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Biden preaches democracy in Arizona, the epicenter of right-wing extremism

Biden's pro-democracy speech in Arizona took him to a state that's trending blue but facing a flurry of right-wing extremism.

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At first glance, President Joe Biden’s trip to Arizona to deliver a speech touting democracy and honoring the late Sen. John McCain might seem like typical politicking — a presidential candidate showing face in a potential swing state. 

But these are far from typical times, and I think we do a disservice if we ignore the significance — not just political, but also historical — of Biden’s visit. The visit brought Biden to the epicenter of right-wing extremism in America at a time when such extremism poses an imminent and existential threat to democracy.

Those familiar with Arizona’s political history know these forces have long existed in the Grand Canyon State. So there’s importance to Biden giving this particular speech at this particular time in this particular place. That is, the state that was home to the conservative hero Sen. Barry Goldwater, who said “extremism in defense of liberty” is “no vice.”

Here are a few more examples of extremism and the threat it poses in the state:

In Thursday’s speech, Biden spoke directly to the threat of extremism, making reference to Trump's vow to investigate NBC News and MSNBC if elected in 2024, as well as Trump and Rep. Gosar's suggestions that Gen. Mark Milley, retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, committed treasonous crimes.

Watch a clip here:

And check out the full speech here: