Apparently, MAGA hats are the new Klan hoods.
Or so I’ve been told relentlessly the past few days after the infamous incident with the MAGA hat wearing teens and the Native elder at the March for Life over the weekend. The narrative about Trump supporters being the new Nazis or Klan has been developing for a long time, and this weekend brought it back with the fury of a hurricane. I have watched this video from every conceivable angle, and read every single interpretation of the event. I have written before about how our biases and prejudices color every event we witness, and this is one of the clearest examples I’ve ever witnessed. The Scott Adams “Two movies, one screen” theory that I wrote about in my book has never been more evident than it was during this entire narrative. Both sides saw their version of events, so let’s have a look to see if we can uncover the truth.
One side saw a bunch of MAGA hat wearing thugs surrounding a Native American, hearkening back to the harassment of African Americans during the Civil Rights era. The teen’s “weaponized smirk” as I heard it called by one prominent leftist, to them is a manifestation of everything they have railed about during the entire Trump presidency. The smirk and surrounding chants were the fulfillment of Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-people of color message. For them, the smirk was the culmination of white male privilege in the Trump era. In the wake of the episode, the teens were not only targeted by outrage mobs calling for them to be expelled but also numerous threats of both violence and doxxing of their private lives.
The other side saw teens standing around chanting school fight songs when a man they didn’t know came up to them and started beating a drum in their faces. Unlike the other side, many on this side at least attempted to provide some semblance of nuance. After watching the initial video, many on the “right” decried the actions of the teens as the behavior of idiotic high schoolers, yet still denounced their behavior. Once additional videos began to surface depicting the entire incident from many angles, some on the right completely switched to supporting the teens.
What then is the truth?
It doesn’t matter, and in a moment I will tell you why, but first, let’s look at the evidence.
One of many angles of the video: https://youtu.be/sIG5ZB0fw1k
Based on my viewing of the original, uncut tape, shot from a wide angle, I concluded that the teens could have been a bit more deferential to an elderly man, but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with their actions. In the unedited tape, the teens are clearly approached by left-wing protestors, who began to harass them, then, the elder placed himself in between the groups. He was not surrounded in any way by the teens, and if you watch the longer video, they are actually chanting “whoa, oh, oh,” in rhythm with his drum beats, a chant I have heard at countless Kansas City Chiefs games. I heard no racial slurs, nor did I hear the claim validated that they chanted “build the wall,” or any such other political rhetoric. Sure, the main kid in the video could have backed up and shown more deference, but keep in mind, he was there first. A man he did not know approached and started banging a drum in his face. What should he have done? What would you do?
So let’s assume what I just wrote is “the truth.”
It still doesn’t matter. The narrative is set.
Regardless of the truth, millions of people already shared the initial video, and have already received confirmation of what they already believed, that Donald Trump is leading a new movement of white supremacy and hate in America. They will not look at the full video and apply any context or nuance whatsoever. Even if the main players in this episode, the news media, back down after viewing the entire video, it won’t matter because the hard left has already received the validation they needed. Since they believe they are combatting a modern day Hitler youth or SS brigade, they have all the justification necessary for assault or ruining someone’s life. Even if they acknowledge that this particular incident was not as bad as they were led to believe, they still feel that it fits an overall “pattern” of behavior of people during the Trump administration.
As an aside, this situation is precisely why even video and photographic evidence are no longer the bulletproof evidence that we sometimes believe them to be. Nearly any incident can be changed entirely by even a few seconds worth of editing, completely altering the context. If you are on the right, or even the middle, you must now understand that any action you take may be edited out of context to make you look guilty. Once that edited video surfaces and the outrage mobs descend upon you, the truth will not matter one iota. You are just another modern day Nazi, ready to ship people off to concentration camps, and you must be stopped at all costs.
