‘I Cannot Believe How Wrong I Was’ — Redemption of an Ex-MAGA
Former Trump MAGA Nationalist Rich Logis of Leaving MAGA describes the trauma, desperation, and panic of MAGA indoctrination in one of the most important interviews of this moment
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Trauma, Desperation, and Panic of MAGA Indoctrination
I am offering transcripts from RadPod’s interview with a two-time Trump voter who had a big awakening and is sharing his story with anyone who will listen. Rich Logis, who is forming a group called Leaving MAGA, stood up in front of the world and said:
‘I was wrong. I was politically ignorant. I wish I had voted for Hillary.’
Logis is very bright — intelligence offers no defense against cult tactics tailored to one’s exact specifications. If you would like to listen to the video interview with Logis, you will find the link here:
Bette Dangerous is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
What follows are lightly edited transcripts from that interview, where Jim Stewartson and High Fidelity brought their A-game as usual. There is no shortage of empathy in RadPod’s world, and we are aware that this is one of our most important interviews to date.
Here is Rich Logis, in his words. Please share with family and friends:
‘I Was Wrong’ — The Journey Into MAGA
Rich Logis: We have to go back 15 years prior to my MAGA indoctrination. So in the year 2000, I graduated college. I am from New York, and now I'm in Florida.
I grew up in a middle class household. My parents did the best that they could — we did have a lot of the struggles that a lot of other middle class families had. We had a home foreclosed on … we had moved to what my mother and father thought was a better area for education. We had a lot of those struggles that I think MAGA actually spoke to.
Third Party Voter
I graduated college in the year 2000. I voted for Ralph Nader. The primary reason is I realized that both parties didn't like him. I was the anti two-party guy at that point in my life at 23 years old.
He had that rebellious maverick quality. He was speaking to issues that I thought were important. And I was in. I became this anti two-party system guy with such disdain for the two parties. I felt like they were two sides of the same coin, I felt like that they only were appealing to a small slice and segment of the population. And I felt like Ralph Nader pretty well and effectively spoke to that.
I also know being in New York that my vote wouldn't matter due to the electoral college, and I often voted third party. All of a sudden, we come to 2015. Now, I was a journalist right out of college, I was working for a local newspaper. I was covering business news, a variety of different industries. I remember when Trump came up — I wasn't one of these guys who supported him when he came right down the escalator.
Unseen and Unheard
Now, how did I go from Ralph Nader to Donald Trump in the course of 15 years? I figured out pretty quickly that both parties disliked Trump. He started to talk about issues of economic worries, and people feeling like they were unseen and unheard — not recognized.
Being this outsider, a true civilian, no government, no military who came in and said, ‘the politicians have failed you. Let's take a sledgehammer to the system’ — I was in. I knew both parties didn't like him. I felt like we needed a son of a bitch in that kind of position. And so in the very beginning, I would say it started a little bit as a curiosity. But as time went on, I really ingratiated myself entirely into supporting Trump.
Me: Thank you. That’s incredible intel. Our friend Melissa Joe Peltier directed a documentary about ex-MAGA, and I have not heard that particular gateway spoken so eloquently yet. So thank you very much. The other thing I just want to say is, I'm sorry, your family's home was foreclosed on, that should never have happened, the government should have done better. It was one of the cruelest episodes in our history. So I want to tell you very much that I am sorry, that's grief. And that's loss. And it's terribly, horribly disruptive.
Logis: Thank you, and yes, I don't say this as a self defense, but I think supporting Trump out of skepticism of the two party system, out of these feelings of not being heard and seen, I think that those are pretty anodyne reasons.
I don't think they're actually very controversial reasons, for me saying, ‘Okay, I'm going to give this person a chance because what we've been doing hasn't worked as well as it could have’. It wasn't like I got involved in MAGA because I liked what he said about immigrants or what he said about Muslims or the dehumanizing language. I knew that when he was saying it, I wasn't in favor of it.
Deeper and Deeper and Deeper
But that's a segue into what you just said, because something about me more and more becoming MAGA is that in real time, one doesn't realize that they're becoming deeper and deeper and deeper into the movement.
And, you know, there are figures out there like Dr. Steven Hassan — I'm not trained whatsoever in psychology or therapy — but I realized that some may disagree on whether MAGA is a cult or not, but I will tell you, for me, it became that way.
