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The Right Resistance: Donald Trump’s comeback fueled by the intensity of MAGA. Is it enough?

How to bridge the political abyss in 2024 America?

With Easter now in the rearview mirror – and the Lenten season of self-reflection having concluded with its arrival – it’s time to move on from considering the past (recently or otherwise) and look towards the future. Polls continue to show the 2024 presidential horserace is nearly neck-and-neck with Donald Trump leading president senile Joe Biden by a couple points and Trump doing some better in the all-important battleground state surveys.


A reasonable observer would deem our country as severely divided, however, with poll participants generally seeing both Trump and Biden unfavorably, which will invariably lead to a “lesser of two evils” type choice for tens of millions of American voters come November.


One thing that’s not lacking by anyone’s estimation is enthusiasm for Trump by his ardent supporters, which carried the 45th president back to the top of the Republican party in this year’s primaries. According to Trump himself, the feeling among his fans never went away. In an article titled “Trump, on the Trump intensity gap”, the always astute commentator Byron York reported at the Washington Examiner recently:


“After his speech, Trump walked a rope line on his way out of the room. Even the handshaking was more intense than politics as usual. Trump shook hand after hand, but rather than a simple handshake, some excited admirers would grasp his hand so heartily and squeeze so hard that Trump had to pull back to move on to the next person. Near the end of the line, one woman seized Trump’s hand so vigorously that a Secret Service agent had to deliver a sort of mini karate chop — nothing violent, just a firm tap — to break up the one-sided embrace.


“As we walked back to dinner, Trump held out his right hand and showed that the back was covered by a large, greenish bruise. There were also marks left by female admirers with carefully manicured nails. It happened all the time, he said, marveling at the emotional connection people in the crowd felt with him. He feels it and realizes it is unusual, not the sort of thing one sees every day in politics or in life. He knows it is the foundation of his comeback...


“Now, as he seeks to become president again, Trump will rely on what he sees as unequaled loyalty among his base of supporters. As he surveyed the scene at Mar-a-Lago, he said to me, ‘Look, you got to see just a little dose of it. If anything, there’s more spirit now than I’ve ever seen.’”


The term “rock star” has often been employed to describe politicians with the so-called “cult of personality”, but what Trump is experiencing in 2024 goes way beyond Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Guns n’ Roses, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. Fans of those entertainers love their music and count on hours of crowd-induced pleasure at a concert.


But Trump is a heroic figure who presents himself as the answer to prayers, a political messiah to save the concept of liberty, American exceptionalism and the American Dream. Trump isn’t a religious prophet and shouldn’t be considered one. His popularity is merely a very natural human reaction to a grave threat to the values millions hold dear. Most people consider politicians to be shysters and frauds. History bears this out. But not Trump.


That’s why his supporters feel so emotionally connected to him. They feel something being taken away from them by the evil (yes, evil) Democrats. Trump is viewed as the last-ditch protector. Nothing more, nothing less.


As far as the Trump passion phenomenon goes, those who’ve never personally witnessed a presidential campaign up close may not understand exactly what Trump is referring to when he says he didn’t “feel” a let-up in his voters’ intensity. Enthusiasm is something everyone senses individually and manifests itself in different ways. Some people open their wallets, purchase all forms of campaign paraphernalia and are proud to don t-shirts and hoodies and buttons and hats and all sorts of stuff displaying their preferences.


One of my favorites is seeing the “BLACKS FOR TRUMP” slogans that motivated supporters wear on white t-shirts in big black letters. They’re often situated behind the candidate when he’s speaking and applaud and move along with the others in more “usual” red, white and blue outfits. The campaign organizers no doubt position them there so as to make it appear as though Trump has appreciable African-American support, which polls show is growing by noticeable lengths.


But for those non-Trump candidates out there – and this presumably includes senile Joe Biden – the open space in front of the speaker’s dais is sometimes hard to fill with human beings. You might’ve noticed the phenomenon during the latter stages of the 2024 Republican campaign, when election night coverage of Nikki Haley would often open to semi-empty rooms and people milling around talking about who knows what – most likely saying something like, “Where is everybody”?