When ANTIFA members physically assaulted a veteran, or when a group of BLM advocates literally beat a 70+-year-old man, it got ZERO mainstream coverage outside of Fox. Ask yourself why that is, that one side is capable of getting a free pass for outright assault, and the other is demonized as Nazis just for wearing a hat and smirking. In addition, I will tell you what most Trump supporters already know and have known from day one. If you wear a MAGA hat in public or have a Trump shirt or bumper sticker, you are highly likely to be assaulted physically. I know many hardcore Trump supporters that will not breathe a word of it in public, solely because they are completely aware that they are likely to have their property destroyed, or receive physical harm.
Ask yourself why one side can get away with outright assault without a blip on the radar, and the other can’t even wear a hat in public. Dangerous times are ahead, now that teens don’t even get a pass for being…teens, so I hope you all stay safe.
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What would you do to stop Hitler from coming to power and imposing an authoritarian regime on your country?
This is the central question one must understand to bring into full focus the events that are taking place in America right now. For the left wing progressives in America, they are attempting to answer that question every day, and at every level of society. Everything we see, from the restaurant harassment, rampant lawsuits, assaults, uncorroborated allegations, all of it is in service to one thing: stopping what the left views as encroaching fascism, and ensuring no one like ”proto-Hitler” Donald Trump ever rises again in America. The left, unsurprisingly, acts as the collectivist Communists that they are, organizing multiple levels of resistance to ensure they are never sold into breeding slavery by the Christian right, just as the Handmaid’s Tale predicted, which they view as more of a documentary than a work of fiction. As absurd as that view is, the hard left believes with every fiber of their being that the stakes are just that high, and they act accordingly.
Brett Kavanaugh is finding out the hard way what it means to face full-scale opposition from the left. The death threats, harassment, and assault allegations all began on the day he was nominated for the Supreme Court. At that moment, the entire left wing machine sprung into action using the full weight of everything they’ve learned opposing Donald Trump for two years. Buoyed by the 11th-hour accusations that Brett Kavanaugh is a serial gang rapist and staggering drunk, a view perpetuated by nearly all of the media, Hollywood, and leftist politicians, harassment and intimidation have become the new norm. Kavanaugh will likely need round the clock security for the rest of his life, due to the existential threat that they believe he poses. Where Gorsuch was opposed, they viewed him as a one for one replacement for Antonin Scalia; thus they didn’t bring to bear the full weight of opposition. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, represents the loss of the Supreme Court for a generation; thus he is viewed as an existential threat at a far higher level than Gorsuch.
The purpose of all of this resistance is not just stopping Trump and Kavanaugh; there is a bigger plan being executed: to ensure no Trumpian (or even brashly conservative) candidate ever arises again. Besides the dozens of lawsuits targeting Trump himself, everyone who is even tangentially associated with him has frivolous lawsuits and investigations targeting them, all in an effort to not only destroy them but to set an example of what happens when you interfere with the left wing machine. That is what all of the public harassment and lawfare is all about: showing future conservatives what their life will be like if they dare to be conservative in public. For some, it even goes further, as it did when radical Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson shot up a baseball field full of Republicans. So effectively has the left and their media allies ginned up their base on the Hitler comparisons, that it is dangerous to actually be a conservative in public. Let that one sink in for just moment: It has actually become dangerous to be a Republican in public. I personally know people that will not out themselves at work or even to some friends, fearing retribution.
For once, even moderate conservatives finally realize the scale of the fight that we (the Trump base) are in and have been screaming about from the beginning. Brett Kavanaugh had a reputation as sterling as any conservative in the world, and the left has managed to taint him for life, even if he is confirmed. There are already talks on the left about impeaching him or expanding the Supreme Court to offset both him and Gorsuch since they view those as stolen seats given the 2018 election. The only thing “good” that may come from all of this character assassination of Kavanaugh is that some moderate Republicans might realize the scale of the fight they have been unwittingly dragged into, and act as if they are in an existential war. The left was perfectly fine allowing controlled opposition; but Trump has them scared because, with every day that passes, he teaches Republicans how to play hardball. Lindsey Graham, a man I reviled for a very long time, over the last year, has stepped into the crucible of combat, as evidenced by his torching of Senate Democrats. Jeff Flake, on the other hand, continues to get played, acting like a pathetic baby whenever he’s confronted.
