Wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap
Accompanying a recent news article about a disturbing, congealing far-right political movement, QAnon, was a photograph of MAGA supporters, likely taken at Trump’s last stadium-size rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the center of the photo stood a man wearing a baseball cap and a white T-shirt with a large Q in the center. That letter was clearly the target of the image.
As with all such pictures of those attending MAGA rallies — in print or on television — I find myself studying the people, especially those standing on elevated bleachers behind the podium, men and women, mostly white. I always feel a compelling curiosity about them, their expressions of adoration and excitement unmistakable, as if they were a congregation attending a religious revival. And I reflect on Trump’s tweets, rally riffs, responses to questions at press gaggles and his Corona virus briefings, most a cascading stream of grievances, crude ad hominem attacks, conspiracy laden rants, most untethered from reality or truth. And I wonder, “Who are these people? Have we not watched the same movie for four years?”
In any case, find below my list of assumptions about the MAGAs, in no special order:
You believe, despite the recent bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was not encouraged by nor intended to aid the Trump campaign and that the Mueller investigation was a “witch hunt.” You remain unconcerned that Russian trolls, absent any American push back, are back in 2020 for a second bite of the election interference apple.
You agree with the Trump policy of separating migrant children from their parents and holding them in cages.
Climate change is a “hoax,” and withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord was therefore an appropriate response. You question the science that confirms climate change and do not view global warming as an existential threat to our planet.
You believe with the faith of the newly ordained that if Trump loses in November it will mean that the election was “rigged” and the outcome should be challenged, no matter the size of the Biden win. A peaceful transition will be in doubt.
You agree with Trump that mail-in ballots encourage fraud and cannot be relied on, despite the lack of any data proving such outcomes.
You believe COVID-19 is the equivalent of the seasonal flu and will, like magic, disappear. No national plan, guidelines, testing or tracing are necessary. Meanwhile, masks are a governmental intrusion to be ignored. Ditto social distancing or hand-washing. In Trump’s word, “Liberate!”
You believe Trump is a “law-and-order president,” no matter that he is “Individual 1” or that seven of his closest aides have been indicted or jailed, the most recent being Steve Bannon.
You are convinced that Trump’s quid pro quo impeachment was without substance or merit; rather, it was a purely political exercise by Democrats.
You think delaying the election makes pandemic sense.
You think the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be repealed (this fall the Supreme Court will hear this administration’s argument). The fact that Trump et al. have no replacement is of little consequence. You are aware that 20 million people will lose their health insurance and “pre-existing conditions” will be in the wind.
You are satisfied that the stock market surge is a leading indicator that America’s economy and the nation have recovered from the virus. The reality that mothers put their children to bed hungry, some 30 million are unemployed while food bank lines grow, or there have been 176,000 COVID-19 deaths and close to 6 million virus cases in the U.S. is, well, tangential. “It is what it is.”
Ingesting or injecting bleach/ Hydroxy/Oleandrin is just possibly a prophylactic. The F.D.A. is now part of the “deep state.”
You agree that Trump’s resistance to disclosing his tax returns is a matter of an ongoing audit or an issue of privacy.
Trump does not pose an existential threat to our democracy. Right?
Chris Honoré is an Ashland Tidings columnist.