Donald Trump likes to pretend he’s a man of the people, but really he’s just a common grifter trying to game the system. His base sees him as one of their own and they’re loving every minute of it.
By David Todd McCarty | Friday, October 18, 2019
There might have been a time when Trump’s so-called base, his core supporters, thought their lives would improve if only Donald Trump were to become President. But they have all certainly come to realize, in some fashion or another, that that isn’t likely to happen. So why do they still they support this unqualified, crass, petty grifter? Because he’s their unqualified, crass, petty grifter. It’s like they got one of their own past the elite gatekeepers and into the holy of holies. They have their own inside man.
Trump is the inside man for the working class white man who feels betrayed by cultural elites and corporate America. Their lives might not have changed, but as he wrecks havoc in foreign affairs, dismantles government, violates social norms, pisses off liberals and all around thumbs his nose at the political and corporate establishment, they cheer because that’s what they would do if they were in his position. Blow it all up.
Cheering for Donald Trump and his administration is a lot like watching The Sopranos. You know they’re shady. You know they’re ethically ambiguous. You know they will break the law when needed and you know they have no moral compass or ideology other their own wealth, safety and security. Despite a claimed code of thieves, you know they’re going to do whatever it takes to win, including betraying those closest to them if they have to. But you don’t care because you don’t really think it directly effects you and who doesn’t enjoy watching someone chewing the scenery?
That’s the Trump administration in a nutshell. Republican establishment types will decry Trump’s foolhardy approach to governing but as long as he keeps gutting governmental regulations, cutting taxes and nominating ideological federal judges to life terms, they’re going to keep their mouths shut. They know this ride is going to end soon, and could end badly for some, but as long as they’re insulated, they’re going to ride this train till the bitter end.
The people, the ones we refer to as his base, the ones who buy his merchandise, attach his flags to the back of their pickup trucks, and show up to his rallies to chant, they don’t care if he’s making money off the Presidency. Doesn’t everyone do that? They don’t care if he bends the law here and there. Aren’t all politicians crooks? They have seen enough movies to know that even the hero isn’t above breaking the law when action is needed and you can’t wait around for the goody-two-shoes to arrive. You take matters into your own hands and you get it done by sheer force of will. Why shouldn’t Trump enrich himself when all these elites have been doing this all along?
And that’s the problem with Trump and his base. They both have the same idea of what a rich, powerful man looks and sounds like, which is based on a Hollywood understanding of power. As has been said, Trump is a poor man’s idea of a rich man, a weak man’s idea of a powerful man, and an idiot’s idea of a genius.
But the working people want a hero. They want a hero who speaks their mind, no matter how crass, ignorant or sometimes racist because hey, that’s how we all talk sometimes, right? They want a champion that no one else likes. He’s the Gritty of Presidents. He’s the underdog, beset on all sides by soft liberals, weak Republicans and an unfair judicial system out to get him. When the Democrats attack Trump, they’re attacking his base. When the media attempts to report honestly on his misdeeds, it’s fake news and they just don’t want him to succeed. There is an excuse for every failure.
This belief is further exacerbated by the fact that they have been sold decades of Republican propaganda that government is bad, government doesn’t work, all politicians are cheats, the Democrats are the reason your taxes are high, that healthcare costs so much, that you don’t have a job, and why we’re not safe in our own homes. Democrats want to kill your children, take your guns, give your jobs to immigrants and give your hard-earned tax dollars to lazy welfare cheats.
If Trump dismantles environmental protections, they cheer because they’ve been conned into believing that liberals are pansies that worry too much, and that unfettered capitalism will bring good jobs and higher pay. I’m not even going to bother to explain how there is zero evidence to support that on any level.
So they cheer for the guy “who has the balls” to talk the way they talk. He is their version of speaking truth to power, even when they know it’s a lie. When you’re outmatched intellectually, you start a fight. That’s what a grifter from Queens knows, and they understand that.
In the movies, we cheer for the hero we’ve been presented. We empathize with their plight. We watch the world from their point of view. Their success are our successes and their failures our failures. That’s Trump and his base. The movie is almost over but they’re in way too deep to bail now. No matter what the outcome is, they’ve picked their hero and they’re going to see this thing through.
Trump’s fans aren’t concerned with public policy, they thrive on base, emotional appeal. Chants. Slogans. Hats. All the cheap hallmarks of a huckster at a carnival. They came to see a show, and by God, Donald Trump has given it to them.
The best way to beat Trump is to expose him, not just as a bad President, but as someone who is not as successful as he claims to be, weaker than he boasts, and much more ignorant than even he understands. No one wants to back a poor, weak, dumb hero. Let Trump continue to revert to childish nicknames. Stick to simplified policy arguments and force him to explain his views. You fight a bully by calling his bluff. Trump isn’t a fighter. He’s a coward. No one wants to champion a coward. Expose his finances. Expose his weakness. Expose his ignorance. Do it publicly.
It’s time for Democrats to call Trump out, not just on his egregious, criminal conduct as President, but by the limitations of his character. He is unfit for office and it’s time we threw the joker out.