Returning to the state where he launched his candidacy — and the one that handed him the White House in 2020 — President Joe Biden on Thursday called on Americans to join him in a fight to preserve democracy and to beat back the forces of extremism.

The 30-minute address was equal parts tribute to the nation’s resilience and a wartime call to arms from a president who based his candidacy on restoring the soul of a nation buffeted by the pandemic and four years of domestic unrest.

“For a long time, we’ve reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed,” Biden said, speaking before a nationwide audience in Philadelphia with Independence Hall as his backdrop. “But it is not. We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us.”

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