One of the most curious aspects of the so-called Donald Trump political phenomenon has been the way Trump’s enemies, or doubters, have portrayed the people who support him.
Yes, Trump backers have been labeled mind-numbed cultists, losers, traitors, insurrectionists, unable to think for themselves robots, criminals, perpetrators, gun nuts, conformists, outcasts, hermits, single-issue (in this case, Trump) voters, rednecks, rebels and rejectionists.
Then there’s the Democrats’ definition for them as aptly articulated by Crooked Hillary Clinton in 2016: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
Current president senile Joe Biden called them “MAGA Fascists”. Yeah, sure, Joe.
Well, to her credit (I think), ol’ Crooked Hill also said the “other half” of Trump’s backers feel the government has let them down and just want change, which, she added, she and Democrats could empathize and work with. I don’t want to speak for her, but I’m guessing this “half” represents the Republican contingent of swamp creatures who dwell in the Washington bog, the dealmakers, big government Republicans who just desire different “stuff” than their opposition and usually don’t rock the boat when it comes to formulating new continuing resolutions or omnibus spending bills at the end of every fiscal year.
Or, you could say, they’re the go along to get along types, the Mitt Romneys, John Kasiches, Paul Ryans, John Boehners, Kevin McCarthys and Mitch McConnells of the Republican universe. Not only do Democrats not dislike these players, they’d actually sometimes prefer them to their own system-disrupters like “The Squad” and Tulsi Gabbard (who is no longer a Democrat), Joe Manchin (not really a disruptor, just a pain in the rear to them) and Kyrsten Sinema.
But it’s strange how off-base the opinions have become concerning Trump’s loyalists. From personal experience in knowing a bunch of Trump enthusiasts, I’d say they’re just well-informed people suspicious of government in all respects and have found a hero in Trump because he’s unlike any politician who’s ever expelled a breath in the United States of America.
And because the Never Trumpers and Democrats don’t “get” the conservative/populist-types, they try to define Trump’s legions of voters and group them, classify them, what have you. It doesn’t really work. In a piece titled “Seven delusions plaguing the mind of the Trump base voter”, Intractable, obstinate and downright offensive Never Trumper Myra Adams wrote at The Hill last week:
“Two overarching reasons help explain this unusual circumstance.
“First, his ‘Make America Great Again’ base is immovable… Trump knew that already on Jan. 23, 2016, when at a rally in Iowa, he famously stated, ‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Okay?’ This is, for example, why Trump can be so comfortable with careless conversations about the executive orders he wants to sign at the beginning of his second term, telling Sean Hannity that he would not be a dictator, ‘other than day one.’
“Second, May poll data found that six out of ten Republicans still think the 2020 election was illegitimate. No wonder, since at his Iowa rally last Saturday, Trump repeatedly told the crowd that Democrats ‘rigged and stole the 2020 election.’”
If six out of ten Trump supporters still think the 2020 election was illegitimate, couldn’t it be that those 60 percent of GOP voters have a reason to maintain the opinion? That’s the part that always gets passed over by Adams and her ilk, a.k.a. the Trump haters, because they dismiss the mounds of evidence from the time and automatically assume that just because then-AG William Barr and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris said it was, that the election was on the up and up.
They probably believe ol’ Crooked Hill’s assertion that the 2016 election was tipped to Trump by the Russians, too, and they further surmise that the 45th president should’ve been removed from office because of the infamous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, where Trump suggested the Ukrainians would benefit from delving into the Biden family’s ties to domestic corruption.
If Trump can do no wrong in the Trump fans’ eyes, he can do no right in his haters’ estimation, either. Aren’t these two sides of the same coin? Is Myra Adams just a brainwashed establishment Republican? (Her bio reads: Myra Adams served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns, in 2004 and 2008.)
For what it’s worth, Adams’ Seven delusions plaguing the mind of the Trump base voter are:
1. Deceptive Rationalization -- Whatever Trump says or does, no matter the evidence to the contrary, his loyal followers normalize, downplay, excuse...
