How 'MAGA fascists' continue to damage the United States' global reputation: conservative

How 'MAGA fascists' continue to damage the United States' global reputation: conservative
World

Never Trump conservative and Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot has made no secret of the fact that he’s glad that President Joe Biden is in the White House in 2022 instead of former President Donald Trump, and he clearly believes that Biden has handled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine much better than Trump would have. But in a column published on August 29, Boot warns that the United States will suffer from a foreign policy standpoint as long as other countries believe that U.S. democracy has become unstable.

“I’ve been critical of President Biden for not doing more for Ukraine, but the United States is sending more aid than any other country — by far. America’s total commitment to Ukraine — $44.3 billion — is nearly seven times greater than the No. 2 donor, Britain,” Boot explains. “Without U.S. help, Ukraine would likely have lost the war already. This is a reminder that the United States remains, as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had called it, the ‘indispensable nation.’ But how long can we continue defending democracy abroad while enduring a democratic crisis at home?”

Boot continues, “Biden was all too accurate in his blistering denunciation last week of ‘MAGA Republicans’ who pose ‘a threat to our very democracy’ and flirt with ‘semi-fascism.’ The same conclusion has been reached by independent researchers who have found the GOP has more in common with authoritarian political parties in countries such as Hungary and Turkey than it does with center-right parties in Western Europe.”

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The GOP’s far-right extremism, according to Boot, is a “big problem” for the U.S. because it is “not some fringe third party.”

“As recently as 2018, it controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, and it is still on pace to take back control of the House in November, notwithstanding some encouraging political trends for Democrats,” Boot warns. “And yet, no matter how much damaging information comes out about Donald Trump, the GOP remains a cult of personality for the disgraced former president. Even though the House January 6 committee showed that the storming of the Capitol was part of an attempted coup d’état by Trump, he is still viewed favorably by 80 percent of Republicans. It is the committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who is the GOP pariah — not Trump.”

Boot adds, “Even Trump’s unauthorized removal of classified information — he kept more than 700 pages of classified material at Mar-a-Lago — has not dented his standing among Republicans. Just the opposite: The number of Republicans expressing a ‘very positive’ view of Trump actually increased, from 45 percent to 57 percent, after a court-ordered FBI search of his property.”

According to Boot, Trump’s cult-like grip on the Republican Party — even after the FBI’s August 8 search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago — “simply adds to the perception that America is becoming a banana republic.”

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“We are the country, lest we forget, that had more confirmed COVID-19 deaths — more than a million — than any other,” Boot notes. “The number of deaths per 100,000 population was nearly three times higher in the United States than in Canada. Since the worst of the COVID pandemic has passed, our international reputation has been rocked not only by the January 6, 2021 uprising, but also, by our inability to deal with soaring gun violence. It is a tribute to American perversity that we are tightening our abortion laws while loosening our gun laws. Little wonder that, although America’s international reputation has rebounded since Trump left office, few people in the world see our democracy as a model to emulate.”

Boot wraps up his column by stressing that the threat of violence by Trump supporters must not deter U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice from continuing to investigate the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

“The United States must champion the rule of law not only in Ukraine, but also in Florida, come what may,” Boot writes. “The Justice Department cannot bow to political intimidation from American fascists.”

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