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(48,864 posts)
Wed Jan 4, 2023, 12:09 AM Jan 2023

Talia Lavin: The Great Right-Wing Con Job


Let us say you are thinking about the motive forces of hatred—what drives it and who is drawn to it and why.

Somewhere along the meandering path towards understanding you encounter a Trump-themed Red Bull rip-off called Winning Energy, whose shabby aura, a quintessence of the MAGA aesthetic, offers its own set of answers.

It’s a homepage you can almost smell. The vibe is a Klan meeting with a cash bar, seedy lounge-singer covers of Wagner, gilt that comes off on your fingers, a $999 deal on a late-night infomercial with the volume cranked all the way up. The can says its ingredients are liberal tears, but the label adds glucuronalactone and pantothenic acid. Very thin women in bikinis hold up the beverage in promo photos; it’s endorsed by an evangelical rapper and a graying male YouTuber whose videos include “Basic Bitches 101.” Winning Energy will help you kick “Sleepy Joe” syndrome, and it comes in sugar-free.

Or it did once, anyway. Timothy Shea, the founder of the company, was convicted in late 2022 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and now the email list offers an error message when you try to sign up.

Of prominent hate figures—like UK professional racist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, or snake-oil tycoon Alex Jones—the question is often asked: do they sincerely believe all this shit, or are they just trying to make a buck?

The answer is yes.

Talia Lavin: The Great Right-Wing Con Job (Original Post) Nevilledog Jan 2023 OP
Kick Nevilledog Jan 2023 #1
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