I’m still reading social media posts, and still hearing people in my real life reality tunnel, wondering at the obstinacy of Trump’s core supporters. Trump himself is well known as saying he could shoot someone in front a thousand witnesses and his people would still love him, and honestly, if we ever thought we could laugh that off as hyperbole, well, we’re not at that place any more.
But why? Why do the core Trump supporters cling to hard to this man, why do they put so much mental and emotional and spiritual effort into justifying their adulation of him, despite everything he does? Despite the porn stars and Playmates, the third grade insults, the blindingly obvious lack of intelligence or competence, the equally staggering narcissism, the cruelty implicit in so many of his avowed intentions and policies?
I had a four day temp assignment last month and the nicest guy on the assignment, the one who was the most welcoming to me and supportive of me, the guy I most would have wanted to be friends with outside work, was an avid Trumper named George. I could not figure it out. He was a sci fi and fantasy fan like me (albeit, his favorite author was Terry Brooks, so, you know), he was a young white guy but his girlfriend/fiance, whom he clearly adored, was black, he was reasonably smart and good at his job – and given the chance he would endlessly regurgitate every phrase he’d ever heard on Fox News about Trump. “He’s just out there every day talking in America’s Living Room,” is one I remember starkly. But the other one he kept hammering was “he’s just an average guy, like us”.
I mean, seriously, George? He’s just an average guy, like you? SERIOUSLY?
We come up with individual explanations, many of which seem to be, hey, they’re all mean at heart, like Trump. They all wish they could screw a porn star or a Playmate, they love it when the brown people get locked up and their kids get taken, they cheer when white cops shoot black motorists and get away with it… the thrust is, Trump’s a bad person, and his supporters are bad people, and that’s the end of it.
I’ve gone down this road myself. I’ve frequently referred to the Tea Party, the Trump voters, the avid barking howling right wing mob, as ‘the cancer that is killing us’. And I’m not backing off of that. But I am saying, hey, George was a decent guy… not too bright, thought Terry Brooks was the greatest author ever, swallowed Fox News’ horseshit hook, line, and sinker, but, still… he’s a generous, warm hearted, decent guy. So how can he love Trump the way he does?
I think the secret there lies in George’s response when the name Hillary Clinton came up.
Swear to God, I thought he was going to make the sign of the devil and then spit between his fingers.
Trumpers loathe Hillary Clinton with a desperate white hot vengeance that is histrionic, historic, and hysterical. They are like Ahab to Moby Dick, like Khan to Kirk. From hell’s heart, they stab at her. With their last breaths, they spit at her.
If the 2016 elections accomplished one thing, it was forging the forever coin depicting Trump on one side, Hillary on the other. They are forever joined in the minds and hearts of those who love one and hate the other. For the avid, shrieking Trump voter, their support for Trump is invariably welded, and in fact, THE SAME THING, as their screaming toxic violent virulent abhorrence for Hillary. They cannot give up Trump, because if they back off the Donald by so much as one micrometer, to them, that is moving a micrometer closer to Hillary. They cannot do it. They will not do it. IT IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT OF.
From hell’s heart, they stab at her.
They can never give him up. They can never equivocate. They can never, even in the deepest depths of their souls, say to themselves “Hey, you know, Trump maybe wasn’t quite the best guy to go talk to that little feller from North Korea”. Because hot on the heels of that nascent, vestigial thought is “Maybe Hillary would have handled it better”. And that way lies madness to them.
With their last breath, they spit at her.
They cling to Trump, no matter what, because they have to cling to someone, and in their souls, to release their grip on the Donald, to lift so much as one pinky of one hand off his fleshy, orange smeared carcass, is to put that pinky out to Hillary.
No matter what Trump wrecks, no matter who he hurts, no matter what crimes he commits, blunders he performs, atrocities he enacts – he is the club they used to beat the living shit out of Hillary Clinton.
They’ve done far worse than kill her, you see.
They’ve… HURT her.
And they want to go on… HURTING her.
This, more than anything else, explains for me why they won’t let him go. Sure, some of them are mean, bad, cruel, ugly people. But a lot of them aren’t.
A lot of them just hate Hillary so much, they have to love Trump.
God help us all.