In my view, Trump voters - and Republican voters - were motivated in 2016 by many things, and few of them good. Talk of smaller government and/or fiscal conservatism were merely smoke screen used by those who sought to cloak their real motivations: racism, religious extremism, ignorance due to laziness and reliance on right wing "news" sites, rebellion against modernity, the decline of white privilege. The list goes on and on, but at root all of the motivations circle back to being an embrace of misogyny. Worse yet, those who disclaim their real motives the loudest are likely those actually motivated by the ugliest motives. The result is that the nation now has a madman in the White House and Republicans are too concerned with pushing their anti-working and middle class and pro-polluter agenda. Where the nightmare ends - hopefully short of a dictatorship - is hard to tell. A piece in Salon lays the blame for this national crisis at the feet of Trump supporters who I hope history will judge most harshly. Here are excerpts:
Columnist Michael Gerson has described President Donald Trump as living in “the eternal now.” In other words, Trump doesn’t really consider the past or the future in his decision-making, especially when it comes to his kneejerk blurtings, be they on Twitter or during a rally or whenever he’s within spitting distance of a microphone. Everything for Trump is about getting through the moment. Everything is a reaction to something he just watched on television.
Not surprisingly, “the eternal now” also rings true of the modern conservative movement which has, for many years now, abandoned integrity in favor of saying the exact opposite of whatever the opposition is saying, even if that means flagrantly contradicting previous conservative positions. For example, Obamacare was mostly a Republican plan, a proto-version of which was implemented in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney. But since it was passed by Obama, it must be killed. Or, naturally, the sudden affection for Russia and Vladimir Putin by Trump conservatives, even though so many of them are on record having previously criticized Putin’s strongman leadership. Call it “opposite day politics.”
Trump’s “eternal now” is also illustrated by the fact that he routinely and accidentally engages in perhaps the dumbest politics we’ve ever seen from a chief executive. Specifically, Trump has repeatedly verified the authenticity of leaks by screeching about the leaks being a violation of national security and classified information.
Likewise, during his usual weekend excursion to Mar-a-Lago, Trump accused former President Obama of personally ordering wiretaps at Trump Tower. We’ll get into why he did this presently. But once again, Trump undermined his own case . . . . Trump has successfully if inadvertently coaxed his most loyal fanboys to support a complete and thorough investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle, believing the findings will confirm Trump’s ludicrous claims about Obama administration wiretaps. Instead, investigations may well lead to evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to hack the Democrats and skew the election using the “damn emails.”
What we’ll all soon learn, if we haven’t already, is that the presidency isn’t something to be monkeyed with. Trump is proving with every blurt and every drip-drip of the Russia revelations that 62 million American voters frivolously experimented with the presidency, and this is what we get when the electorate gets suckered into a historically colossal mistake.
The consequences of this mistake have yet to be fully revealed, but they will be. And soon. Trump’s shocking tweets about wiretaps and Obama’s (unproved and likely nonexistent) involvement could very easily slip into a constitutional crisis in which one side of the debate is calling for the arrest of Trump while the other side is calling for the arrest of Obama. The only problem here is that the latter’s argument is silly and the former’s argument is entirely plausible,, according to former NSA analyst John Schindler. Unless Trump makes a move to shield himself from prosecution, it’s an increasingly likely scenario. Oh, and there’s a really solid chance he’ll abuse his power to keep himself out of jail. Obviously.
[W]ith no evidence or substantiation, the White House is pursuing this Obama angle. We have a president who is willing to accept without question things he sees on Fox News or reads on Breitbart. One of Trump’s other often-cited sources is “Fox & Friends,” which rivals “Vanderpump Rules” as the least intellectual show on television.
So — who will stop him? Who will stand up to Trump when he takes all this too far? (And he will.) It certainly won’t be the ignorant voters who think he’s righteousy disrupting the system. It doesn’t appear it’ll be Republican leadership either, since John McCain and Lindsey Graham are the only Republicans showing the balls to watchdog Trump from the GOP side of the aisle.
Now that Trump thinks his mandate is to disrupt the system, a million unforeseen things could come crashing down on our heads. Not to mention on the heads of those 62 million voters who thought the presidency and the free world needed a tyrannical Batman villain in the White House.