Wow. Just wow. Former president Donald Trump, indicted for hush money payments to a former porn star, and for the illegal possession of classified documents, has now completed a hat-trick of indictments, this time for allegedly undermining legitimate election results with inaccurate and misleading rhetoric, which ultimately led to the storming of the Capitol Building on Jan 6th, 2021.
This is quite ignoble, and whilst it is worth noting that Trump deserves the presumption of innocence, the cases – of a varied nature, and also with numerous individual elements to each – are mounting up.
This won’t be enough to dissuade his staunch supporters, who believe Trump can do no wrong, that every charge against him is a conspiracy-fuelled vendetta, that Trump is in fact the best ever president to ever grace the USA (never mind the dramatic surge in unemployment that happened on his watch, nor the healthcare crisis that he exacerbated, nor the fact that Trump has a long history of failure, even before political office). Somewhere along the line, US politics became horribly broken and partisan (to be fair, this is a growing problem here in the UK too), with everyone hunkering down and becoming firmly entrenched in their positions. Facts? Evidence? Damn it all.
To be fair once again, this is not a problem unique to Republicans (or to the Tories here in the UK). Every side of the political spectrum has this problem. If you’re right-wing, the mere suggestion of a policy that bears resemblance to left-wing ideology is cursed. If you’re left-wing, the mere suggestion of anything resembling right-wing positions is shouted down.
Then there’s figuring out what it actually means to be right-wing or left-wing. To an outsider looking in, the Democrats are not especially left-wing, and certainly not the hard-left, almost Marxist-style left-wingers that some people like to paint them as. Democrats and Republicans differ on quite a few social positions, but are Democrats really pushing for the sort of policies that you see from left-wingers in Europe? Does Joe Biden campaign on nationalising public services, or does he offer lip-service to a slightly higher distribution of wealth through taxes, that wouldn’t actually make a major (or even minor) difference to the existing status quo?
Scare-mongering is politics 101. Trump in particular enjoys this tactic. He and his kin are quite content to try and frighten voters into believing the big bad commie Democrats are going to steal everything, and give it away. There’s actually little evidence for this, only hysteria, but Trump is good at one thing: rhetoric.
There are a lot of people who fall for rhetoric, and perhaps Trump believes his own. Why else would he make such an impassioned argument that the election results were fraudulent? He might believe in his mind that he is perfect, and that he cannot fail unless sabotaged. Perhaps that’s why he allegedly took scores of confidential documents: he believed he had every right to, even though the law is clearly not on his side.
Perhaps his supporters so passionately believe in his conspiracy and witch-hunt notions because Trump himself believes them?