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Biden Critiques MAGA Philosophy as 'Semi-Fascism'

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the mediabankU.S. President Joe Biden speaks
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks  - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.08.2022
The “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, regularly referred to by the acronym “MAGA,” is most often associated with former President Donald Trump, who used it to win the presidency in 2016.
On Thursday night, President Joe Biden slammed Republicans who have aligned themselves with his predecessor former President Donald Trump as well as his MAGA beliefs and rhetoric. During a fundraiser for Democrats at a home in Bethesda, Maryland, Biden referred to the “extreme MAGA philosophy” as “semi-fascism.”
"What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism," Biden said at the fundraiser.
The lambasting kicks off the Democrat's campaign period for the midterm elections, in which Democrats are desperate to keep control of Congress. After the fundraiser, Biden headed to the Democratic National Committee rally, also in Maryland, and expanded on his condemnation of “ultra-MAGA Republicans.”
“Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans have made their choice: to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate and division,” Mr. Biden said to about 2,400 people at a high school gym in Rockville, Maryland. “But we’ve chosen a different path: forward, the future, unity, hope and optimism.”
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport after attending the Summit of the Americas, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Los Angeles.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.08.2022
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The White House did not back down from their criticisms of MAGA-affiliated Republicans. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre echoed Biden’s sentiments on Friday, calling MAGA Republicans fascist by definition.
“I was very clear when laying out and defining what MAGA Republicans have done and you look at the definition of fascism and you think about what they're doing in attacking our democracy. ... That is what that is. It is very clear," Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing.
A Republican National Committee spokesperson called Biden’s remarks “despicable” and drew attention to inflation, an issue that has been dragging down Biden’s poll numbers.
"Biden forced Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working families to Harvard lawyers, and sent our country into a recession while families can't afford gas and groceries," spokesperson Nathan Brand said.
The slogan, "make America great again," despite being used by both former President Bill Clinton and former President Ronald Reagan in speeches and campaigns, has been criticized as a racist catchphrase by Democrats and critics of Trump.
Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi and founder of the Free Radicals Project, an effort to prevent extremism and help people leave hate groups, says the “MAGA” slogan is coded language—or a political dog whistle—created by the alt-right to make racist rhetoric more digestible and avoid negative attention from opposing sides.
"We knew we were turning more people away that we could eventually have on our side if we just softened the message. These days with our political climate we see a lot of coded language, or dog whistles," said Picciolini.
"Make America Great Again?" Picciolini asks. "Well, to them, that means make America white again."
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