New polling finds that a majority of Americans view Donald Trump’s far right political movement as a threat to American democracy.
According to a survey done by Reuters/Ipsos last week, 58 percent of respondents believe that Trump’s so-called Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement threatens to undermine democracy.
The poll found that one in four Republicans also agree that MAGA is threatening democracy. Though this number does not represent the majority of Republicans, it shows that a significant portion of the party’s base rejects the extremist bent that many mainstream Republicans have embraced in recent years. The survey also found that 60 percent of Republicans don’t think MAGA represents the majority of the party.
The findings add to evidence from other recent polls that Trump’s popularity — if it existed in the first place — is waning. Only a third of voters in a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll said they believe Trump should run for president again, while 61 percent said he shouldn’t.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted in the days following President Joe Biden’s speeches warning of the threat of “semi-fascism” within the Republican Party, in which Biden issued his strongest rebukes of the right since he took office.
“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people,” Biden said last week in a speech in Pennsylvania. “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.”
Political experts and anti-fascists have been warning for years of the threat that Trump and his movement pose to a democratic society — even before he took office. His actions to gag government scientists, repeal regulations whole cloth, normalize the perpetuation of blatant lies from far right politicians and resurrect open white supremacy in the mainstream Republican Party have continually empowered the party to suppress facts and uplift its most extreme figures.
It is fitting that Trump ended his first term by rejecting the results of the 2020 presidential election and stoking an attempted coup to violently force lawmakers to overturn the will of American voters, as historians say that Trump and his movement have brought the U.S. to the brink of fascism and, potentially, the end of American democracy.
Republican lawmakers and political figures across the country have seized upon Trump’s election-denial to implement dozens of voter suppression laws and even establish blatantly fascist institutions like a so-called election police force put in place by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year.
Despite the unpopularity of the MAGA movement among the public, however, extremist Republicans have been finding success in state and federal elections. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight earlier this week, over half of Americans will have an election denier on their midterm ballot this fall, with 256 candidates running for state or federal office that outright or somewhat deny the results of the 2020 election.
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