June 2, 2019

#MAGATrends

By Melissa Ryan

Revenge of Baby Trump Theresa May’s final humiliation as UK Prime Minister is hosting Donald Trump for a state visit next week. It’s a visit that no one wants, and is only happening because May invited Trump when he won the Presidency in 2016. Trump insulted May in a press interview the last time he visited the UK, and given how much he loves to kick a world leader when they’re down I’m sure he’ll manage to do so again this trip.

Expect former Trump aide Steve Bannon to also repeat his strategy of using Trump’s visit to galvanize the far -right in the UK and Europe. On a more positive note, you can also expect the Baby Trump balloon to return to the London skies.

Twitter wonders if there’s a downside to letting Nazis ruin their platform. According to, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, legal and public policy, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter is now paying outside researchers to study whether white nationalists belong on Twitter or if (just maybe) their presence helps spread white nationalism. As quoted in Vice: “We’re working with them specifically on white nationalism and white supremacy and radicalization online and understanding the drivers of those things; what role can a platform like Twitter play in either making that worse or making that better?”

In case you were wondering about transparency, Twitter refused to name the researchers and also said that they’re working under an NDA. But if said researchers need a handy reference of just how many white nationalists are amplifying hate on Twitter, Huffington Post’s Luke O’Brien has compiled an authoritative list.

Tommy Robinson’s milkshake did NOT bring all the voters to the yard. My colleague Joe Mulhall has a full rundown of European Union elections in the next article below, but I did want to highlight far -right darling Tommy Robinson’s (real name: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) loss. Robinson pulled in just 2.2% of the vote in his district. HOPE not hate’s Chief Executive, Nick Lowles has written a piece for the Guardian outlining how the organization turned out the vote in opposition toof Robinson. If you’d prefer something prettier this video of folks in the district laughing when the election results were announced is pretty great.

Extremism and Reproductive Freedom. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterms I wrote about how Trump and the Frog Squad used dehumanization as a strategy. Immigration was their primary wedge issue and in the final weeks before the election even I was shocked by the language Trump and his supporters routinely used to talk about it. Their incitement likely played a role in a string of domestic terrorism incidents in America the week before the election.

Abortion is clearly the wedge issue for 2020, and as we saw with immigration last year the fight will be nastier and the right will cross lines the GOP of the past generally tried to avoid. Whereas the Christian Right and the so-called alt-right were once somewhat at odds over abortion they’ve now merged under Trump, and Evaengelicals are more and more comfortable adopting the far-right’s open hatred of women. In addition to horrific legislation, expect dehumanization (such as claiming Democrats commit infanticide) and increasingly radicalized language that will undoubtedly incite potential domestic terrorist violence.