And I wasn't even cognizant as it was happening. And so as I decided to become more and more in supporting Trump, I went on public record and a radio show before the election, and I said, ‘Trump's gonna be the nominee. He's gonna win the general election.’ And of course, most people laughed, thought I was crazy, thought I was nuts. (Author’s note: I said same. I knew he was going to win — why I went on record in September 2016 to expose his corruption.)
And the reason I thought that is because when I was out and about that, no matter where I was — doctor's office, the library, with the kids — complete total strangers talking about the election, they'd whisper and say, ‘You know, I'm actually gonna vote for Trump.’ I felt it on the ground. And as I was feeling it on the ground, I felt like I was a part of something that was going to be historic.
When I look back on this, the fact is that Trump's election, when we speak about it historically, was an unprecedented moment, there had never been an actual true civilian president in our history. Everyone had always been in the government and or been in the military, but not Trump. And so when I decided that I was going to support this campaign, I did it for for pro bono.
A True Believer
I did work that normally you'd be paid for — I wrote part of the call script for the Trump campaign. So anyone who received a call from the campaign or made a call on Trump’s behalf, they were hearing or reading texts that I partly wrote, that's normally a paid position. I did that pro bono, I was a true believer.
And I allowed myself and I have to emphasize allowed myself because it's very important in the work of helping others to leave MAGA that we do have to recognize that all of us have agency. Because we can't say that we've given up all of our faculties and capabilities, to process information and come to conclusions, at least with some of our own thinking, influencing the outcome.
So I allowed myself to be influenced by those who were just opposed to Democrat policies, in style and substance and candidates. I was allowing myself to be influenced by people who view Hillary and the Democrats as existential threats.
‘A Very Ignorant Person’
And one of the reasons I allowed myself to be influenced that way, looking back on it, is because while I was very political, I was also a very ignorant person. And when you look at the two-party system, part of my story and in the lead up to the election, before Trump came on the scene, it's very hard for a lot of people to remember this. But if we think back on it, the expected election was going to be Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton.
And even apolitical people I knew — when Trump came on the scene — I remember apolitical people who did vote for Trump eventually, because I persuaded them — and I'm sorry for that — but even they said to me, ‘Another Bush and another Clinton?! Didn't we fight a war to gain autonomy and independence from a monarchy from political dynasties?’ Even apolitical people were thinking that, so imagine me — the anti two-party crusader.
A Perfect Storm
Like, I'm looking at this as, ‘Oh, now we're gonna have another Bush and another Clinton, when we've had them for many, many years already. There was a perfect storm for Trump. And I think that some of that storm opened up the door for a person like myself, who did feel like, yes, we need somebody to come in and take a flame thrower to this place.
And I remember on election night 2016 — I just remember that feeling of having done something that had never been done before. Literally the entire world was against Trump. I mean, it wasn't just the two parties — our allies around the world said, ‘How can anyone even consider voting for this guy?!’
And a presidential election is the most visible competition of any kind in the world. More people are following the presidential election than the World Cup or the Super Bowl or the Olympics or any other event — political or otherwise.
I felt like we were validated. We were vindicated. We were heard, we worked on the grassroots level, we stopped the existential threat. And I allowed myself to begin to think that and once someone has concluded that the opposing party was presenting an actual threat against your life, and your livelihood and your family, that person who thinks that will support anyone or anyone or anything.
Me: I want to thank you so much for sharing your truth and walking us through that. And I didn't realize until you we're talking about it that the election night, and the morning after is probably the most painful night of my life. I can't even — I can't even talk about it, actually.
We had Jason Van Tatenhove on our show. He was a propagandist for the Oath Keepers. His gateway was a healthy distrust of government. He got sucked into something because he didn't trust government, he listened to conspiracy shows. And okay, so now you have your win. And you went through four years of Trump, and you voted for him again, describe the high or the low points in that four years so we can understand why you were still thinking that this was a better choice for America.
Logis: Thank you for mentioning the other side of election night that there were tens and tens of millions more people than who supported Trump based on the popular vote. And the stark contrast is such that we felt like, as part of the winning side of the 2016 election, that because we were on the right side, we were the good. The other side was the evil from that time, Heidi, until 2020.
In that four-year period, increasingly, I speak only for my own self and my own experience. Increasingly, I became more of this person — I viewed myself as this patriotic soldier in a war for not just what was happening in the here and now in the country, but MAGA forward facing.
