Why Dystopian MAGA Trumpers Hate The Global World

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Few things are more confounding and difficult to understand than Trump’s followers and his Make America Great Again crowd’s deceptive and dangerous political nostalgia.

Political observers don’t have an answer about why the MAGA crowd says the U.S. is disintegrating, riddled by crime, Deep State conspiracies, criminal immigrants, and U.S. involvement in non-existent overseas wars.

Political observers call this MAGA vision “a parallel universe” to what most Americans experience every day, where there is no Chicken Little panic and life continues.

My observation is that there are two reasons why the MAGA crowd believes the nation is faltering.

  • One is their failure to accept modernity.
  • The second is that they don’t understand the rapid changes happening in the country and their everyday lives.

First, the MAGA crowd is afraid of changes from social and demographic forces they cannot control, such as:

  • Environmental issues have emerged globally, including climate change and ecological destruction, energy, water, and resources shortages, rapid urbanization, population aging, and various social problems.
  • Advanced technology that is more commonplace. Self-driving cars, cryptocurrencies, business practices built on analyzing real-time data and forecasts, artificial intelligence, faster computers, electric vehicles, and LED lightbulbs have changed everyday life. In almost all of these cases, conservative and reactionary forces have ridiculed, protested, and bemoaned these advances as attacks on everyday living. This technology is coming faster into everyday life, transforming business models into ways of doing business in which one can proactively respond to rapid change and uncertainty.
  • Globalization, including imports from China, Korea, Taiwan, and South America, is considered an attack on U.S. manufacturing, even though the U.S. abandoned and phased out heavy production decades ago.
  • Engineered distrust and skepticism about the viability of American institutions, such as the media, the courts, and business practices. This distrust comes from right-wing media, as well as other nations.

The psychotic MAGA nostalgia is to make” America Made Great Again,” but they don’t specify which decade they want to revisit.

  • Was it 1940, when corporate taxes were 33%, the average American income was $1,368, and the average unemployment rate in the 1930s was 18%?

    Pedestrians pass Lindy’s restaurant on Broadway and 51st Street in New York, circa 1955. (Photo by Ed Feingersh/Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • Was it during World War II when the corporate tax was 53%? Or, in the 1950s, when a house cost $7,354 and the average cost of a new car was $1,510.00? There were price increases even then: by 1959, a vehicle was $2,200.
  • Or, how about 1970, when a house cost $27,000, which is $213,457.27 adjusted for 2024 inflation, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data.
  • Or was it pre-World War I when there was no personal income tax (it began in 1913) and an original Model T cost $850, but by 1924, the price was reduced to $260, thanks to mass production?

“I Don’t Understand What’s Happening”

Rap stars, social influencers, and athletes becoming multi-millionaires; the impact of TickTok; new immigrants at work; gender challenges; changes in everyday life from technology; and media overload have all raised the anxiety level of Americans.  The changes seem disconnected, so a demagogue like Trump tries to connect these events through the lowest common denominator possible: hate and how these changes are threatening your way of life.

These imminent changes are: Christians cannot celebrate Christmas.  Immigrants are coming for your jobs. The government is taking away your guns. The nation is facing an invasion from Muslims, criminals, and undesirables.

Trump’s messages and rallies harp on these fears. All changes are threats.  The only way to combat these threats is to go back in time. America was great in the past, and these threats did not exist, so we must go back to the past.  Make America Great Again, but “Again,” is a return to the past.

But we all know that you can’t go forward by looking backward.  That’s the fundamental disconnect between Trump followers and the rest of the nation.  Biden’s vision, and the leader of any good leader in a democracy in the global world of 2024, is to look forward and accept the current world as it is.  And then work to change it.

The Danger of Living in the Past

The MAGA crowd loves comparing told scenarios because they have one foot in the past and the other foot planted in fear of the future.

The MAGA crowd is silent on when “America was great” for a good reason: Their recent memories have faded.

Today, the economy under Biden is better than it was under Trump by almost all measures: the stock market, unemployment, wage growth, the national debt, and minority employment.

Richard Ellis / Alamy Stock Photo

But the lousy memories of MAGA people are contorted by propaganda and their wish that they were young again. The past always seems better than the present when Trump is calling for the end of the world, street riots if he loses, perpetual government waste, the flood of foreign invaders, and criminals climbing on your roof.

The MAGA crowd opposes globalization and equal rights for all minorities because Trump sees them as threats, not to the U.S., but because these people would vote against him.

The global U.S. today is a partner in a world where our domestic society extends beyond the U.S. itself and is dependent on other nations as part of an entire value chain, including politics, diplomacy, military relationships, and businesses worldwide. All of this is not part of the MAGA world outlook.

All of these partly explain why the MAGA crowd lives in a non-factual, parallel universe where the U.S. is the epicenter of the world and American greatness is rock-solid and never dependent on other nations. To the MAGA crowd, this is their reality. They are afraid to accept the present and deathly scared of the future.

 

 

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