Friday, April 28, 2017

No 'buyer's remorse'

Many of my friends on the political left who opposed Donald Trump, given reports swirling about his alleged corruption and ties to the Russian government, were absolutely convinced that, once the truth was revealed, the populace would turn against him and the Republican Party would thus be obliged to abandon him and cooperate with his impeachment.

Yet, recent polls have shown that, were the election held today, after 100 days of his administration he has retained almost all of his support. That is to say, between 96 and 98 percent of those who voted for him in November would do so again.

That may make absolutely no sense until you consider the driving force of many, if not most, conservative (including Christian) voters: Putting someone they don’t like out of power. Never mind that many of his supporters benefit from programs that he intends to cut, such as the Affordable Care Act — indeed, they didn’t realize until he actually made a proposal to dismantle it and substitute something nowhere near as comprehensive that they began to worry.

Indeed, that’s been the goal since the 1980s. For the 1984 presidential election the group Christian Voice put out a “Presidential Biblical Scorecard” that painted Democratic candidate Walter Mondale as a “humanist.” (Not that Ronald Reagan needed its help, the way things turned out.) Distortions and outright lies have been the stock in trade since then, with Bill Clinton in the 1990s; Barack Obama in the 2000s; and, more recently, Hillary Clinton. Some Christians will honestly tell you that they voted for Trump, despite his open rejection of the same Christian principles they live by, merely to keep Hillary out of the White House.

And that speaks to the unwillingness of that side of the political fence to talk to, let alone work with, anyone who disagrees. In that mindset and narrative politics is bloodsport, with every defeat turning into gnashing of teeth and victory resulting in gloating, governance be damned.

I see parallels between the potential impeachment of Trump and the actual impeachment of Bill Clinton, the latter, though victimized by an illegal perjury trap, still staved off being removed from office largely because of popular support. I see the same thing happening with Trump for similar reasons — his people will tell the politicians, “Impeach him and you’re dead.” And they care more than Clinton supporters.

So what happens now? Status quo.

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