No Middle Ground — A Very Binary Black and White World
So I didn't live through the ‘50s and ‘60s — and I understand that propaganda does appeal to nostalgia because nostalgia is a very natural feeling we have as a species. I didn't go through that. I was looking at it forward facing. I just had my first child in 2016. I became increasingly a person who surrounded myself with others who felt like, ‘We're the real Americans. We’re fighting this war. We are on the right side and anybody — whether they're Democrat or a Rhino, Republican in Name Only, or a globalist.
It was a very binary — black and white world. ‘You are with us or you are against us.’ There is no middle ground. Anyone who plays the middle is going to be considered an enemy combatant. And I became this person. So much so that when I mentioned before that one doesn't realize as they're becoming this person in real time. I woke up thinking about MAGA, I went through my day thinking about MAGA. I went to bed thinking about MAGA. Christ, I probably dreamt about MAGA.
Forget about taking a day off. I didn't even take an hour off. And I did that year after year after year after year. And this next point is one that I'm hoping I can expand upon with the Leaving MAGA work. Because when I was in that cult, when I was the MAGA soldier, Trump was the general.
A MAGA Trump Nationalist
Yes, I voted Republican. I actually didn't even consider myself a Republican or conservative. I looked at myself as a MAGA Trump nationalist. I was in favor of nationalism. I said, ‘Isolationism is a better course’ — more times than not. ‘Trump is the leader and when he's attacked, I’m attacked’.
Press attacks him, they're impugning our integrity. Mitt Romney attacked him. Mitt Romney's impugning our integrity. Whether it's the New York Times or the President Obama, the more that they attack him the stronger that already strong bond became.
And here’s a broad point that is going to really inform the Leaving MAGA work. Many people who have strong anti-MAGA feelings, there's a temptation to label MAGA or Trump voters as stupid or bigots. Most MAGA voters deep down are good people. I know that they're not all good people, but most MAGA voters deep down, there is a goodness. And there's a decency to them.
And if impugning the integrity of MAGA voters worked to get them out of MAGA, nobody would be in MAGA. I mean, how many billions of words have been written and spoken about the evils of MAGA voters and the homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic — anything in the middle of that — if that actually works, saying that about them, we wouldn't have to worry about that. In reality, the exact opposite happened. It has strengthened that bond.
HiFi: ‘Deplorables…’ for example.
Logis: Right. What happens when Hillary Clinton called the MAGA movement deplorables? I have a very specific story on that that I think really gives another example of what it was like being in the MAGA world as a MAGA soldier.
I've been to probably 50 rock concerts in my life. I mean, I've seen Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden. It was so loud in the arena, the stage was bouncing, like it's an earthquake. After the deplorables’ comment, there was a rally in Miami. I was there with my wife and some family friends. When Trump came on stage the Les Miserables song, Do You Hear the People Sing, was playing on a loudspeaker.
Trump comes to the stage, everyone quiets down, and he says, ‘Welcome to all of you deplorables’ — I'd never heard a concert as loud as the response at that moment. And I turned to my wife and her friends and I said, ‘You watch and see — Trump's gonna win this election.’
When that happened, and this is a hot take that I can't prove, but I'm gonna offer it — I think that Hillary Clinton lost the election that night that she mentioned the deplorables, because what's not as well known about that talk she gave is that after saying that, she actually said that Trump voters had some valid and legitimate concerns. And it was somewhat explaining why they were supporting Trump. If she had said that without prefacing it with the deplorables comment, she probably would have won the election. (Author’s note: 🥺.)
I really think that was the night where it all started to unspool for her, because once you have branded your opposition, that's exactly how we viewed it, like, we were proud to say we were deplorable. ‘Yes, we are the deplorables. We're on the right side. We're on the good side. We're on the patriotic side. We're on the side that the framers would have supported — not Hillary, not Obama, not Tim Kaine, not Tom Perez at the DNC. We were the ones Thomas Jefferson would have been on board with us, George W, Madison would have been with us.’
Life In MAGA — We Never Took An Hour Off
All of that together is what was the glue for us to be united in the goal of conquering our enemies. And that's exactly how we went about our life in MAGA. We never took an hour off. (Author’s note: Echoes of Dr. Hassan’s cult descriptions.)