Kavanaugh himself recognized the effort to keep “good people out of public service,” as part of his testimony, but what he meant was “keep Republicans out of public service.” After all, watching the disgusting smears, mounting legal fees, frivolous investigations, and constant harassment, who wouldn’t think twice about entering public life as a Republican? Make no mistake; they want you to see the harassment Ted Cruz, Sarah Sanders, and other Republicans are getting, to make people think twice. Not everyone is a multi-billionaire like Donald Trump, that can easily handle the myriad of lawsuits and afford security 24/7. He is an outlier that is immune on numerous levels to their shenanigans, so they have shifted targets a bit to anyone associated with his administration. You may have noticed that we virtually never hear about Russia anymore; the narrative has shifted due to the fact that very little sticks to Trump himself. He might be made of Teflon, but many are not, and can’t afford to have their lives ruined. That is why these tactics must fail, at all costs. Any hint that they work, will only encourage the hard left to continue from the same playbook in perpetuity.
I hope we haven’t already passed that point.
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Nazis and the NFL
Over the weekend, we had news regarding both Nazis and football. We had a walkout of a football game by the Vice President, and we had more Nazis in Charlottesville. Immediately as we usually do, factions formed. One group was happy that the Vice President took a stand and supported the administration’s view that protesting the flag and disrespecting veterans was unpatriotic. Another group was incensed at not only that action, but the lack of recognition of the white supremacists in Charlottesville the night before. All over Twitter and social media I saw people saying how can the President be talking about football protests when there are Nazis marching in the streets?
Hopefully I can answer that question. First lets understand a few things. I understand that the protests are about perceived inequality, oppression, and police violence. That’s the root of the reason the protests are happening. It did metastasize into an anti-Trump protest after he said something about it, but the root of it is the oppression argument. Then we have the “Nazis”. The people in Charlottesville were Richard Spencer and about 20 of his Alt-Right goons. So, obviously one side is clearly worse in this scenario, that being the white supremacists. So, when we have two situations, where one is clearly worse than the other, why would the President ignore the worst of the two, and spend a bunch of time slamming the other?
The answer: He’s trying to “trump” both at the same time, with one argument.
The argument that he’s using is what Scott Adams calls “The High Ground Maneuver.” The high ground maneuver is a technique in persuasion where you skip right past the details of an argument and elevate it to a higher place that is harder to argue with. His “High Ground Maneuver” is the brand of America. He’s skipping right over all the race-related arguments and calling us all to a greater ideal: Uniting in the name of the country to stand for the anthem. You see, Trump is a nationalistic president in uncharted territory. No world leader, save his predecessor, maybe ever, has to lead a nation that is more multicultural than the current United States. So how do you engender nationalism, in a nation with so many disparate races, religions, and ideology? Obama, by any measure, was not nationalistic at all, and race and ideology divisions fractured even more under his leadership. When it came to uniting America, President Obama was an abject failure.
The closest I can think of to nationalism that we’ve ever tried was under Reagan. The problem with any comparison to Reagan is that a significant amount of African Americans would likely disagree with you that Reagan presided over a golden age. In addition, Reagan didn’t preside over anywhere near the levels of multiculturalism Trump has in the country, due to the massive amounts of immigration we’ve had. Think of this, Trump has a population that is 61% or so white, 13% black, 19% or so Hispanic, and the rest Asian, Arabic, and Mixed. Then on top of that, he has multiple disparate religions and beliefs. You have Christians, Muslims, atheists, and every other type of religion. What he has before him is likely the most difficult leadership job in all of human history, in terms of pure demographics and beliefs. The only thing that is common to all of them other than just basic humanity, is the country. In addition, a multicultural nationalist has basically never happened. Trump is not in great company here since every single other nationalist ruler has presided over essentially an ethnostate, such as Hitler or Kim Il-Sung. He can’t unite via religion or race because there too many different ones. The only tool he has is the country’s ideals.
