Skip to main content
The Latest /
Christian Nationalism

This week in “Trumptastrophe”: Trump’s Willingness to Do Anything to Advance the MAGA Agenda

News & Analysis

Welcome to our weekly “Trumptastrophe” series, that will serve to remind us all of the destructive policies, decisions, and actions we encountered during the Trump presidency and the threats that he and others in the MAGA movement still pose – and to keep those moments clear in our memory as we fight to defeat Republican extremists during the upcoming elections.

This week’s recap brings into focus how Trump has not only allowed, but encouraged the rapid expansion of far-right ideology and extremism within the Republican Party. As Republican kingmaker Trump regularly endorses candidates that are way outside the mainstream but, because they are willing to support his radical MAGA agenda, receive his full support:

On Dec. 4, 2017, Trump tweeted his official endorsement of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by Jeff Sessions, whom Trump had picked to be his first attorney general. Trump’s endorsement came despite multiple accusations that Moore was involved in sexual misconduct with teenage girls at a time when Moore had been in his early 30s. Trump later gave Moore a wholehearted endorsement at a political rally and recorded a robocall for Moore’s campaign.

The sexual misconduct allegations against Moore were only some of the many reasons he had no business service in the U.S. Senate. His record of extremism was long and well known, which is why religious-right activists and far-right political operatives like Steve Bannon were pushing so hard to get him elected.

Moore was a zealous Christian nationalist whose religious bigotry led him to stake out un-American and unconstitutional positions. When Keith Ellison was elected the first Muslim member of Congress, Moore said that Congress should refuse to seat him. Years earlier, Moore defended his practice of opening courtroom sessions with Christian prayers and inviting others to join him, but only if they were Christian. Moore said no Muslim or Buddhist would offer prayers in his courtroom because "they do not acknowledge the God of the Holy Bible upon which this country is established."

Moore was an anti-equality extremist. He believed that homosexual conduct should be criminalized. He once gave custody of three children to their abusive father because their mother was in a same-sex relationship. The same year Trump endorsed him, Moore had called for the impeachment of Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality.

Moore put his religious and political ideology above his duty to protect the rule of law and his oath to uphold the Constitution. He was removed from his position as the state’s chief justice twice for defying federal court orders—once for refusing to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the courthouse, and once for instructing state judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Trump had backed another candidate in the GOP primary, but even before officially endorsing Moore he had been boosting him and attacking his Democratic opponent. Trump’s endorsement came with renewed funding from the Republican National Committee to help Moore in the closing days of the special election, which Moore lost anyway thanks in large part to strong turnout by Black voters who were appalled by Moore’s birtherism, connections to neo-Confederates, and comments suggesting that America was better off during the slavery era.

Here’s how Trump’s endorsement of far-right Senate candidate Roy Moore reminds us of the threat Trump continues to pose to democracy:

  • Trump has poisoned our political culture by making the Republican Party a friendlier place for far-right extremism since the earliest days of his first campaign, when the two groups most energized by his rhetoric were white nationalists and Christian nationalists.
  • The same religious-right activists who rallied around Moore because of, rather than in spite of, his extremism have done the same for Trump—and they’ve joined forces with other elements of a MAGA-radicalized right-wing movement that is preparing to fully enable Trump’s aggressive authoritarian impulses if he returns to the White House.
  • Not only did Trump elevate the antisemitic, white nationalist Nick Fuentes by having dinner with him, Trump has repeatedly endorsed the politicians who have most enthusiastically embraced and promoted Fuentes—Rep. Paul Gosar and state Sen. Wendy Rogers of Arizona.
  • Just as Moore’s anti-gay extremism didn’t stop Trump from endorsing him, Trump has enthusiastically endorsed the intensely anti-LGBTQ Mark Robinson, a candidate for governor of North Carolina who has spread bigotry and Christian nationalist themes across the state.
  • Trump also endorsed Dan Cox, the 2022 Republican candidate for Maryland governor who campaigned with QAnon conspiracy theorists and Christian nationalists. Trump has repeatedly used his social media accounts to promote QAnon conspiracy theorists.
  • Trump endorsed Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who last year dedicated “every square inch” of the state to Jesus, saying “[With] the authority that I have as governor, and the spiritual authority and the physical authority that you give me, I claim Oklahoma for you.”
  • Like Moore, Trump puts his own desire for power above the rule of law. He continues to spread lies about election fraud and support other election-denying candidates like defeated-but-refusing-to-acknowledge-it Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. His relentless lying about his loss in the 2020 election fueled the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and has undermined millions of Americans’ faith in democracy.

These are just some of the reasons we need YOU in this fight. So, find your favorite way to unwind after reading through this week’s recap, and then make a plan for how you will fight back THIS week, this MONTH, this election cycle.