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Doug Mastriano

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Mastriano in 2017
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Douglas V. Mastriano (1964–) is a state senator for Pennsylvania's 33rd district, a military historian, and spreader of conspiracy theories and Islamophobia. He represents two counties in south-central PA, which (outside of the rapidly-growing Harrisburg area) is considered to be the most wingnut portion of the state. He later became involved with spreading lies about the 2020 U.S. presidential election and even showed up on January 6,[1] which would go on to bite him when he tried to run for governor of Pennsylvania during the 2022 midterm elections, resulting in him getting utterly trounced.

Military career and writings[edit]

Mastriano had a 31-year military career, serving in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Afghanistan War. He has written two well-received books about World War I and several technical analyses of the latter-day Soviet Union.[2][3][4][5][6]

In 2001, Mastriano submitted his master's thesis The Civilian Putsch of 2018 to the Air Command and Staff College. The work is a response to an earlier essay by Charles J. Dunlap Jr.Wikipedia from 1992. While Dunlap posits that the militarization of American society would ultimately be detrimental to democracy and national security, Mastriano's work takes a completely different stance. It depicts a future Army officer hiding in a national park, after a third-party politician compels the President to resign, installs himself as a dictator with aid from the European Union and the United Nations and proceeds to send millions of Americans to re-education camps. The paper was unearthed in early 2022, revealing that Mastriano held very conspiratorial viewpoints well before starting his political career.[7][8][9]

Mastriano's work has been criticized for using fraudulent citations and having sloppy research in general,[10] resulting in one of his books needing to be republished with corrections.[11]

Furthermore, when James Gregory investigated Mastriano's PhD work on Alvin YorkWikipedia, he discovered over 150 problems with Mastriano's thesis, such as many instances of Mastriano claiming that a source says something that it doesn't say. In the end, though, the university that gave Mastriano his degree did nothing because it didn't want to influence an ongoing election.[12]

Political career and writings[edit]

Like Donald Trump, whom he deeply admires, Mastriano has left behind a trail of social media posts suggesting that he's a liar, a fool, and/or an ethically-bereft person. He has propagated or created unfounded accusations toward Ilhan Omar, propagated the short-lived conspiracy that Muslims were involved in the Notre Dame Cathedral fire,[13] has spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros,[14] and spread the madness of Jack Posobiec.[15] Mastriano is a Christian nationalist who has openly called the separation of church and state "a myth".[16] He has also called climate change "fake science".[17] In 2022, he introduced a bill that promoted ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 cures.[18] He is a massive homophobe as well, being opposed to same-sex marriage,[19] and he called attempts to ban conversion therapy "disgusting".[20] And to top it all off, he has ties to QAnon, because of course he does.[21]

Mastriano participated in the 2021 U.S. coup attempt attempt, and was even seen crossing police boundaries.[1] For obvious reasons, he is a person of interest in the January 6 investigation.[22] He attempted to impanel a slate of fake electors in an attempt to overturn the election results,[23] and he classily compared the committee to Nazism and McCarthyism when they tried to investigate him for this.[24] He also has ties to the alt-right hate site Gab.[25] Additionally, he has had members of the Oath Keepers working in his personal security detail.[26]

Gubernatorial run[edit]

In 2022, he ran for governor of Pennsylvania. Many of the state's Republicans were well aware that Mastriano would stand no chance of winning, and a few candidates tried to coalesce around Lou Barletta[note 1] when it was clear that Mastriano was leading in the primary, but Donald Trump ruined their plans by stepping in and endorsing Mastriano.[28] Despite his attempts to keep a low media profile, his extreme antidemocratic rhetoric quickly caught up to him, to the point where he was polling worse than Mehmet Oz in the state, costing Republicans a chance at winning what might have otherwise been a competitive race. Mastriano's views towards the media also caused him to shoot himself in the foot. Mastriano did not trust mainstream media to handle a debate between himself and Democrat Josh Shapiro, then the Keystone State's attorney general, properly, and felt that all media outlets would be biased towards Shapiro. For this reason, Mastriano only would debate Shapiro under a condition that they would both get to decide who the moderators would be.[29] Shapiro called this "stupid" and refused, and thus Mastriano and Shapiro never had a debate, which really hurt Mastriano in the end! Consequently, and unsurprisingly, Shapiro bested Mastriano in the 2022 gubernatorial election by almost fifteen points.[30] Good riddance.


