THE IDEA BEHIND “MAGA” IS FINE: “Make America Great Again!” Who can argue with those four words? Well, actually, anyone can argue with them when we consider what the word “great” is being used to describe. I suggest liberals co-opt the Trumpsters’ use of the phrase and make it ours!
While Donald Trump campaigned more or less as a “populist,” as a President he has more or less ruled as an autocrat, catering to the needs of the top income-earners and little else.
Liberals should appropriate the medium and message and medium and wear blue MAGA caps!
Or, as Jamil Smith so accurately summed it up in Rolling Sone: “a presidency replete with hateful policy, deliberate neglect, and slothful governance.” Jamil continued:
“During the campaign, Trump was never subtle about his preference: he’d rather lose as the president of white people than even attempt to be the president of the United States. So those of us whom he erased, along with our allies, were fine with that. In this election, by a considerable margin, we got him squared away.”
Consequently, the phrase “Make America Great Again” and the acronym MAGA is interpreted as something less-than-positive by those of us who have not drunk from the same pitcher of Kool-Aid as those Americans who consistently vote for the Rep*blican ticket.
So the phrase and the acronym are with us now, probably for a long time.
I found this image accompanying “Who is Drinking the Kool-aid?” by . In it, she asks, “What [if] we stopped drinking the Kool-Aid of black vs white, man vs woman, or culture vs culture?”
Let’s co-opt MAGA
Rather than be repulsed by the (often troglodytic) philosophies of those who wear red baseball caps with those four letters, Democrats and Progressives should instead co-opt the acronym and the slogan!
Merriam-Webster assigns four definitions to co-opt and for this article, it is the second definition that matters: “to take into a group (such as a faction, movement, or culture); to absorb, assimilate” and “take over, appropriate.”
The dictionary assigns three definitions to appropriate with the first and third of interest here: “to take exclusive possession of; to annex” and “to take or make use of without authority or right.”
The co-opted person is permitted to share participation but not share in the decision making.
In the article “What Is the Difference Between Co-Option and Co-Optation?” on the BizFluent website, Jayne Thompson delves further into a usable definition of co-optation:
“The term co-optation was devised in 1949 by the noted academic Philip Selznick. He used the phrase to describe a political process whereby outsiders were co-opted into the organization or committee as an act of self-defense because those outsiders either had specialized knowledge that could be used against the organization or because they were opposing the organization in some way.
Co-optation in government, for example, might involve bringing opposing party supporters into your own political party. The co-optation itself could be formal or informal, but it rarely involves giving any real power to the co-opted individual. Most of the time, the co-opted person is permitted to share participation but not share in the decision making.”
So, liberals should appropriate the message and medium and start wearing blue MAGA baseball caps!
FEATURED IMAGE: I took a Rep*blican-red MAGA hat and transformed it into a Democrat-blue MAGA hat. Despite the obstacles that Mitch McConnell and the Senate will spend four years laying before us, I would wear this cap—and I never wear baseball caps—and move forward with president Biden and Vice-President Harris a make America great again for those folks who work for a living or need a helping hand when they are down on their luck.
Finally, the piece by in the image captions above closes with this quotation from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”