Sep 28, 2022 • 44M

The Myth that MAGA is Driven by "White Rage"

For Shame, Hillary Clinton

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Essays on politics and culture from Sasha Stone's Substack. A former Democrat and Leftist who escaped the bubble to get to know the other side of the country and to take a more critical look at the left.
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No matter how justified you think it is, prosecuting someone for what lives inside their minds and hearts is a road to ruin. It’s even worse than that. It’s a road to moral panics that lead to systematic dehumanization that wrecks whole societies.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg might have been selling secrets to the Soviets but that didn’t mean everyone in America who ever supported Marxist ideology was a traitor. Fear of what you can’t see leaves it up to your imagination, and when it comes to human beings, that is an unreliable source.

Systematic dehumanization meant that newly freed slaves had to be turned into existential threats to an otherwise pristine uoptia in the South. They were thieves, murderers and rapists. In Nazi Germany, Jews were parasites, draft dodgers, and uniquely evil.

It’s been decided that Trump supporters, or MAGA, are all angry white men. They are an existential threat because inside their minds and hearts is the unique evil of racism. This has never been questioned. It is a fear that has become a certainty across all institutions, culturally and politically, not just on the Left but on the Establishment Right.

That is the kind of rot that must live inside the mind and heart of Hillary Clinton so that she could casually compare working class people to Nazi Germany. She saw them raising their hands to Trump without looking a little more closely to see that wasn’t the Nazi salute but cell phones.

Trump supporters have no status. They don’t have a net worth of $120 million, or an Apple-TV show, or a house in Chappaqua, New York. They’ve been beaten, spit on, screamed at, demonized, and called every name imaginable from Nazi to Fascist to Racist, and now to “domestic extremist,” “insurrectionist,” “election deniers.”

Even before Trump won, the Left believed their violence against Trump supporters was justified:

We can survive political differences. We can’t survive this.

What I realized over the past few years as I’ve gotten to know the world of MAGA it’s that we have a choice: assume the worst about people or give them the benefit of the doubt.

I would like to say I would give Hillary the benefit of the doubt. After all, I was the person who made this sign and marched along with millions for the Women’s March:

But with a teenager possibly run down and smeared as a “Republican extremist,” with Biden’s militant fascist speech, with a death threat on Justice Kavanaugh’s life, all running parallel to a dangerously politicized Department of Justice, I’m much too concerned with the fate of the country to worry about protecting Hillary one more time.

White men and women are the new existential threat to the Left. But it is existential, not based on skin color. Black men can be “white supremacists in BlackFace,” like Larry Elder. Non-white women can be “Far Right Latinas” like Mayra Flores. Black women can be viciously attacked and trend for days on Twitter, like Candace Owens, receiving none of the protection she would get from the “antiracists.”

Steve Bannon’s secret weapon is that he knows MAGA isn’t driven by “white rage.” He’s been actively engaged in building a coalition of working-class Black and Hispanic voters, or what he calls “inclusive, participatory, nationalist populism” for at least five years.

Anyone who dips a toe into MAGA Land quickly sees it’s not about racism at all. It’s driven more by class and yes, by Judeo-Christianity.

From a story on Breitbart:

“We’ve got to start having access to capital to black and Hispanic entrepreneurs,” Bannon said.

During the financial crisis, Bannon said that the Wall Street class were taken care of by the government but that the smaller banks got crushed since many of them loaned money to working-class people who didn’t get rescued by the government.

“The elites took care of themselves,” he said.

Bannon said that he was putting together a “task force” of black and Hispanic entrepreneurs to help them build their communities.

That, he explained, was the way to evolve the Republican party into a working-class party for all Americans.

“That’s why the media and that’s why the Democrats are freaked out about that,” he said.

Up until recently, Christianity was the beating heart of this country that united most Americans by roughly 80%. I was never raised with any kind of religion because I am a child of the Left. Most Conservatives, though, don’t look to politics for their collective sense of purpose. They look to God.

This might explain why all of a sudden a new term has been dropped into the mix to demonize the MAGA movement: White Christian Nationalism:

Only recently has the idea of someone being a Christian become a clear and present threat to the newfound religion of the Left.

Says a story in Politico by Stella Rouse and Shibley Telhami:

Christian nationalism, a belief that the United States was founded as a white, Christian nation and that there is no separation between church and state, is gaining steam on the right.

Prominent Republican politicians have made the themes critical to their message to voters in the run up to the 2022 midterm elections. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, has argued that America is a Christian nation and that the separation of church and state is a “myth.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia hard-liner, declared: “We need to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian Nationalists.” Amid a backlash, she doubled down and announced she would start selling “Christian Nationalist” shirts. Now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems to be flirting with Christian nationalist rhetoric, as well.

Always pivoting to racism is a convenient out for the Biden administration, which is disgraceful. But it’s also a great way to sabotage this country, to keep us weak and divided.

Although they don’t yet realize it, the Left is gambling with its own existence. They’re hoping to solve our population decline with the migrants flooding in from mostly Latin American countries. Most of the countries are rooted not in Wokeness but in Catholicism. Democrats believe they will be so grateful they’ll vote Blue no matter who, but are they so sure about that?

