Mike Cernovich’s MAGA Mindset is not just a great explanation of the formula behind Donald Trump’s success, it’s a smartly-written primer on the political situation in the West. However, dedicated alt-Righters might find it a bit thin.
With Donald Trump having blown every bit of conventional political wisdom to smithereens on his way to the White House, perpetually humiliated pundits have resorted to increasingly hilarious rationalizations of their failure to predict his success. “He got lucky.” “He entered the race as a publicity stunt and he didn’t really want to win.” “The GOP didn’t do enough to take him down.” Only a handful of commentators had the foresight—and the honesty—to admit that Trump not only could win, he had a plan to win from the start.
One of those commentators was Mike Cernovich, free-speech attorney and journalist. When I first became aware of Cernovich six years ago, he ran a small law blog; now, he’s a superstar who’s been featured on (and subsequently banned from) national television and occupies a top spot on Hillary Clinton’s enemies’ list due to his exposes on her corruption and health problems. The secrets to Cernovich’s boundless enthusiasm and relentless striving for success are in his bestseller Gorilla Mindset, a handbook explaining how you can achieve your goals by overhauling the way you view the world.
Cernovich was able to predict Trump’s rise because the two of them have similar mindsets, as can be seen with the former’s latest book, MAGA Mindset: Making America and You Great Again. A publication of Vox Day’s Castalia House (known for Cuckservative, SJWs Always Lie and other great books), MAGA Mindset serves as both a roadmap to Trump’s mind and a good introduction to the current state of the West. Even in the (increasingly unlikely) event that Trump loses, Cernovich’s book will remain a valuable look at mindset and modern politics.
MAGA Mindset’s genius is that it fuses nationalist political commentary with Cernovich’s self-help-oriented perspective and approach. The book opens with an overview of recent events in Europe and America, laying the framework for exploring Trump’s success in business and politics. Cernovich intelligently explains that a good portion of Trump’s triumphs are due to his explicitly nationalist views:
Trump rejected globalism with a powerful statement: “Build the Wall.” Aside from the literal meaning of erecting a border between the United States and Mexico to prevent tens of millions of illegal immigrants, including drug dealers and Islamic terrorists, from entering America, the phrase is a symbol. “Building the Wall” is a powerful symbol of nationalism. It sends a powerful message that America has a right to exist in its own right. What is a nation without borders, after all? It is nothing.
Cernovich’s writing style in MAGA Mindset is the same as Gorilla Mindset and his articles: direct and forceful, without unnecessary erudition or showiness. Additionally, his prose and ideas are relatively devoid of slang terms and ideological nitpicking (he doesn’t identify as alt-Right, though he describes himself as “alt-Right friendly”), meaning that the book has a good chance of actually changing peoples’ thinking.
While MAGA Mindset states that Trump’s success is in part due to him taking advantage of preexisting trends (e.g. White anger at demographic replacement, irritation with political correctness, distrust of the mainstream media etc.), no other man could have so effectively seized the day as the Donald. For example, Ted Cruz was a counter-cultural figure, yet everyone outside of his “true conservative” cult treats him like a walking goiter. During the Republican primary, Marco Rubio’s attempt to imitate Trump’s insult style sank his presidential bid.
MAGA Mindset reveals that Donald Trump’s triumphs throughout his life are the result of his mindset. Trump doesn’t whine, make excuses, or settle for anything less than winning. While he’s had screw-ups during the course of his life (as have we all), his positive, results-oriented mindset has enabled him to continue growing his business and his brand despite the occasional setback:
So, start thinking about how to think big in your own life. You don’t need to think about how to become a billionaire real estate developer, because your situation is different than Donald Trump’s. You’re not starting with a real estate company in Brooklyn. Thinking big is relative to your situation and how you define reality. For example, I’m a writer without any employees. Now, I could hire people to write for me like James Patterson does and publish ten times more books than I do, or go on the professional speaking circuit, but for me, thinking big means having huge amounts of personal freedom. If I want to go on a hiking trip to Alaska or South Africa, I have no need to delegate any tasks or check up on my employees and their managers. I simply hop on a plane and leave.
In particular, Cernovich cites Trump’s close relationship with Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. It’s easy for cynics to scoff at self-help books like Peale’s, but the results speak for themselves: Trump took charge of a middling New York City real estate business during the 1970’s—one of the worst periods in NYC’s history—and turned it into a global powerhouse. Winners try to emulate Trump’s methods; losers try to explain away Trump’s success as being a fluke or because of his “inheritance.” It’s the same reason why Trump’s female haters are middling or ugly women that neither he nor his sons would look at twice.
I can attest to Gorilla Mindset’s efficacy, having been already acquainted with Cernovich’s concept of positive affirmations. Affirmations were first explored in Dr. Shad Helmstetter’s What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, a scientifically-backed tome showing how the mere act of vocalizing your goals every morning makes you more likely to achieve them. Much of what we perceive as “reality” is in fact a construction of our minds, and with the proper mindset, you can clear away many of the obstacles you face. Having the proper mindset can also save your life; for example, when I was facing down a false rape accusation, Cernovich’s techniques helped me retain my sanity and rise above.
MAGA Mindset also shows how Trump tries to stay in touch with the common man despite being a famous billionaire. Near the end of the book, Cernovich points out how Trump suggests talking to cab drivers when visiting a new city in order to get their unique perspective on things. Anyone who’s attended one of the Donald’s rallies can confirm that he has a genuine affection for the American people, despite his wealth and prestige. Contrast this with Hillary Clinton’s condescending attempts to relate to normal people, trying to hide her obvious contempt for them.
My main criticism of MAGA Mindset is its relative brevity; to a certain extent, Cernovich assumes that you’ve already read Gorilla Mindset and avoids retreading material from that book. As a result, those who haven’t read Gorilla Mindset won’t derive as much benefit from MAGA Mindset. While the political portions of Cernovich’s book stand on their own, you’re best off reading Gorilla Mindset first to derive maximum benefit from the mindset portions. I’m also not a fan of the awkward name, though Cernovich likely chose the title for legal reasons: a book named “Trump Mindset” might have gotten him in trouble.
Overall, despite these flaws, MAGA Mindset is a worthwhile examination of what makes Trump tick. If you’re looking to emulate the man’s success, it’s a must-read; if you have normie friends that you want to educate, hand them a copy as well.