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An Alternative Reality

By Steve Slavin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore! – Line from 1976 hit movie, “Network.”

I’d like to be considered a rabid Trump-hater, a term which barely hints at just how much I despise this subhuman piece of garbage. And yet, I must concede that virtually single-handedly, he has created a welcoming alternative reality for millions of his most ardent followers.


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It’s a reality of shared grievances, similar in some ways to labor unions, civil rights organizations, feminist groups, climate change alarmists, and, of course, Hitler’s legions of supporters in the 1930s. All of these movements did indeed promote the interests of vast numbers of people who were mad as hell, and were not going to take it anymore.

I mean no disrespect by lumping together organizations with admirable goals and others with goals that are utterly despicable. My point is that the members of each of these groups have been motivated by shared grievances.

Trump and Hitler almost singlehandedly managed to create alternative realities in which their ardent followers could find redress from their deepest grievances. In these miraculous realities, the true believers basked in their own victimhood – whether real or imagined – but would soon become winners. After all, the Fuhrer knows best!

After generations of slavery, Moses led the Jews our of Egypt. After two and a half centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow laws and lynchings, Martin Luther King gave his life trying to lead Blacks to their promised land.

Donald Trump’s Claim

Today, Donald Trump is still pushing his own widely debunked claim – without even a shred of evidence – that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him – and by extension – from all of his devoted followers. And most of them, of course, have their own grievances.

They’re mad as hell that the elites – the wealthy and the well-educated – look down their noses at them for leading working-class lives and never going to college. And yet, Donald Trump, the self-made billionaire, Ivy League graduate, and TV reality show star, has cast his lot with them.

But best of all, Trump harnessed all their grievances and energy into a vast political movement that would enable them to take back their country. Single-handedly, this great Fuhrer is leading a great new American Revolution.

Trump has managed this feat by creating an alternative reality in which his followers could bond at spirited political rallies, as well as a political framework within which they could snatch back their country from the rich and over-educated elite. Bonding with fellow victims, they have become not just members of a new family, but of a vast and growing ninety-nine and forty-four percent pure white MAGA tribe.

Their lives finally have some meaning, with not just a cause to follow, but a dear leader to worship. They are in this fight together – even if soon becomes a fight to the death.

Very few of Trump’s most diehard supporters are well-educated, well-informed, decent human-beings. A very large percentage of them are white supremacists, anti-Semites, and actually believe the January sixth insurrection was either a peaceful tourist visit to the Capitol, or alternatively, a red-flag attack conducted by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Their support is very warmly welcomed by Trump himself. They can attend his rallies, bond with their peers, and cheer their hearts out. All he asks for in return is their undying admiration and support – and of course, their money.

But if they really wanted to learn the truth about their participation in this great political movement, they should heed the words of Groucho Marx: “I’m not going to pay good money to join a club that lets in people like me.”

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