Inauguration Eve: a roundup of MAGA hearts and minds

January 20th: the day the Trumptanic hits the iceberg.

Not in MAGA-world, however. The fantastical among Trump’s devotees still believe that Trump’s long-awaited plan will unfold to keep him President. Even after Biden is inaugurated, some will hold on to the belief that Trump will rise again, Christlike, to restore order. Others have adjusted to reality with varying degrees of resignation, anger, and strangely, self-deprecating irony.

(Featured image: Allyn Cox (painting). Photograph by the Architect of the Capitol., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

National Guard

Trump fans are avid consumers of every little tidbit news that could be read to tell a gratifying story. The presence of troops and blockades in DC is being interpreted as a move by Trump-friendly forces to protect his Presidency. Some say the Guard is in DC due to the Insurrection Act being signed by Trump. How could it be otherwise—would troops controlled by the Commander-in-Chief act contrary to his interest? In fact, they assume that Joe Biden and his allies should be wary of the National Guard, as they risk the military acting against them.


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

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ItalyGate

Some still hold on to the hope that election fraud will be proven in these last days, and not only will Obama be found out as the perpetrator of the fraud, but that Trump will remain President.

Now there have been as many election-fraud panics among the MAGA base as there have been days since November 3. We’ve seen C-team lawyers like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood promise “The Kraken” of lawsuits, then get meticulously debunked in court after court. We have seen the maker of Dominion voting machines sue Sidney Powell for defamation.

But election fraud theories live on, even at this late date, with a new versions of the same old one. The theory that succeeded the Kraken in MAGA minds is called #ItalyDidIt. This is a convoluted conspiracy theory that Obama worked with former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to flip votes from Trump to Biden.

ItalyGate is promoted by the usual cast of characters: former CIA agent Bradley Johnson; former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne; Mike Lindell the MyPillow CEO—and some new ones, including Maria Strollo Zack, head of a Florida-based organization called Nations in Action. In a video interview, Zack states baldly: “the theft of the US election was orchestrated in the Rome Embassy.”

The upshot is that MAGA media expected that “proof” of this hack, having been delivered to Congress on the morning of January 6th, would result in Pence overturning the election. Deflated that this did not happen, they still expect Obama to be in handcuffs soon.


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Even people who show some skepticism towards the ItalyGate narrative claim they at least want to see the story “vetted” by the press. Ignored is the fact that the story is too fantastical to be covered as straight news, and when it is debunked, for example by Reuters, they disregard it as driven by the Deep State.


Source: TheDonald[.]win


Declassification

In the MAGA mind, these arrests can only occur after the crucial step of declassifying certain documents, a sort of ritualistic thumbs down or “behead” hand signal from Trump that they have been waiting for since the Nunes memo in 2017. The subject changes, but the expectation that declassification of documents will somehow lead to the Storm, where the enemies of Trump are arrested, remains alive.

Most recently, the declassification mythology was promoted by Rep. Lauren Boebert on Gab:



John Solomon, discredited conspiracy theorist, who for years propagated falsehoods about the Russia investigation from his editorial position at The Hill, now runs his own website called JustTheNews.com. A few days ago, he promoted “declassification” on Lou Dobbs’s show on Fox Business. This would unravel ObamaGate, Solomon said, by releasing a foot-high stack of documents:


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MAGA fantasies

Many in the MAGA community show faith that Trump will win—even at this late date—without even trying to explain what this faith is based on. “Trump plays 4-dimensional chess” is enough. TheDonald[.]win, the forum that replaced the The_Donald subreddit that was killed, has a popular thread called “Only four more days, until four more years” that received thousands of upvotes and responses. While many showed doubt, some responses were merely expressions of faith.


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Some express confusion at the number of plotlines that Q, the mysterious figure feeding fantasies to MAGA, has introduced: but it doesn’t matter, they go on to say; the plotlines will converge on January 20th to keep Trump President.


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Sometimes the schemes that Trump will use to stay in power lurch into the fantastical and bizarre. This is why many analysts have said QAnon bears more resemblance to a religion than a political ideology.

One sees many of these thrown around on the QAnon-friendly forum GreatAwakening[.]win. A cursory look brings up theories about quantum computing; JFK Jr. still being alive and about to reveal himself; something called “looking backwards and forwards in time”; and something called “projection” that will involve a message broadcast by Trump on every device in the world.


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Always, fantastical though they may be, the undercurrent to these theories is a militaristic desire to install Trump through force; and a notion that underneath it all, the military is on their side.