By hanging their entire platform on urging women to see abortions as no big deal, or even an act of empowerment, they’re flirting with disaster if America begins to rise once again as a Christian nation, thanks to the influx of millions of new migrants. Not to mention most of them are likely to be socially conservative, which will run counter to the platform of the new Left.

With declining sperm counts and fertility rates, not to mention population decline our future will not be siding with those who have the most abortions, but with those who have the most babies. It’s simple math.

Awaiting the Rapture

Unless you were part of it, it’s hard to explain the rapture most of us experienced when Obama rose to power. It was not just pure love for him, or that he had so much charisma, no scandals or baggage, a perfect family, or that he’d graduated from Harvard and had such sophisticated tastes, it was the idea that America had its first Black president. A new religion was born.

For my generation and the one that came before, growing up without religion was cool. Only Republicans were church goers. Boomers traded their Christian upbringings in the 1950s for a cultural renaissance in the 1960s, Black Power, the Feminist movement, Civil Rights - it all exploded outward, away from traditional religion.

As children of the “me” generation, we helicopter parents were spiritually adrift, aimless, and emotionally destroyed. We sought fulfillment in self-help therapy, where we talked about the abuse we suffered at the hands of narcissistic parents. We had Oprah every day at 3 pm where we worked out all of our problems as a society. Then came the McMartin preschool scare, Columbine, and 9/11.

By the turn of the millennium, we were dealing with one threat after another. A 24-hour news cycle thanks to the OJ Trial, and now, the internet would provide us with second-to-second input of all the threats everywhere. We were primed and ready for one person to rise and give us all a collective sense of purpose. That person was President Barack Obama and the Obama coalition he built mostly online, Twitter specifically.

As our kids took to the internet to escape our nonstop attentive coddling, an entire generation came of age as social media natives. They were forging new virtual identities, with new rules and new ways of seeing and identifying themselves with one another. What better way to do that than by skin color, gender, or victim status? If you were marginalized, you were protected. If you weren’t, you were an oppressor; therefore, it was open season.

For white kids without any cultural identity, gender became their way of distinguishing themselves from “cis-gendered, hetero-normative, colonizing white supremacists.”

To them, identity was and is everything. They absorbed our growing fear about the rise of racism in America, which took root in 2008, with Conservatives like Steve Schmidt and John McCain concluding Sarah Palin was a xenophobic warrior for the White Race. We see this epiphany play out in the HBO movie Game Change.

And just like that, the birth of the Never Trump movement and the idea that there were “good” Republicans and “bad” Republicans, and all of it was based on racism, was born. It just so happened that The Tea Party was challenging the whole system, Democrats and Republicans alike, who had sold out the country with a $700 billion bank bailout and bad trade policies.

How convenient, then, to target them as racists:

And when Trump questioned Obama’s birth certificate, what else could that be, we all thought, except blatant racism? Obama graciously supplied a copy of his birth certificate but then mocked Trump publicly at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

The two locked horns in 2011, and we’re still watching a battle between Obama’s America and Trump’s. It also has morphed into a war between the Great Awokening and the Judao-Christian ethic.

Many of the Zoomers, children of the newly Woke religious Left, grew up with the certainty that America was not only a systemically racist country, but they were living among millions of their fellow Americans who were racists.

The social justice movement that now dominates the Left began in virtual hives on social media. Those kids went to the indoctrination factories our universities have become, grew up, joined the workforce and essentially did to America in 2020 what a group of activists did to Evergreen University.

The Democrats, like the administration at Evergreen, the people who run the Motion Picture Academy, and all other members of the 1% buckled under the pressure.

The New “Red” Scare

If history had gone differently, a moral panic in America in 2022 might have looked like another Red Scare. A discovery of Harvard professors selling information to the Chinese Communist Party, colliding with the virus from Wuhan, not to mention a near-complete takeover of our manufacturing jobs, might have set Americans on edge that Communists were once again at the gates.

But look at the date. January 28, 2020. The focus wasn’t on China, Chinese spies, or even the COVID pandemic, which was just starting to make its way into the United States. Americans were in the grips of a different kind of moral panic.

This moral panic is destroying us in all ways, turning us against ourselves and making us much more vulnerable and weak to our adversaries. Russia, China, North Korea or any major enemy of the United States would no doubt have figured out that there was one surefire way to bring the most powerful country in the world to its knees: accusations of racism.

The Chinese have our number. They even have a special name for it:

Sooner rather than later, we’ll need leadership that can’t be so easily undone, that isn’t given to nonstop fits of mass hysteria. We need a steady hand to guide this ship at such a dangerous time.


At some point in 2020, I found myself staring at my Twitter feed and had what I can only describe as blood poisoning. There was so much hate - it was in my heart, it was in my veins. I just could not live with it anymore. I decided I had to find out - was it true, were they really racists?

