Brothers in Arms: Josh Hawley and the Christian Brotherhood

Rafia Zakaria in The Baffler:

JANUARY 6 WAS SUPPOSED to be a good day for Josh Hawley. I can imagine him waking up with a spring in his step, carefully selecting his dark blue suit, his white shirt, and his red tie—an amalgamation of the flag itself. The selection, like so much else the senator from Missouri does, was deliberate; here was the aspirational aesthetic of the MAGA-sexual—sharp, suave, and yet committed to a white nationalist, even theocratic, political overhaul of the United States. An unforgettable image shows him that morning raising his fist to the crowd then gathering around the Capitol. By the end of that riotous day, it was not such a good look.

Hawley’s version of the MAGA aesthetic landed him in the pages of Vogue this January, but his was not the most memorable outfit of the day. That honor went to a man sporting horns and pelts. If Hawley had decided that a sharp suit and gelled hair made for the best “let’s overturn the election” look, Jacob Chansley, a.k.a., Jake Angeli, the self-proclaimed QAnon shaman, had gone for the opposite, choosing to be horned and bare-chested. Two visions of MAGA manhood collided, each representing some aesthetic truth of the way MAGA men see themselves.

If Josh Hawley had really dressed his truth that day, he would not have worn a suit, a la his banished leader Donald Trump. Like Chansley, who sought to evoke some primitive pre-modern virility, Hawley would have chosen to represent some greater, inward truth turned outwards. For him, this would likely have been a disciple-like long tunic and a sash. To truly capture the fashion sense of the times of Jesus, he may have added a staff and sandals, one more useful than the other while commandeering a mob.

More here.