2. Respect for the strong-man image -- American masculinity is under attack. Trump appeals to the MAGA mindset by exemplifying the 20th-century fighting persona of great American manhood.
3. Biden is much worse than Trump – Trump can undo the damage Biden has done. Trump equals hope for America. Biden means disaster.
4. Whataboutism -- For every controversial Trump action, there is a Biden equivalent that evens the playing field.
5. Rural/blue-collar America gives its middle finger to governmental authority – [To] Trump’s supporters, he personifies turning the tables on authority with a “stick it to the boss” mentality.
6. Trump represents an America First policy agenda that gets things done.
7. Us-versus-Them mentality -- Presumably, any non-Trump voter could be included in the “them” whom Trump described on Nov.11.
Adams uses tidbits from her own interactions with Trump backers to bolster her seven points. The piece is entertaining and worth a read in its entirety, if you have time.
Instead of being angry and defensive, when confronted with this nonsense, Trump supporters should be thankful that there are persistent naysayers like Adams to pen columns for center-left establishment publications like The Hill, so the kneejerk haters can perpetuate their “delusions” about why people back Trump, and, in effect, present a necessary marked contrast between the former president and senile Joe, or whomever the Democrats anoint to take him on next November.
Trump, by himself, would probably lose the election. Observers like Adams and Kurt Schlichter and a virtual army of others (including the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal) have all insisted that Trump can’t win because there are simply too many people who hate him, and they’ll swamp him and trump the demonstrated tens of millions who love Trump at the ballot box.
It’s a debatable point. They may be right, and this possibility represents the best arguments in favor of choosing Ron DeSantis, or, gulp, Nikki Haley in the upcoming state caucuses and primaries. But this is a conundrum that will be solved by Republican voters, not some schlep sitting behind a keyboard and a computer screen in a media office somewhere. Shouldn’t they just take the voters’ word for it instead of “branding” Trump fans as something they’re not?
The Trump supporters I’ve met aren’t really like what Adams describes above – at least the idea that they’re immodest and wholeheartedly believe Trump can do no wrong, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, or love the fact that he’s a dictator, etc. etc. Most I’ve come into contact with admit that Trump has a boatload of bugaboos that come with him and that he’s his own worst enemy because he speaks completely without filter and often says things that get him in deeper hot water.
Since it’s Christmas time, picture the Jacob Marley character in “A Christmas Carol” who drags chains and weights with him through eternity because he didn’t “walk among his fellow men” in life. Trump doesn’t drag such burdens, but probably should ponder changing a few of his behaviors if he wants smooth going in the afterlife. Just saying.
Besides, there is an element of truth in Myra’s scribblings. Trump supporters do think he’s better than Biden, because he is, and there’s a heavy dose of “Whataboutism” in the group because Joe Biden is the most corrupt man who’s ever occupied the Oval Office. If senile Joe once had any core beliefs (demonstrated through his 50+ years in the swamp), Biden has dropped them for pure political expediency.
“Just win, baby” is about his only platform, as Biden relayed to donors last week.
Trump’s haters don’t like it, but they can’t make the same assertion about Trump. One reason why Trump’s army follows their general is because they recognize what they’re going to get if he wins. The MAGA agenda is familiar to them and they know enough about Trump from experience it’s certain that he’ll carry through with every item to the extent that it’s possible.
If Trump seeks to “dictate” on Day One of his second presidency -- closing the border and re-upping drilling in America – his voters are more than okay with it. And none of what Trump advocates, in terms of executive orders, is unconstitutional, despite what Adams and the Democrats think.
Trump, his words and his leadership style “speaks” to the forgotten Americans, the ones who feel left out or betrayed by Washington politicians from both parties who promised the moon, but once in office, merely produced smelly green cheese. Is Trump a man who keeps his word, means what he says and does what he vows?
As long as there are people who despise Donald Trump the politician, there will be attempts to define him – and the Americans who support him. Such crude smear jobs have very little connection to reality, because it’s impossible to stereotype millions of people. Some suggest, by doing so, the doubters are only helping Trump. Where does the truth lie?
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