Me: So as I'm listening to you and just roiling with emotion, I’m thinking of Jason Stanley, who wrote the book, ‘How Fascism Works’. Everything you're describing are tools from the fascist playbook that Trump was deploying — the victimhood, the ‘only I can fix it’, the mythic past — all of it — the othering. And Hillary may have made it easy when she would say something like that, but she also had the Russian war machine attacking her every single statement, exploiting every division, and wedging every single issue, along with the fifth columnists in America working right alongside Russia, regurgitating and retweeting Russian propaganda. So there were a lot of factions at play, that were both obvious to some academics and very, very invisible to others. But I just needed to get that out, because I'm hearing what you're saying, and realizing just how effective these 100 year old tropes still are.
‘I Wish I Had Voted for Hillary’
Logis: So leading up to the next election, and your point on Hillary, and I just want to say in hindsight, I wish that I would have voted for Hillary, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was how she would have managed COVID, at least on a federal level.
So yes, I would have if I can go back in time, I would have voted and I would have supported Hillary, I might have been a little bit of a hold your nose, Hillary voter, but I would have voted for her and there is a part of this big picture where I — and I have so many thoughts and emotions that go through my mind on this point — I want to try to make it as concise as I can. I think that there is some denial on the side of the Democratic Party about what maybe their contribution over time is, how they helped pave the road to give an opening for MAGA and Trump.
I don't think it's a both sides issue, though. Conservatism more than any other ideology opened the door and rolled the red carpet out for MAGA. I do think, though, that Hillary did have objectively speaking — there was a trust issue there with her. There was a ‘who is she’ issue. And when someone is in politics for three decades as she was, and people are still asking fair or unfair, they're still asking, ‘I don't know who this lady is, who was Hillary?’ No one had to ask that question about Donald Trump. And I know because of his international brand, and his name and his businesses and all that — no one asked that question about Trump. (Author’s note: sigh.)
How MAGA Views Russian Interference
I just think that point about Hillary having her own problems as a candidate, mixed with some comments, mixed with a perfect storm that opened the door for Trump, and with the Russian interference.
I'll tell you essentially how MAGA views the Russian interference. They said, ‘Well, all candidates seek out foreign assistance. What's the big deal? You don't think Mitt Romney did it? You don't think Barack Obama did it?’
A Life or Death Enemy
So you can hear in all of this, even a lot of what I'm saying you can hear a defense and justification of our rhetoric, and our actions and our choices. Because if you feel like you are up against a life or death enemy, you're going to defend and justify anything you can — there's always that ‘the other side is worse’ justification.
And that's what led to, for me, all of the dehumanization that I willfully engaged in against not just politicians, but I severed some ties, even with people in my life, who are among the most important and influential people in my life because I knew how they voted. They were blue voters.
I came to a place where I said, ‘Okay, this person was such an important person in my life, helping me become a man and an adult and a responsible person. But I know how they're voting. Yeah, I know, the prior 20 years was a lot. But you know what? MAGA is more important.
Trauma, Desperation, and Panic
Back to that binary, black and white thinking. What it does is it creates trauma. There's three words that I use to describe the right-wing mythologies that I succumbed to — trauma, desperation, and panic. And I use those words to emphasize what I think the general public underestimates — just how easy it is to fall prey to so many right-wing mythologies.
I have a college degree, I was an English major studying journalism — I'm not the brightest light bulb, and I'm not the dumbest either. And I allowed myself to fall prey to those mythologies, and it's something that's so important in remembering as we engage MAGA.
Jim: I just wanted to give you a little bit more credit than you're giving yourself. One thing that is really important that I've learned is that no one —zero people have brainwashed themselves in the history of mankind.
Brainwashing and undue influence — by definition — is somebody external to you, attacking you psychologically, harming you, so that your thoughts become what they want, it is a version of mind control, and it is not something that people volunteer for or consent to.
The fact that you are anti-establishment as a college person should not allow you to be brainwashed. I just want to emphasize that. Also, when Hillary said ‘the deplorables’ comment, in the same sentence, she said half are not, half are just normal folks.
But the the complicit media and the right-wing psychological war machine along with Russia, grabbed that comment, cherry pick that one line and turned it into something that would brighten that line between the in group and the out group.
And you describe it so well in the rally, where you could just feel that the comment drew people closer to the cult leader, who was being attacked, and therefore you felt attacked as well. The only reason I say these things is just to provide a little bit of my understanding in how I see your experience, because there's so many people with exactly the same background.
