They Aren’t Even Pretending

It’s an election year, and we are already–predictably–being inundated with commentaries exploring the roots of MAGA devotion to a mentally-ill would-be dictator. The punditry digs into sociology, political science research–even psychiatric diagnosis– and the result is to obfuscate and excuse what most honest Americans recognize as the roots of MAGA’s attraction: racism and a fear of  Americans who can be considered “Other.”

As the more complicated (and generous) “analyses” mount, however, so does the evidence of the bigotry and White Christian Nationalism that is powering support for Trump. There are a lot of areas of our common lives that are genuinely complex, but evidence abounds that Trumpism/MAGA is not one of them.

This blog has frequently highlighted that evidence, and today I am offering yet another example of the willingness of bigots to be “out and proud.” Increasingly, they are willing to be forthright about the world they are trying to create, and candidly, I find it terrifying.

This report from the Guardian is the latest example:

A venture fund and a real estate startup – both with links to far-right organizations – are promoting a residential development in rural Kentucky as a haven for fellow right-wingers.

The promoters have presented the planned development as an “aligned community” for right-wingers who want to “disappear from the cultural insanity of the broader country” and “spearhead the revival of the region”.

The move is the latest effort by the far-right to establish geographical enclaves, following in the footsteps of movements like the so-called “American Redoubt”, which encourages right-wingers to engage in “political migration” to areas in the interior of the Pacific north-west.

Unsurprisingly, the development was announced on X, which is being turned into a racist and anti-Semitic cesspool by Elon Musk. It was also announced  in a special edition of the “New Founding” by Joshua Abbotoy, who is described as the “managing director of venture fund New Founding and principal of real estate developer Kentucky Ridge Runner LLC.”

According to Abbotoy, “Most of the leadership is going to be led by Protestant Christians.” (Take that, Catholics!!)

The Guardian contacted Abbotoy via email, asking whether he reserved the right to refuse to sell parcels to prospective purchasers who weren’t members of the “aligned community” and on what basis. He didn’t respond.

Actually, this appeal–closely targeted to a White Protestant Christian market–is a fascinating amalgam of market capitalism and bigotry.

“Utopian communities have long been a feature of the American landscape, but this may be more of a money-driven land speculation project with a culture war angle than an effort to create a utopian project in the classic sense”, said Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers, a key book on Christian nationalism.

There are two “aligned community” developments underway, and The Guardian calculated the profits if lots sell at the asking prices: in one, the company paid around $6,011 an acre, but buyers will pay up to the equivalent of $88,500 an acre for unimproved lots, or up to fourteen times the rate HRP paid. In the other, sellers will collect a total of at least $2.27 million on 550 acres of land for which they paid $900,000.

Nice work if you can get it….

It’s hard to escape the suspicion that pious Right-wing folks are seen by these enterprising developers not as comrades in utopian “aligned communities,” but as patsies.

The website advertising the lots says the developers seek to “build and back companies defined by American ideals and a positive national vision”,  and adds that it “explicitly oppose[s] DEI/ESG and the bureaucratization of American business culture” and targets “customers disfavored by corrosive ideologies.”

The explicit rejection of “diversity” and “inclusion” telegraphs the basis for the appeal.

Financial matters aside, Stewart said the move tracked with the preferences of the contemporary far right.

“This is typical of the far-right’s emotional need for a ‘safe space’,” she wrote.

“It’s not just that some members of this extremist cohort disagree with liberals, feminists, or any number of people who don’t share their views; it’s that they really can’t stand having those people anywhere nearby,” Stewart added.

“The mere existence of people not like them counts as an insult.”

I used to believe that such people were a small percentage of the American public. Now, I’m not so sure. The good capitalists who are targeting them obviously think they comprise a substantial and thus-far untapped market.

It’s scary.


  1. Your right, For further proof of how a crazy racists anti American movement gets started watch the PBS documentary Nazi Nation playing now on cable tv, and how close they came almost a 100 years ago at ceasing Americas government, the same way the KKK took control of Indians government. These people are no longer Americans they are tyrants intent on forcing their views and religion on all of America, I just spent 11 years in Florida where the entire state is welcoming a tyrannical government as is Texas and other southern states at an increasing rate that’s scary.

