden said Monday under gray skies in the memorial amphitheater. “Every generation has to earn it, fight for it, defend it in the battle between autocracy and democracy, between the greed of a few, and the rights of many.”

The Democratic president added: “On this day, we came together again to reflect, to remember, and above all, to recommit to the future they fought for, a future grounded in freedom, democracy, opportunity and equality. Not just for some, but for all.”

Although the remarks may have seemed yet another attack on his Republican critics, just as many supporters of his Republican rival, Donald Trump, wondered if Biden wasn’t speaking about his own autocratic tendencies and exhorting them to stand up for America.

Biden also controversially invoked the death of his son Beau, who served in Iraq and later died from brain cancer.

Beau deployed with his National Guard brigade in 2008 and served in Iraq for nearly a year as a military lawyer, according to ABC News. He died in 2015.

Biden has been accused of stolen valor and lacking empathy on multiple occasions after bringing up Beau’s death at inappropriate times—including his meetings with grieving Gold Star families and with the victims of Hawaii’s Lahaina wildfire last year.

The president attributed Beau’s death to his time stationed near toxic burn pits, to highlight the importance of honoring the service of those who came home with injuries, in addition to the dead. In the past, however, he has made demonstrably false claims, such as saying that Beau died in Iraq.

Biden claimed that last year the Department of Veterans Affairs delivered more benefits and processed more claims than ever before.

He credited the PACT Act, which grants automatic coverage for certain health conditions suffered by veterans by presuming they result from their military service.

“For too long after fighting for our nation, these veterans had to fight to get the right health care, to get the benefits they had earned,” Biden said. “Not anymore.”

Critics have slammed Biden, however, for adding new layers of bureaucracy and shoddy treatment of those who do seek medical care. An inspector general’s report in May even suggested that some of the doctors treating veterans had been disqualified for safety reasons.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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