‘Nothing Less Than a Civil War’: These White Voters on the Far Right See Doom Without Trump

Deeply conservative, they manage on-line and outdoors the Republican Celebration equipment, participating in additional specific variations of the chest-beating seen on the president’s rallies.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Ariz. — Great American Pizza & Subs, on a highway about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas, was busier and Trumpier than usual. On any given day it serves “M.A.G.A. Subs” and “Liberty Bell Lasagna.” The “Second Amendment” pizza comes “loaded” with pepperoni and sausage. The dining room is covered in regalia praising President Trump.

But this October morning was “Trumpstock,” a small festival celebrating the president. The speakers included the local Republican congressman, Paul Gosar, and lesser-known conservative personalities. There was a fringe 2020 Senate candidate in Arizona who ran a website that published sexually explicit photos of women without their consent; a pro-Trump rapper whose lyrics include a racist slur aimed at Barack Obama; and a North Carolina activist who once said of Muslims, “I will kill every one of them before they get to me.”

All were welcome, except liberals.

“They label us white nationalists, or white supremacists,” volunteered Guy Taiho Decker, who drove from California to attend the event. A right-wing protester, he has previously been arrested on charges of making terrorist threats.

“There’s no such thing as a white supremacist, just like there’s no such thing as a unicorn,” Mr. Decker said. “We’re patriots.”

As Mr. Trump’s bid for re-election shifts into higher gear, his campaign hopes to recapture voters who drifted away from the party in 2018 and 2019: independents who embraced moderate Democratic candidates, suburban women tired of Mr. Trump’s personal conduct and working-class voters who haven’t benefited from his economic policies.

But if any group remains singularly loyal to Mr. Trump, it is the small but impassioned number of white voters on the far right, often in rural communities like Golden Valley, who extol him as a cultural champion reclaiming the country from undeserving outsiders.

These voters don’t passively tolerate Mr. Trump’s “build a wall” message or his ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries — they’re what motivates them. They see themselves in his fear-based identity politics, bolstered by conspiratorial rhetoric about caravans of immigrants and Democratic “coups.”

The president draws support from a broader political and ideological cross-section of Republicans than the Trumpstock crowd reflected, and he attracts some independents and Democrats as well. The festival itself was relatively small, drawing about 100 people, though significant enough to attract the likes of Mr. Gosar.

However occasions prefer it, in addition to talking engagements that includes far-right supporters of the president, have turn into a part of the political panorama through the Trump period. Islamophobic taunts may be heard at his rallies. Hate speech and conspiracy theories are staples of some far-right web sites. If Trumpstock was modest in measurement, it stood out as an indication of extremist public help for a sitting president.

And these supporters have electoral muscle in key areas: Mr. Trump outperformed Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, in rural components of Arizona like Mohave County, the place Golden Valley is positioned. Mr. Trump received 58,282 votes in the county, compared to 47,901 for Mr. Romney, though Mr. Romney carried the state by a much bigger vote margin.

Arizona will be a key battleground state in 2020: Democrats already flipped a Senate seat and a Tucson-based congressional district from red to blue in 2018. For Mr. Trump, big turnout from white voters in areas like Mohave County — and in rural parts of other battlegrounds like Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia — could be a lifeline in a tight election.

“We like to call this the ‘Red Wall of Arizona,’” said Laurence Schiff, a psychiatrist and Republican campaign official in Mohave County who organizes in support of Mr. Trump’s campaign. “Winning the state starts here, with us.”

Grass-roots gatherings play a critical role in the modern culture of political organizing, firing up ardent supporters and cementing new ones. Small circles of Trump-supporting conservatives, often organized online and outside the traditional Republican Party apparatus, engage in more decentralized — and explicit — versions of the chest-beating that happens at Mr. Trump’s closely watched political rallies.

In interviews, people in the crowd described a white America under threat as racial minorities typified by Mr. Obama, the country’s first black president, gain political power. They described Mr. Trump as an inspirational figure who is undoing Mr. Obama’s legacy and beating back the perceived threat of Muslim and Latino immigrants, whom they denounced in prejudiced terms.

“I don’t have a problem with Muslims,” said Angus Smith, an Arizona resident who attended the festival, “but can they take the rag off their head out of respect for our country?”

At Mr. Trump’s official rallies, including a recent one in Florida, the president has referred to Mr. Obama by stressing his middle name, Hussein, and said Democrats were “trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you.”

The Trumpstock speakers pushed even further, tying Mr. Obama’s middle name to a false belief that he is a foreign-born Muslim.

And Democrats were portrayed as not just political opponents, but avatars of doom for Mr. Trump’s predominantly white voter base and for the country.

“There is no difference between the democratic socialists and the National Socialists,” said Evan Sayet, a conservative writer who spoke at the event, referencing Nazi Germany. Democrats, he said, “are the heirs to Adolf Hitler.”

Speakers at Trumpstock said their cultural fears had been exacerbated by their state’s own changing nature: Arizona is on the front lines of undocumented border crossings from Mexico and racial minorities are expected to outnumber white people in the state in the next decade.

Arizona Democrats made political gains in 2018, and the national party is riding high after it won governor’s races this year in Kentucky and Louisiana. But Republicans remain bullish. They argue that a slice of their electoral base will only vote when the president is on the ballot, and point to regions like Northern Arizona as places to find, as Mr. Trump wrote in a recent tweet, “the Offended Majority.”

“We’ve the best base within the historical past of politics,” he mentioned at a latest rally in Florida.

