America is an amazing, generous and inspiring country where even if you have nothing but white skin, rage, fake victimhood, and criminal charges, you too can have a chance to rise up and try to become a Republican Senator! That’s Mark McCloskey’s American dream. He’s betting that his illegal use of a firearm to menace peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors can capture the hearts of Republican voters and win him a Senate seat in Missouri.
You’ll remember Mark and his wife Patricia as the personal injury attorneys who brandished guns from the safety of their mansion’s manicured front lawn in a privileged, gated St. Louis suburb. Viral photos of McCloskey— wearing a pink polo shirt tucked into his khakis, barefoot and pointing his assault rifle at unarmed Black people—spread around the world.
Sane people were horrified. Republicans were inspired by a new hero who posed as an alpha male, a tough guy like Gary Cooper, John Wayne or John McClane, fictional models of the sort of violent, pretend masculinity that has allegedly have been cancelled by “the wokes.” In MAGA world’s upside-down account, the McCloskeys were the real victims, protecting themselves from terrifying BLM rioters who’d had the audacity to walk in front of their house. That’s the story the McCloskeys told at the 2020 Republican National Convention, where they were given prime time real estate to warn the base of “Marxist liberal activities” and “criminals” who want to “abolish the suburbs.” They fueled white anxiety by staring directly at the camera and warning voters that “no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.” Well, Trump lost, Biden was elected, and now those very same families have vaccines and stimulus checks during a devastating pandemic — but, I digress.