Mark Ivagno is the leader of the Young Republicans, a faction of the Republican Party. The 36-year-old lawyer lives in Texas, heads a political non-governmental organization and is part of America First – nationally conservative Republicans who support former President Donald Trump. He is in Bulgaria to support the efforts of the “Vazrazhdane” party.
-Mr. Aivanno, what has changed in the US in recent years?
– Many things happened, so I will try to be brief. If you ask what is going on in the Republican Party, it is almost like a civil war – on one side is “America First” or so-called. nationally conservative Republicans who support Trump, and on the other hand Republicans who are like a dynasty in this party. As for the public, they have largely lost trust in the mainstream media because they were influenced by the draconian measures we saw during the pandemic. Trust in Congress is below 20 percent, sometimes even as low as 10, and the mainstream media you know currently has the same trust rating.
– Our compatriots there say that life in the freest country in the world is no longer so safe? Is that correct?
– The crime situation has really gotten worse – in many of the states we have judges who are financially supported by George Soros and we see that their response to various crimes is really not what it should be. There are also many artificially created protests and riots in the streets, for which radical left supporters use groups such as anti-fascists or Black Lives Matter. Thus, on the one hand we have the prosecutors who are supported by Soros, and on the other hand, these left-wing radical groups that incite riots. After all, there are crimes that cannot be punished.
– Current polling data for the upcoming Trump-Biden presidential contest in the main states show differences in favor of Trump between 5 and 11%. Nevada – 52 to 41, Georgia – 49 to 43, Arizona – 49 to 44, etc. Do you think the battle is already decided in your favor?
– I think this has been known for a long time. Media outlets like CNN have shown data that favors Trump. To us true conservatives, the issue is not whether he will actually win, but whether it will count. We think Trump won in 2020 as well. We don’t accept that a guy like Biden got 81 million votes, because even people who had a lot more support than him had a much smaller result in the past. The question is by what margin will Trump win so that it will be very difficult and even impossible for them to falsify the election result.
– Do you expect blows below the waist and where can they come from?
– I think that in 2016 the left completely underestimated Trump, they thought that their victory was just certain with Hillary Clinton. They did not even try to manipulate the elections. It was a surprise to themselves. They didn’t even have to rig past elections across the country, they just needed a few states where extra ballots just appeared in an extremely strange way. That’s a big enough concern for us. We know that they will try again, that there will be another wave of covid and they will use it to initiate a postal vote. Some governors won’t even mark Trump on the ballot so people won’t find him.
– Currently, the Biden administration and the judiciary are doing everything possible to eliminate Trump from the fight. Analysts predict that if this happens, there is a danger of riots in the States.
– I think this administration has really gone too far in going after Trump. Many moderates say the whole story is rather strange and think that political opponents should not be persecuted. The glass is overflowing, even ordinary freedom-loving Americans disagree with LGBT propaganda and protest it. If some states that are very liberal and won’t elect Trump don’t put him on the ballot, that won’t hurt his results. But it would put people on the streets in other states because, as we know, Americans value freedom.
– Everyone is waiting for the elections in the States and because the world is covered by serious military conflicts? What is the Republican Party’s position on the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas military clashes?
– The Republican Party is divided between the true conservatives represented by America First and the so-called neoconservatives who are outnumbered and always “for” intervention in foreign conflicts. So a serious part of the other section of the party accepted both financial and military support for Ukraine. It started with $40 billion and it’s gone up to $100 billion and now even Speaker McCarthy has said that we can’t keep signing blank checks. And we don’t even know yet how much they will be. Given the new conflict in the Middle East, I think it will be increasingly difficult for Zelensky to gain support. Much of the Republican Party is “for” providing humanitarian aid, but people who support the America First doctrine say that we have provided enough aid and it is time to think about our southern border, which is completely open. Isn’t it time we protect her and take care of the mess in our own country.
– If Trump wins, will there be a change in US foreign policy and what will it be?
– It is good to remember that during his first term there were no wars, there was peace. President Trump even reached an agreement with North Korea. As for Putin, Trump said that although we are from different countries and competitors, we are ready to work together. But he also warned that if they attack Ukraine, a response will follow. I am convinced that if people vote for Trump, they are casting their vote for world peace. However, if they support the Democratic candidate, who I don’t even think will be Biden, they are voting for World War III. To those who say this is not true, I will ask them under which administration there were peace accords and under which the world is on the verge of World War III?
– Are sentiments growing for even greater Texas autonomy and even secession from the United States. Could you tell us a bit more about the situation there?
– We in Texas have a special history and have always seen ourselves as independent people who can take care of this state on our own. The history of Texas is special because until the middle of the 19th century it was not part of the United States and fought a war with Spain and Mexico, which it won. For some time it was also an independent country and only then was it joined to the United States of America. In 2020, during the elections, we witnessed many of the states not even sticking to their own constitution, which should either be identical to the federal one or offer even higher levels of security. Somewhere they didn’t require an ID when one went to vote. Ballots were sent out even when citizens had not registered to vote by mail. So many people ended up voting without even knowing they had. Seeing what was happening in Texas, and other southern states said to themselves that they obeyed both our constitution and the federal constitution, but why be part of a union where others did not respect the rules. Indeed, the mood for secession exists, but I think it is not realistic.
– You are here with the representatives of “Vazrazhdane”, does this mean that the party is your partner in Bulgaria?
– I head a political non-governmental organization and our mission is to provide a link between the truly conservative political forces in various countries in Europe and the Republicans. I attended a discussion during a plenary session in Bulgaria and many of the statements of representatives of “Vazrazhdane” were extremely close to what my party stands for and especially in the part that we call the America First doctrine. Our group is pro-Trump, he has a lot of grassroots support and that’s why he won the election. Many saw this ideology and recognized it as a concern for the average American. Yes, we consider “Revival” to be our ally and political friend, and we believe that we should connect with organizations that think like us. Our response as a united conservative patriotic force is extremely important because we see that the radical left, elitist globalist movement is very much connected and working together. We have our doctrine and “Vazrazhdane” is our political ally in Bulgaria.