Sunday, August 13, 2023

Gaetz Speaking For Others

In my last post, I mildly criticized one of the tweets of former US Representative Matt Walsh of Illinois, However, he has (and still does) admit "I was part of the Trump cult- and I got out of the Trump cult." One of his tweets from Saturday, August 13 closely reflects remarks of his from eighteen months ago.
Donald Trump took a few questions from the crowd at the Iowa State Fair as he made his way to a scheduled meeting with supportive GOP legislators.  On the stage with the ex-President, U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida remarked

Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should. We are having a great time at the fair. We love standing with you. But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. 

And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us. As hard as you see him work, I need you to work ten times harder, a hundred times harder, we're going to win Iowa....

Obviously, Gaetz is mistaken in most of this. Just as obviously, the most dangerous remark is "only through force do we make any change" in the federal government.

As Walsh recognizes, "force" is not negotiation, persuasion, or even mild intimidation. It is a call to violence, and it resonates with the GOP base. Nonetheless, in his many tweets, Walsh blames party politicians even more than he does the base, which is in part responding to the red wall of complicity  characterizing the response of Republican politicians to the hateful, bigoted, violent rhetoric of their leader.

In an interview conducted in February of 2022 by Chauncey Devega of Salon, Walsh had stated

I hear from thousands of Republican voters every single day. If there's one message that I try to convey to the MSNBC viewers of the world, it is the following: These people, the Trump folks, the Republican voters of today, they would happily burn this country down to get the country they want. They would happily do it. And they tell me that. I don't think the folks who watch CNN and MSNBC every night really understand that fact.

There is an echo-chamber effect among Democrats, liberals and progressives, the NPR and MSNBC types. They refuse to accept that the people living in TrumpWorld and the MAGAverse really believe what they are being told. Those Trumpists don't think they are sick. They don't think they're confused. They don't think they're lost. They think that you folks, the Democrats, the "liberals,"  are the sick and confused ones. The MAGAverse is the real world to them, and all your interventions will not help them…. 

They are not nuts. All the good New York City liberal types — the elites, I will call them — they just laugh and think all these people are nuts or that they are all bigots. They are not. They're dead-set on what they want to do. Their country, they believe, their 1953 America, has been taken away from them. In the form of Donald Trump, they have somebody who is going to bring it back, step by step. These Trump followers are taking the long view. The MSNBC crowd does not understand that fact at all.

Walsh suggested to Devega that most of them are not primarily motivated by bigotry. I would add to Walsh's critique that liberals and to a lesser extent centrists believe the "MAGAverse" may be nuts or bigots- or dopes. Very few are "nuts" or crazy. 

More of what the ex-Tea Party stalwart referred to as "the MSNBC crowd" now understands the Trump enthusiasts. Warning on Saturday that in advocating "force" Gaetz was preaching to the crowd, Walsh does not characterize the base other than as "radicalized." Yet, perhaps he realizes that there is at work something even darker than he explained eighteen months ago. Even with that left unsaid, his message begs to be heeded. 

No comments:


The husband-wife (or, rather, wife-husband) duo of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Martha-Ann Alito nee Bomgardner flew an upside do...