This piece is a time-capsule from a time before COVID, and January 6th, and Putin's invasion. It's a sketch I wrote in August of 2018 and forgot about until I took a dive down the depths of my Google Drive. I will most likely work these thoughts into a larger piece (how can I not?). The metaphor is striking, given everything that came after August.
All but this MTG image were anchored in the original piece. She's a great example of what this piece is about.
A leader is the mask his or her followers wear.
A 1999 study conducted by Mick Cooper of the University of Sussex revealed that wearing a mask can lead to “disinhibition, transformation, facilitation of the expression of aspects of the wearer’s Self, and various psycho-somatic changes.” That’s why I’m more afraid of the people who accept and apologize for President Trump than I am of Trump.
Trump is the mask that gives “good people” who hold racist beliefs immunity. Their shouts spring from the shadows of the dark web and set places like Charlottesville and Portland alight with their hatred.
He is the mask that enables Evangelicals to excuse his moral indiscretions and outright lies because of the transformative potential they think his presidency provides them. They will make a proverbial deal with the devil because Trump’s words and policies align with their long-held beliefs about how Americans should behave. Pornstars? Pay offs? Lies? Sure, that’s bad; but, think of the babies.
Many in Congress who wear the mask follow similar logic. They are willing to overlook Trump’s many personal and moral failings, along with those of the people he surrounds himself with because they like his policies. Grab em by the pussy? Well, I wouldn’t do it; but, look at the tax cuts.
Red-State America wears the mask because:
Many white Middle-Americans erroneously feel they’ve been pushed to the economic edge by minorities. They seek to reassert their privilege by believing in the bogeymen of color Trump called out when he announced his bid for the presidency, as if building a wall will protect their prospects for a better future that will never come under Republican leaders (or motivate them to take one of the 368 thousand agricultural jobs currently held by illegal immigrants. Most experts, including Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development, don’t think so: "It appears that almost all U.S. workers prefer almost any labor-market outcome — including long periods of unemployment — to carrying out manual harvest and planting labor").
Fear of a deep state, to Pizzagate, faith in Q, and people who think that this is really something you should be doing because Alex Jones was banned from Facebook are all wearing masks that cover their mouths with the ridiculous words of people like this:
They are the people who think a space force is a great idea, like these ones:
While it’s easy to laugh at these people, or to believe that they are not representative of the nearly 63 million people who voted for President Trump in 2016, these faceless foot-soldiers of MAGA nation hold enough power to shape the trajectory of democracy in America; and, in some strange form of symbiosis, they are the mask for Trump.