Last week Tucker Carlson and President Trump both drew attention to a lengthy Twitter thread (something like 35 tweets?) that purported to explain the thinking of MAGA oriented Americans. Other outlets quickly picked up on it, as well. We referenced the thread in Where America Is, quoting Zerohedge's intro to its republication of the thread:
As the ruling class went to absurd lengths to try and dismantle Donald Trump, pissed off supporters watched in horror as a captured media peddled lie after lie - typically based on anonymous leaks from deep state bureaucrats,and as powerful agents within America's intelligence apparatus falsified evidence and collaborated with foreign operatives paid by Trump's political opponents.
In doing so, they exposed themselves to anyone not already paying attention.
Today commenter Frank has linked to a lengthy article that Cooper has written, with an intro by Glenn Greenwald:
Tucker Carlson devoted seven minutes of airtime to reading it. Donald Trump heaped praise on it. Why did this Twitter analysis resonate so widely on the right?
As I say, it's very long, but perhaps it will serve a purpose to excerpt Cooper's conclusion. I think we're all capable of airing our grievances and expressing our frustrations with both the direction the country is headed as well as with the behavior of the ruling elite--whether in government, media, or the tech/social media industry. Cooper's conclusion hits on some high points and calls on the Left to take note:
As election day became election night and the tallies rolled in, Trump supporters allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark around midnight, they knew.
Over the following weeks, they were shuffled around between honest critics, online grifters, and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one then another increasingly outlandish theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real, of which election day was only the culmination. Media and Big Tech did all they could to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange, confusing, and unprecedented - the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, counting delays, etc - but rather than admit that and bring everything into the open, they banned discussion of it (even in private messages!), and launched an absurd propaganda campaign telling us that it was - I’m not making this up - the most well-run and secure election in American history.
Conservatives know - again, I think probably everyone knows - that just as Don Jr.’s laptop would have been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would have been taken very seriously. See 2016 for proof.
Even the judiciary had forfeited its credibility with these voters because of the opposition’s embrace of political violence. Trump supporters say, with good reason: What judge will stick his neck out for Trump knowing he’ll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? Maybe most judges would do their jobs, but given the events of the last four years it’s not an unreasonable concern, and the concern itself is enough to cast the whole system in doubt. Again, we know, thanks to Time Magazine, that riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump had won. Sure, they were “protests”, but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. The Chamber of Commerce took the threat of a second round of destruction of its members’ property seriously enough to offer its assistance to the “well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information” - Time’s words, not mine.
Trump voters were adamant that the governors’ changes to election procedures were unconstitutional. Everything in law is open to interpretation, but it doesn’t require a Harvard Law degree to read Article 1, Section 4 (quoted above) and come to that conclusion. But they also knew the cases wouldn’t see a courtroom until after the election, and what judge was going to make a ruling that would be framed as a judicial coup d’etat just because some governors didn’t go through the proper channels? Even a judge willing to accept the personal risk would have also to be willing to inflict the chaos that would follow on the country. Even a well-intentioned judge could convince himself that, whatever happened or didn’t happen, as a public servant he had no right to impose an opinion guaranteed to lead to mass violence - because the threat was not implied, it was direct. Some Trump supporters, unfortunately, thought the license for political violence applied to everyone; the hundreds of them now sitting in federal jails learned the hard way that it wasn’t true.
From the perspective of Trump’s supporters, the entrenched bureaucracy and security state subverted their populist president from day one. The natural guardrails of the Fourth Estate were removed because the press was part of the operation. Election rules were changed in an unconstitutional manner that could only be challenged after the deed was done, when judges and officials would be playing chicken with a direct threat of burning cities. Political violence was legitimized and encouraged. Major newspapers and sitting presidents were banned from social media, while the opposition enjoyed free rein to promote stories that were discredited once it was too late to matter. Conservatives put these things together and concluded that, whatever happened on November 3, 2020, it was not a free and fair democratic election in any sense that would have had meaning before Donald J. Trump was a candidate.
Trump supporters were led down some rabbit holes. But they are absolutely right that the institutions and power centers of this country have been monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to prevent them getting it. I encourage people on the Left to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. You’re not going to agree with the conservatives on everything. But if in 2004 I had told you that the majority of the GOP voter base would soon be seeing the folly of the Iraq War, becoming skeptical of state surveillance, and beginning to see the need for action to help the poor and working classes, you’d have told me such a thing would transform the country. Take the opportunity. These people are not demons, and they are ready to listen in a way they haven’t in a long, long time.