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Understanding the Performative Hypocrisy of Trump, DeSantis, MAGAs

Being hypocritical is the how GOP authoritarian leaders compete to signal their personal power.

Mark Greene
2 min readSep 23, 2023

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Being openly and repeatedly, hypocritical is how MAGA leaders like Trump signal their dominance and power. In the GOP’s increasingly authoritarian political climate, no MAGA leader can be successful without intentionally signaling their hypocrisy continuously.

Elon Musk displays power to his white supremacist followers by performing his hypocrisy daily on the Twitter platform, saying for example, that he stands for the right of free speech while attacking organizations like the Jewish Defense League when they exercise that exact right.

When Ron DeSantis declares “I stand for personal freedom” and “I ban books,” he’s being openly and intentionally hypocritical. This how authoritarians troll those they are attacking while at the same time signaling that they have the power to not be held accountable.

Which is exactly why the impending convictions of Trump enrage MAGA so much.

Being held accountable in a court of law shatters MAGAs collective delusion that Trump can commit any crime, assault any person with impunity and that, by extension, so can they. The collapse of Trump at the top of the MAGA power structure threatens all MAGA’s delusions of invulnerability.

Trump has already lost court cases and been convicted. But the convictions that come next carry the very real possibility of jail time. Much like the Jan 6th convictions of Proud Boys, such convictions shatter the illusion that white supremacist authoritarians can attack anyone or any institution with impunity.

See the Republican Party’s baffling hypocrisy for what it is. It is not a lack of intelligence. They know exactly what they are doing. It is a performance of dominance in the GOP’s authoritarian hierarchy which intends to reduce our public discourse to the simple and repeated exercise of their raw power to dominate others.

The degree to which the GOP’s hypocrisy becomes ever more open, marks the degree to which the GOP is spiraling further downward into authoritarian extremism. It is a spiral that can no longer be reversed and will accelerate.

We are now in the fight of our lives for the democratic institutions on which all freedoms in the United States rest. If the Republican Party wins the White House and the Congress, we’re done. Trump has already declared he will start jailing people. Take him at his word.

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Mark Greene

Working toward a culture of healthy masculinity. Links to our books, podcasts, Youtube and more: http://linktr.ee/RemakingManhood.