An0maly … With A Zero
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 themes of 45’s popularity: That you just can’t trust nobody no more.
Personally, the California-based rapper has a cool and down-to-Earth demeanor and found his conservative leanings only after a detour through the Bernie Bro left. He acknowledges he is a relative newcomer in political circles — only earnestly engaging in online commentary after the 2016 election of Trump.
The idea that the media, the government and the technocrats that inform public policy are incompetent, malicious or outright lying to you is nothing new. But former president Trump is one of the most recent examples in living memory of a politician who managed to galvanize so much support around ailing public trust in civil institutions. And with Trump’s election came a whole new class of political pundits like An0moly, ready to cater to those distrustful of mainstream media narratives.
An0maly’s audience is diverse, and it represents an interesting nexus of online Trump supporters that feels like a Venn diagram of conspiracy theorists, anti-government types, your angry uncle on Facebook and edgy Gen-Z conservatives. Though there is a lot of overlap with the kind of persons one might find at a Trump rally, the online fandom, so to speak, always felt slightly different.
With Trump out of the White House now, this pre-election conversation with one of his staunchest young supporters can hopefully serve as insight into the online Trump-fan phenomena and be an example of an honest and respectful discourse 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 [Barack] Obama was a puppet, George Bush was a puppet, and Bernie [Sanders] struck me as somebody, and he sold himself as somebody, who was outside the two-party system. I didn’t know much about health care 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 realize 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 health care and taxes, and I lived in California under Democrats, and they told me it was only the wealthy who get taxed heavily. But I was getting taxed, and I was also paying crazy amounts for health care, and I couldn’t opt out because of the Democratic policies on the individual mandate. So it kind of all hit me at once, 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 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 Trump’s so blunt, and so straightforward, that a lot of people can’t handle the truth. Some people have a friend who’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.