Hillary Clinton barely scratched the surface of this subject with a thumbnail when she spoke about the “deplorables” that followed her then-opponent, Donald Trump, in 2016. That was only the beginning. Her comment incensed many but in truth, it was the barest brush stroke to describe only the top layer of the situation.
The MAGA doctrine seeped all the way down through the societal cracks, from the autocratic well heeled GOP mega donors at the top, down to the most disturbed in our society. The man who broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco townhouse in the wee hours of Friday morning and attacked her 82-year-old husband, Paul, with a hammer, is one of these sad sacks who found direction and purpose in the MAGA doctrine, which was cobbled together as a fundraising tool, and on the fly, no less, by Donald Trump.
Mr. Pelosi’s assailant’s name is David DePape and he is quite a character. He’s straight out of the You Can’t Make This Stuff file. CNN:
Linda Schneider said she got to know DePape roughly eight years ago and that he occasionally housesat for her. When they met, she said, DePape was living in a storage unit in the Berkeley area and told her he had been struggling with hard drugs but was “trying to create a new life for himself.”
Schneider later received “really disturbing” emails from DePape in which he sounded like a “megalomaniac and so out of touch with reality,” she said. She said she stopped communicating with him “because it seemed so dangerous,” adding that she recalled him “using Biblical justification to do harm.”
Laura Hayes, who also lives in California, said she worked with DePape for a few months roughly a decade ago making hemp bracelets when he was living in a storage shed in the Berkeley area. She said DePape sold the bracelets as a business.
“He was very odd. He didn’t make eye contact very well,” Hayes said. She recalled him saying that “he talks to angels and there will be a hard time coming.” But she didn’t remember any seriously threatening comments, and said she didn’t think much of it because “it’s Berkeley,” a place where eccentric characters aren’t uncommon.
Hayes, who was Facebook friends with DePape, called his more recent posts “so phobic in so many ways” and filled with “so much anger.”
And who inspired his posts? One of his chief role models is none other than Mr. Big Lie the My Pillow Guy, Mike Lindell.
Last year, David DePape posted links on his Facebook page to multiple videos produced by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely alleging that the 2020 election was stolen. Other posts included transphobic images and linked to websites claiming Covid vaccines were deadly. “The death rates being promoted are what ever ‘THEY’ want to be promoted as the death rate,” one post read.
DePape also posted links to YouTube videos with titles like “Democrat FARCE Commission to Investigate January 6th Capitol Riot COLLAPSES in Congress!!!” and “Global Elites Plan To Take Control Of YOUR Money! (Revealed)” […]
He also posted content about the “Great Reset”– the sprawling conspiracy theory that global elites are using coronavirus to usher in a new world order in which they gain more power and oppress the masses. And he complained that politicians making promises to try to win votes “are offering you bribes in exchange for your further enslavement.”
Crackpots and conspiracy theorists reign in this day and age. Their Crown Prince, Alex Jones, recently got toppled from his throne of many years of proselytizing the untrue and the grotesque. Lindell keeps on keeping on with his corrosive conspiracy theory, that the 2020 election was stolen, despite the complete absence of any facts supporting that premise. He’s undermining the very fabric of our system of free and fair elections and he’s just fine with all that. If it sells pillow and gives him access to a podium at a QAnon/MAGA convention on any given day, he’s perfectly happy.
We have seen the rise of the dregs in our lifetime. Hillary probably knew that they were the dregs but chose to modify her descriptor to deplorables. What is palpably sad about all this is that the dregs don’t know how they’re being manipulated by the right-wing monied class, who wants their fealty, their votes and most of all their money, because they can use all three to create an autocratic state. The monied class, via right-wing media, keeps the dregs all fired up and enraged and sending in small donations.
This is what America is voting for if they vote Republican in this day and age, is crazed conspiracy theorists. Mitch McConnell made a few small squeaks initially about people with “loony” ideas, namely Marjorie Taylor Greene, but he’s been basically ignored. The mainstream GOP is just fine with the direction that all this is going. And that is what is scary.
The culture war in this country is real. Primarily, it is a war of truth v. lies. And the tragic part is that professional lying pays very well indeed. That’s why you’re not going to see it go away. And you can expect more members of the lunatic fringe to be triggered by the lies as time goes on, because that’s how this thing goes.