And thank you, by the way, also for mentioning that you are a third party guy, right? And there's loads of people who were like that for lots of good reasons, that we need an upgrade on our system. There's nothing wrong with that. And it should not mean that somebody should be able to take those ideas and turn them against you and weaponize you for their goals.
So as you've been been speaking, I recognize that you're trying to take responsibility for your actions, and I really appreciate that. But for me, I think it's also very important to recognize and extend grace, not only to people who have figured out how to get out like you have, and by the way, congratulations, that is not easy. But also extend grace to people who are still affected, who are still casualties.
Psychological warfare is what this is. And so I wanted to provide that context to you. Thank you so much for your experience. And for being willing to say this stuff out loud. For me, it fills me with joy — joy might not be the right word. But hope, I think, because hearing intelligent people who figured it out and are willing to work is just so important. So thank you for that.
Logis: That means a lot to me, Jim, and all of you for saying that. Something that I have been saying on a daily basis now is — I tell those who want to know more, ‘Thank you for caring’, because I never thought anyone would really care.
And it is important to emphasize that point you're making about how to how to resist the temptation of dehumanizing MAGA voters. Because if our goal is to help others leave MAGA, to move the country forward past MAGA, it's not that MAGA is going to go away. MAGA is just the latest iteration of the right-wing.
So it's always going to be in some form here, just like the Confederacy in some form remains, just like the Southern Strategy remains and the Tea Party, all of these various groups that that are very effectively sold, mythologically, as these organically formed grassroots organizations, but in reality are just cynically funded by dark money.
And not even from that many donors. It's really a handful of those who have had their hands in all this — from the Kochs, to the Leonard Leos, and all of these other groups like Turning Point, Moms for Liberty, and the Tea Party and the next one that will come along.
They're well-funded, and in reality, they're not what they appear to be. It's perception versus reality — and I allowed myself to be guided solely, Jim, by perception.
And someone’s whose worldview is solely perceptual, that person is more susceptible to manipulation.
So the bedrock of my work to move the country past MAGA is to first acknowledge that this is a good person most likely deep down, and secondly, that there were some valid reasons for supporting the Trump campaign. That’s the bedrock of my work.
Once that's happened, all of a sudden that defensiveness starts to kind of melt away a little bit — we disarmed the situation. I think back to when people were talking about the evils of MAGA voters, they were talking about me when I was a Trump supporter, even though I didn't believe the election was stolen. And I didn't think the COVID vaccine made us into a three-eyed Cyclops. When Trump was mismanaging COVID, I had to turn the press conferences off, I couldn't stand watching them.
The Year of Heaven and Hell
And even as much as he botched it, it still wasn't enough for me to lose my support for Trump. And, Jim, when you said before about the difficulties of leaving, I think that might be a perfect segue into what I call the year of heaven and hell, because it was in the summer of 2021 when the doubt started to creep in.
DeSantis As Catalyst for Leaving MAGA
Now, as a Floridian I mentioned this all the time. It was actually DeSantis who was the catalyst for my leaving MAGA. And how did that actually happen? So I mentioned before I had a kid in 2016, I had another kid in 2019. In fairness to Ron DeSantis, the first year and a half of the pandemic, I thought he handled it as well as he could have. He was an advocate for some of the public health measures, he helped to design the system to get the vaccine to senior citizens.
He was encouraging people to follow some of the recommendations. There were even some strategic closures. There's a famous photo of him pushing a senior citizen in a wheelchair to go and get her vaccine. So summer of 2021 comes around, and if everybody remembers, that was the Delta surge. And more and more, I started to see reports in Florida and nationwide about children falling ill with COVID. Even the rare deaths of children acquiring COVID — children were dying. And I'm not suggesting that any other age group, who were suffering and dying from COVID is any less tragic, but when kids are getting sick, it means that the disease is becoming deadly or more infectious.
Anti-COVID Vaccine Hysteria
Now at that point, if you remember back in the summer 2021, the anti-COVID vaccine hysteria and propaganda was in full force. It had permeated itself all across MAGA. And I remember saying to others here, which again, remember, I'm still MAGA at this point, I said, ‘DeSantis is going to divorce himself from the anti-vaccine hysteria. He's going to sever ties, because he's done a good job, in my view up to this point, he's going to continue to do that good job.’
