MSNBC host Rachel Maddow warned during a televised panel on Monday that former President Donald Trump won in a landslide victory at the Iowa caucus because of far-right Republicans who embrace extremism, authoritarianism and fascism.
“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 [into] an authoritarian and potentially fascist form of government — the leader who is trying to do that is part of that equation,” Maddow warned.
“But people wanting that is a much bigger part of that equation and the American electorate is made up of two major parties,” she added while speaking with a panel of MSNBC hosts that included Jen Psaki, Joy Reid, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell.
Aside from being in Iowa for the last 11 days working hard to get the vote out for President Trump ahead of the Iowa Caucus, the highlight of last night was being able to give President Trump a massive bear hug after his HUGE victory in Iowa.
I told him how proud I am of him!❤️ pic.twitter.com/PTVrKx28YT
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) January 16, 2024
“One of those parties has been flirting with extremism on the ultra-right for a very long time. They’ve brought them in in a way that they haven’t been central to Republican electoral politics ever before,” Maddow explained. “Once you have radicalized one major party so that those are the preferences of the people who adhere to your party, the leader’s interchangeable.”
Maddow theorizes that Trump is saying things that the more extreme wing of Republican voters like to hear: “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.”
WATCH: Crowd gathers to see President Trump in Atkinson, New Hampshire just one day after HUGE Iowa Caucus victory
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 16, 2024
Trump won the Iowa caucus with over 51% of the vote, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) placed second with just over 21% of the votes and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley landed in third place with 19%.
“We want to come together, whether it’s Republican or Democrat or liberal or conservative,” said Trump in his victory speech. “We’re going to come together. It’s going to happen soon.”
“We are going to seal up the border,” Trump said. “Because, right now, we have an invasion. We have an invasion of millions and millions of people that are coming into our country. I can’t imagine why they think that’s a good thing.”