In the wake of several GOP nominees or contenders coming out as alt-right, holocaust deniers, and neo-confederates, we caught up with GOP strategist Jon Webber of Minnesota to try to understand what is happening in the Republican party.
RealTrueNews: Hello, Jon?
John Webber: Hello.
RTN: Can you explain what we just discussed with your diagram?
JW: Sure. So polling shows that today's GOP is motivated by feelings of humiliation. The belief, communicated via right-wing media is that a somewhat imaginary coeritie of liberals are looking down on the Trump-base, making fun of them, and scheming to take away their sources of comfort or happiness.
JW: This feeling, ingrained through over a decade or relentless media messaging plays on the idea that other races or ethnicities are being elevated. We can see echoes of that in things like anti-domestic violence campaigns, black lives matter, and so on. When the Trump voter sees media attention paid to a non-white person with a political agenda it's an affront.
The kneeling football players weren't disrespecting the flag, after all--they were trying to call attention to police shootings of unarmed black men. It was the media attention, however, that upset the viewing base and so they had to have a perspective by which to attack it. Fortunately right wing media provided it!
RTN: So . . . racial resentment because they feel the non-whites are being . . . elevated by leftists?
JW: Exactly! Now, as we saw in Nazi Germany, having a racial scapegoat is very useful! Humiliation is, neurologically speaking, a very powerful emotion--and racial identity is, where it can be stoked, a highly efficient motivator. Combine them and you get a solid boost to your movement. That's what we're working on right now. The only drawback is that, right now, you can go too far.
RTN: How far is too far?
JW: Well, a candidate needs to signal that he or she believes in the racial battlefield. If you are not a culture / racial identity warrior today, you are Not-Nazi-Enough for the Republican party. In fact, the sweet spot comes with enough "edginess" to be clear--but you have to stay within the zone of plausible deniability.
RTN: How do you do that?
JW: Call Mexicans animals--but carefully limit your words so that they can be construed as only applying to a pretty small gang? Talk about how black people have "nothing to lose." Things like that. Make it seem that the other "race identities" are both adversaries and lesser. You can reach a sweet-spot where the Republican voter feels special and feels the candidate is a defender of their ethnic identity--without damning anti-semitic ties or using the N-word on tape.
RTN: But you can take it too far?
JW: For now, yes. President Trump is doing a good job of shifting the Overton Window--but for now you can be too-Nazi as opposed to not-Nazi-Enough. Being vocally anti-semitic, for example: it's too much of a giveaway. Things like that limit you to . . . 15? 20% of the Republican vote.
RTN: That's a small number, isn't it?
JW: Sure. You would think that explicit racism and nazism would be so counter to the core of Republican values that it would limit out-and-proud nazis to 1% of the vote--but we can see that the numbers are, in fact growing. We hope that by 2020 you'll be able to literally wear an arm band and discuss crematoriums for mud-bloods.
JW: "The young people. They've pretty much read nothing but Harry Potter--but we think we could get them to vote for Voldemort if he were real. We're hopeful, anyway."