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Source: GreatAwakening[.]win. DS=Deep State

In many ways, QAnon-adherents are like children. The narratives they have followed over the years match plotlines of Hollywood blockbusters, from The Matrix to Fight Club. There’s usually an undercurrent of spy thrillers, with the fantasy that Democrats will be “caught”, and come undone the way villains do in the movies. This is why “Panic in DC” has become such a slogan among the QAnon cultists:


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

This morning, I even saw a plotline from Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film The Prestige—that Trump is in the know about Nikola Tesla’s…well…”stuff”:


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

The Hopium-Doomer battle

Harsh reality keeps intruding into the MAGA worldview: that Trump will no longer be President on January 20th—only to be downvoted and quashed by others in the community. Of the two forums, TheDonald[.]win and GreatAwakening[.]win, the former tends to have a stronger grip on reality. But even in this forum, what they self-deprecatingly call “Hopium” most often shouts down “Doomium”.

But many among the MAGA keep pointing out that their battle is lost:


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Trump’s January 13th statement asking for an end to violence got people’s attention and spawned a thread on TheDonald[.]win. It disappointed many that the fight appeared to have gone out of him. Perhaps there had never been a plan at all. Either they had all been snookered by Trump, or perhaps the 4-d chess had yet a few more days to play out. Or perhaps, Trump was merely weak, one man against the Deep State, and had merely failed, as solitary men often do. But if so, why hadn’t he called on them to become his army more explicitly?


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

In fact, Trump’s reaction to the January 6 Capitol insurrection has led to widespread disappointment. His base is acutely aware that they were first invited to Stop the Steal, incited into storming the Capitol—then asked to stand down without finishing the job, and later denounced as lawbreakers with the Feds knocking at their door.


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

Amid the stream of recriminations I saw some remarkably self-aware posts about how, in the absence of good information from the man himself, they were led down a path of delusion. They needed a general, but all they got were anons:


Source: TheDonald[.]win

There’s also a recognition, specially on the TheDonald[.]win forum, that “being hopped up on Q shit” has led them into defeat and despair.


Source: TheDonald[.]win
Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

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QAnon post-January 20th

Truth be told, such self-awareness is rare. The true-believers will be bereft if nothing comes of the fantasies they have believed in for the last few years; and as for the grifters who have gained clout (and in most cases, riches) through spreading these fantasies, they would like the grift to continue, thank you very much.

QAnon began with a gratifying lie: that Hillary Clinton had been arrested. Those hopes—if one is permitted to call them that—were dashed. From then, the grifters who make up these fantasies have dangled date after date, always a few months in the future, as the moment The Storm will be declared, Democrats will be arrested, and the world will be put right.

Here we are, again. This time, the date when the world will right itself is March 4, 2021. And the theory that supports it is bizarre: “Trump will take office on March 4, as the 19th President of the restored Republic.”

A copypasta called “Keep the Faith” making rounds among MAGA social media accounts goes like this. While it may appear as if Biden is being sworn in on January 20th, this is an illusion. This is because the country we live in is no longer the United States of America, the Republic—it is USA Inc., a corporation. Trump will activate the Insurrection Act, and this corporation will be dissolved. Trump will assume the office of the 19th President of the United States, the Republic, reconstituted, on March 4th. In the minds of the believers, this also goes with ending the Fed and a return to the gold standard.

These theories are bouncing around social media right now; here is merely a taste.


Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

Source: GreatAwakening[.]win

What comes next

One way or another, January 20th will be an epochal date for the MAGA faithful. The movement will splinter, as many themselves recognize. Some realized the game was at an end when the Electoral College voted on December 14th; others when the Capitol Insurrection failed at reinstating Trump. Some will wait for Trump’s reincarnation as the 2024 candidate under the banner of a new Lost Cause. Some will go deeper into fantasy, and believe that Biden is merely a clone or that Trump is still running the show from a bunker at Mar-a-Lago. Some will give up out of despair and return to political non-involvement or militancy. Grifters will continue to milk MAGAs for cash or clout, selling them pretty stories and gold-plated Trump coins.

But I did see some hopeful signs. Some, out of the depths of despair, advocated returning to grassroots political involvement: voting, joining city councils, etc., to keep their civic involvement going. No doubt, these sentiments often got downvoted and in one case, denounced as “faggotry”. But an equal number upvoted them too.

MAGA policy-preferences are not mine. Their political involvement will be on the opposite side to mine. However, this would be the best outcome: for them to put their shoulder to the wheel like the rest of us.


Source: TheDonald[.]win

Source: TheDonald[.]win

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