I’d already experienced what it was like to be called a racist. When I pointed out on Twitter that not all Asian hate crimes were “white supremacy,” members of my own community targeted me as a white supremacist. It didn’t matter that I’d spent at least ten years advocating for Black artists to win Oscars on my website. It made no difference. I was seen only by my identity as a white woman online.

I then decided to take a trip to MAGA Land.

I began following a youtube site called Right Side Broadcasting. They are Christian-based and staunchly pro-life. Each video begins with an image of a fetus in the womb. They hold weekly prayer meetings and live stream all of Trump’s rallies. They usually set up early in the day and begin recording as the crowd begins to form.

Hours later, the music plays - the same song introducing Trump to the crowd.

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I'd gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

Then Trump finally shows. He often has a handful of red hats that he tosses out into the crowd.

Trump’s speeches are almost always the same. They’re funny. He tells jokes, a lot of the time, at his own expense. In the old days, back in 2016, his speeches were much darker and angrier. Now, they aren’t. Being banned from Twitter seems to have changed Trump for the better. This is a cautionary tale of the evils of a social media algorithm that feeds off of outrage and hysteria.

You can’t dip a toe in MAGA land and come away seeing it as a movement driven by racism, not if you’re being honest. That tells you a lot already about what kind of media class we have in this country, that they were leading the charge for what has become shameful, systematic dehumanization of a whole group of people with no benefit of the doubt, no due process, no path to redemption.

But the truth still matters, even if it’s met with a tsunami of mass hysteria and moral panic. I have watched every Trump rally since he began holding them in 2020 - every single one — and not only is the MAGA movement not driven by “white rage,” but they are far more diverse and multicultural than the media or the Democrats seem to believe.

And these Trump supporters I follow on TikTok:

And if you want to know why so many Latinos are flipping red?

So if it’s not about racism, what’s it about? Well, Ungar-Sargon has an idea:

She has been fearless in her efforts to bridge the divide between the mass hysteria on the Left and the working class on the Right. She and Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Megyn Kelly, Walter Kirn, and Tulsi Gabbard have maintained their objectivity, humanity, empathy, and willingness to see the bigger picture.

As Matt Taibbi often points out, we seem to be missing the old-school lefties like William Kunstler, who would defend Civil Liberties at all costs. Now, only one remains—Alan Dershowitz, who has taken on the lost cause of Mike Lindell. Lindell is a hero in MAGA land and a joke to high-status folks like Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Stewart. A man whose life was nearly ruined by addiction found God and started not just a charity, but a business called My Pillow.

When you see how beloved Lindell is with MAGA, much of it is to do with their shared faith, that cross that hangs around his neck. He, like Trump, gives them hope. These are people not driven by hate or rage, but by love.

For people who had been shut out of every part of American culture, demonized for six long years, called the worst names imaginable, not welcomed in many places, lost friends and family, they somehow haven’t lost their hope and their optimism. A lot of that has to do with Trump, believe it or not. He’s one thing they haven’t been able to take away from them.

As enemies of the state - they have plenty of reasons to be angry. We saw some of that on January 6th. But 2020 was a year that broke people. Only one group was ever held accountable for losing it, even though Trump supporters pride themselves on being non-violent. Now, the state has managed to intimidate them to prevent them from using their Constitutional right to protest.

But to take love of country away from people whose entire identity is wrapped up in patriotism seems to me an act of unimaginable cruelty. However, they still have a vote, and if they turn out in large enough numbers, they can have more of a voice in DC.

MAGA voters have every reason to be mean and bitter. But you know what? It’s people like Hillary Clinton, the Never Trump Republicans, and most in the media and on blue-check Twitter who have become the mean and bitter ones, abandoning basic human decency in their desire to eliminate a group of people they see as an existential threat to their otherwise pristine utopia.

But, as with the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, they will soon learn that what MAGA voters care about most is not something they can’t take away.

I don’t know what Hillary saw. My guess is that she was looking for what she wanted to see, not what was really there. If she watched a MAGA rally, really watched it, she would not see miserable people, upset that they aren’t allowed into the country club, or mouth-frothing Nazis. Instead, she’d see mostly happy people, like the Whos in Whoville.

That is happiness that only comes when your mind and your heart are free.

So if you want to understand MAGA start there.

Plenty of people gravitate to Trump for different reasons - a rebellious spirit, their religious faith, but what unites them as a movement is love of country.

Nationalism is not itself fascism or even racism. James Strock’s Substack focuses on the need for an invigorated new nationalism, writing:

What a calling is to an individual, nationalism can be to a commonwealth. It can be a source of solidarity. It’s expressed over space and time through a unifying narrative. From history it derives values and experiences that can inform our navigation of the present. These elements yield a vision for conjuring and creating a future.

Our moral panic that there are racists, racists everywhere is nowhere near finished. At the very least, however, we must vote out those politicians who are primed and ready to convict people on what they think exists inside their minds and hearts.

Liz Cheney and the January 6th Committee will continue Joe Biden’s ignorant campaign to use racism as the justification for their authoritarian show trial, and politicization of the DOJ. History will shame them for it.

Ultimately, though, the way I figure it, hate eventually exhausts itself. Love wins.