  2. Nothing will ever come out of the ground. Very little construction happens in the US with out hard working immigrants and it sounds like the guy at the gate might not let them in.

  3. Ray, I also watched that PBS documentary and it was chilling. The MAGA movement is following the same playbook, and with their propaganda machine working at full steam they are misleading many Americans.
    As far as the term “patsies” to describe the ones who would pay that much money to wall themselves off from the world so they can live in their fantasy land, these are the same rubes who are donating their hard-earned money to pay for T*ump’s court costs.
    We are living in a very scary time.

  4. One thing that I find fascinating about these anti-Semitic Christians is that they seem to cling so closely to the old testament, which is pretty clearly Semitic.

    I’ve been in a rehab facility for the past month with a roommate who is a right wing Christian. She is a stroke victim and is a really nice person. The stroke affected her speech center, so we haven’t talked a lot. She loves the televangelists and listens to them daily. I’ve had a lot of time to listen to their nonsense. They pick random passages and link them together to form a mishmash of fire and brimstone. The worst of it all is that they yell their messages as they tell their followers that the only way to a greater understanding of God’s message is to “buy my book.”

    It seems more like browbeating than preaching and I can imagine that people like my roommate would feel a need to send an offering.

    I’ve had an opportunity to compare and contrast that message and the manner in which it’s delivered to my own church. The difference is remarkable. I watch the mass at 5:00 on Saturday. I listen as Coleen speaks quietly about life lessons that can be drawn from that day’s gospel. It’s a completely different universe. It is what Jesus encouraged, a message of love and forgiveness. If you really follow Jesus, you don’t need a sanctuary to hide from “these the least of thy brethren.”

  5. “A venture fund and a real estate startup – both with links to far-right organizations – are promoting a residential development in rural Kentucky as a haven for fellow right-wingers.”

    Because Europe got overpopulated early in Homo sapiens history, they had laws governing land ownership ahead of the indigenous people of the North American Continent. That’s how and why the United States of America exists as a bordered, defined country.

    Now, people who call themselves “conservative” want to return to the tribal organization of the indigenous who were the original settlers of this land.

    Of course, because of our tradition of Capitalism, nothing happens without an impact either on taxes or wealth redistribution, and most of the time, both.

    History tells us how that will evolve. Dysfunctionally.

    That brings us to the question of what the English word “conservative” means in today’s reality.

    Is it the name of a tribe wishing to succeed from the Union? Does “conservative” now replace the word “Confederate” that previously was used to describe such people?

  6. I think we always live in scary times. Can you identify any century, or even any half century that wasn’t scary? Yet, somehow, our species continues to flourish. Each generation builds on the progress made by previous ones. We work to solve problems and sometimes that work creates new problems. The best we can do is try to solve more and create fewer and appreciate the time and benefits we have.
    I applaud all those who are working on solutions, especially Sheila and many who read and respond to her.

  7. “David Koresh (/kəˈrɛʃ/; born Vernon Wayne Howell; August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was an American cult leader who played a central role in the Waco siege of 1993. As the head of the Branch Davidians, a religious sect and offshoot of the Seventh-day Adventists, Koresh claimed to be its final prophet. His apocalyptic Biblical teachings, including interpretations of the Book of Revelation and the Seven Seals, attracted various followers.”

    Are the “Branch Davidians” a better model of the Dysfunction that will evolve in the “wilds” of Kentucky than the Confederacy?

    IDK. Of course the two organizational entities ended in about the same way.

  8. I would not be surprised if this real estate developer is connected to the Creation Museum or the Ark Encounter – both in KY.

    Peggy mentioned that her roommate listens to televangelists. Those televangelists are low life con artists who realized they can make a good living by constantly threatening Hellfire and Damnation to their parishioners. Their pitiful followers keep coming back for more because they are repeatedly told they will definitely go to hell if they stop coming back. Their church and their religious beliefs are the only way to get to heaven.

