Solid Trump voters are a mystery. Without the slightest hint of guile, they profess him to be the most honest, God fearing, promise keeping president ever, and are proud of all he is doing to make and keep America great. I was struck by the sincerity of a local man whose letter to the editor made these assertions about the president he so admires:
- Trump exalts God and seeks God’s guidance for the good of the nation.
- He doesn’t claim to be pure. His lies, sins, and locker-room talk can be over looked because we all fall short.
- He gets his point across, leaving no one in doubt.
- He’s the most fully transparent president ever, who has done all that is possible to keep his promises.
- An excellent businessman, he can’t be bought and sold like politicians can.
- He doesn’t accept favors or bribes.
- He doesn’t bow to foreign nations.
- He doesn’t apologize for the U.S.A.: the greatest nation in the world.
- He’s trying to make it greater, and with God’s help he will help us turn from our evil ways, innuendos, incivility and become a better place to live in.
That’s quite a list, and the most curious thing about it is that the reverse of each point is demonstrably true, so one is left to wonder how any reasonable person could not be aware of it? Yet, I suspect this letter writer is, in all other things, a reasonable person. What would it take for him to recognize that:
- Trump, basking in the company of certain clergy and thumping the occasional bible, has no idea what Christianity is about, what’s in the bible, and has never been a church going Christian in any place at any time.
- His lies, sins and locker room-talk are well beyond normal deviation of behavior in American society. His history of betrayals, cheating and disloyalty to all but himself have been publicly catalogued for years, repudiating all that Christianity stands for.
- Doubt is precisely what he inspires in everyone with whom he does business. His word can’t be trusted. His decisions appear erratic, poorly thought out, and frequently abandoned. Blame always falls on someone else, and he refuses to accept responsibility for anything that doesn’t reflect a shining light on his ego. “Never complain, never explain,” attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, is often used by the powerful to avoid being held accountable by lesser mortals. Trump’s version is, “Complain loud and often, never back down, and never admit being wrong.”
- His reputation as an excellent businessman lies in tatters for any who take a close look. Certainly, he’s amassed considerable wealth on top of the wealth he inherited, but at tremendous cost to those he’s cheated along the way, and with some speculation that his holdings are a house of cards held together with foreign debt.
- He is easily bought and sold by those to whom he’s indebted, on whose largesse his future is dependent. Banks, Saudi princes, favor seekers streaming to his properties, and wealthy patrons of his clubs all own a piece of him. He can be bought, or at least rented, with a word or two of fawning flattery, and he assumes the reverse is also true. Everyone can be bought, and used until their usefulness has expired. It makes everyone disposable.
- It’s true that he doesn’t bow to foreign nations. No president has. But Trump has insulted and betrayed long standing allies, while cozying up to a variety of dictators that have not been friendly toward the U.S. He’s destroyed trading relationships, and moved already violent parts of the world toward greater instability and violence.
- In the process of not apologizing for the U.S., he’s ignored history, and eroded America’s hard earned respect and place of dignity as a world leader. Although economically powerful and militarily strong, it’s become an object of derision, no longer trustworthy in anything it says or does.
- I suspect God is not amused by Trump’s behavior epitomizing the worst of the incivility that appears to dominate the nation. Of innuendos he is the king, of moral failure, the champion, of rending the fabric of social harmony, the expert.
The letter writer, and other Trump true believers, are likely to dismiss such rebuttals as the ravings of a left wing lunatic suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. Whatever evidence is presented is chalked up to “fake news,” or simply ignored as if it didn’t exist. To them, the world of mainstream media can never be trusted. Facts and opinions have equal value. Elected representatives are crooked, and professional staff are “deep state” conspirators secretly running things.
Trump, and only Trump, remains as the one to preserve their rights and freedom. In defense of American individualism’s commitment to self reliance and personal freedom unhindered by governmental interference, they’re willing to give up both to the authoritarian rule of a would be autocrat. In defense of hard working heartland Americans, they turn to a flamboyant playboy whose inherited wealth and tawdry business practices have enabled him to avoid hard work, and any knowledge of what it entails. The so called traditional family values they cherish have been violated time and again by the one to whom they turn for their protection. His utter incompetence at managing the affairs of state eludes them. They live in fear of an imaginary left wing socialist takeover, and are certain they see it in every candidate for office who is not a Trump supporter. They are, in short, both gullible and dangerous because they won’t be dissuaded until long after the disaster has unfolded around them