I suppose I should say something about all the Trump indictments. I just want to paraphrase the song “Uptown funk,” “Folks hit your hallelujah.” I haven’t written about Trump and the MAGA folks in a while because I have given up talking to them and talking about them. By now I have realized that they are happy in their fantasy world where Trump won the 2020 election, their own government is against them, anyone outside their community is a threat and the only “true” religion is their own. As James Baldwin wrote “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” The MAGA worldview is so tightly woven that any attack on one aspect is an attack on the whole. They see any fact, statement, media story, indictment, prosecution, or judicial ruling which challenges their fantasy is either a fabrication, a boldfaced lie, a conspiracy by their enemies, and proof that they are right. Their belief in Trump is so strong that nothing seems to shake it or pierce it, let alone break it. Like someone with Alzheimer’s we should let them live in their fantasy world while trying to limit the damage they do. I will not waste any more energy or my limited time on earth speaking to them.

I do want to point out a few things. First Trump himself rarely denies that the things done to “repair” the election in his favor, did not happen. His arguments are 1) He did not know they were happening, 2) He was only exercising his free speech when he said any of those things and they have been taken out of context, 3) he was within his right as president to do them and 4) His political enemies are persecuting him and making things up. Which excuse he uses depends on the specific charge, the day of the week, and the group to whom he is speaking. However, the evidence comes from those in his inner circle who are like rats deserting the sinking ship.

I also want to point out that the prosecutions of his crimes matter. Once the people who took part in the January 6 insurrection have been and are being prosecuted, sent to jail, fired from their jobs and branded; terrorists.; you should note there have been fewer and smaller demonstrations. People know that there may be a cost for doing so and are less likely to risk it. I expect there would be a similar “chilling” effect on others if Trump’s attempts to overturn the will of the electorate, produce convictions. If they do not, we can expect more attempts in the future and better attempts to hide it.

If Trump is allowed to run and wins, American “democracy” will not survive. The things he accuses the government of doing to persecute him are exactly the things Trump and his minions would do if they again gain power. The weaponizing of the judiciary will continue as we have seen with the Supreme Court. The civil service will be politicized with loyalty to the regime the key factor in hiring and promotion. There will be attempts to have the military become an arm of enforcement of the regime. The enforcement of the cultural and religious norms of the few is the horse they rode in on and will doubtless accelerate. Education will become learning the rules they want you to, the sanitized past they want you to believe in, and the absence of critical thought that challenges the regime. Am I just being overly alarmist? How do I know all this will happen? You can just look at authoritarian regimes throughout history and all around the globe.

Finally recognize that whatever the Trump supporters criticize the government for doing, will be what a Trump government would do except on steroids. It is a standing tactic of the Trump entourage to accuse the “enemy” of doing exactly what they themselves are doing. They believe that this is a way a government operates and they have to be better at it. It fits within the paranoid fantasy in which they live. The crimes they accuse Biden’s son of doing are peanuts compared to what Trump’s son in law was doing. Remember those things I said challenged the MAGA worldview (facts, media stories etc.) well those are the things the Trump folks have been trying to create their own version to bolster their fantasy reality.

The Democrats are not blameless. They have let their support of elites allow the Republicans to start stripping away their blue-collar constituencies with social and cultural issues. Biden recognizes this and has tried to win back that constituency with “Bidenomics.” Whether he can win back enough is yet to be seen. What is clear is that the Republicans have done nothing to improve the financial conditions of the middle and blue-collar classes. Instead, they have tried to hide their economic allegiance to the upper classes behind other issues. So far this has been enough to keep them viable as a political party. We shall see if such issues as abortion, immigration, anti-woke, and LGBT opposition have gone a step too far. We will also see whether Trump’s indictments will strip away any of his support or encourage more of his opposition to come out and vote. My money is on the latter.

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