    Never mind that many of those churches are full of spouse physical abuse, incest, and multiple other horrible crimes committed by both the pastors and their male leaders. Despicable!

  9. Thanks, Nancy, for describing the fetid underbelly of what some mis-label as “conservative”. There is NOTHING conservative – in the strictest sense of the word – about these pathetic wretches. They are radical, reactionaries with a terminal case of intellectual dwarfism.

    Any entity that works to defy the social progress of the society in which they live are reverting to their cave-man mindset of tribalism. That is, of course, based on the first paragraph of the essay’s key word: FEAR. Part of the caveman brain fears just about everything since it evolved as a prey species in the beginning.

    The irony is that the gifts of reason and curiosity are totally lost on these “escapees”. They deny the very traits that allowed Homo sapiens to survive predation, starvation and disease to huddle together around their figurative campfire and look furtively over their shoulders and things that go bump in the night. Really, really sad. What a waste.

  10. Nancy, one thing you are correct about is that some of these preachers. Some aren’t following Gods word, but others do and are compassionate about the gospel and the message of salvation.
    You have to be like the Bereans.

  11. Nancy – I strongly prefer the portmanteau “contrepreneur”. I feel like “artist” gives way too much credit for these kind of liars.

  12. Yeah, John, there may still be a special place in Guyana awaiting them.
    It is scary, and they are patsies, just as tfg knew them to be.
    Hey, if Mr. and Mrs. “aligned community” want to congregate in one zip code, esp. in Ky., and remove themselves from the general voting population around the country, presumably minimizing their electoral impact…go for it. Kentucky already has some of the most backward
    legislators in the country. Maybe Rand Paul will actually be able to have a Dep’t of Education shut down…locally.

  13. I can only imagine what the housing association meetings will be like at these housing complexes.

    There’s also a lack of commercial development around the site, so how will they control the businesses moving in to capitalize on the neighborhood?

    Not sure how they will get past all the federal regulations against discrimination. Sounds like a consortium of “contrepreneurs” to me.

  14. Ray > In re your comment on the Florida captured by De Fascist – I retired to a house on a lake in North Naples, Florida, in 1998, with the intention of living it out there. Most of the people who lived at this resort were Republicans, but they were pre-Trump Republicans, and we got along and even joked about our respective stands on the issues of the day while golfing, eating out etc.

    Then came De Fascist, disguising his authoritarian designs under the cloak of culture war with his takeover of the state’s school and public libraries, threats of imprisonment of librarians and women seeking reproductive health, pro-slavery rewrite of history, political rewrite of the curricula of K through graduate school, etc. – all hallmarks of fascism in the offing, and a system I spent over two years of my life fighting in WW II in the South Pacific and elsewhere, a war in which two of my friends died in the defense of democracy, whose sacrifices I remember almost daily.

    I will not live with or under any fascist regime foreign or domestic, so I sold my house on the lake and moved back to my old home here in Indiana, a move some might characterize as a move from the frying pan into the fire, but even our super-majority rule by Republicans in this state hasn’t gone that far – yet – and I have winnowed down my list of new homes to Portugal and Costa Rica in the unlikely but possible event Trump is elected, so I am better prepared to escape such an anti-democratic disaster. Stay and fight? I tried that many moons ago. Someone else rid this country of such fascist blight to I can return from Portugal or Central America.

  15. ” . . . it’s that they really can’t stand having those people anywhere nearby,” Stewart added.
    “The mere existence of people not like them counts as an insult.”

    I think Stewart is suffering from cultural myopia; journalists have no trouble arguing a point in full sentences. For the right wingers I’m acquainted with in the northeast, “the mere existence of people not like them” means embarrassing confrontations with people who have a different opinion and can actually defend it coherently. The vast majority of dumb people are reactionary for good reason, since learning is hard for them.

    Even at the Country Club!! Can you imagine!? Is nowhere safe?

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