The campaign organizers must be outside trying to stir up a crowd big enough to “make a show” so as to lend the impression that candidate backers are lining up by the hundreds (if not thousands) waiting to get inside so there’s a display of strength – and noise – making the folks at home believe that the campaign has oodles of support.


This is where Trump clearly has an advantage, since he almost always has standing room only crowds who tend to arrive early so as to be stationed close enough to Trump to see him deviate from the teleprompter script to utter a soundbite that will send the establishment media’s chatterers into a tizzy and perhaps even get them a second or two of exposure when the talkers later replay the quote.


One remembrance will illustrate. I was relatively new in Washington in 1996 when I got caught up in the efforts of the Bob Dole campaign to pack rooms for Dole appearances. I specifically recall one such event in the capital city where I couldn’t help but notice that the medium-sized space wasn’t even close to filled to capacity. When Bob showed up, the hundred or so attendees, myself and my coworkers included (primarily searching for free appetizers and beer) cheered the GOP nominee, which must’ve seemed impressive to the TV watchers following the news.


Bob and Liddy Dole came onstage and waved to the applauding small mass of appropriately attired people who pretended as though the two political celebrities were approaching midfield for the coin toss at the Super Bowl. Cameras were flashing, music was blaring and lights positioned just right for the power couple’s grand entrance.


‘Huh?’ I thought. This is it? This is what we came for? A 5-minute standard speech by Dole himself didn’t make myself and the others appreciate getting all dressed up to come down to this place and consider it actually worth it. At that point I realized that so much of what we’ve been fed by the establishment news media over the years was really a big production that might as well be recorded and used over and over again in political campaign footage, kind of like those old World War II news reels that show the same enemy plane crashing to the earth in fiery fashion while the filmmakers held it out it as though hundreds were similarly extinguished.


That’s politics in the modern era. A sell-job of the highest order.


But not for Trump. Ever since he entered politics, the real estate developer, outspoken tabloid celebrity and former reality TV star never needed much bogus assistance drawing crowds and not only the throngs of people, but intense supporters willing to go the extra mile for his candidacy.


Trump’s campaign bustle is a long way from that night in 1996 when I saw Bob Dole speak briefly to a mostly empty big room and those who bothered to attend cheered as if on cue simply because it would’ve looked bad for their candidate to deliver remarks to a silent and lifeless gathering of hirelings.


This year, Trump backers know what they would be getting if Trump wins. Enough said.


As a word of caution, Trump supporters should not mistake the enthusiasm surrounding Trump for a false comfort that he’s unbeatable or that conservatives and Republicans won’t need to scratch and claw for every vote so as to win “outside the margin of fraud” in enough states to carry him over the 270 Electoral Vote threshold and elect him president again.


Hard as it is to believe, not everyone feels like we do about Trump the man. The folks I’ve talked with range from the gonzo Trump backers we see at the rallies to the, “I’ll vote for Trump again only because another term of Joe Biden would finish off the country.” Sorry to say, I personally know more people in the latter category, which likely means much of Trump’s favor stems from patriotic Americans without a choice rather than diehards who would lay down in front of an oncoming train for the former president.


This feeling is reflected, somewhat, in the differences between the two parties in raising money. Week after week there’re many new reports of Trump’s struggle to close the fundraising gap, senile Joe Biden’s campaign coffers filled to overflow from leftists, big government types and corporate welfare grifters who recognize that a Trump victory could mean the end of their subsidies and meritless grants.


The largesse must stop somewhere. There’s no guarantee that Trump will clean up the fiscal mess, especially since he didn’t do it the first time around, but the longtime private sector developer understands finance a lot better than any Democrat. Senile Joe Biden thinks money grows on trees paid for by “the rich” and corporations not paying their fair share.


Democrats are panicking. Prepare for a lot of fake cheering at Biden rallies this summer.


Much could be said and written about Donald Trump, but one thing cannot be denied – he draws large crowds of faithful backers who can’t wait to tell the world about their feelings for their candidate. “Intense” is a good way to describe them, and the passion is bound to build as the conventions near and the stakes grow larger. Will it be fun to watch?

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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1 Comment

Make them enforce the law!!!  Section 303 of the 2002 Federal Help Americans Vote Act REQUIRES that all mail in ballots include a copy of a photo ID or other ID and a government check or utility bill as proof of residence.  Make your state comply.

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