What Does "Mother Of All Rallies" Want? Protestors Claim They're Defending "American Values"
On Saturday, the nation's capital will host a rally that promises to be unique amongst the many D.C. has witnessed over the past eight months. Since Donald Trump's inauguration, political activists marching on the federal government's home turf have done so largely in opposition to Trump or his agenda. The Mother of All Rallies (MOAR) is set against that trend, boasting organizers and speakers drawn largely from the pro-Trump ranks. And while they state that theirs is a nonpartisan rally, the not-so-cryptic rationale in defense of "America's culture and traditions" suggests the goal of MOAR is at odds with that of progressives.
On its website, MOAR refers to itself as the "silent majority," a term originally used to describe the widespread appeal of President Reagan. During the 2016 election, Trump supporters often used the phrase to describe themselves. MOAR also explicitly supports the "America First" agenda, a term first coined by a 1940 group advocating for negotiations with Hitler and championed by none other than known anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh. Trump made "America First" the name for his approach to foreign policy, claiming ignorance of its ugly roots. His MOAR supporters also seem unfazed by the term's dark history. Either way, the slogan "America First" is practically synonymous with Trump today.
To its credit, MOAR explicitly rejects any racism, making clear the only flag it wants to see is the American one. Its homepage states in all caps, "NO CONFEDERATE FLAGS, COMMUNIST FLAGS, OR FOREIGN FLAGS ALLOWED THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN RALLY."
A nonpartisan rally does not mean this is not a pro-Trump event. After all, there were plenty of traditionally Democratic counties that voted for Trump in the 2016 election. And with his recent deals with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Trump himself has shown a willingness to make himself an example of bipartisanship.
A read of MOAR's homepage makes it clear that at least one of the rally's aims is to unite all Trump supporters, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or political party. What is much less defined is how, exactly, MOAR conceives of America's traditions and values.
The list of speakers on this front is not encouraging. Take Joe Biggs, for example. The former writer for InfoWars — a website famous for promoting in right-wing conspiracy theories — propped up the bogus Seth Rich narrative claiming the DNC staffer had been murdered. (UPDATE: As of Monday, Biggs was not listed as a speaker, but describes on MOAR's official website as a member of the team.)
And besides materializing at the violent white supremacy march in August in Charlottesville, Virginia, another featured group — The Red Elephants — is also what could kindly be referred to as an immigration hardliner. Its website suggests it's also alright with anti-Semites in their envisioned big tent party, provided those views be more or less kept on the down low.
Many of the other speakers on MOAR's lineup are less provocative, though they all have a notably pro-Trump bent to their politics. The Mother of All Rallies might be best understood as a call for unification amongst any and all Trump supporters.
One of the most anticipated developments surrounding MOAR is its rally's concurrent timing with the Juggalo March On Washington. Devoted fans of hardcore hip hop group Insane Clown Posse will gather to demand they no longer be targeted by the FBI, insisting they are not a "loosely organized hybrid gang." The visuals inherent in the juxtaposition of these two marches will likely have plenty of camera crews salivating.
What MOAR hopes to accomplish appears to be a show of solidarity amongst all kinds of Trump supporters who consider themselves patriots. What further goals their organization holds might be made clear after Saturday's march.