As we all know, the rallying cry for people in favor of overturning the 2020 election was “stop the steal”. Its short, catchy, and easy to remember and repeat. But what do these words really mean? Could their mantra “stop the steal” really be a call for something more sinister? I believe it is, and even if Trump and his minions don’t agree, “stop the steal” is more than just election talk. It is a last-ditched effort to, dare I say, “make America great again”.
What do these two sayings have in common? “Stop the steal” and “make America great again” can be traced to one idea: America is getting browner. Demographic shifts point to the fact that America is changing. Some estimates say that by 2050, minorities (when combined together) will outnumber whites in America. Translation: white people in America will become the minority and people of color will become the majority. But how do we know this is true?
I like to think of Barack Obama as the answer to the question (although it is unfair to him). Black and brown people have slowly penetrated American society and its cultural norms. It was gradual, yet undeniable. I think it was “accepted” because it was not overwhelming to some white people. Enter President Obama! He was, whether we admit it or not, the face of the demographic shift in America. A black man became President, and all Americans became witnesses. People of color were taking over!
After 8 years of Obama, America “needed” to get back its identity as a white, Christian nation. Enter Donald Trump! He was the candidate that embodied turning back the clock. Why do you think he used slogans like “make America great again” and “America first”? Both point back to a time when a white-male power structure dominated American society. It was, according to some, the time when America was great. But you can ask countless numbers of Americans about the validity of America’s greatness. When was America truly great for all of us?
Right before the Trump Presidency ended, we were introduced to a new slogan: “stop the steal”. While it refers to the so-called theft of the 2020 election, in reality it can also point to the demographic shift overtaking America. Seeing Barack Obama as President was a shock to the system, but Donald Trump temporarily eased those concerns. However, he lost, which means his momentous “make America great again” movement has to lose a little steam. In other words, we need to “stop the steal” now to prevent people of color from taking over.
Let me be clear. “Stop the steal” is more than a rallying cry against the election of Joe Biden. Instead, it is a call-to-arms! It is a rebel yell! It is a mantra to summon those who do not want the people of color to “take over” America. It is a call-to-action to preserve the white-male dominated society we have endured since 1776. It is a threat of a new civil war in America to keep the status-quo. As a side note: Isn’t it ironic that America broke away from a tyrannical government, only to acquiesce to having a new tyrannical government if Trump was allowed to “make America great again” .
What proof do we need? On January 6, 2021 armed protesters violently stormed, and occupied the Capitol of the United States of America. They wanted to “stop the steal”. Pictures don’t lie. 99.9% of the thousands of people involved were white. I would guess 75% or more of them were male. They were not protesting, marching, and rioting to move America forward. They were storming the capitol to protect their way of life and their freedom. Both ideas reflect their need to keep America the way it has always been, great for them, but not so great for everyone else.
So how can we “stop the steal”? The answer is to acknowledge what has already been stolen: the idea that America is founded on the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How about stopping the need to always be in control? How about stopping the need to always be right? How about stopping the need to be “great”, even if it infringes on the rights of those who not considered “great”? How about accepting the fact that America is changing, and the only way to make America great is acceptance and tolerance? How about bridging the gaps between people to help everyone feel they are a part of America.
This would make America great for all of its citizens, and end the notion that the country is being stolen. We can stop the steal, by stopping, misinformation, lies, and falsehoods. We can stop the steal by following the Constitution. We can stop the steal by accepting our country as the melting pot and ethnicities it has always been. We can stop the steal by putting our hopes in ourselves and each other. We can stop the steal by accepting our differences, which are not greater than our similarities. We can stop the steal by working to heal our nation. By doing these things and more, we can stop the steal.
Gary A. McAbee, Author and Blogger: JOIN ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
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