Donald Trump’s presidency is taking its last shallow, ragged breaths, with President-elect Joe Biden set to take office today—the best efforts of Trump’s incompetent campaign legal team and the disastrously failed insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in vain. What’s a Trump supporter to do?
If you’re on The Donald, the toxic Trump-worshiping fan club booted from Reddit last year for harassment, rampant racism and hate speech, and brigading other subreddits before it regrouped on its own domain, you’re probably yelling at your brethren about who’s a “doomer,” who’s a traitor, who’s a coward, and who’s living in an alternate reality. You’re choosing sides between QAnon, the nonsensical conspiracy theory that posits Trump is secretly warring against a cabal of Democratic pedophiles, or being another type of asshole. You may also be facing federal charges, as The Donald was one of the many message boards where extremist Trump aficionados openly telegraphed their violent intentions in DC before five people died.
In short, this particular hive of some of the worst people on the web is undergoing a little turmoil right now. Here’s a sampling of this momentous moment in time in the far-right safe space.
A significant contingent of The Donald remains in denial. After all, of course, Inauguration Day could end with Trump storming the premises with The Troops to restore... well, not democracy, that’s for sure. Maybe he’ll unseal indictments against every single one of his enemies and launch mass arrests, a 5D master chess move. Perhaps Trump is leaving office but only as part of a grander plan.
Whatever the case, why not stall for one more day before you realize it’s all over? Heck, why admit it’s all over? Trump could easily rally a procession of tanks to take over key strategic sites across the nation in March, or maybe April or something. You never really know.
Denial having failed them, others on The Donald are turning to rage as the next best thing. They’re angry about calls for unity with “leftists” (i.e., anyone who doesn’t have red, white, and blue body paint and a homemade spear with a flag on it). They’re angry at their fellow compatriots for blabbing to the cops. They’re angry that Trump chickened out on blanket pardoning all his political allies and supporters. They’re angry that it turned out the president is a wuss (or that he was backstabbed by weak-willed subordinates). Either way, they’re very, very angry.
OK, we’re back to The Donald pleading for Trump to pull one more ace card out of his sleeve, or risk losing the confidence of his supporters that he can turn the country into a neo-fascist state in the next few hours. Perhaps it would help if they all printed out MAGA stickers and plastered them everywhere?
The ranks of The Donald’s doomers—internet slang for someone who has lost all faith in the fight and believes that no effort could possibly surmount the obstacles in its path—are growing. This is perhaps best summed up by buzz around a Donald Trump Jr. post on Instagram comparing the current situation to when Scar took over in The Lion King (perhaps with the implication that Junior is Simba or something, who cares), after which The Donald doomer brain trust pointed out Scar and the hyenas were able to ravage the lands for years while Simba was off singing songs about eating insects with a warthog and a meerkat.
Typically, acceptance of a major emotional loss is a good thing. Unfortunately, in this case, acceptance usually means restarting the cycle with a more extreme, violent form of denial. The Donald is currently hosted by Epik, a company known for hosting other far-right, supremacist websites.
The company told the Wall Street Journal last week it is considering taking the site offline after the forum’s owner, Jody Williams, claimed there was little they could do to fight the site’s ongoing spiral into racism and insurrectionism, as a cabal of moderators has banded together to fight his control over the site.