In a just world, the Republican Party would never live down its embrace of Donald Trump, a man so fundamentally cruel and stupid that he should never have been allowed to so much as tour the White House let alone run it. The sad reality though is that over 74 million Americans voted for Trump, showing that a large portion either cannot recognize or simply does not care about bad governance.
Worse still, many conservatives have happily swallowed Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud despite the complete lack of evidence for such a ludicrous claim. The president and his lackeys are trying (and luckily thus far failing) to overturn the will of the American people, snatch victory from President-elect Biden, and ultimately put an end to American democracy. Meanwhile, the vast majority of elected GOP officials are lending credence to the president’s dangerous lies by either refusing to admit that Biden won or actively amplifying Trump’s fraud accusations.
Earlier today, former Republican Joe Scarborough addressed the phenomenon of MAGA dead-enders on his Morning Joe show. Scarborough compared those attending the soon-to-be-former president’s rallies to members of the counterculture who flocked to San Francisco in the 1960s, specifically in the way their troubled lives were explored by the writer Joan Didion in her essay “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.”
“I read and reread Joan Didion a lot of these days as she was coming to terms with the radicalism of the 1960s, feeling like she lived in a country that she no longer understood and I just thought, I thought how remarkable it was that when I was a small child, my family was scared and I think most of Middle America was scared by a lot of the radical changes they saw in a country they didn’t recognize anymore, and here we are 50 years later and a lot of Americans are scared again,” said Scarborough.
“Here we are from Haight-Ashbury in 1967…” said Scarborough, referencing the famous district where the counterculture sprang into being, “…and Joan Didion talking about a world going haywire, and we fast forward to 2020 and it’s Valdosta, Georgia, and it’s people living in another world,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough went on to cite Didion’s assessment that the radicalism of the 60s eventually went “haywire. He said that Trumpism represents a similar kind of corruption of conservatism, adding that Trump Republicans are trying to “undermine America” and “create an alternate reality.” He made sure to stress the fact there is no “moral equivocation” between hippies doing LSD and the President of the United States actively working to transform this country into an authoritarian dystopia despite the aesthetic similarities.
The Morning Joe host also said that his parents would have struggled to understand what has happened to the GOP and more broadly the idea of conservatism during the Trump era. Scarborough didn’t mince his words and said bluntly that MAGA supporters “are following an authoritarian” and that they are people “following a fascist leader, who want to overturn democratically elected results.”
“But we’re talking about a sick society and a large part of that society who have lost their way and you look in those crowds in Valdosta and that’s what frightens me,” said Scarborough. It’s not Donald Trump. It frightens me that those people hate democracy so much, those people have been so swayed by a fascist leader that they now are actively calling for the overturning of millions and millions of votes, and what is, in effect, a coup.”
Watch the segment below.
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