MAGA Republicans have forsaken small-government politics for ‘White Christian nationalism’: conservative

MAGA Republicans have forsaken small-government politics for ‘White Christian nationalism’: conservative

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, now 60, has voted Republican in most post-1970s presidential elections — and in the past, she strongly identified with moderate conservatives like Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. But these days, Rubin is an outspoken Never Trumper and a scathing critic of the MAGA movement. And in an April 27 column, Rubin argues that the Trumpified GOP has forsaken traditional conservatism in favor of “White Christian nationalism.”

“People might be confused about how a Republican Party that once worried about government overreach now seeks to control medical care for transgender children and retaliate against a corporation for objecting to a bill targeting LGBTQ students,” Rubin explains. “And why is it that the most ambitious Republicans are spending more time battling nonexistent critical race theory in schools than on health care or inflation? To explain this, one must acknowledge that the GOP is not a political party anymore. It is a movement dedicated to imposing White Christian nationalism.”

The GOP, according to Rubin, is now “repudiating pluralistic democracy.”

“Any moment of social progress is soon followed by reactionary panic and claims of victimhood,” Rubin observes. “It’s no mere coincidence that Donald Trump, the leader of the birther movement, succeeded the first African-American president. Nor should the anti-critical-race-theory movement surprise anyone given the mass protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Understanding (this) phenomenon is crucial to preserving pluralistic democracy.”

MAGA Republicans and proponents of “White Christian nationalism,” Rubin observes, have no desire to have an intelligent debate with their political opponents; instead, they resort to the language of “dehumanization.”

“The right now defines itself not with policies, but with its angry tone, its malicious labeling and insults — e.g., ‘groomer,’ ‘woke’ — and its targeting of LGBTQ youths and dehumanization of immigrants,” Rubin notes. “Right-wingers’ attempt to cast their opponents as sick, dangerous and — above all — not ‘real Americans’ is as critical to securing power as voter suppression. The indignation of MAGA personalities when presented with the reality of systematic racism is telling and very much in line with White evangelical Christian views.”

According to Rubin, it is no coincidence that the Big Lie and former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him have “become gospel in White evangelical churches.”

“If anti-critical-race-theory crusades are the response to racial empathy, then laws designed to make voting harder or to subvert elections are the answer to the GOP’s defeat in 2020 — which the right still refuses to concede,” Rubin writes. “The election has been transformed into a plot against right-wingers that must be rectified by further marginalizing those outside their movement.”

The Post columnist continues, “Our political problems are significant, but they are minor compared with the moral confusion that is afflicting the millions of White Christian Americans who consider themselves victims. Left unaddressed, this will smother calls for empathy, tolerance and justice.”

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