The juror who voted to convict Paul Manafort and still plans to vote for Trump again in 2020 is a perfect lead-in for today’s Must-Read Column by Salena Zito in the New York Post.
She asks the question that I see on social media all the time: “What will it take for these Trumpkins to abandon Trump?!” (FYI: “Progressives” think derogatory terms for large groups of people are hate speech, unless they’re people “progressives” don’t like, and then they’re “funny.”) Ms. Zito’s short answer: they aren’t going to abandon Trump. And it’s not because, as liberals claim, they’re in thrall to a “cult of personality” and refuse to see Trump’s flaws. Actually, it’s Democrats who constantly fall for cults of personality, repeatedly exalting “charisma” above experience and confusing emotion-swaying rhetoric with actual accomplishments.
As Ms Zito says, Trump voters knew going in that “he was a thrice-married, Playmate-dating, Howard Stern regular,” and his Tweets often make them wince (I’m getting eye wrinkles myself just from doing that.) I’m only too aware that one of the main ways his bio differs from mine is that it doesn’t say, “Before entering politics, he was a Baptist minister.” Americans voted for Trump knowing exactly what they were getting, and they will not abandon him over some ginned-up scandals or guilt-by-association or outrage over impolitic language that would never have made page 34 of the New York Times if it had involved a Democrat.
Those of us who studied American history back when real history was taught in schools also roll our eyes at all the claims of Trump’s behavior representing one “unprecedented” outrage after another. Why, he’s impolite, rough-edged and combative (Andrew Jackson.) He has sleazy associates who want to use their proximity to power to enrich themselves (Ulysses Grant, Warren Harding, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, etc. etc.) He wants to put immigrants into detention camps (actually, Trump doesn’t, but FDR actually did.) Heck, I could even name you a previous President who cussed like a sailor and threatened to personally beat up a journalist who bad-mouthed his daughter (Democratic icon, Harry “Plain Speaking” Truman.)
So why won’t Trump voters turn on him? First, because unlike the slick professional politicians the political and media establishment prefer, he doesn’t talk pretty and do nothing; he talks ugly but gets things done. And second, because those promises were to take on the bloated, arrogant, power-mad, spend-happy elitist establishment of both parties and the bureaucratic state that is totally out of touch with the needs and concerns of regular Americans. If they abandon Trump, where do they go? Who else is even talking about trying to “drain the swamp”?
Democrats can’t seem to understand that Trump supporters aren’t so much loyal to Trump (although many who voted for him just to keep Hillary out of the White House have expressed delight to me about how faithfully he’s kept his promises to be a pro-business, pro-defense, pro-freedom conservative.) They are against what their government, the mass media and the financial sector had become – that arrogant, insulated and incompetent self-declared aristocracy that would appall and enrage the Founders – and he’s their instrument for dismantling it. This is no surprise to me – as I’ve noted many times, I wrote a book on that exact subject, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” that was published six months before Trump ever came down that escalator and announced his candidacy.
Ms Zito points out that the Democrats could put up their own version of Trump, but I would argue that they can’t. No Democrat who called for reducing government power would get two votes in the primary. The only acceptable revolutionaries among the Democratic candidates are of the Bernie Sanders/socialist ilk. I don't think Americans want a champion who'll fight a bloated, corrupt government bureaucracy by making it much more powerful and five times bigger.