Stormy Daniels and Cricket the Dog

An assault rifle laying on top of the American flag

Two events in the news last week highlight MAGA’s ugly machismo tendencies, its pent-up anger and readiness to engage in violence: ambitious up-and-comer Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, shooting her dog, Cricket; quickly followed by more information than most of us cared to know about Donald Trump’s affair with adult movie actress Stormy Daniels.  I would contend these two stories aren’t as unrelated as they might first appear.  

The governor didn’t have to kill Cricket and she certainly didn’t have to recount the episode in her memoir.  What a revealing display of the MAGA mind, its lack of tolerance and compassion; these people want to kill or otherwise dispose of anything or anyone that doesn’t comply with their own worldview.  The governor was no doubt confident the MAGA “base” would understand her message—talk about a dog whistle!  To their way of thinking, violence is something necessary, and ultimately unavoidable, that requires resolute strength.  Translation: in MAGA world it’s okay to dispose of minorities and the marginalized, anyone who poses a threat.  All her sick talk of how “it had to be done” sounds like the worst authoritarian rationalizations for disposing of undesirable elements—Stalin’s Gulags or Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

That brings us back to Donald Trump.  You don’t need to know all the tawdry details of the Stormy Daniels “hush money” trial to know he has a serious problem with women.  But why don’t such revelations, including his previous conviction for sexual assault, offend his Christian base?  If these people truly feel their Christian values are under attack, what could exemplify it more than Trump’s behavior?  Well, perhaps it’s a matter of what they hate and fear the most.  What could be more offensive to the college-educated women they love to hate, a more blatant insult to their sensitivities, than Donald Trump, a 60-year-old married man, having sex with a 27-year-old porn star?  These people may love Jesus, but not nearly as much as they hate the “radical left’ and all its threats to their world. They perceive Trump as their savior, regardless of his flaws and crimes.

For Evangelical Christians Who Support Trump, the Teachings of Jesus Will Just Have to Wait.

Donald Trump looking in the distance

We know that evangelical Christians form the core of Trump’s base, despite his being one of the least Christian men who ever lived.  We’ve heard all the explanations of why they forgive him for his sins, that God uses strange messengers and so forth.  We’ve become accustomed to antics like holding a Bible upside-down in front of a church he didn’t attend, but the hush money” trial has brought the extraordinary contradiction back to the fore.  What attracts these supposedly Christian people to this horrible man and why are they so steadfastly loyal?  

Given this humble spirit has asked these questions before, it should be obvious I don’t have the answers.  But I’m convinced it originates in their terrible fear, a phenomenon the right-wing media machine stokes constantly—fear of the multi-racial society America has become; fear of a wider world beyond the confines of their beloved “real” America, fear of what the future holds in an increasingly globalized world.  Too many of these people have lost their hope and aspirations; they are desperate for a strongman like Donald Trump to fight their battles, slay their enemies, and protect them against the impending reality.  Their hatred and downright mortal terror demands vengeance and retribution at every turn, and the teachings of Jesus Christ will just have to wait.

A lot of people weren’t surprised by the revelations in the hush money case; it’s why they mistakenly thought Trump could never run for president.  But they didn’t yet understand that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and no one would care.  

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