Face First Into a Brick Wall
And overnight, it’s the exact opposite — he began saying the vaccine was injuring people, saying that it was harming people, saying that it wasn't working. It was like, I ran face first into a brick wall. It was at that moment, something in me, there was some kind of intuitive alarm that went off. And I remember when kids were getting sick, and they were dying, and the guy I thought was a good leader — who by the way, I support in the primary, I made volunteer phone calls for him, I voted for him — and all of a sudden, I came to realize that he's now accepting avoidable deaths and suffering. It was not just a gut punch, it was like, a ton of bricks dropped on my head.
… And That’s Where It Started
And that's where it started. And I started to think, ‘Wait a minute, how could this be…’ — at first, there's a little bit of shock and denial — what has caused this… and then, you start looking for the answers.
‘What has caused this to happen?’ Then something else occurred in my life. Remember, summer ‘21. I had a one-two punch. I mentioned before I didn't think the election was ever stolen. But six months after the Insurrection, I was still in this position of, ‘Well, it wasn't good, but what's the big deal? We keep hyping this up? Let's just move on from it. It was a bad day. Let's get over it.’
But something in that internal alarm went off — I decided to delve a little deeper into some of the forces in groups who contributed to what happened that day. Whether you want to call it an Insurrection or a riot, it's a semantic difference. It was a riot. It was an attempt coup, it was a coup d'etat is what it was. So I started to dig deep.
And MAGA said, ‘You know these groups, like QAnon and the Proud Boys these guys are just hobbyist groups. You know, they're just people sitting around who got all the time in the world during the pandemic, everyone's on the internet 24 hours a day. These guys are like a gamer group, just hanging out and exchanging messages online about whatever conspiracy they're into.’
I discovered that actually wasn't the case. And I came to realize that all these groups like QAnon and the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers, were not hobbyists, they were well coordinated. They were in some parts well-funded. And I think maybe, worst of all, they had the blessing of the most powerful person in the world.
‘I Cannot Believe How Wrong I Was’
When I realized that as well, when I got over that ignorance, that I was highly, highly ignorant about these forces and groups that went into the insurrection, I thought, ‘I cannot believe how wrong I was.’
So I had on one hand, DeSantis as an extension of the right-wing in the GOP, he made acceptable, avoidable deaths and suffering. And then the other side of this, which was Trump and MAGA and the Republican party apparatus and the right-wing, who said that J6 was okay — they defended and justified politically motivated violence and a coup d'etat against our own people, against our government, our democracy and our Constitution.
40 Feet from Pence
And this next point I want to bring up a lot, because I think it's a detail that's a bit overlooked. The rioters were 40 feet away from Mike Pence. If they had gotten a hold of him, he would have been murdered or rendered incapacitated. And if that had happened, we have no constitutional backup plan on how to count and certify those votes that day. We would not have known what to do.
For the first time in American history, the Constitution would have been suspended — they were just 40 feet away. So we've got one line of demarcation — acceptable deaths and suffering — the other line of demarcation — that the January 6 Insurrection was legitimate political discourse — that’s what the Republican Party called it.
When I came to those two lines of demarcation guys, I did not cross them. I had to make a decision. Do I cross these lines and or do I not cross them? And I decided not to cross them.
And there's another ‘what if’ important to my story, and I think will be important to others who we try to persuade to leave MAGA.
If I crossed those lines that day, that moment in time in the summer 2021 when I first started to think about this — it took me an entire year — I'm not going to sugarcoat this — I would never have come back.
A Moral War
You wake up one day after being so invested emotionally and morally in some cases financially year after year after year in MAGA and Trump — to just say, wake up and say, ‘I was wrong’.
I was in a mental and spiritual and moral war. And I had this political and personal epiphany, this road to Damascus moment where the scales fall — like the story of Saul, the scales just fall down.
‘I’m Not Going to Support This Anymore’
And you see now it was a year's time and I said, I’m not going to support this anymore. I cannot in good conscience, stand by and watch this and support it. And it was a year, it was an entire year. And if I crossed those lines, I don't believe I would have ever been able to come back from it.
Me: It's really hard not to like applaud right now. But I'm just giving it a moment. What you just described is the life's work of the gentlemen that are with me here today, Jim and HiFi. They have been warning America about this and how we need to heal as a nation by bringing people back from the brink.
