A casual acquaintance of mine, let's call him Cynical Sidney, offered an interesting explanation the other day for why, against his better judgment, he supports Donald Trump. “He hates the same people I hate,” my friend declared. “Hate” probably is too strong a word for what Sidney was trying to say, but I think […]
A casual acquaintance of mine, let's call him Cynical Sidney, offered an interesting explanation the other day for why, against his better judgment, he supports Donald Trump.
“He hates the same people I hate,” my friend declared.
“Hate” probably is too strong a word for what Sidney was trying to say, but I think I understand what he meant. He dislikes certain kinds of people — smug liberals, especially — with a purple passion. And if most of those certain kinds of people oppose Trump at every turn, Sidney's going to take the other side.
That doesn't make much sense, I'll concede, but rationalizations for supporting The Donald rarely do. These people generally fall into one or more of several categories: Some of them are just automatic Republican voters; they were born GOPers, and they'll die GOPers. Some are political newcomers who've fallen for Trump's simplistic rhetoric. Some are racial or religious bigots who consider Trump one of their own. And some are just curmudgeons, no matter their age, who see themselves as political vandals.
The people in that last category, Sidney's category, generally are brighter than members of the genus known as Boobus Americanus, which consists of Trump's political base. The Sidneys recognize most of Trump's shortcomings but have chosen to ignore them in the interest of shaking things up. I can understand that kind of thinking, even if I don't always embrace it. It somehow reminds me of the old saying about how the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
If, as I fully expect, President Trump is removed from office for various crimes and misdemeanors before he serves out the term to which he was elected last fall, I expect that most of the Sidneys of the world will turn against him. There are limits to political scampishness.
Indeed, I suspect that many of the Sidneys among us already have given up on Trump. His approval percentages in the polls have been stuck in the 30s all through the eight months of his presidency. And he seems to lack the political moxie to do anything about it.
When Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes his probe of misconduct in the Trump administration and lowers the boom on the president…well, the Sidneys likely will have tried to forget that they actually supported this guy mainly because he annoyed people who annoyed them.