Goofy 'God's Army' convoy on Texas border shows Trump's MAGA movement is just one long con


It’s time for non-brainwashed Americans and the media at large to accept something: former President Donald Trump’s “MAGA movement” is a tissue-paper tiger.

This was on vivid display in Texas over the weekend. A much-ballyhooed convoy of MAGA patriots descended on a town near the southern border, ostensibly ready to protect America from what right-wing politicians like Gov. Greg Abbott cynically, dangerously and falsely call “an invasion.”

The “God’s Army” convoy was supposed to be a mighty force of 700,000 or more people from every corner of America. It wound up being maybe a couple hundred vehicles parked at a rural ranch in Quemado, Texas – basically a Trump rally without a Trump, but with plenty of hucksters selling MAGA merch and grifting the easily grifted.

MAGA was promised a Texas border ‘invasion,’ but it wasn’t there

Some actually visited the border in nearby Eagle Pass, Texas, and were surprised to not witness the invasion they had been promised.

People listen at the Take Our Border Back Convoy rally at One Shot Distillery and Brewery in Dripping Springs on Thursday February 1, 2024.

People listen at the Take Our Border Back Convoy rally at One Shot Distillery and Brewery in Dripping Springs on Thursday February 1, 2024.

Convoy-goer Misty Gregory told CNN: “It’s not what I expected, but then again I don’t know what I expected. I can tell you it’s not as bad as what I thought, so that’s kind of eye opening in itself.”

Abbott and about a dozen other pro-razor-wire GOP governors were in Eagle Pass on Sunday, hollering and whatnot. Some residents said the recent invasion of Trump supporters from the convoy had been downright scary.

“We are constantly being told that we’re being invaded, and that never felt true until today, when the convoy came to town in anticipation of the Governors’ event,” Jessie F. Fuentes of Eagle Pass told WOAI Channel 4. “This is political theater by outsiders. The reality is that it has brought dangerous, violent groups into our beautiful, peaceful city. Eagle Pass is safer than most cities in America if you look at crime statistics. This is just a fact. We don’t appreciate these staged events that dramatically misrepresent our reality on the border and that invite extremist groups that pose a real danger to people in our community.”

In Texas, the MAGA movement again reveals its impotence

So God’s Army’s foot soldiers came, in underwhelming numbers, and accomplished little beyond showing everyone how tragically gullible they are and making the locals twitchy. That’s MAGA in a nutshell: loud, threatening and, in the end, impotent.

A Border Patrol vehicle exits Shelby Park on Jan. 26, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas National Guard to defy a Supreme Court ruling allowing federal Border Patrol agents complete access into the area.

A Border Patrol vehicle exits Shelby Park on Jan. 26, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas National Guard to defy a Supreme Court ruling allowing federal Border Patrol agents complete access into the area.

Trump won the presidency in 2016, and he hasn’t won a thing since. He’s the face of this supposedly forceful political movement, but the movement mirrors its creator, a loudmouth con artist who over-promises and rarely delivers a thing.

The wall? Mexico paying for the wall? The border crisis fixed? Nope, nope and nope.

Why politicians take action: Fixing the border crisis is bad for Trump and good for Biden. That’s the problem.

The ‘God’s Army’ convoy, like all things MAGA, was a grift

MAGA is and always has been a con to line the pockets of Trump and others who saw a swath of Americans waiting to be fleeced. The fact that our border is not now lined with big, strong, gun-toting patriots willing to defend America at all costs is not surprising.

MAGA says: “WE ARE COMING BY THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS!” Then MAGA delivers a crowd that resembles a small county fair on a slow day, populated by a mix of conspiracy theorists, angry xenophobes and slightly befuddled hangers-on who didn’t get what they were promised.

Bipartisan border bill shows actual attempt to address the crisis

On Sunday in Washington, DC, a bipartisan Senate bill to address the border crisis was released. It’s a serious piece of legislation that includes about $20 billion in border funds. It deserves strong consideration, but the Trump loyalists in the House have already declared it dead-on-arrival.

January 9, 2024: U.S. National Guard soldiers stop to talk while patrolling the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas. Immigrant crossings in the area have dipped dramatically since a major surge in the last months of 2023.

January 9, 2024: U.S. National Guard soldiers stop to talk while patrolling the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas. Immigrant crossings in the area have dipped dramatically since a major surge in the last months of 2023.

After the Senate bill was released, President Joe Biden said: “The United States Senate has done the hard work it takes to reach a bipartisan agreement. Now, House Republicans have to decide. Do they want to solve the problem? Or do they want to keep playing politics with the border?”

Oh, they’ll definitely want to keep playing politics with the border. Because that’s what Trump – the MAGA king – has told them to do.

People treat MAGA like an unstoppable force, but it’s not

But they are being cowed by a weenie movement that’s all smoke and mirrors. There are loud influencers who puff up the strength of MAGA, and there are, sadly, many in the political press who buy in and amplify that belief.

But MAGA, at least since Trump first took office, has been a losing movement. It’s not unstoppable. It’s not a 700,000-person convoy of devoted citizen-soldiers descending on Texas in a show of force.

Biden’s woke economy: True MAGA patriots must remove themselves from Biden’s booming economy, cash out 401(k)s

It’s a comically disorganized and useless parade of con artists and the conned, drifting from one apocalyptic grievance to the next.

The border is a serious issue. But God’s Army and Trump and his slavish enablers in the House are not serious people.

MAGA, for all its bluster, is a joke without a punchline. The sooner people recognize that the better.

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Senate border bill is bipartisan fix, but Trump’s GOP doesn’t care





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