Logis: Heal is so apropos. There's this tug of war, constantly. Do I get out? When do I get out? But when you make the decision, and you know when you've made it, as painful as it might have been, it is so liberating. And I realized that I became what I was fighting. I was fighting tyranny. In reality, I became a tyrant in my own home. My wife is a naturalized citizen. 2016 was her first election. She voted for Trump in 2016 to support me, even though she wanted to vote for Hillary, same in 2020.
It doesn't happen overnight, but over the course of it, as you heal, you begin to forgive yourself. I had to come to a point where I had inner peace. I can't ask others to leave MAGA until I was at peace.
And when I decided to apologize, I decided to publicize it to millions of people. I wrote in Salon and Newsweek and the New Republic. I didn’t think anyone's gonna really give a shit. But you know what, for my own personal closure, I'm gonna go out and write about it. And what I realized is so many people care. I'm here with you right now because you care.
HiFi: I'd like to ask you a question about your emotions — how your brain was manipulated by dopamine rushes. When you left did you have a crash?
Logis: That's a really great question that I think is an overlooked question. My entire time in MAGA was a constant adrenaline rush. The idea that you're some kind of holy patriotic soldier. You're in constant fight. It's a never ending adrenaline rush.
I was in a community of like minded soldiers. And when I crashed, it was like a crash at the speed of light. That's how hard the impact was. And when that crash happens is the first time that the doubt starts to creep in.
And I think that there are so many amongst us who have some doubt that either has started to creep in during the… maybe the nascent stages of remorse… or maybe they're approaching the quiet quitting phase. There are so many more out there than we realize.
Diversify News and Making Amends
One important thing I did when I left MAGA is diversify my news intake.
I also made amends.
When I reconnected with those I severed ties with and I said, ‘I respect if you will not accept my apology, I will respect that decision. However, I want you to know that I was wrong. And I'm sorry.’ And everyone except one person forgave me.
I get emotional thinking about somebody who was important in my life and gave me so many opportunities to succeed, forgave some of my mistakes when he didn't need to.
He said to me, ‘Rich. Apology accepted. I always knew you'd come back.’
And I say this because it's so important for people to not give up on their friends and their family, their close friends who are in MAGA — if they had given up on me, those individuals, those important people, if they gave up on me, I would not be here with you right now.
Me: I just want to thank you. And I know Jim and HiFi feel the same way. I've been very emotional, very misty during this interview, because it's been a long, seven years, and women lost a lot. When you describe people saying, ‘Who is Hillary Clinton, what is she?’ Well, she was a US Senator, the Secretary of State, someone who tried to solve America’s healthcare crises since the ‘90s, who would have joined other global women leaders during COVID and protected people. So yes, women of my generation lost a lot. But what you just did was a huge amends to our global audience. And I thank you for that. Your explainer is filled with tremendous integrity, and you're going to help so many people.
Logis: It is okay to realize and say that we're wrong. In fact, I think that when we acknowledge publicly that we were wrong about something, it makes us more invested in our democracy. Next year is going to be a historic repudiation of the right-wing. However, having said that, no one should construe that statement as anything except urgent.
Mercy Kill the GOP
Anyone who's not registered to vote, get registered. What the last seven plus years has shown is that elections do matter. And that sitting home and not voting and not participating in the democratic process is not an option. And it also shows that our two parties are not quite the same. And I say that as someone who is not a registered Democrat, however, I will vote Democrat because this Republican Party must be mercy killed. It is not a party that can be saved any longer.
We have had moments in history where unlikely but necessary alliances are formed and this is one of those times.
Let’s just take a moment, collectively, to thank Rich Logis for sharing his truth and his insights.
As I say often, the bravest thing we can do is unite.
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“We just have to see that the battle for democracy is broader. It's deeper.”—David Pepper
“I need people to see they're on the frontline. Wherever you live, if you’re doing this work, you are the frontline.”—David Pepper
“The message should be a fair deal… fairness everywhere.”—Martin Sheil
“I say a silent prayer of thanksgiving as I walk upon the earth.”-Audrey Peterman.
“May the viral hope for truth and humanity wash away the chaos of these years.”-S.C., Bette community member
“Something Sacred never dies in almost all of us, who can hear the invitation of Truth…”-words from a Bette Dangerous community member
“Nothing but blue skies from now on…”-Irving Berlin
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