by Shelt Garner
It is very easy for us all to fall into the trite trap that, by definition, MAGA is made up of “ignorant” people sucked into a cult. At this late date, that assessment just makes no fucking sense.
The vast majority of the crazier things that MAGA does is a combination of political performance art done in order to “own the libs” and fascist virtue signaling. The key issue is that MAGA is symptom of a number of structural problems in the American political system.
What’s so interesting is MAGA is a movement of imperial retrenchment, not expansion. As such, I would compare Trump not to Hitler, but to Pol Pot. That’s the real nightmare scenario — that as the two sides grow radicalized, that Trump will decide to empty the Blue cities and we’ll endup with something akin to American Killing Fields.
MAGA is mostly made up of angry white (male) Christians who are so alarmed by the browning of America and the rise of women having political and economy agency that they going into the idea of autocracy with their eyes wide open.
In fact, that’s what they want — their dream is my nightmare. And some of them don’t even realize the implications of catching the car. They’re so busy hating on brown people and some ideal of how “every life is precious” while at the same time hating on COVID protocols done in a good faith effort to save lives in a crisis that you can grow rather frustrated with them.
Most of the people who make up MAGA aren’t ignorant at all. They are just really resentful of the modernization of America and they see Trump as their avatar. As such, Trump is NOT a Great Man of history. He’s just too lazy and dumb for that to be the case.
If he was a Great Man, he would never have lost the 2020 election and he would now be well on his way to becoming something akin to a Red King (at least over the Blue portions of the country.) But, here we are, with Trump fighting his way back to see if he can actually live up to all the autocratic rhetoric he spouted the first go round.
Which brings up an interesting point — if Trump really does try to deport 20,000 (or more) undocumented people in the United States, many with American children — is there any point when the Traditionalist who aren’t MAGA will throw up their hands and say, “I’ve had enough?”
That, dear reader, will determine the fate of the United States for generations to come because if Tyrant Trump loses the Traditionalists and they, for a brief movement, become Radical Moderates…we’re going to the show. We’re going to have a battle royale between Blue and Reds with no endgame and no narrative. It really could go either way.
And as all of that is going on, the globe will collapse into WW3 with a number of regional conflicts going nuclear. So one could propose that at least 1 billion people may die directly because of the actions of malignant ding-dong Trump. If my worst fears about the future come true, then Trump will replace Hitler as everyone’s go-to Worst Person in History.
But I can’t predict the future. And there is still plenty of time for us to punt all these structural problems down the road.