  1. Who is himself a massive wingnut who is best known for his harsh laws against undocumented immigrants during his tenure as mayor of Hazleton.[27]


  1. 1.0 1.1 How Doug Mastriano promoted election lies between Election Day and Jan. 6, Robby Brod, WHYY 9 June 2022
  2. Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania State Senate.
  3. Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America’s Greatest Battle by Douglas V. Mastriano (2018) University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813175550.
  4. Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne by Douglas V. Mastriano (2014) University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813145198.
  5. Project 1721: A U.S. Army War College Assessment on Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe and Recommendations on How to Leverage Landpower to Maintain the Peace by Douglas V. Mastriano (2017) Department of the Army. ISBN 1584877456.
  6. Project 1704: A U.S. Army War College Analysis of Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe, an Appropriate U.S. Response, and the Implications for U.S. Landpower by Douglas V. Mastriano (2014) CreateSpace. ISBN 1514269678.
  7. Doug Mastriano warned of left-wing ‘Hitlerian Putsch’ in 2001 paper, The Washington Post 20 May 2022
  8. Pa. GOP governor hopeful Mastriano wrote thesis warning of left-wing ‘Hitlerian Putsch’, The Hill 20 May 2022
  9. The actual paper
  10. In French woods, rivals take aim at senator’s WWI research, Mark Scolforo, AP News 20 March 2021
  11. Publisher to reissue Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano's WWI book with corrections, Trib Live 8 September 2021
  12. A controversy-courting U.S. politician causes stir on Canadian university campus, Alexander Panetta, CBC News 5 October 2022
  13. Elizabeth Hardison, Conspiratorial, anti-Muslim memes populated Facebook page of state Senate candidate. Pennsylvania Capital Star, 6 May 2019.
  14. Josh Shapiro's new ads cite Doug Mastriano's ties to antisemitic content on Gab, Chris Brennan, The Philadelphia Inquirer 20 August 2022
  15. PA Dems Double Down To Stop This Homophobic, Islamophobic GOPer Become A State Senator. The Daily Kos, 2 May 2019.
  16. The Far-Right Christian Quest for Power: ‘We Are Seeing Them Emboldened’, Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times 8 July 2022
  17. Republican candidates on climate: ‘fake science’ to ‘carbon is healthy’, Nina Lakhani and Oliver Milman, The Guardian 4 November 2022
  18. Bill would allow off-label drugs to treat COVID-19, John Whittaker, Times Observer 1 March 2022
  19. Doug Mastriano: is the Trump-backed election denier too extreme to win?, Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian 24 October 2022
  20. Doug Mastriano says it's "disgusting" to discourage conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+ kids, Kelly McClure, Salon 26 August 2022
  21. Pennsylvania GOP panics over possible Mastriano nomination, Holly Otterbein and Zach Montellaro, Politico 10 May 2022
  22. Jan. 6 committee to depose Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, Kevin Breuninger and Dan Mangan, CNBC 8 August 2022
  23. Doug Mastriano was subpoenaed by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Andrew Seldman, The Philadelphia Inquirer 15 February 2022
  24. Doug Mastriano is sticking to his MAGA playbook in the general election for Pa. governor, Andrew Seidman, The Philadelphia Inquirer 12 July 2022
  25. Doug Mastriano under fire for relationship with antisemitic website and its founder, Dan Merica, CNN 28 July 2022
  26. 'Flow from the pulpit:' The LifeGate church members providing security to Doug Mastriano, Carter Walker, Lancaster Online 20 August 2022
  27. Barletta makes pitch on immigration, Ramsay Cox, The Hill 20 June 2011
  28. Trump endorses Doug Mastriano for governor of Pennsylvania, Jacob Knutson, Axios 14 May 2022
  29. Article about the terms, WTAE 30 September 2022
  30. Josh Shapiro declares victory over Doug Mastriano to become Pennsylvania governor, WGAL 9 November 2022