GOP hopeful in Pennsylvania appeals to voters with assortment of MAGA issues

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania, Oct 31 (EFE).- Whether upset about high crime rates or the teaching of gender ideology in schools, looking to increase restrictions on abortion, or still refusing to accept Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election, so-called MAGA voters are highly motivated to change the United States’ political landscape in the Nov. 8 midterms.

Nearly 200 people gathered last week at a campaign event in this small southeastern Pennsylvania town for Doug Mastriano, a Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial candidate who has embraced the former president’s “Make America Great Again” philosophy.

“I’m here because (Doug) Mastriano is absolutely the best. I found him actually accidentally about three and a half years ago on Facebook talking about these stupid shutdowns and the jerks that became dictators who run our state,” Larry Steinhouse, a Republican voter, told Efe, referring to forced temporary shutterings of non-essential businesses and other statewide restrictions aimed at protecting the population in the initial months of the pandemic.

Like the other participants, most of them retirees, Steinhouse showed up at the Hilltop Athletic Association Banquet Hall in Feasterville-Trevose to listen to Mastriano, who trails the Democratic candidate, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, by around nine percentage points, according to the latest polls.

Army veteran Tom Gallagher, like many Trump voters, believes Biden’s victory was marred by fraud and said he has faith that Mastriano will “restore election integrity.”

Abortion also is a major issue for Gallagher, who noted that he and Mastriano are both staunchly pro-life.

“I just can’t imagine killing a baby in the womb. The (Democrats) feel it’s OK to kill a baby outside of the womb,” he said in apparent reference to remarks by then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, whose comments in 2019 about third-trimester abortions carried out in cases of severe deformities were harshly criticized by Republicans.

Carol, a retiree who is most concerned about violent crime in her state, said she wants Mastriano to “restore law and order.”

“I think it’s very scary what’s going on in Philadelphia, and I never in my life was afraid to be alone and go out alone and to go shopping alone in the United States, never in my life. And now I am,” she added.

Dave, another Mastriano supporter, is still angry about Covid-19 shutdowns, saying that the Democrats’ policies forced his daughter to close her beauty salon.

He added that tensions are running high and that he is worried about post-election violence.

“Because what could happen if things go bad could be a civil unrest, and that scares me to death, that the whole country goes crazy. And that could happen. We need somebody like Mastriano, like Dr. (Mehmet) Oz (the Republican candidate in the 2020 US Senate election in Pennsylvania) We need the Republicans to take back this country,” Dave said.

“The left-handed Democrats … not all (Democrats), but the left-handed Democrats are out of control. And they’ve got to be straightened out.”

During his 30-minute speech, Mastriano told his supporters that Democrats are looking to indoctrinate the country with their leftist ideology and that their strategy is to use the schools to reach people when they are young.

He urged Republicans to fight back.

“Remember who you are. You’re an American” who is “on the side of truth, the side of the constitution,” he added.

Supporters loudly applauded each of Mastriano’s campaign promises, including upholding people’s Second Amendment right to bear arms and no longer allowing nearly a score of counties – including Bucks County, where he was speaking – to serve as so-called “sanctuaries” for undocumented migrants.

After listening to their candidate, praying for his victory and singing the national anthem, many of those attending the rally bought some campaign merchandise to take home as souvenirs, including a “Doug Mastriano Governor: Fighting for Freedom” poster to put on their front lawn. EFE


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