From a small-time underground career as a rap artist to one of social media’s most vocal supporters of Donald Trump, An0maly – real name Albert J. Faleski – has built a coalition of fans around one of the most prevailing theme’s of the Forty-fifth’s popularity: that you can't trust anybody.
The idea the media, the government and the technocrats that inform public policy are incompetent, malicious or out-right lying to you is nothing new. But now-outgoing President Trump is one of the most recent examples in living memory of a politician who managed to galvanise significant support around ailing public trust in civil institutions. And with Trump’s election came a whole new class of political pundit like Faleski, ready to cater to an audience distrustful of mainstream media narratives.
His audience is diverse, and it represents an interesting nexus of online Trump supporters that feels like a Venn Diagram of conspiracy fans, anti-Government types, and Gen-Z conservatives. Though there is a lot of overlap with the kind of person one might find at a Trump rally, the online fandom, so to speak, always felt slightly different.
With Trump all but out of the White House now, this conversation with one of his staunchest young supporters, is a look into the online Trump-fan world, and an honest and respectful conversation between two people from opposite sides of the political fence.
You went from a Bernie bro to a Trump train supporter. Can you tell us about that journey?
In 2016, I was around 26 years old, and I never liked politics. I never liked either party. I thought both parties were corrupt. I thought Obama was a puppet, George Bush was a puppet and Bernie struck me as somebody and he sold himself as somebody, who was outside the two-party system. I didn’t know much about healthcare or taxes or anything really important about being an adult, so he kind of conned me into thinking he was really outside the system.
I started following the media more, and I always knew the media was fake, so Sanders kind of led me to realise that the media
was lying on such a huge scale, even bigger than I thought it was. Then I think it was a natural progression from that to seeing Trump actually say all this real stuff. I stopped listening to what the media said about him and actually listened to full Trump speeches, and I was like, “Wow, this guy, he sounds like somebody I watch on YouTube.” He’s just out there talking shit and saying some real stuff.
Then I also hit the adult age where I started paying for healthcare and taxes and I lived in California under Democrats, and they told me it was only the wealthy that get taxed heavily, but I was getting taxed and I was also paying crazy amounts for healthcare and I couldn’t opt out, because the Democrat policies on the individual mandate. So it kind of all hit me at once and, I think right as he was getting inaugurated.
I didn’t tell a lot of people, because there’s so much social pressure, but I was like, “I think this guy’s the real deal. I really think he’s the guy who wasn’t supposed to be there.” I was never a full-blown Liberal Democrat or anything. I came more from like an, I don’t want to say conspiracy theory, but maybe more outside opinions to politics. The transition just kind of hit me.
Detractors argue that Donald Trump and his administration have sown division among different groups in America, which has led to the situation the country is in right now. What are your thoughts?
I’m going to start with a quote from Malcolm X. I don’t know the exact quote, but he said something along the lines of, “The media is the most powerful entity on the earth. They can make the hero look like the villain and the villain look like the hero.” I truly believe they have the power to make anybody divisive depending on how they report them. But I would say that he’s so blunt and so straight forward that a lot of people can’t handle the truth. Some people have a friend where they’ll tell you that you look great when you look like shit. Where then, you have the friend who says, “You have some shit on your face. You should probably wipe it off.” You might not want to hear that, but it’s the truth and it’s going to benefit you.
I think Trump is so real and so straight forward that a lot of people can’t handle the truth. Life is getting so real, especially with the lockdowns and the mask mandates, I mean, people don’t want to acknowledge what’s really going on in this country. I think in some ways, he’s definitely not the smoothest speaker and I think there would be a way to lose less people, but I truly believe that even if somebody came along that was smoother than Trump and said all the right things and explained it in a way that made sense, that they would still find a way to make them look divisive. I think it takes somebody with his attitude and his perseverance and maybe his bluntness to beat a political class that’s this corrupted, and also make it in Washington. It’s not an easy feat.
Do you see media bias and control as more of a left-wing or right-wing phenomenon?
In this country the left-wing and the Democrat-associated media controls most things. For instance, from Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, you have YouTube, you have Google, which owns YouTube. You have Twitter. All these people are left-wing and anytime they try to be somewhat objective, they have a lot of groups like the ADL, the ACLU, and there’s a lot of pressure for them to push in the left-wing direction. I think both sides could be the culprit, no question. I see terrible right-wing media all the time. But in this country, the left-wing controls almost all of internet media, I would say, as far as big tech.
When it comes to the television, out of the main stations, you have CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CNN and Fox News. If you watch Fox News (I’m not a fan of them to be honest) but you have liberals on, you have Democrats, you have conservatives. They do give you a mix. All of the other stations are just 100 percent left-wing. They don’t have any Republicans or conservatives, so I would say 85 to 90 percent of television media is left-wing. And they control most of the shows that people watch like SNL, this is not bipartisan comedy. It’s like they’re reading the script of what the Democratic Party says, whether it’s true or not, and making comedy around it.
I compete with most left-wing people on social media because people are seeking the truth and they're running out of places to get it.
Where that’s scary is, I think if you go far enough right on a political scale, you get to libertarianism, which is smaller government. And when you go further left, you get communism or authoritarianism, which is total government. These people won’t accept a Trump win, and if they get White House, you have almost total control of all information. So I think both sides can be dishonest and make mistakes, but no question, the media in this country is largely left-wing, and they work really hard to try to get more. But where that actually benefits me and other pundits is that people want the truth. And when you have so many people doing one thing and you only have a few people –Tucker Carlson – myself, doing the opposite, you see massive numbers. Tucker is the biggest person on television. I compete with most left-wing people on social media, because people are seeking the truth and they’re running out of places to get it.
