Although former President Donald Trump’s resounding victory in the Iowa caucus was widely predicted in polls leading up to the statewide event, mainstream media personalities nevertheless feigned incredulity as the numbers began to come in on Monday night.
One of the most apocalyptic takes came from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who led a panel discussion on the results in which she not only took aim at Trump but also at the more than half of all Iowa Republican caucus-goers who cast a vote for him.
Rachel Maddow cries about the "rise of fascism" after Trump wins a record breaking victory in Iowa. Feels like 2016 all over again. Break out the 'Russia collusion' script and clean the salty tear stains off it. https://t.co/7hhtizZzDT pic.twitter.com/e6BzldOi9q
— m o d e r n i t y (@ModernityNews) January 16, 2024
“If we are worried about the rise of authoritarianism in this country, if we are worried about the potential rise of fascism in this country, if we are worried about our democracy falling to an authoritarian and potentially fascist form of government, the leader who is trying to do that is part of that equation, but people wanting that is a much bigger part of that equation and the American electorate is made up of two major parties,” the far-left host proclaimed.
As the panelists nodded in agreement, she went on to claim that the Republican Party “has been flirting with extremism on the ultra-right for a very long time,” resulting in what she described as a dangerous movement that is much broader than a single candidate.
“Once you have radicalized one major party so that those are the preferences of the people who adhere to your party, the leader is interchangeable,” Maddow continued.
In fact, she concluded her rant by insisting that it is the party, not Trump himself, that is truly an existential threat to the nation’s system of government.
“There is an authoritarian movement inside Republican politics that isn’t being bamboozled by Trump, they are pushing Trump to get more and more extreme because the more extreme things he says, the more they adhere, and that is coming from a very large proportion of the American right that appears to the Republican Party,” she said.
For good measure, panelist Joy Reid disparaged “White Christians,” insinuating that there are simply too many of them in Iowa.
“They see themselves as the rightful inheritors of this country, and Trump has promised to give it back to them,” she complained.