Why Trump (and Trumpism) Has Such a Strong Hold on the GOP
And why their support is growing
It’s not about race.
The going narrative seems to be: media machines like CNN and MSNBC keep their viewers in a state of frantic despair that a KKK-like revolution is upon them, that they must protect the country and “Democracy Itself.”
Imagine a political movement that has targeted white people and an entire country’s founding, as its main enemy to eradicate. Not only is it impossible in a country that is still 60% white, but it is self-defeating to believe that the majority in this country will support tearing it down.
Anyone who spends any time inside the Trump movement, or is sick of having people accuse them of racism any time they disagree with anything on the Left, or if they watch Fox News or listen to Ben Shapiro or read any right leaning outlets they will quickly discover that the charges of racism are becoming a problem for the Left. Trump, so far, is the only cure for that problem.
To understand why that is a powerful place to be one has to be able to look at the Left with a critical eye. If you can’t do that, you can’t even have this conversation because it won’t make sense to you. You are better off seeing Trump and those who support him as racists who must be eradicated. But if you are one of the many who see that the Left has not only lost its way but is collapsing then you might start to understand why it’s Trump, and not some traditional Republican (aka “RINO”) who might be best suited to take on that fight.
Here is why: the Left’s power is mainly in controlling what people say and what they think. Trump’s power is in not caring about what people say or what they think. So anyone who is becoming exhausted by the increasing censorship, thought policing, strident conformity of the left will seek not someone who can play the middle but someone who can spike the dagger in the heart of the movement. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see that there is only one major voice who can or will do that.
Law and Order, Patriotism, Free Speech
Once the Left abandoned these three key tenets of American life, as they did last year, it was the beginning of the end. Without them, what can you then offer? Sanctimony? Fairness? Goodness? This works well for the rich, who now define the Left overall. It especially works for the ruling elite like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Bill Gates, Hollywood, Big Corporate. Nothing and no one threatens them. All they have to worry about is their image.
The working class in this country don’t have that luxury. Not only are they screwed in terms of their future prospects in a country that is happily sending jobs overseas, an administration that casually cancels a pipeline to satisfy the environmental Left, but they are screwed in terms of a movement that tells them they are part of “systemic racism” just by having been born white. For many Americans, their patriotism is the only thing they have left, love for their country. I’m not sure I’d want to mess with that if I were the Democrats.
Granted, the Biden presidency is, I think, at least for now, doing well in terms of their own objectives and programs, at least if the polls are any indication. It’s hard to know if Biden’s image will ever falter in the eyes of the public. Only if events become too big for the mainstream press to gloss over will things start to shift away from Biden - but again, if they believe they are fighting against a “KKK Nazi takeover by Hitler himself” they will stop at nothing to continue their fight, even though they are now in total control of every aspect of American life, edging closer to actual fascism every day. Or at least totalitarianism.
Then there is the matter of 2024 looming on the horizon.
The other problem for the Left’s ongoing charge of racism against Trump-ism is that the Trump movement has been actively trying to reach out to black and hispanic working class voters because they know, unlike the establishment republicans, that they have to expand their mostly white base.
Steve Bannon and the “America First” movement, which is Ground Zero for MAGA, has been speaking any chance he’s in front of a microphone about this, specifically stating that the MAGA movement is not about “whiteness.” You would never know this because he is portrayed as a “white nationalist” by the media but if you listen to him you will be hard pressed to find any smoking gun there.
To Bannon, the real war isn’t Left or Right. It’s between the working class and the “elite” in this country. He makes this very clear on his podcast day in and day out. He sees America’s biggest enemy as the Chinese Communist Party but is quick to point out that it isn’t the Chinese people. He sees the Left as being swallowed up by China’s dominance and that is what primarily motivates him.
What Steve Bannon believes, and many agree, is that we are in a “Fourth Turning.” To some extent he seems to be trying to direct or influence how that “fourth turning” will go, or at least he seems to think he knows how it will go. But even the book’s author, Neil Howe, doesn’t know how it will go. He has never predicted which side he thinks will prevail. The most he’s said is that the crisis was the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. Naturally, out of that we know two populist movements arose - the Occupy Wall Street, which became Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialists, and the Tea Party/MAGA movement on the right.
To Bannon, he believes that the “little guy” will rise up and challenge the “uniparty” that controls this country and is quickly handing it over to the CCP.
