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Exploring mysteries inside Trump voters’ heads

Grady Loy

Here is a rant that’s been shared multiple times on Facebook. I quote it at length, crude language and all, and then offer my own view. The question was posed, “Why do people continue supporting Trump no matter what he does?” A lady named Bev answered it this way:

“You all don’t get it. I live in Trump country, in the Ozarks in southern Missouri, one of the last places where the KKK still has a relatively strong established presence. They don’t give a shit what he does. He’s just something to rally around and hate liberals, that’s it, period. He absolutely realizes that and plays it up. They love it. He knows they love it.

The fact that people act like it’s anything other than that proves to them that liberals are idiots, all the more reason for high fives all around. If you keep getting caught up in “Why do they not realize this problem?” and “How can they still back Trump after this scandal?” then you do not understand what the underlying motivating factor of his support is. It’s f..k liberals, that’s pretty much it. Have you noticed he can do pretty much anything imaginable, and they’ll explain some way that rationalizes it that makes zero logical sense?

Because they’re not even keeping track of any coherent narrative, it’s irrelevant. F..k liberals is the only relevant thing. Trust me; I know firsthand what I’m talking about. That’s why they just laugh at it all because you all don’t even realize they truly don’t give a f..k about whatever the conversation is about. It’s just a side mission story that doesn’t matter anyway.

That’s all just trivial details – the economy, health care, whatever. F..k liberals. Look at the issue with not wearing the masks. I can tell you what that’s about. It’s about exposing fear. They’re playing chicken with nature, and whoever flinches just moved down their internal pecking order, one step closer to being a liberal. You’ve got to understand the one core value that they hold above all others is hatred for what they consider weakness – because that’s what they believe strength is, hatred of weakness.

And I mean passionate, sadistic hatred. And I’m not exaggerating. Believe me. Sadistic, passionate hatred, and that’s what proves they’re strong, their passionate hatred for weakness. Sometimes they will lump vulnerability in with weakness.

They do that because people tend to start humbling themselves when they’re in some compromising or overwhelming circumstance, and to them, that’s an obvious sign of weakness. Kindness = weakness. Honesty = weakness. Compromise = weakness. They consider their very existence to be superior in every way to anyone who doesn’t hate weakness as much as they do.

They consider liberals to be weak people that are inferior, almost a different species, and the fact that liberals are so weak is why they have to unite in large numbers, which they find disgusting, but it’s that disgust that is a true expression of their natural superiority. Go ahead and try to have a logical, rational conversation with them. Just keep in mind what I said here and be forewarned.”

I think that “Bev,” whoever she is, is onto something. However, based on experience, I find ridiculously unpersuasive any argument that says ALL of the millions of Trump supporters are like this. What is likely to be true is that progressives (there are few true liberals left on the left) have engaged in behavior that has upset various conservatives. That is not surprising (culture wars and all that).

I think what she says is true as far as it goes. But most of the millions of people who vote for Trump because they do not like the opposition (I am told that includes somewhere between 5% and 10% of African Americans and a significantly higher percentage of Latinx), are not remotely so radical, any more than most progressives in fact run around spouting woke nonsense. And notice how African Americans, a more conservative group than a lot of people suppose collectively, have drop-kicked the woke faction not once but twice.

First, with that group’s low turnout, Trump won in 2016 by a minority of the popular vote and razor thin margins in so called battleground states.

Second, the selection, with overwhelming black backing, of Joe Biden as the Democrats’ presidential candidate was inspired. He will press all the right buttons (and how nice to have a president in office who is neither incompetent nor incurably vindictive nor, frankly, off his rocker).

The pro-Trump team, not to put too fine a point on it, is better at PR. (CNN and the New York Times need to get the memo on this sooner or later. They are always outgunned. Call Fox whatever names you want, the more centrist media organizations are not using good sense in this fight. Granted, it is starting to sink in a little at last.) But here is the real issue. How hard would it be for the goofy end of the Democratic Party to just exercise a little self-discipline for a few weeks? Once Biden starts exercising sane leadership again, I suspect the relief will be so great, even among the Trump supporters, that progressives are going to get a lot of their agenda back up on the board: climate change, for example.

And also some sort of (we hope) positive movement on issues between white and black Americans. God knows neither side (sorry if this sounds like equivalency) has done a remotely good job here. Blacks may be predominantly Democrats but the Democrats have let them down big time.

You don’t think so? The protests are not primarily going on in Republican cities (not that Republican cities are friendly venues for African Americans). But why are African Americans afraid of the police and angry about so many things in cities that have been run almost exclusively by Democratic Party machines for decades, largely by virtue of the votes African Americans routinely deliver to keep them in power.

Blow this question off at your peril. Never mind what the Republicans have or haven’t been doing. If allies seem to African Americans like enemies, then blaming the Republicans may be premature.

Consequently, if the Democrats start getting municipal, county and state level programs that begin to address these problems in districts they control, we may start to see progress. Waiting till Washington, DC, has just the right lineup (or Jesus comes back, whichever is earlier) is probably a recipe for further trouble.

So, yes, most Republicans voted for Trump because Democrats hate him so. I get that. They did not do it because they think he is a statesman, or a clever or competent politician, or even a nice person. As the “Bev” rant suggests, they did it because it threw a massive monkey wrench into perceived culture war agendas (real or imagined) coming from the left.

The left forever talks about “We will reconnect with people of faith.” and always has these ridiculous programs about some person of faith who is more “genuine” than evangelicals. These ripostes are about as bloodless as Republican attempts (so far) to diversify among various minority and marginalized constituencies. (Indeed the Republican effort appears to be substantially more successful.)

The left needs to drop the BS message that these people are all MAGA hat-wearing neanderthals with secret Ku Klux Klan and militia memberships and hidden agendas to do terrible things to minorities. (The reality is that most of these people have families that include minorities – I won’t include women in that because women are not technically a minority and are far and away the most politically diverse “oppressed” demographic at this point in time.)

The point is to win the election. Then, yes, Biden has to be President to all the people, the former MAGA hat-wearers as well as the woke types. There’s been no new civil war. These people did not lose their citizenship. There is no Reconstruction going on. There are certain key liberal agendas – climate change and racial reconciliation, again, plus possible progress in health insurance (though to what I won’t hazard a guess) and some sort of a rework of higher education costs.

I think Biden has the skills and clout to get some things done on Capitol Hill whether the Republicans retain a significant position or not. But he will also be smart enough to keep the Republicans in the loop so that aspects of these programs that are unduly offensive to the losers in the election can be adjusted within reason. The Rousseauvian crowd in the Democratic Party are forever insisting on a triumphal march and jackbooted enforcement of every agenda item no matter how goofy. Let’s win the election first understanding that the big things are going to get done.

Then let us make it a top priority to make sure the former Trump people are kept in the Democratic loop. (I can already hear the howls.) FDR understood this. It is not always true that we grow smarter with time. If the mainstream liberals had realized this four years ago, there might have been no Trump. Their consternation on 2016 election night said it all. They did not know their own nation. And maybe they still do not know.

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