Book review: ‘MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again’


"MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again" by MIke Cernovich. Photo by James Niiler
“MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again” by MIke Cernovich. Photo by James Niiler

Donald Trump’s astounding victory in the 2016 US Presidential race has been acknowledged by both the Left and Right to be an unprecedented, historical event. Few in the ‘professional class’ – the media, pundits, political strategists, and entertainers – saw it coming, however. What factors led to his victory?

Right-wing writer, Constitutional lawyer, investigative journalist, and fitness and mindset expert Mike Cernovich believes he has the answer. The author of the best-selling “Gorilla Mindset” and “Danger and Play,” Cernovich delves into the realm of politics in his newest groundbreaker, “MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again.”

“MAGA Mindset” is divided into three parts, the first of which explores the cultural and social factors behind Trump’s rise. Cernovich (who despises ‘basic b****es’) is not a ‘safe’ conservative. While he is not a part of the ethno-nationalist ‘alt-right,’ he nonetheless echoes criticisms the alt-right has of the contemporary Conservative Movement: its silencing of conservatives it deems ‘disrespectable’ or ‘extreme’; its belittlement of the white working class; and most importantly, its unwillingness to address the issue of mass immigration.

Cernovich reacts to these ‘cuckservatives,’ who continually kowtow to the Left, with a mixture of horror and ridicule. Cernovich’s argument, then, is Trump’s rise is based on the Conservative Movement’s failure to conserve any facet of American culture or identity under the Leftist onslaught. Trump, an unabashed nationalist and populist, was the man of the hour to defeat the Left, when the Conservative Movement had failed in doing so.

The second part “MAGA Mindset” is an evisceration of the mainstream media. An institution which has long been Left-leaning, the media came out in full force for Hillary Clinton and against Trump in the 2016 campaign. Indeed, Cernovich exposes the media as the nothing more than a shill for the Democratic Party, and a rapidly dying monolith at that.

Cernovich details several of the lies the mainstream media has spouted over the years, especially during the latest campaign – when it refused to cover issues such as Clinton’s health, for instance, and manufactured stories such as the Michelle Fields hoax. He further posits that much of Trump’s success was based on him creating, rather than reacting to, news cycles. Cernovich praises the ‘new media’ – that is, news shared over social media – a medium Trump has mastered.

The third and final part of “MAGA Mindset” is the most fascinating, as it describes Trump’s victory-oriented mindset. Cernovich’s writing here is at his best, as this is his natural forte. He describes how a pastor at the young Trump’s church, Norman Vincent Peale (author of “The Power of Positive Thinking”), deeply influenced Trump to achieve success at a level few thought possible. Cernovich then lays out several simple motivational steps based on Trump and Peale’s ideology the reader can apply to his or her own life. At this point, “MAGA Mindset” has evolved from analysis to pure motivation – and let me say it is fantastic.

“MAGA Mindset” is easily read in one sitting. A slim volume (nicely adorned with a Trump-themed cover illustration by libertarian cartoonist Ben Garrison), it nevertheless packs a punch. Perhaps the most acute summary of the 2016 election, it should be reading for all liberals, conservatives, and alt-rightists interested in the rise and triumph of Trump. Of course, the mindset chapter is directly applicable to all, regardless of one’s place on the political spectrum.

Donald Trump, mindset extraordinaire, is our President for the next four to eight years. “MAGA Mindset” is a tour de force in understanding the next leader of the free world – and improving your own life to boot.

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