Understanding MAGA – Chapter 72

I have been diligently trying to understand the rationale that some folks have in praising Trump. One of those efforts was to read a book entitled In Defense Of Elitism by Joel Stein. The author was recently interviewed on the PBS Newshour of which I am a regular viewer. Some points I gleaned from the book is what this post is all about.

One thing I realize is that MAGA folks are not a one-flavor crowd, but instead a rainbow coalition. I know many of them would hate that description, but maybe that is the reason why I use it. 😆 Anyway the book shown above is really not what I expected it to be but I got a pretty good glimpse of a significant segment of MAGA.

The author went to Miami Texas and spent quite a bit of time interviewing the citizens there. Miami is a rather small town of 600 or so. Their claim to fame is that over 90% of them voted for Trump in 2016. Most of the interviews were pretty much what I expected and reinforced one of the typical MAGA stereotypes. There were dozens of stories in the book but I must admit that after a while I started skimming. I just didn’t have the patience for reading all of them

For this post, I won’t go into any details of the biases of the folks apparently have. Instead, I want to concentrate on some words the author used to sum things up toward the end of the book.

I can certainly see that Trump is a disruption, and that is probably a significant reason for his adoration by some. Many MAGA folks are as the red letters suggest and grabbing at anything that might prevent the changes that are happening in the world around them. They just want to give a giant middle finger to all of us who they see as looking down on them.

But the scary part of this strategy is that they seem to not understand just how frail a democracy is. I will say it again here, proud ignorance is not an option for democracy and that is what seems to be happening with the segment of MAGA discussed today.

This book reinforced my belief that much of the turmoil in our country right now is driven by fear of change. Change is accelerating at an ever quickening pace now and there is no end to that trend in sight. But, you can’t convince someone to embrace change if they have utterly stopped listening to anything that might affect their attitudes.

Of course, I understand that the people in this book are only one of many disparate groups among the MAGA clan but I kinda think that disruption is a root of many other groups as well.

3 comments

  1. Yesterday, the leading Christian publication, Christianity Today, called for Mr. Trump’s removal from office. The main reason is his complete lack of morality. The “good” he does with judge appointments or cracking down on immigrants can’t make up for his total lack of a moral center. Christians cannot continue to support someone who is the antithesis of this key tenant of the faith.

    I find this decision by the publishers of C.T. to be a major crack in the solid evangelical base he enjoys. With its readership strongest among white suburban women and younger believers, I will be fascinated to see what the ramifications are. I fully expect him to tweet out some nasty response, one which will prove the magazine’s point.

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  2. Quick update: a few hours ago Trump trashed the magazine as being “Far Left” and said he won’t read it any more (as if he ever did). To dump on the most influential mainstream-conservative Christian publication in the country may be more important to his departure than anything done in the impeachment hearings. Like an animal chewing off its leg to get out of a trap, he is turning on his own base in a vicious, hurtful way.

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    • Yeah, I have been following this too Bob. CT was a creation of Billy Graham who I always admired for the honesty. Graham’s son said, his father would be disappointed in CT, but in reality his father would be totally devastated by where his son has taken his life’s work. It took guts for CT to make the statement they did. Maybe, just maybe it will be the “Have you no shame” moment for some Evangelicals as it was for some congressmen during the McCarthy years. BTW, a special on the McCarthy years is going to be on American Experience on January 6. They say the comparison of those years to now is frightful. I plan on watching.

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