MAGA rally

On Thursday, President Biden was speaking at a Maryland rally and fundraiser. While speaking, he commented that he “respected conservative Republicans, but (did not respect) MAGA Republicans.” Biden went on further to liken those Republicans who support President Trump with “semi-fascists.”

Biden was at the Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville when he said that Democrats must get out and vote in order to “literally save democracy once again.” He touched on many hot-button political topics, including abortion and Social Security benefits. Biden said to the attendees, ” . . . the very survival of our planet is on the ballot.”

This is a sign of things to come, according to White House aides who have said that Biden’s stop in Maryland is a first stop in an “aggressive season of championing his policy victories and aiding his party’s candidates.” President Joe Biden himself has seen a slight uptick in his approval rating, back up over 40 percent on the successful passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The president is also taking a victory lap on his executive order that forgave a massive amount of student loan debt. While Republican lawmakers have heavily criticized Biden’s move, there have been many Democrats who praised Biden’s executive action as well as other Democrats who have said that the directive was either not enough (on the part of the president) or it wasn’t a smart move based on reducing inflation.

Real Clear Politics contends that, as America moves closer to the midterms, the Republican lead is shrinking. However, the Republican Party is still expected to take the lead in the House of Representatives. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the issue last week, citing “candidate quality” as a reason that the Senate will likely remain evenly split.

President Biden’s remarks angered Republicans, but it’s likely just the beginning of a new aggressive stance on the part of the 46th president. There are those who have noticed a more aggressive tone in even tweets from the president’s account, and some Democrats are encouraging him to double down. With the post-Labor Day campaign season approaching, is this the tactic Biden intends to take from now until November?

President Biden campaigned that he would be a uniting force for the country. However, in the past, Biden has mentioned the “MAGA Crowd” and the “Ultra MAGA” American as “extremists.”

For many Americans who were old enough to remember 9/11 well, these words echo the sentiment that our country embraced when the World Trade Towers were attacked by religious “extremists.”

Conservative Republicans, regardless of their opinions on Trump, have taken great offense to the comparison of the party to fascists. While Biden did explain that he wasn’t targeting the entire party, the divisive rhetoric is insulting all the same. Republican Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) demanded on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden owes at least half of Americans an apology.

Sununu commented: “The fact that the president would go out and just insult half of America . . .effectively call half of America ‘semi-fascist’ because he’s trying to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment right before the election – it’s horribly inappropriate.”

Sununu’s point resonates; while the president did say that he intended the insult for a faction of the Republican Party, he and his speechwriters must understand that there are those – particularly those on social media – who equate all Republicans as being fascist.

Sununu also pointed out that all Democrats can’t be labeled as “communists” or “ultra-socialists.” There are moderates in both parties. Our country works best with a mixture of people with the ability to come together and hammer out ideas that benefit all Americans.

It’s also important to understand the definition of a fascist. Merriam-Webster defines fascism in simple terms: “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” Republicans traditionally want smaller government that allows for the free market to operate with minimal regulations.

As Americans, we should encourage spirited debates in which information on both sides of a point are disseminated and individuals may make the choice of what is best for them. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” The time in politics has come to discuss ideas that make life better for all Americans.