In Arizona, probably the most outstanding pro-Trump, anti-immigrant teams are AZ Patriots and Patriot Motion AZ, which have held tight to the themes of white nationalism that some Republicans have denounced. In September, after repeated clashes, some members of the teams agreed to a court docket order to cease harassing migrants and church volunteers who assist them.

Earlier this 12 months, the teams and their allies organized a “Patriotism over Socialism” occasion in Gilbert, Ariz., close to Phoenix, that included speeches from Consultant Andy Biggs, the realm’s congressman, and Kelli Ward, the state’s Republican Celebration chair. They appeared alongside extra fringe figures: Sharon Slater of Household Watch Worldwide, which has promoted figures related to anti-L.G.B.T. conversion remedy, and Laura Loomer, the far-right activist and Arizona native who was banned by Twitter and another platforms after making anti-Muslim feedback.

This mix of insider and outsider, of mainstream and conspiracy, is a characteristic of how Mr. Trump has reshaped the Republican Celebration in his picture, and the core of his presidential origin story. Earlier than Mr. Trump introduced any agency plans to hunt workplace, he was the nationwide face of the “birther” conspiracy, which thrived within the Tea Celebration motion and had a big quantity of help from the Republican base, polls confirmed.

Stacey Goodman, a former police officer from New York who retired to Arizona and attended Trumpstock, mentioned her mistrust of Mr. Obama’s start certificates had led her to Mr. Trump.

“In case you’re Muslim, simply inform us you’re Muslim,” she mentioned of Mr. Obama. “It’s not that I didn’t consider him, I’m simply not certified to reply that query. I’ve seen info on either side that’s compelling.”

Mona Fishman, a singer from the Las Vegas space who carried out on the occasion, has written Trump-themed songs with titles like “Faux Information” and “Smells like Soros,” which accuses liberal megadonor George Soros of operating a shadow authorities, a trope broadly condemned as anti-Semitic.

Within the White Home, Mr. Trump has relied on comparable unfounded conspiracy theories and promoted individuals who have perpetuated them. He pardoned Joseph M. Arpaio, the previous sheriff of Maricopa County, a hero of Arizona’s proper wing and a frontrunner of the “birther” motion, who was convicted of felony contempt associated to his aggressive efforts to detain undocumented immigrants.

On Mr. Trump’s Twitter account, doubtless probably the most watched on the earth, he has promoted white nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots, and believers within the QAnon conspiracy concept, which claims that prime Democrats are worshiping the Satan and fascinating in youngster intercourse trafficking.

Even mainstream conservative media figures have embraced QAnon as a option to dismiss Mr. Trump’s political enemies. The Fox Information host Jesse Watters, throughout a latest phase devoted to the conspiracy, linked it to Mr. Trump’s Washington enemies. “Isn’t it additionally concerning the Trump combat with the deep state when it comes to the unlawful surveillance of the marketing campaign, the within hit jobs that he’s sustained?” he requested.

The embrace of conspiracy theories has annoyed some institution Republicans and average Republican voters, who urge Mr. Trump to embrace a extra conventional communication type.

His base disagrees.

“Please by no means cease tweeting,” Ms. Fishman sings in certainly one of her songs, titled “Thank You President Trump.” “I can hardly wait to see what I’ll be studying.”

Occasions like Trumpstock will not be restricted to Arizona. Its organizer, Laurie Bezick, recruited audio system from across the nation via social media, tapping right into a community of pro-Trump voices solely a click on away.

Lengthy-shot congressional candidates touting an “America First” agenda got here from locations like Iowa and Maryland. Leaders of fledgling political teams with names like JEXIT: Jews Exit The Democratic Celebration, Latinos for Trump and Deplorable Pleasure, a right-wing L.G.B.T. group, informed the overwhelmingly white viewers they weren’t anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, homophobic or racist. In actual fact, the audio system insisted, individuals who used these phrases have been extra responsible of bigotry than the individuals they accused.

To applause, the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, Marco Gutierrez, learn the pledge he took when he grew to become a naturalized citizen and renounced his Mexican homeland. Nitemare, a pro-Trump rapper who refused to provide his authorized identify, invoked QAnon and known as Mr. Obama a racist slur in his set.

Brian Talbert, the founding father of Deplorable Pleasure, was contacted by the White Home after he was barred from the L.G.B.T. pleasure parade in Charlotte, N.C. At Trumpstock, Mr. Talbert, who has a historical past of expressing anti-Muslim beliefs on social media, gave voice to hatred of Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, the previous secretary of state and Mr. Trump’s 2016 opponent.

“I believe she needs to be hanging on the finish of a rope for treason,” he mentioned of Mrs. Clinton.

Members of teams like these without delay make up a crucial portion of Arizona’s conservative base, and espouse derogatory rhetoric that should repeatedly be repudiated, creating political difficulties for the state’s Republican lawmakers. After {a photograph} emerged final April of members of Patriot Motion AZ posing with Gov. Doug Ducey, he mentioned he had by no means heard of the group. “I completely denounce their habits,” he added.

Trumpstock attendees say they’re used to being denounced, one other high quality they really feel they share with the president. It’s a part of why they’re protecting of him, to the purpose that they refuse to acknowledge the opportunity of a Trump loss in 2020.

Mark Villalta mentioned he had been stockpiling firearms, in case Mr. Trump’s re-election just isn’t profitable.

“Nothing lower than a civil warfare would occur,” Mr. Villalta mentioned, his proper hand reaching for a holstered handgun. “I don’t consider in violence, however I’ll do what I bought to do.”

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