White Christian Existential Panic

Trump and Putin

Lately it’s hard to ignore MAGAs’ dangerous attraction to white, male authoritarian rulers.  What the hell?!  Donald Trump and other prominent MAGAs, including House Speaker Johnson and “media personality” Tucker Carlson, are delighting in reverence for Russia’s authoritarian dictator, Vladimir Putin, seemingly unfazed by his continued war in Ukraine or his murder of Alexi Navalny.  And there’s no evidence that Trump’s MAGA followers object to his cozying up to a former communist KGB agent.  Needless to say, the Republican Party has come a long way since the days of Ronald Reagan (who was horrible in his own right, but that’s a separate subject). 

As I’ve discussed before, it should be acknowledged that we have a tremendous problem at our southern border based on a confluence of factors, but MAGA fear of brown immigrants “invading” the country (“they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” etc.) is way overblown and clearly harkens back to white America’s primal fear of slave rebellions and Indian uprisings.  If there’s anything these people hate more than Critical Race theory (CRT) it’s facing the inescapable truth that white-skinned Europeans conquered North America for Christendom and grew wealthy and powerful because the “Cotton Kingdom” enslaved Africans for profit.  American school children were taught that everything their white Christian nation did was unquestionably noble and righteous, a fantasy-laden version of a history that wasn’t very pretty.  In fact, to their minds, “taming the wilderness” is at the very core of what made America great, and can seemingly make it “great again”—with the help of an authoritarian leader like Donald Trump.

MAGA Christian nationalism seeks to give that old fantasy-laden version of American history a new lease on life, the perennial lipstick on a pig. Perpetuating this fantasy is a terrible burden, a cross to bear, if you’ll pardon the terrible pun.  Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect people to abandon a fantasy of such mythic proportions—the biggest lie among all America’s big lies—but forcing the rest of us to live in their fantasy is no less unrealistic.  In fact, if Donald Trump’s first term in office is any indication, it’s downright painful.

Trump’s Romance with Putin is an Ugly Symptom of White Christendom’s Battle Against Pluralist Democracy, the Non-White, the Woke, and the Inevitably Global.

MAGAs’ inability to confront the reality of history is driving them to seek the protection of a terrible demagogue, Donald Trump, who pretends to be their champion and savior. Trump not only doesn’t care about NATO or Ukraine’s destruction, as Putin’s most useful idiot (in a close race with Tucker Carlson) he’s happy to allow the murderous Russian dictator to restore the Russian empire, the world order of 75 years and the future of the NATO countries be damned.  Afterall, bombastic white men’s empires are something Trump’s stupid, narcissistic mind can easily relate to, and MAGAs don’t care if Putin is sending thousands of Russian soldiers to their death on behalf of a mythic “Russian motherland;” no, they see him as an ally in their battle against the non-white, the woke, the pluralist, and the inevitably global (never mind that Ukraine and the NATO countries are “whiter” than many of the far-flung ethnic Russians Putin is sacrificing on behalf of his war effort, something that is also fodder for a separate discussion, pardon another sad pun.) 

MAGAs are frightened and looking for a king who will protect them.  They consider anyone or anything that threatens their fantasy to be their enemy, and they’ll seemingly fight a holy war to the death to preserve it.  America fought a revolution to escape living under a monarchy, but now MAGAs want a king, whether it be Trump, Putin, or even Viktor Orban, Trump’s idol in Hungary (no, not Turkey, Donald!), any authoritarian white man they mistakenly think will fight for their, inevitably lost, cause.

“I’ve got something obvious to tell you.  You’re not allowed to give up.  If they decide to kill me, it means that we are incredibly strong.  We need to utilize this power to not give up, to remember we are a huge power that is being oppressed by these bad dudes.  We don’t realize how strong we actually are.”

Alexei Navalny, 2022

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