Another Friday, and, like last week, I’m ending with a laughable example of the MAGA mindset.
So, Brian from Wisconsin called my SiriusXM program, and he took a slightly different tack.
First off, he was civil. And he falsely posed as non-MAGA, saying he was going to try to help me make sense of why Republicans still support Donald Trump. (He even went so far at one point as to call Trump an “egotistical, maniacal lunatic” and “probably a jerk.”)
You have to stick with it a little bit, because at first it seems like he's in agreement with me.
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Then he began to make his case, and it was sounding like the same old crap. Trump is an “anti-establishment guy” and an “outsider.”
“If he comes back a second time,” Brian said, “knowing how the levers of government work,” he “could be more effective.”
Ok, that’s when the MAGA cult was totally evident. I, of course, refuted the nonsense about Trump as anti-establishment and an outsider.
And I asked Brian what Trump did for the average person. At first, he didn’t come back right away, so I asked again, and I asked him to list five things Trump did for the average person. I swear it seemed like he then read them from the Trump campaign web site—or they were just well-rehearsed mantras in the cult brain.
I told him all were completely false—including Brian’s claim that Trump “brought peace and prosperity,” and I asked about COVID and the over a million people dead from COVID and the economic calamity that ensued.
Just a couple of things I want to point out: Sometimes when I have calls like this, I’m obviously responding rapidly and collecting all of my thoughts—and yes, getting worked up in the face of someone throwing out distortions—and later I think, wow, I should have said this, and this, and this!
So, in that vein: President Obama didn’t just grow the economy dramatically, as I told Brian when he said Trump grew the economy faster than any president; he took us out of the Great Recession, which George Bush and the GOP helped create by deregulating banks and pouring trillions into Iraq.
Brian also said, as one of the five great things Trump did, that Trump allocated money to historically Black colleges and universities, and I pointed out that so did President Obama and even President Bush.
But in fact, Trump simply signed a bill “restoring” $250,000 million that lapsed when Republicans in Congress failed to renew it, and Democrats in the Senate pushed for it. (This came after Trump himself threatened to cut $20 million from HBCUs in 2017 and backed off after supporters implored him not to do it.) President Obama, over the course of his presidency, allocated $4 billion to HBCUs. And Bush actually increased funding by 30% in his budgets, which recklessly cut many other programs.
Also, when I said that if Trump had actually handled COVID well, he’d have won in a landslide, just like Bush after 9/11, that obviously was a misstatement. Mea culpa. Bush didn’t run right after 9/11 (he’d just been elected to office the year before); his approval, which is what I meant, soared because of the way he spoke to the nation about 9/11, unlike the way Trump spoke about COVID. (Bush of course would see that approval tumble because of the reckless, criminal Iraq War, and he barely won re-election in 2004.)
Also, I don’t really think Trump would have won if he handled COVID well, because of all the other terrible things he did as president. It is, of course, unknowable, because if Trump had handled COVID well, he’d likely have handled a lot of other things better, as it would have shown him as a better president and a better person. He is simply a horrible human being.
All of that said, listen in and let me know your thoughts. And have a great weekend!