I finally get it: How Trump can say and do the most unhinged, course and simply hare-brained stuff, lurching peevishly and recklessly from one bizarre idea to the next while lying and misdirecting incessantly – a Washington Post tally as of July 31 has him doing so 4,229 times since his inauguration – and not have his adoring base running for the hills.
You see we all — or at least those not destined for sainthood — have an inner Donald Trump. Call it the “DTs” for short and for its other connotation also appropriate, delirium tremens a rapid onset of confusion caused by withdrawal, in this case from reality.
Almost everyone exposes their DTs during their terrible twos and often again as high school mean girls and schoolyard bullyboys. The reason most grow out of them by their mid-twenties or thirties, is called socialization.
Unfortunately, not everyone grows, choosing instead to spout intolerance, marginalize women, demonize journalists and engage in off-the-wall conspiracy theories like that Sandy Hook and Parkland were staged with “crisis actors.” You know all the things many Trump fans refer to as not being politically correct and I call being delirious. I’m ashamed to say there’s a contingent on the left, albeit smaller, also guilty of different though still unacceptable behavior.
The pathetic truth is that 90 percent of Republicans now think if Trump does it — whatever “it” is — it’s no big deal, seeing a man who never backs down – except to Kim and Putin; who never pulls a punch because of societal expectations; who never feels the need to engage his brain before slamming down the rhetoric accelerator or tweeting invective; and who has not been restrained by norms of compassion, decorum, integrity and decency playing close to, or often over, ethical and legal lines. And they like what they see.
And, they despise those “elitists” who belittle them as rednecks, bigots or dummies for not comprehending that they’re living in a new multicultural, multiracial, multidimensional world. All they want is permission to be as mean-spirted as is Trump. Meanwhile Trump gives credibility to and indulges their vile behavior.
Let me be clear, I’m not speaking of real conservatives, whom I may disagree with on policy but totally respect their right to their opinions. I cannot say the same about most Trumpists. Unlike legitimate conservatives, it’s not simply their opinion versus mine. Paranoid conspiracy nuts and on-line extremist or hate groups have no claim to legitimacy; should have no expectations to a public forum; and don’t have a right to free speech spewing racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia violating our very core values.
As long as Trump continues to be boorish, brittle and intolerant while lying his butt off, he will never lose his base because they love this stuff. He is a like a god for these people. And that’s why those who have been adequately socialized will never understand Trump nor his enablers’ deranged devotion.