Scenes From a MAGA Meltdown: Inside the ‘America First’ Movement’s War Over Democracy

This article first appeared at ProPublica. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

1/ The minimum requirement for sanity is to be able to tell the difference between fact & fiction. These people fail that test and are unable to discern Reality from Reality TV.

2/ It’s sad and darkly hilarious that the keys to the Party have been given to the asylum’s lunatics. Who could have predicted the infectious insanity now observable in every crack and crevice of the Going Obsolete Party??

3/ Hey voters! Hold your nose and vote for the least objectionable idiot. That’s Biden.


Help, help, the paranoids are after me!


I’d love it if this kind of dysfunction would be identified and highlighted in more State GQP organizations. It’s probably out there - just not yet recognized.


To paraphrase Carville: “It’s the religion, stupid.” Yes, racism and greed play a part, but I think this article does a good job of illustrating how it is fundamentalist religion that is powering the insanity.


Mindless zombies. All of them.


When you only talk to like minded folks then you go down a rabbit hole excluding anyone who disagrees with you. But some of this I think has sprung from how tightly controlled the Republican parties in the state are. The power usually springs from a few wealthy individuals in each state.
Part of this is religion. We can talk of Catholics, Methodists, and Baptists-but they too have splinter sects within the denominations. I for one can’t understand how Donnie’s charisma gets some of these folks to ignore he behavior-past and present, and yet still see him as Godly.


They are everywhere, and all possessed of divine revelations that just happen to gain them an audience and money.

John Roberts made all this possible. You get more of what you want in a democracy the richer you are, and nobody can say anything because you can drown anyone out, or unleash the law on them in perpetuity.

Money wins, and nobody asks any questions in America because money is sacrosanct.


Their idea of God is shit. Only turns up when there is money in it.

Enslave human beings and sell their children for profit? God says yes!

Your oil products killing the whole planet? God says fire away!


I know it is overly simplistic, but you can’t teach stupid. When stupid reaches a critical mass, the system breaks. We are disturbingly close to this.


In less than a decade, the fringiest of fringe ideas have gone from people who think wrestling is real to at least two members of the SCOTUS.

Talk about a pandemic! Sometimes I think there is a “stupid” virus attacking us as a species but we can’t detect it because it is making us stupid.




When we only engage with others who share our views then we only see others as the enemy.

What really boggles my mind is that the folks who are election deniers, and after all this time have yet to show where the election was stolen. Yes there were the cases that happened at the Villages in FL, and those were for Trump. But they’ve never ever shown how the election was stolen. It was a very narrow Biden win.
As to the violence I don’t want to think about if these folks could figure out how one cast their vote.


Religion is part of it, but I believe the main engine powering the insanity is the ability to live inside social media bubbles where people can reinforce each others’ denial of reality. Fox News and Newsmax help too, but think about what politics would be like today if there was no Internet and only cable TV.

There is a way to fight that, but it would require Congress to enforce controls on the social media company algorithms that generate “engagement” by feeding people content that angers them.

I’m not expecting that to happen though, because 95% of Congress is composed of people who don’t have a clue how this works, even though an ex-employee of Facebook sat in a hearing and explained it to them.


Leopard-eating-faces party is eating Republican faces too. May be they should have thought about that when they set up party branding and guidelines.


They never thought it would happen to them.

Same as the J6 guys - they thought they were on the winning team, so being careful not to break laws was absolutely not in their interest.


It’s subliminal messaging/mind control – subliminal stupidity:



We all participate in confirmation bias to varying degrees, but these people are deep into Buffalo Springfield “paranoia runs deep” territory.

That’s because the deep state suppresses all the evidence. They are well practiced in creating a new conspiracy theory to explain why the earlier conspiracy theory is in fact true and correct. The absence of evidence to support the conspiracy is conclusive proof of the conspiracy.

staunch conservatives who wanted to slash taxes, abolish regulations and remake the public education system in favor of vouchers and parochial schools

Yeah, that doesn’t align with my understanding of traditional conservatism.


Thanks - I followed that link and am now measurably stupider as a result. Where in the world is that from?


“I didn’t say she was crazy, I said she was fucking Goofy!” - Mickey Mouse.