NBC News

MAGAs: ‘Fess up about The Wall

Could your obsession be … racial?

Jeffrey Denny

We all know why President Trump is so hardcore about The Wall: His MAGA base demands it.

MAGAs also hate government, do-nothing bureaucrats and federal aid to undeserving poor urban families and children. So they don’t mind shutting down Washington. Some probably like it.

But I’m starting to pity Trump. He has no choice but to stake everything on The Wall, as ridiculous as it is. MAGAs, while a dwindling bunch, are all Trump’s got anymore.

Trump knows over half of America dislikes him and many despise him. His cabinet and staff fear, loathe or bail on him in anger and disgust. Mueller and state attorneys are after him. He flipped off the Democrats, including the new House leadership whose #1 priority is not talking about impeachment.

Trump’s only friends in Congress are mostly Republicans who are holding their noses and using him, or going along because their districts were GOP-gerrymandered, which backfired because now they’re dominated by MAGAs.

Trump also seems to have few if any true personal friends.

His family is mostly elsewhere. Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and ilk will bail on him in a heartbeat if their ratings fall or he fails to their bidding.

It’s always lonely at the top, but especially for this president. President Truman advised “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Trump doesn’t even have a dog. Even Nixon had a dog.

So I don’t entirely blame Trump for The Wall crisis. He’s just pandering to the only peeps he’s got. Plus, he got elected by juicing up his MAGAs about immigrants and rally crowds chanting “Build the Wall!” and now he’s stuck.

He can’t go back on this promise — he already failed on repealing and replacing Obamacare, locking up Hillary, bringing back coal and delivering a big beautiful tax cut.

Trump created a monster and now it owns him. Blaming Trump is blaming the victim.

So who’s to blame for The Wall crisis?

The MAGAs, of course.

And why are MAGAs so hard-core about The Wall?

Could it be — say it ain’t so — racial?

Some may call this question naïve. Of course it’s racial!

MAGAs might sputter with outrage. How dare you suggest?!

It’s hard not to.

First of all, look at the Trump rallies. See any non-whites?

Also, no facts, statistics or any objective reality will budge MAGA’s minds about The Wall. Like religion or racism, it’s not rational.

It’s pointless to even discuss, let alone debate, facts against feelings.

So MAGAs believe every bit of Trump’s fear-mongering and exaggerated cherry-picked anecdotal “proof” about criminal, murderous, decapitating, drug-smuggling, rapist immigrants from south of the border. They cheer his refusal to compromise even an inch.

MAGAs don’t care about fact-checking and debunking falsehoods even when Fox’s Chris Wallace does it. MAGAs don’t care if Trump lies and then lies about his lies. Like he never said over 200 times — and put it in writing — that Mexico not American taxpayers would fund the wall.

No matter how trumped up his claims, MAGAs believe Trump because they want to. He’s telling them exactly what they want to hear, they cheer him, so he tells them more. It’s a beautiful feedback loop.

MAGAs may insist they’re thoughtful, truth-seeking and critical thinking. But they swallow as gospel the claims of Hannity and the alt-right echo-chamber that feeds and parrots Trump.

They agree with the pandering Tucker Carlson that Latin American immigrants will make our country “poor and dirty,” and nod when Donald Trump, Jr., compares these immigrants to zoo animals.

Even if more Americans die from mass shootings … or drinking or smoking … or illegal drugs brought in through ports of entry, not across the border … or crimes committed by citizens, MAGAs believe the fulminations and talking points from favored sources — reliable or not — that feed their beliefs.

So MAGAs believe with full hearts that immigrants at the border are America’s deadliest scourge that deserves shutting down government and the president’s first Oval Office address to the nation.

MAGAs are dead sure even if they don’t live in border towns, even if they’ve never been to the border, even if they live in lily white zip codes with few if any immigrants, even if their lives are not affected whatsoever by immigrants. MAGAs are obsessed with immigrants.

But not white immigrants.

You don’t hear MAGAs complaining about the 13 percent of immigrants coming from Europe and Canada today.

Or the rash of illegal border crossings from Canada.

Or that “the cross-border smuggling of illegal and regulated drugs is the greatest threat at the US-Canada international boundary” per Homeland Security, Washington Examiner reported.

Or the 93,000 illegal Canadians who overstayed their visas in 2017 (while Mexico had just 47,000 overstays), also per DHS.

As for the poor, dirty zoo animals at the Mexican border, why don’t good Christian MAGAs care that the overwhelming majority are tired, poor, huddled women and children fleeing danger and seeking asylum? Which by U.S. statute they are entitled to do? So the border crisis is humanitarian, not a deadly security threat?

As a side note, roughly 100 percent of the immigrants who have flooded America through Mexico, and voted in the 2018 elections, did something that only a third of Americans could do: Pass the U.S. citizenship test. Like my mother who emigrated here with her family from war-ravaged Europe did.

And no, illegal immigrants don’t vote. Anyone dumb or conspiracy-addled enough to believe illegals would risk getting arrested and deported so they can register and vote should applaud them for going to greater lengths than 53 percent of Americans who didn’t bother.

So, MAGAs, with all due respect, what’s your deal with The Wall?

Could you look deep into your hearts, and swear on a stack of Bibles, that your obsession has nothing to do with feelings about brown people? I do hope so. But be honest.

A friend of mine had the courage to confess.

He decided to sell his stately town home in a relatively affluent suburban community and move even farther out. He used to love his neighborhood. The people were friendly, close and had regular get-togethers.

But the neighborhood has changed as new families moved in. Middle Easterners. Indians and Pakistanis. Asians. Many coming in for jobs in the nearby tech corridor, and all successful working professionals with families. Cordial, if a bit distant. Different.

“It’s not the same anymore,” my friend says. “They keep to themselves. They’re not interested in me. I feel like a stranger in my own neighborhood.”

So maybe that’s it.

Best case, MAGAs are struggling with America’s changing and diversifying demographics and culture, feeling outnumbered, the only white person in the room, becoming strangers in their own land.

That makes sense. It’s not easy to be a minority. Ask any minority.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer




A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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Jeffrey Denny

Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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