Making America Snakes Again

(Graphic: Brian Covert / Photo: New York Times)

Now that voters in the United States have politically buried their Fake President, Donald Trump, at the polls by a wide margin, we can all continue popping the corks off those celebratory bottles of champagne into the new year and finally close the book on that unfortunate reign of America’s self-appointed emperor…right?

Think again. As this blog post goes to press, the U.S. congressional runoff races in the state of Georgia are winding down, the U.S. Congress is preparing to officially certify the electoral votes by winning candidate Joe Biden, and Trump is cheerleading a mass demonstration of his right-wing extremist followers in Washington DC that promises to be violent. And if that weren’t enough, several former U.S. secretaries of defense, both Republicans and Democrats, have become concerned enough to issue a rare statement blasting Trump’s insistence on stealing an otherwise free and fair election.

In this critical moment, the snake has shed its skin for all the world to see: Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) campaign and movement was never really about greatness at all — and it certainly was never about patriotism. It was about racism, white supremacy, white privilege, fear, hate, bigotry, exclusion and intolerance, to name a few. That much is clear now, if it wasn’t before. It was all about remaking the USA in Trump’s reptilian self-image and oppressing everyone else who dared to challenge the program, Republicans included.

The snake is now eating its own tail, with the Republican Party being swallowed bite-by-bite right before our eyes. The official elephant symbol of the Republican Party has now shape-shifted into a fattened, self-devouring snake that shows no mercy to friend or foe or even to itself. “Make America Snakes Again” (MASSA) would be a more appropriate slogan for Trump and his poisonous movement, as it seeks to deny Black lives and all other lives of color.

Making America snakes again, in the minds of Trump and his followers, means putting white people back on top, where they feel they’ve slipped in ranking in recent years, and letting other U.S. citizens of color know who’s really boss. It means deporting all brown-skinned aliens, immigrants and refugees back to the “shithole countries” (as Trump put it) where they came from. It means erecting impenetrable plastic “Made in the USA” walls between Mexico and the USA to keep out Latinos from doing all the cheap manual labor that white Americans would never do for fear of getting a little dirt under their fingernails.

Best of all, to them, a nation of snakes remade in Trump’s image means taking America back to its glorious European roots, a civilized colony that existed in North America long before the Native indigenous nations had occupied the very same land for thousands of years. Being a nation of white-orangey snakes, after all, means never having to say you’re sorry.

Trumpians are surely aware that the snake has a long history in American politics, going all back to the adoption in 1778 of the so-called Gadsden flag — the symbol of a coiled rattlesnake set against an all-yellow background above the words “Don’t Tread on Me”. The flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a prominent military and political figure in the American Revolution period who had owned a plantation and enslaved human beings stolen from the African continent. That same rattlesnake flag today has been given a welcome new home in Trump’s movement in these early years of the 21st century.

Back in 1963, African American singer/songwriter and civil rights activist Oscar Brown composed a song called “The Snake,” later made famous by soul singer Al Wilson. The snake in the song, when you read between the lines, refers to racist whites in the U.S. But Trump, during his 2016 election campaign and again in 2020, stole and subverted Brown’s biting social lyrics, changing around the snake symbol in the song to mean unwanted immigrants in the U.S. instead. It would take a snake like Trump to know another snake when it sees one, of course.

Where will this all end? Much of the American news media and the liberal political establishment are smugly assuming that when the time comes for Biden to be sworn in as president on 20 January, a mere two weeks from today, that Trump will simply slither away and crawl back under the rock from whence he came and that will be the end of it. But the Orange King Snake himself would still have one last (ahem) trump card to play if all else failed, and that would be setting a military coup in motion. We would all be wise not to rule out that option in the coming weeks and to take the proper steps to confront that reality, should it occur. Snakes, after all, follow the first law of nature — self-preservation and survival — like all other animals do. Trump is no different.

In a recent hourlong telephone call with Georgia state officials, which has since been publicly leaked, Trump made clear his strategy for openly overturning the 2020 presidential election in broad daylight, exposed for all to see. The long, legless reptiles have now come out of the grass and they make no apologies for intending to snatch an election from the jaws of victory by the Democrats. This treasonous act cannot be allowed to stand, and the Democrats will need to start acting like the one animal that snakes fear: the mongoose. Otherwise, this vote-stealing scenario will repeat itself again and again in the future, and the Republican Party (or what’s left of it by then) could very well succeed someday in robbing the nation’s presidential election and putting a worse dictator-type than Trump in power.

The Fake President was buried in the polls back in November 2020, just as he should have been. Now it’s time to make plans to defang Trump and put him on public trial before he slinks off forever to his home state of Florida, the place where all slimy swamp creatures go to hide out from American justice.

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