By Jason Taylor
I always find it interesting how people can have such different impressions of a person like Donald Trump. His dishonesty alone was enough to disqualify him in my eyes regardless of his party label. I would not have supported him for president under any circumstances. Since becoming president, Donald Trump has exhibited even more of the characteristics which I find abhorrent. Yet, his popularity among his base remains high.
I guess that doesn’t surprise me since it was my assessment that so many of his supporters simply wanted change and didn’t care how they got it. Well, they did get change, but it was mostly that Trump changed his position on almost everything.
Suppose you bought a highly touted stock or some other investment that appeared to be risky but held out the “hope” that it would provide a decent return. The stock came with much promise, but shortly after you bought it, it began to trickle down steadily but surely. It is now down some 10% but you hold onto it in the hope it will turn around. It then falls another 5%, but you don’t want to believe it may just be a loser stock and you continue to hold. And you hold and hold as it loses more and more, yet you just cannot accept the reality that it is a loser investment because people just have an extremely difficult time acknowledging such a loss, even as it becomes massive. So they tell themselves it will turn around although deep down they realize they made a terrible investment.
That is why so many blue collar Trump supporters hold on to the unreal belief that somehow Trump will be there for them. Just ask those mine workers in coal country who will soon lose their government-sponsored health insurance in the wake of mining co. bankruptcies.
I still can’t get over that we have “normalized” the fact that two key advisers to the President of the United Stated are his daughter, a 34-year-old apparel/accessories licenser, and son-in-law, a 36-year-old real estate developer – neither of whom have any experience in governance or public service of any kind.
Most Trump supporters will never admit that Trump took them for the biggest ride on earth because they don’t believe he has. They don’t care that an Obamacare repeal will hurt them the most — or at least they won’t care until it happens and then they’ll blame Obama, Hillary, or another Democrat. They have no interest in whether or not the deregulation of some environmental laws will poison the air and water until they get sick from the poisoned air and unsafe drinking water and need medical care only to find they don’t have health insurance because Trump pretty much took it away. But then they’ll blame Obama, Hillary, or another Democrat.
They don’t care about the Russian connection to Trump (“stop nitpicking” according to one Trump supporter) unless of course, it was a Russian connection to Hillary then there would be foaming at the mouth screams of “lock her up!” It won’t matter that there will be no return to an abundance of manufacturing or coal mining jobs as Trump promised. It won’t even matter that the rich will get huge tax breaks while they see an increase in theirs. No, as long as Trump continues to promise to build that wall (doesn’t matter if it never happens), throws Muslims out of the country, and turns a blind eye to racism, bigotry, and misogyny, that will be enough to win Trump their continuing support and allegiance. And Trump knows it.
A vast number of Trump voters do not mind at all being played for a bill of goods, as long as they get an hour or so’s vicarious pleasure from a huckster showman. What gnaws at them viscerally is the thought that somewhere out there (on the coasts, in the cities, downtown, in the professions, at the universities, etc.) there’s people who think they are fools. Thus, Trump. A man who is “smart” for not paying taxes.
Trump voters do not mind at all being played for fools (they find it entertaining and gratifying and affirming), just as long as no-one points out that they are allowing themselves, foolishly, to be played.