Isn’t Tucker Carlson’s popularity and the popularity of Fox News in general, evidence that the right-wing media outlets actually have quite a significant amount of power in the media?
That’s a good question. I think it shows that it’s popular and that there’s a thirst for it, but as far as say Fox News, it’s increasingly become more and more left wing. You’ve had more Democrat leaning pieces, whereas the left–wing news, they haven’t become more right wing at all. So I would say, Tucker’s ... I don’t want to say he’s on his way out, but I could see him getting kicked out within a year or two.
You talk a bit about a sort of communist conspiracy between politicians like Joe Biden, big corporations and Silicon Valley. But aren’t ideas like communism and socialism in contradiction to corporate institutions like the Democratic Party, or big corporations like Amazon?
Yeah, that’s a great, great question. I actually read the Communist Manifesto, because I think most people don’t understand Communism. Everybody talks about Communism on the right wing, but most people have never read the book. When I read it, it became very clear to me that it’s not a movement of the people. It’s not a movement of the working class and in no way shape or form is it a threat to the elite establishment. It’s pitched that way to workers and left-wingers. They think they’re so edgy but, like you said, there’s a reason that Amazon and all of these corporations and all of these powerful Democrats; there’s a reason they’re not really threatened by it, because if you read the Communist Manifesto, you could see certain points that he has and I’ll tell you a few of them.
He wanted total control of banking with a central bank. And Vladimir Lenin said something along the lines of, “Once you establish a central bank in a country, that’s 90 percent of the way to communizing a nation.” The United States has had a central bank since I believe 1917 or 1918. So we’ve been long on our way for that.
I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory as much as it is a fact that most people don’t learn about. Communism believes in total control of banking, total control of communication, total control of transportation and transport. These are things that are on their way. Do you think that Amazon, if there was total control of communication, are they going to hurt? Of course not. They’ll benefit from that because they’ll be one of the corporations involved in that in Silicon Valley.
I think a lot of people think on the left that Communism is this edgy way to fight the corporations, but I believe if you read the Communist Manifesto with an open mind and have common sense, you’ll see exactly why it never was a threat to the establishment. In fact, it’s more of a consolidation of the establishment and the abolishment of private property. One of Karl Marx’s cornerstone ideas, in fact, was the abolishment of private property. If you don’t own private property, it’s game over for the people and that’s what we’re seeing today.
Isn’t the amount of power private corporations have over communication and transport and banking evidence of capitalism in action?
Yeah, I would say that’s very naïve, because if you read how they want total control of banking and communication, I think it would be a pipe dream to assume that would trickle down to the working class. I’m sure that’s what Karl Marx conned people into thinking where it’s like, “Oh yeah, now we’re going to get the power.” But at what point if you give one entity or one person, or one government, or whoever is this Communist leader who implements it, if you give them total control of communication, total control of banking, and the abolishment of private property, I don’t see how a bright person could think that that’s going to trickle down and result in working class success. I think that’s incredibly naïve.
That’s a critique of Communism, but it doesn’t line up with the idea big corporations want Communism.
Right now the private entities that are Facebook and whatnot, they kind of play both sides of the coin to get Section 230, which is really protections as if they’re a phone line or something. So they play both sides, where they’re not a publisher, then they are a publisher. Right now I would say with Facebook, with Google, with Twitter, with Amazon, these companies control a large portion, if not a majority of the United States’ communication network. The idea that this is just going to go away, where’s is it going to go? Why are they supporting these ideas? Things are consolidating in their favour and if somebody like a Joe Biden gets in power, you’re going to have the White House working seamlessly with these corporations.
So what’s your optimal vision for America?
I want to say even this year with all the crazy shutdowns, it could have been much worse. But the reason it wasn’t, I truly believe, is that most people are good people. Most people in this country are great people. That’s why we didn’t have a total breakdown of society, even with all this chaos. I think your country is only as good as your people. We just need real law and order of some sort, like true justice, true law and order for not just the people, but the politicians. We can’t just have lawlessness. We can’t just have a chaotic crime situation that we’re seeing now where the people who are against right-wingers are all of a sudden Libertarian when it comes to murder and looting.
These are the few laws that I actually believe in. And I don’t consider myself a libertarian either, by the way. But I think we could do a lot of big things, but we need to stop dividing with the media. I think we need to stop being petty about words, and political correctness to me, is just the worst, because you can’t have real conversations about race. You can’t have real conversations about immigration. We can’t really have real conversations about anything with all this political correctness and over exaggeration of outrage over everything. I think we can do well, but people have to get over this hump of acting offended by everything and thinking that their pronouns and this is the most important thing in the world instead of food, shelter, education, healthcare, these sort of things.
Because, even with Trump in president, we’re running them all over the place and we’re not actually coming together to solve these problems. It’s just a chaotic screaming fest. I see good things happening, but we need a majority of people, I think, to elect Trump and a majority of people to be strong, step up their communities. Create an environment and a neighbourhood that’s thriving and we can go from there. I mean, it’s a complex question, but I think we can do fine, but it’s going to take a lot of strong and smart people stepping up to the plate.