This evening, the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, will deliver a primetime speech from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. laying out his case that so-called Make America Great Again (MAGA) Republicans, that is, those Republicans who supported former President Donald Trump in the 2016 GOP primary, the 2016 election and the 2020 election, and perhaps believe he represents them better than the Republican Party leadership that preceded him, are an “extremist threat” to our democracy.
The White House is dubbing it the “Soul of the Nation” speech. That’s fitting.
For, by doing so, it is the President who is threatening democracy itself. Biden is not talking about some radical group or some offshoot nobody’s ever heard of, he’s targeting tens of millions of hard-working, patriotic Americans, who voted for Trump and still stand with him. They love Trump, you might not believe it, but they really believe he fought for them when nobody else would.
Because he did.
And now they’re watching in horror as the President and his lackeys at the Justice Department, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, who because of his actions targeting the opposition party in an election year with yet another unconstitutional counterintelligence investigation of Trump over documents Trump declassified more than a year ago, is the worst Attorney General in history and should be removed from office for targeting Biden’s principal political opponent who says he might be running for President again in 2024.
The sheer number of people that Biden is referring to must not be overlooked, and rather, should be put into its proper context. 73 million Americans voted for former President Trump in the last election.
NBC News has a running poll for the past couple years asking Republicans if they identified more with Trump or the Republican Party, where sometimes half say Trump, or half say the party. Today the number of Republicans saying they identify with Trump more is 41 percent.
If we’re looking at Trump’s vote count in 2020, that is 30 million Americans. That is way too many for the President to speaking in this way.
But Trump’s appeal crossed party lines. If it didn’t, he would never have been elected in the first place. If instead, we consider Gallup’s recent voter identification survey that found 28 percent of Americans say they are Republicans, 29 percent say they are Democrats, and 41 percent say they are independents, then the number of MAGA Republicans would seemingly drop to 18 million. Still way too many for President Biden to be targeting them.
On the other hand, if you were to ask self-identified independents who voted for Trump if they identified more with Trump or the Republican Party, there’s only one possible answer: They already said they don’t identify with the Republican Party, and so they too at least nominally identify more with Trump than the GOP.
Which is fine, by the way. We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, not to a political party. And not to transitory figures such as politicians. Even Trump.
Including them, if all independents who trust Trump more than a political party are added to the MAGA tally, then the number actually rises to about 55 million. They’re not MAGA Republicans, but they’re still MAGA. And MAGA is the part Biden’s specifically concerned about.
In a Aug. 25 speech in Bethesda, Md., Biden compared Trump supporters to fascists and Nazis from almost a century ago that America fought in World War II: “what we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just — it’s not just Trump. It’s the –it’s the entire philosophy that underpins — it’s — I’m going say something — it’s almost like semi-fascism, the way in which it deals.”
On Aug. 31, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre further expounded on the President’s speech, stating, “The president thinks that there is an extremist threat to our democracy… When we talk about our democracy, when we talk about our freedoms, the way that he sees it is the MAGA Republicans are the most energized part of the Republican Party. This is an extreme threat to our democracy, to our freedom, to our rights. They just don’t respect the rule of law. You’ve heard that from the president.”
But it’s neither fascism nor semi-fascism.
Instead, we’re looking at 55 million voters who like Trump and his America First platform more than what the political parties are dishing out. That is not an “extremist threat,” that’s a massive voting bloc for the former President that he can utilize perhaps to once again secure the Republican nomination in 2024 if he chooses, or which ever successor runs in his stead.
How dare any president or politician speak about so many Americans in this way, comparing them to war criminals who murdered tens of millions of people in a war our grandfathers fought and won, and a few of whom had the chance to vote for Trump in 2016?
And why, we should ask? Because we voted the wrong way? Or that we didn’t believe the conventional Republican Party represented us anymore? Either way, that’s insane.
A politician who keeps his word, as Trump did, is good enough. In his case, he kept promises to build the wall on the southern border (as much as he could without even a Republican Congress in 2017 that was willing to help even though they promised they would), get better trade deals with Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and China including for the first time including currency devaluation as a non-tariff trade barrier, negotiating the Abraham Accords between Israel and her Arab neighbors, slashing taxes, eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate to purchase insurance and who oversaw the nation’s response to the Covid pandemic in 2020, including pushing for rapid production of vaccines, ventilators and making military resources available to states that were concerned hospitals would be overrun with patients, and ensuring the U.S. economy did not fall into a years-long, deflationary depression by guaranteeing small businesses’ payrolls with forgivable loans, postponing mortgage and rent payments and shoring up households who were otherwise taking a massive pay cut that year to offset the economic lockdowns.
Trump offered a political program to his constituents, and still does, and that’s a perfectly legitimate endeavor, love him or hate him. And if he’s the best nominee Republicans come up with in the 2024 primary, that’s fine, too. Finally, win or lose in 2024, that will almost certainly be Trump’s last run owing to either term limits or age.
Trump stood with us, and that’s why we still stand with him. If that makes me a MAGA Republican, fine. Make America Great Again, Mr. President—and do what you promised in your inauguration speech: “Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”
Targeting anywhere from 18 million to 55 million voters who still like Trump is not unity, it is simply wrong, and along with targeting Trump with a contrived criminal investigation, and threatening to imprison his political opponents, Biden will predictably do the opposite, only this time, endangering the lives of those voters who are naïve enough to still believe they’re allowed to wear their red MAGA cap this coming Labor Day weekend as campaign events unfold everywhere, because now the President has labeled them an “extremist threat” and enemies of the state. That they still live in a free country. For shame.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
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