Poll explains what MAGA means

Posted on December 12, 2023

An NBC News poll found that 52 percent of Republicans consider themselves supporters of the MAGA movement and a Monmouth poll found it’s actually 66 percent. What does that mean for politics and governance?

MAGA is an expression of resentment or grievance at our public institutions, including government, the mainstream media, business leaders, scientists and doctors. It’s unashamedly negative and emotional, an anger or even fury, which seems unconstrained by morality or shame. And it’s based on an in-group/out-group dynamic where a white in-group advocates racism, sexism, antisemitism, xenophobia and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

Support for Donald Trump is just one of the products of this movement. Another product is support for wildly undemocratic, unconstitutional and unAmerican policies. According to a recent poll from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics

Among Trump supporters:

  • 51 percent say: “Public schools should be required to teach civic education that emphasizes patriotism and deemphasizes any negative aspects of our nation’s history.”
  • 50 percent say: “Laws should be enacted requiring citizens to show respect for national symbols and leaders.
  • 45 percent say: “A law should be enacted that limits protests and demonstrations deemed by the government to be potentially disruptive to public order.”
  • 41 percent favor “Red” states “seceding from the union to form their own separate country.”
  • 37 percent say: “The President should be given the authority to disregard Congress in decisions related to national security.
  • 37 percent say: “Laws should be enacted to limit the expression of views considered unpatriotic or disloyal.”
  • 31 percent say: “Democracy is no longer a viable system and America should explore alternative forms of government to ensure stability and progress.
  • 31 percent say: “The ends justify the means, and any action taken by my preferred political party is acceptable if it achieves our goals.”
  • 30 percent say: “Elections should be suspended during times of crisis.”

To be fair, there are lesser numbers of Biden supporters who agree with these unpatriotic ideas, but there exists absolutely no threat that the Democratic Party will act on any of them.

In contrast, there is a clear and present danger that Trump and other MAGA leaders will use grassroots fury to tear down our constitution-based democracy. Defeating Trump is just the most urgent priority. In the longer term, we must defeat MAGA.