Before he was running for President, Donald Trump was fond of including a cheeky tag in tweets wishing his followers happy holidays: “Haters and losers.”
Happy Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, to all, even the haters and losers!
“I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th,” the future President wrote in 2013.
“To EVERYONE, including all haters and losers, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Work hard, be smart and always remember, WINNING TAKES CARE OF EVERYTHING!” the future President wrote in 2015.
I’ve often wondered who these haters and losers were, what they looked like, where they lived. Were they overloaded social workers in Maine? Idaho accountants who bitterly masturbated to exotic pornography, resenting the life they’d bound themselves to? Were they advertising executives in Chicago, stay-at-home mothers in Florida? Where were they, what drove them to hate and lose, and why did Trump feel so compelled to single them out, over and over?
As I watched Trump deliver his bizarre defense of white supremacists yesterday, I finally got my answer. Trump, urging the press to see the good in those willing to chant alongside Nazis, was giving a nod to his most ardent fans. As former Klan leader and erstwhile media starfucker David Duke said, the “alt-right” was who got Trump elected.
Nobody embodies hate and loss like the people who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Hoisting the flags of defeated military forces—Confederates and Nazis—they marched. Chanting slogans of intolerance—towards Jewish people, towards black people, towards anything that wasn’t as pink and fleshy as their necks—they made their presence known. By the dictionary definition of both words, the alt-right is the purview of haters and losers.
The people Trump was so horny to legitimize aren't just losers in the “Confederates and Nazis both lost wars in a spectacular matter” sense. They're also losers in their own lives.
There’s a large overlap between the alt-right and the so-called “Gamergate” harassment campaign that ruined the internet in fall 2014. Its proponents claimed that they stood against political correctness, which they perceived was keeping them from being great. Its victims, mostly women, found themselves subjected to a barrage of abuse, including death threats. Many women on which Gamergate set its sights feared for their safety. Vice’s Motherboard observed earlier this year that old Gamergate boards, once hotbeds for the movement’s mob activism, were now mostly populated by alt-right and pro-Trump ideas.
Recent research has shown that low-status men are much more likely to bully women online. “Men who are afraid of losing their position in a hierarchy to a woman may be lashing out, leaning on the most stereotypical traits because they have the effect of reducing a woman’s power,” wrote the journal that published the study.
The online bullies, the low-status losers threatened by women, are the core of the alt-right. Again, haters and losers embodying a tradition of hate and loss in their personal lives. Unite The Right, the biggest alt-right gathering in years, may as well have called Loserpalooza.
“I wonder if I run for PRESIDENT, will the haters and losers vote for me knowing that I will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? I say they will!” Trump tweeted in September 2014.
As David Duke pointed out publicly and advisor Steve Bannon pointed out privately, Donald Trump owes his presidency to haters and losers of the alt-right. At this moment, Trump’s got the approval of about a third of the country. Recent polling found that 24 percent of the voting bloc will never abandon him, even if he follows through on his campaign thought experiment and shoots somebody on Fifth Ave., because even though he cannot govern, he stirs up fear and spite. Nobody loves fear and spite more than haters and losers.
“Happy Veterans Day to ALL, in particular to the haters and losers who have no idea how lucky they are!!!” future President Trump tweeted on Veterans Day 2013. One could argue that a white man who has the means and ability to travel out-of-state to protest perceived encroachment on “his” history is also pretty lucky, all things considered.
The President has tweeted about “haters and losers” 36 times during his tenure as an online loudmouth. But again, he confesses by accusing. Where would he be without them?
Haters and losers may the Trump’s most durable base of support. And in exchange for their loyalty, the President will debase himself over and over.