Trump in Orlando | USAToday photo
By Steve Cortes -
Infamous hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett may not have his television show anymore, but he seems to be killing it as a Donald Trump speechwriter.
“This is MAGA country!” the President proudly announced to the packed arena at the Orlando, Florida kickoff rally for his 2020 reelection campaign.
Smollett may want to check with the Screen Writers’ Guild to see if he can get the formal writing credit for that one. The phrase he coined in his fake crime report to the Chicago police fit in so perfectly with the high-energy, optimistic mood of the rally that President Trump used it over and over.
He even snuck it in as he asked the crowd of 20,000 diehard supporters which slogan they liked better for his 2020 campaign, “Make America Great Again” or “Keep America Great.” The President inadvertently stumbled upon a fantastic third option: “This is MAGA country!”
Despite his evident desperation for any shred of public attention he can get, I somehow doubt that old Jussie would be pleased by that enthusiastic appropriation of his signature catchphrase.
After all, he coined it in an attempt to convince Americans that roving bands of Trump supporters were prowling the streets of downtown Chicago in the dead of night — during a polar vortex, no less — looking for black and/or gay people to beat up.
The entire tale was so absurd that only the mainstream media could have believed it. The rest of just laughed as gullible news anchors breathlessly recounted the details in order to demonstrate just how horrible Trump voters were.
Of the many eyebrow-raising claims that Smollett made to police when he reported the “attack,” the most absurd by far was the assertion that his assailants shouted “This is MAGA country!” as they beat him, despite the fact that Chicago is one of the bluest places in America.
It was no innocent embellishment. The claim was designed to reinforce the vicious lie, taken as an article of faith by many on the left, that Trump supporters are violent, hateful, and ignorant.
The media compliantly helped to ram the hoax down America’s throat, declaring that incidents like the one Jussie made up were “far-right [read: “Trump”] America's endgame.” In fact, some media outlets continued to smearordinary Trump supporters as “bigots” over the imaginary attack even after it became clear that it never happened.
In Orlando, Donald Trump transformed Smollett’s smear into a rallying cry — just as his supporters did when Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables” — and in the process showed those who let themselves be duped by Smollett what “MAGA country” really is.
MAGA country is the tens of thousands of people who turned out to see President Trump announce his candidacy and launch his reelection campaign, standing in the rain for hours just for a chance to get a coveted seat in the Amway Center audience. MAGA country is the millions of others across the country whose support for the President is just as fervent. MAGA country is those who believed in the Trump revolution from the very beginning, and it’s also those who have been won over by the Trump administration’s proven record of economic success, good government at home, and tough resolve abroad.
MAGA country is all over: in the cities of Central Florida, in the industrial towns of the Upper Midwest that are finally flourishing again, and maybe — just maybe — even genuinely in downtown Chicago.
Like so much of the other vitriol that Hollywood elitists, Democratic politicians, and liberal journalists have slung at the President and his supporters over the last four years, the “MAGA country” slur is now just one more tool in the Trump arsenal. Being from MAGA country in 2020 is what being a “deplorable” was in 2016.
Steve Cortes is a CNN political commentator and a member of President Donald Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council. This op-ed was exclusively offered to be published at IllinoisReview.com.
Everyone who saw last week’s two Democrat candidate debates saw the REAL “basket of Deplorables.”