A quick summary of the Fourth Turning—
We’ve been here before.
It is shocking to me to see how ordinarily smart and reasonable people can’t or won’t do their homework to figure out WHY Trump’s hold on the GOP is so strong. Or take the time to see for themselves whether the mysterious, hated tribe over the mountain is actually what the media and the Left proclaim them to be. So many simply take the media at their word. It is difficult to fight a real battle if you do not understand what exactly you’re fighting against.
The MAGA movement is about a group of people our government, our media, our entertainment simply doesn’t bother to see. Even now, the Left seems to genuinely believe that only THEY can challenge election results, only THEY can protest violently, only THEY can have a justifiably biased media. They do not believe that those rights should extend to Trump supporters to. But they should.
Every American has the same rights as laid out in the Constitution, regardless of education or status. If they want to recount ballots in every state, they have every right to do that. If they want to protest the election they have every right to do that. If you’re going to call them “insurrectionists” you’d better have proof because right now there isn’t any. If Big Tech is going to ban people for saying “widespread fraud” but not ban anyone from the Left who throws out sloppy allegations that lead to real world violence, doesn’t that seem unfair?
Busting into the Capitol wasn’t proof that they wanted to forcibly overturn the election just because Rachel Maddow says so. Especially since they represent a group of people who are frustrated, angry and powerless against a massive media machine that targeted their president for four straight years.
Not for one second in the last four years did the left accept Trump as the legit POTUS. They impeached him twice, called him a Russian asset, treated his family and his supporters like human garbage and really did as much to wreck Democracy in treating Trump as illegitimate as the Trump side is doing now - not just questioning electronic voting machines but believing Russians had stuffed ballot boxes - I know because I was there, I believed it too. We can’t pretend that didn’t happen.
What I see from the Left right now is a willingness to believe anything in order to justify the power overreach across the board, not just in government but in all aspects of American life. What I see missing from the Left is their willingness to humanize their enemy and understand things from their perspective. If their only explanation is “racism,” as it appears to be, they do not have the complete picture and thus, they can’t effectively stop Trump or Trump-ism.
Why the Never Trumpers are Digging in the Wrong Place
In 2020, the Never Trumpers and Democratic Left united in their outrage and disgust with Donald Trump. That meant that as the Left intensified their extremism, the Never Trumpers could only go so far. Since the Left, or the Democrats, were mostly staying silent out of fear, that left only the Never Trumpers to speak out against what was happening in this country at the hands of the Left. They chose not to do that because by now a large portion of their platform depends on the Left.
The Never Trump Republicans have been seduced by the attention from the Left, and thus, have been sucked into the vortex of the Left’s ideas. They must go along with the silencing of dissent, which they have. Jennifer Rubin, Rick Wilson, you name it - they’re on board. Sure, there are the occasional voices of dissent like Andrew Sullivan and those on the Left who are trying to restore the Left to its former greatness, like Jesse Singal and John McWharter but honestly, I’m not sure they are up to the fight ahead. This is going to be a ferocious battle for the future of this country. Appeasement is not going to work.
Here is a very good interview with Ben Shapiro and former “socialist” turned conservative David Horowitz who lay out pretty clearly how much of the country sees the government and the Democrats, and the 2020 election:
The Never Trumpers, if they want to restore their power, have to be the ones at war with the Left: take back education, science, environmental science, and especially government from the clutches of what is increasingly looking like Marxist style government. They need to stop fighting against Trump supporters and start defending them, fighting for them, understanding their plight.
They need to regulate and dominate Big Tech so that they aren’t ruling our lives but are utilities for our lives. They need to reclaim Patriotism, Law and Order and Freedom of Speech from the Trump movement. They won’t do that, though, because they too believe, as the Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes recently said about Trumpism, “the bigots won.”
And that should tell you everything you need to know. They, along with the Left, are fighting against something imaginary - tilting at windmills, perhaps. If they defeat Trump and Trump-ism that is the story that will go down in history books: that they stopped a “fascist,” and a “white supremacist.” If they are defeated, because how can the country continue in a Soviet-style climate of fear, then history books will have to reckon with what the Left became at the hands of mass hysteria, partisan media, and hypnotic, destructive social media algorithms that poisoned their brains and distorted their grip on reality.