Trump's Support On The Lunatic Fringe Is Finally Starting To Crumble
Late yesterday, pressured by employees after Trump tweeted another post that could incite violence, Twitter announced that it had kicked Trump off the platform and permanently shut down his account. So, no more Facebook and no more Twitter. On top of that many of the MAGA faithful have turned on him now, though not for the same reason normal people oppose him. "All it took," wrote Tina Nguyen, "was for the president to acknowledge the reality of his loss a little over a day after they, the MAGA faithful, stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. 'People were willing to die for this man and he just threw them all under the bus. That’s the only thing that’s shameful about the events of the past 36 hours,' Nick Fuentes, the host of the America First podcast and the unofficial leader of the white nationalist Groyper Army, angrily tweeted, shortly after Trump released a video Thursday night in which he conceded that Biden would be the next president and called for political reconciliation. Cassandra Fairbanks, a prominent MAGA activist, tweeted: "[He] tells angry people to march to the capitol [and then] proceeds to throw his supporters under the bus.' Jacob Wohl, the political dirty trickster known for failed plots to incriminate Trump critics, reposted her Tweet on his Parler page. And when far-right stunt journalist and failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer posted Trump’s concession video on Parler-- 'It’s over,' Loomer bemoaned, 'Life is about to become very hard for conservatives in America-'- the people in her replies were aghast that she acknowledged Trump’s own words. 'He DID NOT CONCEDE! ITS HIS NEW ADMINISTRATION that will be coming in,' one respondent wrote, a sentiment repeated ad nauseam down her feed."
The despondency among the MAGA faithful online represented perhaps the sharpest break the community has ever made with a president they’ve exalted. But it also prompted a familiar brand of skepticism that has marked the past four years: Was Trump merely trying to placate his establishment handlers? Or did he truly betray the MAGA movement, days after several of his followers died while following his instructions to storm the Capitol?
...[Anger] was directed at Trump for letting things get this far. Over on Parler, the social media platform beloved by the MAGA community for its lax moderation policies, users erupted in a fury, calling him a number of expletives, a “dildo,” and “100% THE SWAMP.”
Some tried to distance themselves from Trump despite their years of activity in MAGAworld, while aiming to redirect their followers’ anger at the next administration. "Yes there were issues. Call those out. Yes after FISA fraud and hoax after hoax, put pressure on Democrats and recognize they have no moral authority," posted Mike Cernovich, a pizzagate conspiracist who was once nearly an investigative journalist. "But never, ever, go all in Trump."
The Daily Beast reported yesterday that Trump is having second thoughts about having done the video and knows it pissed off the crackpot fringe supporters he depends on. "[M]any of Trump’s hardcore supporters," wrote Will Sommer and Asawin Suebsaeng, "were distraught to see Trump call for prosecution of the rioters 'heinous' actions, just a day after he urged them to go to the Capitol in a speech outside the White House. On the pro-Trump forum The Donald, some Trump supporters saw the video as proof Trump had abandoned them to the predations of a Democratic Party that will soon control the White House and both houses of Congress. A 4,000-comment thread reacting to Trump’s speech appeared to have been deleted by Friday."
Overnight polling on Thursday that "a quarter of Trump voters agree that actions should be taken to immediately remove him from office. Further, 41% of Trump voters believe he has 'betrayed the values and interests of the Republican Party.' This emerging disapproval is not only of Trump, but also of fellow Trump supporters who incited or engaged in violence. Two-thirds (66%) of Trump voters oppose the actions of Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol with 44% saying these actions 'betrayed American values.' Over half (55%) say they should be prosecuted for their actions and 29% believe they committed treason. More broadly, 62% of Americans hold Trump responsible for yesterday’s events and say he should be removed by the 25th Amendment or impeachment. This disapproval extends well beyond Trump with 71% of Americans saying the GOP Members of Congress who promoted or supported yesterday’s actions should either resign or be censured. Finally, 75% of Americans and 55% of Trump voters want the people who stormed the Capitol building to be prosecuted."
Paul Krugman's come a long way: "It’s time to stand up to the fascists among us." And he labeled Trump, although not McConnell, "a fascist-- an authoritarian willing to use violence to achieve his racial nationalist goals. So are many of his supporters. If you had any doubts about that, Wednesday’s attack on Congress should have ended them. And if history teaches us one lesson about dealing with fascists, it is the futility of appeasement. Giving in to fascists doesn’t pacify them, it just encourages them to go further... [T]his isn’t over. If you aren’t terrified about what Trump might do between now and Inauguration Day, you haven’t been paying attention. And I can’t be the only person worried about what will happen during the inauguration itself. After the failure to protect Congress, how can we be sure there will be adequate security during the presidential transition? Not long ago such concerns might have seemed paranoid, but now they seem utterly reasonable. And even if the inauguration goes off smoothly, the threat will remain. If you imagine that the people who stormed the Capitol will just go away once Biden is installed in the White House, you’re delusional. So what can be done? It’s time to stop appeasing the fascists among us. Law enforcement should seek to arrest as many of the participants in Wednesday’s attack as possible-- some have already been identified, and there’s video evidence that should make it easy to identify many more. And anyone who tries to violently interfere with the transfer of power should also be arrested. Finally, there needs to be an accounting for whatever crimes took place during the past four years-- and does anyone doubt that Trump allies and associates engaged in criminal acts? Don’t say that we should look forward, not back; accountability for past actions will be crucial if we want the future to be better. Appeasement is what got us to where we are. It has to stop, now.
On his blog today, Andrew Sullivan wrote that "Trump’s character and profound psychological deformation always, always meant he would not relinquish power without an almighty struggle. We elected an instinctual tyrant, preternaturally incapable of understanding the give and take of democratic politics, for whom losing in any contest threatens the core of his very being, and who has no effective control over the roiling emotions that course through his thickened arteries. Some of us were ridiculed for saying from the very beginning that there would have to be some kind of violence to remove him, if he were to lose the next election. We still are. We’re called victims of TDS, or Trump Derangement Syndrome, as if this were not the only sane position when a delusional, malignant, tyrant-wannabe has an entire political party in his grip, aided and abetted by tribal media tools. For myself, from the very beginning, having examined Trump’s past and observed his plain-as-day pathology, I just couldn’t envision how this figure could psychologically, voluntarily ever leave the Oval Office. Every single day of his presidency has confirmed this. He has blown through every guardrail against presidential abuse that exists."