Trump's Ohio Hate Rally Goes Full Fascist With Creepy Nazi-Style Q Salute
We didn't want to waste time and energy discussing Donald Trump's latest propaganda fest in Youngstown, Ohio, but you can't really ignore rallies where the attendees raise their arms and salute their leader like a pack of Nazis.
Saturday's rally was supposedly about Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance, who is struggling to dispatch his Democratic opponent Rep. Tim Ryan. However, Trump predictably kept the event focused on himself and his own lengthy list of personal grievances. Whenever he did mention Vance, though, Trump found new ways of humiliating him.
"J.D. is kissing my ass," Trump boasted. "Of course, he wants my support."
It's the one true statement Trump made at the rally. Vance, who once compared Trump to Hitler (unfavorably so!), willingly appeared at Trump's Hitler rally. Vance didn't actually invite Trump to his rally that some genius on his staff scheduled on the same day as an Ohio State game, but Trump exerted his dominance and came anyway. As we all learned after the 2020 election, you just can't get rid of this guy.
Trump, of course, lied and bragged on his garbage Truth Social platform that "both J.D. Vance and Dr. Oz asked me to do big rallies for them." They did no such thing.
After describing Vance as "a great person who I've really gotten to know," Trump reminded the crowd that Vance is an opportunistic fraud who submitted fully to the MAGA cult.
"Yeah, he said some bad things about me, but that was before he knew me and then he fell in love. Remember, I said that about Kim Jong Un – he fell in love, and they said, 'Oh, Trump was saying he fell in love.' Actually, he did."
See, that's what happens when you let Trump crash your rally. He compares you to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Like the supreme leader, Trump has built a cult of personality around himself. So it's not a shock that he'd embrace the QAnon conspiracy theory, which imagines Trump as some all-powerful, god-like figure.
QAnoners have shown up at Trump rallies for years now, but Trump is now openly catering to them. He's reposted images of himself wearing a QAnon pin overlaid with the cultist rallying cry "The Storm Is Coming." According to QAnon "lore," the rapturous “storm” is Trump’s final victory, when he'll supposedly regain power and his opponents will be tried and possibly executed on live TV. This seems more divisive than President Joe Biden suggesting that some Republicans are "semi-fascist." It's also practically his unofficial 2024 platform. It's less a conspiracy theory now than an outright threat.
CBS News's Robert Costa tweeted after Saturday's spectacle, "Tonight in Ohio, fingers were pointed in the air in the crowd as Trump spoke and swelling orchestral music was played through the speakers. Trump spoke darkly of Democrats and cast the nation as adrift. A snapshot of American democracy, Sept. 17, 2022."
\u201cTonight in Ohio, fingers were pointed in the air in the crowd as Trump spoke and swelling orchestral music was played through the speakers. Trump spoke darkly of Democrats and cast the nation as adrift. \n\nA snapshot of American democracy, Sept. 17, 2022.\n\n\u201d— Robert Costa (@Robert Costa) 1663471104
When Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, he claimed, "America doesn't win anymore." He vowed to end the so-called "American carnage" during his 2017 inaugural address. His rhetoric has rarely been uplifting but it's grown increasingly darker since his election loss, and reeks of jackboots.
During his nightmare-fuel address, sinister orchestral music played — a fascist knockoff of Wagner. It was apparently eerily similar to the QAnon anthem "Wwg1wga” (“Where we go one, we go all"), but Trump's aides insist it was a different song called "Mirrors." Either way, it resulted in a chilling sight: People raised a single finger in the air, apparently referencing the "1" they believed was the song's title.
After attempting to overthrow a duly elected government, Trump somehow remains free to lead an unstable army containing your neighbors and coworkers. This is today's America, and it's terrifying.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."