Ever since dotard g trump descended the trump Tower escalator 3 years ago today to announce his intention to pull off his biggest con ever, pundits, politicos, and regular, everyday people have tried to nail down his appeal to his base, which continues to provide him with the greatest approval rating of any president, ever. It’s scary, but it’s true. No other president in history has enjoyed as much support among his own party than trump enjoys among Republicans.
trump’s support among Republicans has never dipped below 77%, and that only happened on one occasion, in the second week of December, 2017. He currently enjoys a 90% approval rating among Republicans, and his general job approval rating continues to edge slowly upward, currently resting at 44% among registered voters.
These facts (and let’s face it, whether we like it or not, those are his current numbers) are the source of great mystery to people who have not fallen under trump’s spell, and that is precisely what this is about—the mysterious appeal trump seems to have.
In order to understand that, we first have to understand a couple of things. We have to first understand the kind of people trump appeals to, and we then have to understand why they would not only stand by him, but solidify their support of him despite the growing revelations that he is not the person they claimed he was when they voted for him. In other words, we have to understand why someone, after learning they have been lied to, would grow to admire the liar even more, because, let’s face it, that is certainly a rather perplexing phenomenon.
So, let’s figure out just what kind of person trump appeals to.
The Republicans, unlike the Democrats, over the years, have cobbled together a sort of potpourri of supporters. Whereas Democrats tend to attract people who hold a multitude of common ideals and goals (affordable healthcare for all, reduced military spending, gender and racial equity, and a more level economic playing field) Republicans have spent years appealing to various single-issue voters. Among Republican voters one will find voters who care only about immigration issues and little else. There are voters who vote Republican purely because of the gun issue, or singularly because of the abortion issue, or solely because of taxes. These single-issue voters are often at odds with the other issues voters. For example, an anti-abortion voter might also be strongly opposed to war, but will still vote Republican nonetheless because the abortion issue matters that much to them. Many gun-issue-voters are atheists who are just as antagonistic towards religion as the anti-theocrats in the Democratic Party, but they will still vote Republican because the gun-issue matters that much to them.
The GOP is good at being all things to all people because they have no defining ethos, other than simply winning elections, and they want to win elections because it gets them campaign contributions, and they want campaign contributions because it enriches them and offers them a cushy future if they decide to leave politics. Anyway, back to the narrative.
Democrats, on the other hand, tend to be all-or-nothing voters. I, myself, am one of them. I did not vote for Hillary in the 2016 primaries because I believe her to be a corporatist. Others will disagree with me, but that’s not the point of this piece. The point is, because I find her to be a corporatist, and a bit too hawkish for my tastes, I elected to vote for Bernie Sanders. But, once the primaries were over, Hillary had my electoral support.
However, this is also where a major divide between the Republicans and the Democrats takes place, and helps explain why, despite knowing they’ve been lied to, Republican voters will solidify their support of that liar. After Hillary won the primary and earned my electoral support, she still did not enjoy my moral support. I was going to vote for her because, by then, I found her to be the better of the only two candidates we got to choose from, but I continued my criticisms of her. I demanded that, if she won the election, she begin to listen to those who did not support her primary run.
Republicans operate a bit differently. Once a GOP nominee is declared, it is the Republican voter who suddenly changes all of their positions so they align with that of the nominee. Republicans are authoritarians, and they fall in line when ordered to do so. They may privately hold views different from their candidate, but they will never, ever publicly criticize their nominee. This presents a unified front, and, being the obsequious toadies they have been accused of being, other Republican voters, fearing being the odd man out, join in.
It is often said that maintaining Democratic support is harder than herding cats, and this is true. It’s true because Democrats are idealists, and the idea that we will ignore the suffering of one group as long as one other group gets what they need doesn’t sit well with us. We strive to ensure that, indeed, all boats are lifted by the rising tide. Republicans only care that their boat is lifted.
Finally, we all know the term circling the wagons. When you’re in the wilderness, and your group is attacked from an outside entity, you immediately give up all your internal squabbles and join forces to protect your group and your leader.
trump deservedly has been under attack from the moment he feebly descended the escalator 3 years ago today. His supporters, who were very few and far between on that day, have coalesced slowly and dutifully in the weeks and months since, and now, with the noose of Russia and Stormy Daniels slowly tightening around his neck, his obedient followers and tightening their circle around his wagon. The theocrats, the gun nuts, the child molesters, the Russophiles, the men’s rights incels, the racists, the fer-the-lulz shitposters, the tax-cut cultists, and every other random single issue voter that was seduced by the man who demonstrated to them that everything they ever heard about themselves—that ignorant, bigoted, intellectually incurious, functionally illiterate, sexually assaulting misogynists, sociopathic racists can never achieve wealth or power—was wrong. They need trump to survive, because in his success they find their own hope, and it’s the hope shared by fascists everywhere.
What this means, for us, is that we cannot be satisfied that a Blue Wave (let me go on record to state that I despise that term; I find it presumptuous and shallow) is coming, and decide that everyone hates trump so much that we can sit out the midterms like we so often do, and leave it to others to restore sanity and the illusion of decency to our process. We have to vote. In every election. Remember this: in a nation of 320 million people, and in a popular loss of 3 million votes, trump became president because of 77,744 people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And while we will soon have all the proof we need that Russia played a large part in that, the reality still remains that the apathy of enough American voters allowed Russia’s influence to be decisive.
3 years is more than enough. Get out and vote.