Donald Trump Jr was reminded of his own long and well-documented history of extremist partisan rhetoric last week after attacking President Joe Biden’s speech on democracy in the United States last week in Philadelphia as “arguably the most divisive speech in American history”.
Mr Trump Jr, the 44-year-old eldest child of former President Donald Trump, has long been one of the most outspoken members of the Trump political machine — which is one reason why some observers accused him of hypocrisy after he hit out at Mr Biden.
“Imagine what the media would do if Trump gave that speech about millions of democrat voters,” Mr Trump Jr tweeted last Friday. “It really makes you realize how partisan and broken they are when watching them desperately run cover for arguably the most divisive speech in American history.”
In response, the Twitter account for the liberal PAC Meidas Touch tweeted screenshots of Mr Trump Jr calling the Democratic Party “fascist”, accusing it of “hating America” and comparing Mr Biden to a “communist totalitarian dictator”.
Mr Trump Jr’s frequently heated rhetoric on social media and in interviews has been a staple of his political persona for years, while Mr Trump himself has engaged in similar rhetoric on a number of occasions after building his political career on accusing President Barack Obama of not being an American citizen, calling Mexicans “rapists” and calling for a ban on Muslim people entering the US.
Mr Trump is also accused of egging on a mob of his supporters at the US Capitol on January 6 after losing the presidential election two years ago, which was among the topics of Mr Biden’s address in Philadelphia last week.
With the midterm elections fast approaching and Mr Trump under several investigations, Mr Biden delivered a primetime address from Independence Hall to lay out his understanding of the anti-democratic, Christian fundamentalist forces animating the Republican Party.
“Maga Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” Mr Biden said. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognise the will of the people. They 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.”
The speech was part of a new approach from Mr Biden, who struggled to pass signature policies during his first year in office but has enjoyed a relative political revival over the last several months — announcing his plan to cancel some student debt, signing a major spending and climate bill and more bluntly laying out the stakes of the upcoming elections.
Mr Biden, who took care to criticise the Trump movement and not all Republicans, said that Maga supporters “promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country”.