Opinion: The president has welcomed the worst, ugliest right-wing extremists into the Republican Party.
| Arizona Republic
Every political party or political movement draws extremists, individuals you’d rather not have on your side owing to their twisted, potentially dangerous view of the world.
During his time in office, however, President Donald Trump has welcomed the worst, ugliest right-wing extremists into the Republican Party, encouraged them, and gave them a place at the table.
They were all there on Saturday in Washington, D.C., for the Million MAGA March (thousands was more like it) showing their support for Trump, whose inability to accept defeat fuels their irrational conspiracy rants and erodes confidence in the national electoral process.
Over the course of the day those marching in Washington included gangs, militias, white nationalists and extremists like the Boogaloo Bois, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.
Likewise, there were plenty of supporters and enablers of the wacky QAnon conspiracy cult.
This has trickled down to the state level as well.
Journalist Nick Martin tweeted about the support shown for QAnon by Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward. Tweeting:
QAnon members believe the world is being controlled by Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are bent on ousting Trump while simultaneously operating a global child sex-trafficking ring from the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor, that doesn’t happen to have a basement.
These same fringe groups have found home in Arizona, as described by the Arizona Republic’s John D’Anna in a recent article.
Rep. Paul Gosar, one of a handful of representatives to vote against a congressional resolution condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes has cozied up to the right-wing groups in his district.
Gosar and Ward are among those spreading disinformation and unfounded conspiracy rants over the election as well.
This is what you get when you have a president who led the “birther” movement against former President Barack Obama. Trump vilified Muslims. He described those from Africa or Haiti as coming from “s—hole” countries. He gave what appeared to be a stamp of approval to the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville by saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Last time the GOP condemned them?
He managed at once to come off as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and ignorant by suggesting that four Democratic congresswomen of color “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Now, all of those who agree with him are among the Republican faithful. Trump made their prejudices and hateful rhetoric part of the Republican orthodoxy.
If not, there would be loud objections by Republicans in office.
Can you recall the last time you heard stalwarts in the GOP condemn these groups? Say they were not welcome? Criticize Trump for enabling them?
The Proud Boys at the Washington march chanted “Break out Kyle,” a reference to Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager accused of killing two protesters and wounding a third at demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis.
So, Republicans, these are your guys?
Reach Montini at firstname.lastname@example.org.