It is foolish and dangerous for liberals to confuse all conservatives with MAGA

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Increasingly, liberals try to label all conservatives as enemies of democracy while at the same time labeling all their political policies as pro-democracy. The consequences of this can be devastating.

The most egregious example occurred during Joe Biden’s “Soul of America” ​​speech earlier this month — a speech touted to address conspiracy theories, political violence and attempts to subvert democracy.

In that context, Biden talked about how “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” before rushing to add, “Back to an America where there is no choice…” In one fell swoop, Biden linked “MAGA Republicans”. who refuse elections and participate in rebellions with Reagan Republicans who care about the right to life of unborn babies. There is no comparison.

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But it is not only social issues that take you out of polite society. Fiscal conservatives are also suspicious. In a tweet sent on Friday, Biden wrote it “Republicans have pushed a super-MAGA agenda to: Threaten Social Security and Medicare…Raise taxes on working families [and] Give tax breaks to big corporations and billionaires.” of Axios Josh Kraushaar called this “Defining ‘ultra MAGA’ and noted that ‘By that standard, Liz Cheney would qualify.’

And Biden isn’t the only one guilty of this. This past week, New York periodically Jonathan Chait tweeted to remind us that during the Tea Party era, then-Rep. Ron Desantis wrote a book that Chet sees as a Rosetta stone for deciphering the illiberal tendencies of conservatism. After reading the book, Chait hypothesizes that: “The role of the Constitution, as DeSantis sees it, is to prevent popular majorities from implementing the economic policies they want.”

Conservatives have long worried that “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves big out of the public purse”—a line sometimes cryptically attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville. This is very similar to what DeSantis was saying. Indeed, most of the lines that trouble Chait are standard conservative rhetoric.

And maybe that’s the point. The bottom line is that the entire conservative project—including Reagan, the two Bushes, John McCain, Mitt Romney, et al—was fruit from a poisonous tree.

The logical conclusion, if you subscribe to this worldview, is that conservatives inherently hate democracy and therefore have no place in polite society. We’re increasingly seeing this attitude play out in electoral politics—the last place you want to write off a potential convert or customer.

Biden’s ‘Soul of America’ speech was just a Democratic campaign ad

“Those who support [DeSantis] we’re going to have to stick with him and vote him out, and I don’t want your vote,” said Rep. Charlie Crist (who was once the Republican governor of Florida) shortly after winning the state’s Democratic primary for governor this year.

“If you’ve got that hate in your heart,” Christ continued, “keep it there.” And Crist is not the only politician to express this sentiment.

Or consider New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who said, “Trump and [GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee] Zeldin and [GOP congressional candidate Marcus] Molinaro-just hop on a bus and head to Florida where you belong, okay? Get out of town because you don’t represent our values.”

Hochul later clarified that her comments were directed at those three “extreme” men, but another line — “You’re not New Yorkers, because we come from a long line of people who fought for women’s rights that happened here first” — was interpreted. as a broader attack on people who do not share her pro-abortion views.

Hey, what else can you say to a “half-fascist” movement? Republicans need not apply.

This attitude is counterproductive on multiple levels. First, of course, it’s terrible (morally and politically) to lay off about half the country.

Second, instead of rising to the occasion and giving America at least one responsible, normal, or decent party, the Democrats are taking political advantage of what could be considered a dangerous moment.

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Instead of acknowledging that reasonable people can have honest disagreements about public policy issues like abortion (which you apparently should in a democracy), Democrats try to baptize and sanctify their policy preferences in the holy waters of Americanism. democracy, which is (to extend the religious metaphor) inappropriate and sacrilegious.

Third, this practice will likely lead to more, not fewer, MAGA extremists (a result that should not shock members of a party that has spent tens of millions of dollars helping boost MAGA candidates in Republican primaries).

People who feel threatened are more likely to retreat into their tribe for protection. By creating a scenario where even “normal” non-Trump Republicans feel victimized and shamed, liberals risk making the radicalization of conservatism a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’m not sure they even see it as a problem.

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