So I know what you are thinking, how can it be unifying to trash players who don’t stand for the anthem? Wouldn’t it be easier to condemn Nazis and get everyone to unite around that? The answer is no because that’s too small of an idea. We already agree to that, at least all the non-Nazis do, which is the 99% of people. Uniting around disliking or hating something isn’t enough to solve our problems. It has to be bigger. Right now we are too broken to unify. There is nothing he could say that would even start to unify the country. Half of the country literally believes we are in the beginnings of a fascist and racist dictatorship. The only thing that can make that belief fade, is time and gradual action. This is a long-term rebuilding and reimagining process of the brand of America, and what it means to be a citizen of this country. I think he’s aware, as I certainly am, this process will literally take years. If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not sure it’s even possible. We are retreating into tribalism more than ever before, and social media is only exasperating the problem.
He said in a video over 20 years ago, that he wanted to see a leader who is “a cheerleader for America”. No one ever came along to do it, so he decided to do it himself. He is positioning himself as the most patriotic person alive and even built his campaign around improving the “brand” of America. Think of this, every single thing he utters that’s even vaguely pro-America gets him accused of racism. Apparently, we’ve gotten to a point where liking your country is actually controversial. Why? Because the left has a vested interest in devaluing the brand of the country. If people are nationalistic, there’s no way they will allow the sort of unchecked immigration and economic policy they want. This is why they’ve been so desperate to tie Trump to another nationalist: Adolf Hitler. Despite no policy being even remotely close to Hitler, they were both nationalists, so Make America Great Again must be a Nazi ethnocentric dog whistle.
The reality is that there’s no amount of disavowals he can do that would be enough. So, we are in a rebuilding phase of America’s brand, and he’s going to champion that brand at all costs. In his pursuit of rebuilding the brand, the NFL protests were a golden opportunity to pump up the brand. This is a scenario he really can’t lose, and it gives him a chance to show how ultra pro-America he is. Since he is the President, that sort of gesture matters. If the President isn’t the most patriotic person, why would anyone else be? Obama’s failure to unite the country is rooted not in the fact that he is black, but that he actively, and regularly demonized a significant chunk of the country. So if were the President, I’d immediately rule out any tactic Obama used, because nothing he did worked on the unification front. Isn’t Trump doing the same thing with his anti-NFL player stance? I would argue no, just simply because all he’s asked for is people to stand for the anthem. I would hardly call that a monumental ask. When the Cowboys kneeled before the anthem and stood for it, he praised them. Essentially, as I mentioned earlier, the left has tainted the brand of America so badly that even suggesting something patriotic is now a racist hate crime.
So again, why not denounce Nazis? Setting aside the fact that he has, multiple times, the only reason Richard Spencer and his crew even exist is the media exposure. The first time I heard of Richard Spencer and his crew was in a left wing Atlantic article. The reality is the left needs Spencer, so they promote him with relentless coverage every chance they get. They need someone to point at and stoke their base, despite him being a marginal fringe player at best. No one would even know who these guys are without the incessant media coverage. The truth is that the media loves Nazis, because it gives them an opportunity to play to the base, and demonize Trump. The left-wing media and Richard Spencer’s Alt-Right are symbiotic. They absolutely need each other, and they use one another to achieve their ends. Richard Spencer would absolutely love for Trump to denounce his group because it would lead to even more media coverage, which is exactly his goal. Spencer understands one thing: There is no such thing as bad press.
Trump is playing the only card he has that’s strong enough, theoretically, to unite the country, over time. That card is America itself, and the rebuilding of the brand.
Will it work? Only time will tell.
Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.