Calling out the threat to our nation: MAGA Republicans and their helpers

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples
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In his speech on September 1st, President Biden called out the “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to our democracy – a threat that we must defeat at the ballot box and in the national psyche.

But who are the MAGA Republicans? And are they different from “normal” conservatives? Is every Republican a MAGA Republican?

Let’s answer the last question first: No, not every Republican is a MAGA Republican. Look at the list below, and you’ll see that many Republicans do not fit those descriptors.

And yes, they are different from your everyday, old-time conservative. Again, look at the list, and you can see what sets the MAGAs apart.

President Biden’s list of MAGA Republican characteristics

This list is taken directly from Biden's speech, which you can read here.

Let’s start with this quote:

“... there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”

Having used the term to name the group, Biden proceeds to list these characteristics:

  • MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution.
  • They do not believe in the rule of law.
  • They do not recognize the will of the people
  • They refuse to accept the results of a free election.
  • They are working in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.
  • MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.
  • They promote authoritarian leaders.
  • They fan 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.
  • They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.
  • And they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections.
  • They tried everything last time to nullify the votes of 81 million people. This time, they’re determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people.

I have to say, that’s a pretty good list. It focuses the definition on their relationship to democracy, to the rule of law, to authoritarianism, to free and fair elections, and to political violence.

What is doesn’t do is combine MAGAs with the other threats to our nation: white supremacists and white nationalists, Christian nationalists, LGBTQ-haters, and so on. Are there overlaps across all of these and the MAGA Republicans? Of course. But Biden’s speech does a great job of pointing out the most critical problem: the loss of our democracy.

MAGA Republicans and the Kentucky GOP

Are there MAGA Republicans in Kentucky? Of course. We’ve got any number of groups and individuals that fit the above list:

  • Any Republicans promoting the Big Lie are part of that movement.
  • Any who talk about violence against Democrats or progressives or the “woke Left” are part of that group.
  • And any who are continue to support Trump and believe he is above the law are part of that group. Their flags and their bumper stickers are all over the state.

Are any of them running for office? I’m pretty sure there are some of our legislative candidates who are MAGA Republicans. I’m working on going through all their web sites, looking for the tell-tale signs. I’ll post a list once I finish.

BUT – there’s another group in our state’s GOP that must be mentioned: the GOP politicians who are scared of the MAGAs.

Have you heard ANY of our state’s Repubs call out the Big Lie? Have you heard any of them condemn Donald Trump for anything? No, because they are scared of their base – scared of the MAGA Republicans who put them into office.

There’s a reason that the first question in my “Ten Questions for Repub Candidates” is a simple one: Is Joe Biden the legitimately-elected president of the United States? And the answer should be a simple Of Course.

But I will bet you that every Republican candidate, from Andy Barr and Jamie Comer all the way down to anyone running for any office, will hem and haw and dance around the question. (And if any Repub speaks right up and says Of Course, I will salute them.)

It’s time for all non-MAGA Republicans to start speaking up on the rest of it as well. It’s time for them to call out the attacks on elections and election workers. It’s time for them to call for Trump to be indicted on any of the many crimes he has committed. It’s time for them to condemn political violence, and to make clear that no one, including their own elected officials and ex-presidents, is above the law.

Until they do, the scent of the MAGA Republicans will be on their clothes as well. And they will have failed in their sworn duty to protect the Constitution, and will have enabled the ongoing threat to our democracy posed by the MAGAs.

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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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