As the present election campaign has progressed, there has been a question that has continued to perplex me. That question is: What motivates the hardcore Trump supporters? When I ask this, I don’t mean people who merely have an interest in him, or are just leaning his way. I don’t mean people who are more or less in his camp but still have their eyes open and are still willing to consider the facts and think about other candidates. I think I understand those people, as I’ve previously posted. Trump says a lot of things that sound good, and it’s refreshing to hear someone cut loose and denounce the idea that we ought to let the whole world come flocking across our southern border or that once lawbreakers have invaded our country, we can’t, or shouldn’t, push them back out. Those ideas need to be denounced, and when Trump is doing it, it’s easy to understand why people are drawn to him.
What’s hard to understand is why people stick with him. After a while, the constant foul language begins to raise questions about what kind of man he really is. Then there’s his past record: bankrolling leftist Democrats, supporting abortion, supporting amnesty for illegal aliens and every other left-wing cause you can think of, using eminent domain to take a widow’s house. There’s also the fact that he stuck with those left-wing positions right up until he started running for president, scarcely a year ago. He may still favor out-and-out socialized medicine–worse than Obamacare. There’s his record of multiple bankruptcies. How’s that for the businessman who’s going to fix our nation’s finances? Smart people look at these things, and they go the other way.
If you’re a Christian, there’s even more that would drive you away from Trump. He owns casinos and a strip club. He dumped two wives and married a third. He cheated on the first with the second and cheated on the second with the third. In fact, he boasts of cheating on all of them with many other women, some of them married. He says he has never asked forgiveness from God and implies, at least, that he doesn’t need it. Is this the leader who is going to make America great again? Good people look at Trump’s record of massive wickedness, of which he has never repented, and they go the other way.
So I can understand people who have followed Trump for a time and then have turned away from him. I can also understand people who are considering him, maybe would vote for him if the election were today, but are still learning more about him and, as they do, are weighing the significance of the facts I’ve just mentioned. These are smart and good people whose busy lives have kept them from following politics on a day-to-day basis over the past four years. They’re in the process of getting up to speed on the presidential candidates, and when they do, they’ll turn away from Trump. That I can understand.
But, again, what I have struggled to understand, has been the thinking of the people who stick to Trump after they’ve heard about his past record and have had time to consider what it means. These are the people that Trump said would still support him even if he shot somebody right out on Fifth Avenue–and the scary thing is he might be right. These are the people who fly into a rage and start shouting slogans when you tell them the facts about Trump or ask them questions that force them to admit what he really is. These are the people who spread ridiculous smear stories about other candidates–Ted Cruz is owned by Goldman Sachs, Ted Cruz is a Canadian, Ted Cruz is part of a vast conspiracy to create one-world government or regulate homeschooling, Ted Cruz is a space alien (OK, I made up that last one, but it fits right into the list)–stories that, after investigation, no one with the knowledge and maturity of a fourth-grader could possibly believe. These are the people who have been hard for me to understand. Why would they worship Trump for advocating policies they have no reason to believe he’ll carry out, while at the same time they revile Ted Cruz who has not only been advocating those policies all along but has been courageously fighting for them?
Maybe the reason it has been hard for me to understand these people is that I have not wanted to accept the conclusion to which all the facts have pointed. It’s not about intelligence. No, for some, perhaps many of the hardcore Trump supporters I’m afraid it’s about evil. Trump’s evil doesn’t repel them. It draws them. He speaks their language. Literally. His evil deeds are large versions of what they’ve done themselves, without repenting, or wish they could do. Conversely, the sincere Christianity in the Cruz camp repels them. It feels strange. It convicts them. They think it must be phony, and they feel more at home with Trump. All of this does not make a very pretty picture, but isn’t it the truth? If no other candidate were advocating the good things of which Trump speaks, people might be sticking with him for that reason, but when there’s a choice, why have the hardcore Trump supporters chosen to support a candidate who is obviously evil? I can think of only one answer.