I am trying to think of a way to describe what it is like to be a Trump supporter and read or hear a description of Trump supporters by someone who despises Donald Trump. Reading what your ex-spouse says about you in the pleadings of a child custody dispute comes close, but your ex actually knows a little bit about you. Most of the time when I read or hear a screed about Trump supporters I have to conclude that the author/speaker has never actually met any Trump supporters.
Take this Damon Linker fellow over at The Week:
I already know more about Mr, Linker than he knows about me. I know he is not a Trump supporter. And he is not neutral either. He’s a Trump hater.
One of the distinctive marks of the Trump era is the perpetual sensation that we’ve reached some fundamental inflection point, some major shift in the prevailing political dynamic, when in fact nothing fundamental ever changes.
We’ve all seen it countless times. Trump says or does some outrageous, racist, corrupt thing, which is promptly followed by a chorus of pundits asserting, “OMG, I can’t believe Trump said or did this outrageous, racist, corrupt thing! He’s doomed! Bound to be impeached! Guaranteed to be universally reviled!” And then he isn’t. Until the next time. And then the next.
Or how about, “There’s no way his supporters, or elected members of his party, will stick with him through this latest affront against everything the GOP has always claimed to stand for!” This is maybe followed by a Republican senator or two grumbling about being gravely “troubled,” and a 1-2 point drop in Trump’s approval rating that lasts a week or two only to rebound as we all move on to the next round of insult and injury.
I sorta agree with that first sentence. I often think we must have reached Peak Stupid or Peak Crazy, and it could not possibly get worse. But then, usually within hours, I am proven wrong.
As for the “outrageous, racist, corrupt” assertion, Trump has said and done a few things that no previous GOP POTUS or candidate for POTUS would have said or done. And that is why he both won the election and been effective, despite unprecedented and often outrageous opposition. But have any of those things been outrageous? Not under the circumstances.
I cannot think of a single example of anything Trump has done that was racist or corrupt. There are quite a few things that were called racist or corrupt, but they actually weren’t.
But enough about Trump, let’s skip down to where Linker talks about us:
So what has changed?
For one thing, Trump’s entire defense against the Mueller investigation boiled down to the assertion that it was a witch hunt engineered by far-left Democrats and pursued by a hostile special counsel. Some Republican voters probably didn’t care and just stayed by the president’s side out of nothing more complicated than tribal loyalty. But others undoubtedly bought the “witch hunt” line. This is a highly dangerous constituency for the president — because they have now learned, along with the rest of us, that after the investigation of the 2016 election was complete, Trump actively attempted to do precisely what he was accused of doing by the special counsel: seeking to advance his domestic political prospects by soliciting help from a foreign power. This could well be leading some Republicans and independents to re-evaluate what they have believed about Trump and to reflect on precisely how much political treachery they are willing to stomach in the name of making America great again.
Yeah, about that. I gotta feeling we’re gonna disappoint Mr. Linker once again.
Then there is the effect of glimpsing Democrats doing something they never see from Republicans these days: showing some civic spine, doing what they think is right, regardless of the political consequences. Yes, some on the left think they have all good things on their side — morality, patriotism, the law, and public opinion. But that isn’t what Pelosi believes, and it’s not what the right believes either. The right thinks the Democrats are bound to lose. That will lead some Republicans to laugh sadistically at the suckers and chumps on the other side. But among others it might awaken some dormant memories of a less polarized and rancorous politics — a politics when it wasn’t inconceivable for partisans to set aside, at least on occasion, their own interests for the good of the country.
That paragraph has some truth in it, but it is wrapped up in equal parts of surreal and delusional. Linker is correct when he says the Right does not agree that the Left has a monopoly on all the good qualities. We do think the Left is bound to lose (although we worry they won’t) and we certainly will laugh sadistically when they do. But we earned the right to do that. We do indeed remember times that were less polarized and rancorous, but guess what? We didn’t change, they did.
I first became a target of Leftist Hate back in 2008. I chose to support Hillary (A choice I am now ashamed of.) The mob chose Obama. Policy-wise, there was literally no light between them (that’s because Obama copied off Hillary’s paper.) Because I chose to support Hillary over Obama I was called a racist by my fellow Democrats. In 2016 the Obama supporters who called us racists were now supporting Hillary.
If you are a Trump supporter, the Left will assume you are a racist. If they are feeling generous they may allow that you are a racist because you are stupid and ignorant and you have been brainwashed by Fox News so you don’t know any better. But usually they simply assume you are a racist because you are a Nazi.
Trump supporters are presumed to be “Lofos” or “low information voters.” Not only are we of lower intelligence than the Left, we have less education and we know less about . . . well, everything. We tune into Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and they tell us what to think. Which is why the Left wants to deplatform all the voices on the Right. It’s for our own good because we are being fed lies.
Here’s the thing – you cannot be a Trump supporter and live in a bubble. Even if you stayed home 24/7/365 and stayed off the internet and only watched Fox News you would still hear a lot Leftist voices because unlike their counterparts on the Left, Fox does allow Leftists a chance to tell their side of the story.
When ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and/or MSNBC brings in a conservative Republican to comment on something, that person is never a conservative nor a Republican. They bring in someone like Jen Rubin or Ana Navarro – alleged conservative Republicans who are opposed to everything and everyone that is conservative or Republican.
If you are a Trump supporter you have heard all the bad things there are to say about Donald Trump. There is no escape from it. But how many people on the Left know who Kermit Gosnell is? How many people on the left know that “Fast and Furious” is not just the name of a movie franchise?
I prefer my information straight – no cream or sugar. When possible, I want to watch a speech or read the transcript. I don’t want to rely on what someone else tells me, or on selectively edited clips. But sometimes that isn’t even good enough.
You can read the unredacted transcript of Trump’s phone conversation with the Ukraine president. It is easy to understand, and it is written in plain English.
Here’s the relevant part:
The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance, by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from the United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and a very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.
The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of new York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.
I would really like someone to point out the impeachable offense(s) contained in that transcript. Point them out, explain WHY they are “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and cite the statutes that were violated. There are actually people out there claiming that Trump is going to prison for that conversation.
Right here at this tiny little blog, we have an above-average number of college graduates. We have several people with post-graduate degrees, and none of those degrees are in made up majors that are useless in the real world. The posts and comment threads here have covered just about every subject under the sun, and we don’t ban people just because we disagree with them.
Everyone here is entitled to their opinion, but if you are gonna share your opinions be prepared to defend them. Most or all of the regulars here support Trump, but that doesn’t mean they always agree with him. To the best of my knowledge, nobody here is a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe.
But according to people like Mr. Linker, we are either stupid, evil, or both. We can’t have policy debates because one side (the Left) delegitimizes the other by presuming they are not acting in good faith. When they aren’t calling us names they are assigning opinions and motives to us that we don’t have.
So when Linker says “. . . when it wasn’t inconceivable for partisans to set aside, at least on occasion, their own interests for the good of the country” what he means is that people on the right are selfishly thinking of their own interests while people on the Left are focused on what is good for the country. Apparently, he missed the part about “Make AMERICA Great Again.”
A couple months back some woman was tweeting that she wanted a Trump supporter to explain to her why we support Trump. I told her that if she wanted to understand Trump and/or Trump supporters, the first thing she had to do was open her mind and consider the possibility that neither Trump nor Trump supporters were racists.
She told me that it was impossible. And that was the end of that discussion.