The vast majority of the rest of us, other than a few right-wing loons, see Trump as a narcissistic bully, a lunatic, or worse (notwithstanding the sycophants on his payroll or in his own family). Even die-hard Republicans who grudgingly support Trump are embarrassed by his behavior.
Some will justify their vote by hatred of Hillary. She can’t be trusted, they say. So, instead, they hitch their fortunes to a con man who lies as effortlessly as he breathes. There are a lot of dumb people in this country, and they believe this billionaire ignoramus is just like them. They’re half right.
If this sounds terribly elitist, consider that exactly fifty percent the country is of below-average intelligence. And their votes count the same as the other half. It’s not that all poorly educated people are stupid. Or, that anyone with a college education is smarter than average. It’s that Trump’s base of support from poorly-educated (predominately white) people poses a genuine threat to the future of America.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen carefully to any of America’s accepted smart people – politicians, scholars, journalists, foreign policy wonks, TV talking heads, business owners, military leaders, and scientists (to say nothing of the rest of the world). Doesn’t it count for something that almost none of these people, regardless of their political beliefs (e.g., arch-conservative George Will), find anything good to say with any sincerity about Donald Trump?
Of course, his Trumpettes dismiss such talk as from “the Establishment” with searing critiques of the status quo: If these people are so smart, why is the country in such a mess?
Unfortunately for all of us, there are no simple answers to fixing our messes. No wall, bumper sticker slogan, or goofy hats will fix what ails us.
In one of Trump’s recent stream-of-consciousness speeches, he talked about contractors who work for him. He claimed many of them can’t even read or write, but are smarter than Harvard graduates. His audience ate it up. After all, these are the same folks who get all orgasmic when they chant, “build the wall” and “lock her up,” and love their orange hero’s wholesale insults to Muslims, Hispanics, women, journalists, and anyone from governors to the Pope who doesn’t fawn at his magnificence.
For those who cheer his non-stop preening, Trump rhapsodizes: “My audiences are so smart!” As for the unenlightened, he sneers: “Our country is run by stupid, stupid people.”
I suppose Trump’s support is not all that surprising when you consider these beliefs held by Americans.
· 4 in 10 believe God created the Earth and modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago.
· 3 in 10 believe the story of Noah’s ark.
· 3 in 10 think Bigfoot is “definitely” or “probably” real.
· 1 in 5 believes the U.S. government is covering up evidence of alien existence.
· 1 in 3 believes global warming is a hoax.
· 1 in 5 believes Obama is a secret Muslim.
· 1 in 4 believes in astrology.
· 1 in 5 believes the moon landing was faked.
· 1 in 4 doesn’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not vice versa.
I can appreciate the dilemma of those who reject Hillary’s progressive political agenda. They fear (correctly) that a President Hillary will shift the balance of the Supreme Court for a generation. They fear (incorrectly) that she will try to overturn the Second Amendment and take away our guns. They worry that her plans to invest in clean energy, infrastructure repairs, health care, education, and worker training will bankrupt the country. Some even harbor secret resentment over how Hillary “stood by her man” during her husband’s infamous dalliances.
What I cannot fathom, however, is how such Hillary fear and loathing can legitimize the moral gymnastics needed to vote for Trump. One Evangelical leader justified his endorsement of the hate-spewing hustler by explaining that Trump is a “baby Christian.” I do not recall that Biblical concept.
We’re being warned by a growing number of very smart people that Donald Trump is a genuine, existential danger to our democracy. I believe that.
In my first-ever Presidential election in 1968, my choice was Hubert Humphrey or Richard Nixon. I was so outraged that Humphrey stole the nomination from peace-candidate George McGovern that I refused to vote in that election. Such naïve attitudes helped bring us President Nixon, and we saw how that worked out. No matter how bad things look, they can always get worse.
That’s reason enough for me to vote for Hillary in November. I’m with her!
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