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OPINION

Why MAGA Is Not a Cult and Never Will Be

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump arrives Feb. 9, 2024, to speak in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Patrick Dorinson By Wednesday, 20 March 2024 10:00 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Last year, Hillary Clinton, one of the biggest political losers in history, said that supporters of Donald Trump were a cult that might need to be subjected to "formal deprogramming."

One can only guess what she had in mind.

Coupled with her now infamous and derisive "Basket of Deplorables" comment about Trump supporters from 2016, Hillary is at least consistent.

But she was not alone in suggesting the MAGA supporters are a cult blindly following Donald Trump like zombies.

The entire left-wing commentariat uses this phrase.

They hope that by labeling Trump supporters with this slur they will drive away folks who might lean his way from a policy perspective but don’t want to be called cultists.

In a recent appearance on CNN, former sportscaster Bob Costas became the latest has-been trying to resurrect a moribund career by calling Trump supporters a cult.

Costas has now joined the ranks of the elitist snobs attacking a movement they have never bothered to even try to understand.

They aren’t the least bit interested in what motivates millions of people to follow Donald Trump come Hell or high water.

Costas should have stuck to announcing baseball games.

The "Make America Great Again" movement can be explained by four key points.

First, populism is not new in America. It has been hiding in plain sight throughout our history and occasionally has taken hold in our politics. The Tea Party is a recent example.

But the Tea Party was taken over by grifters and consultants and effectively died.

The second point is that Donald Trump seized the moment, took something that already existed, and gave it new life and purpose.

Third, Donald Trump took all the frustrations of those who have long felt they were forgotten and gave voice to it.

And what a voice it is.

Fourth, he gave it what it needed most and what the Tea Party never had.

He gave it a real leader.

Why now? And why Donald Trump?

First and foremost, he cares about regular folks because deep down he is one of them.

He doesn’t come from old family wealth like the Rockefellers.

His father was the son of German immigrants, who built a business from scratch.

While a New Yorker, Trump is not from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He is from Queens, and he acts and sounds like it. He is Archie Bunker in a tailor-made suit.

He doesn’t talk down to his followers. He speaks to them in a language they understand.

He is loud and brash, and that shocks elitists but delights his supporters.

And unlike previous Republican candidates who would show up to a political battle with the ruthless Democrats carrying a tennis racket and a rulebook, he knows it’s a back-alley brawl and brings the appropriate weapons and attitude.

President Biden is right when he says it’s not your father’s Republican party anymore. That’s what scares the living daylights out of the Democrats.

Because Donald Trump has made it a party of fighters.

That is except for Never Trumpers and the members of the U.S. Senate Republican Caucus who prefer pre-emptive surrender rather than going down fighting.

But there’s a much simpler way to explain Donald Trump and his supporters.

If Hillary Clinton and Bob Costas and all the other elitist snobs really want to understand the MAGA phenomenon they should take the time to watch John Ford’s brilliant 1940 film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, "The Grapes of Wrath."

And they should pay particular attention to the ending. This will show the snobs, where Trump’s followers came from and what makes them, and by extension the real America, so resilient.

They are the descendants of the fictional Joad family from Steinbeck’s novel and Ford’s motion picture. Impoverished "Okies" who went west to start over when the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the banks wiped out their farms in America’s heartland.

But the Joads represent more than just the Okies from the Great Depression.

They are the millions in that era who lost their jobs and savings and their homes. From factory workers to farmers to folks in the big cities.

But eventually they picked themselves up and not only rebuilt their lives, but they rebuilt the nation, defeated Nazi Germany and the Japanese militarists, and then came home and made America prosperous.

The film’s ending shows Ma and Pa Joad in the front seat of their beat-up old truck as they are driving in California’s Central Valley in hopes of finding work picking cotton.

Ma Joad is skeptical as they have had their hopes of finding work dashed before.

As Ma and Pa are reflecting on all they have been through, a clearly despondent Pa Joad says:

"We sure have taken a beatin'."

And then Ma Joad says:

"I know. That’s what makes us tough. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids ain’t no good and they die out.

"But we keep-a-comin’ We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out. They can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever Pa because we’re the people."

Politicians come and go and eventually Donald Trump too will be gone from the stage.

But as Ma Joad said, "We keep-a-comin."

"We’re the people that live." 

And that’s why in the end the people will win.

Patrick Dorinson is a writer and commentator who has worked in the political arena as a participant and observer for 35 years-plus. He's been a columnist for the Fox News.com Opinion section. For eight years he hosted his own radio show, "The Cowboy Libertarian" on iHeart media. Patrick currently can be seen as a guest on numerous shows on Newsmax TV. Usually you’ll find him riding "Beamer," his horse. For more of Patrick Dorinson's Reports — Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


PatrickDorinson
President Biden is right when he says it’s not your father’s Republican party anymore. That’s what scares the living daylights out of the Democrats. Because Donald Trump has made it a party of fighters. In the end the people will win.
democrats, maga, republican
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2024-00-20
Wednesday, 20 March 2024 10:00 AM
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