Donald Trump could win a second term.
Donald Trump’s base is solid. It will not respond to reason, science, or facts. It is a composite of cultists, white supremacists, white evangelicals, and Republican politicians. This constituency is not large enough to win the general election. It can, however, win the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College if the pro-Biden/anti-Trump voters don’t vote.
I believe, the majority of voters have already made up their minds. For those sitting on the fence, consider Trump, the president, only exists because there was a base waiting for someone like him to give voice to their fears and concerns.
The vast majority of Trump’s base is white. It has become a cult. It enjoys and approves of his snubbing his nose at conventions, like using the White House for political purposes. Because it has become a cult, it is unshakeable regardless of science, facts, or what he says or does.
If you decide not to vote, you will be empowering a cult which is a conglomerate of racial and ethnic fears, suspicion of government and the belief that America is no longer first in the world. What makes this part of Trump’s base a danger to our democracy is its alienation from reality.
These Trump cultists share the beliefs explicit in Trump’s campaign. They believe the more than 800,000 COVID-19 deaths (and counting), and the resulting economic catastrophe the pandemic has caused are not his fault; because he says so. This, even though he was and is in charge as the pandemic started and rages on. Despite his resume containing 6 bankruptcies, they believe he is a businessman best suited to turn the country around economically. They don’t see or accept America’s systemic racism and therefore conflate the Black Lives Matter protesters with the rioters attacking federal buildings and retail shops. They want personal guns and a strong police force to protect them from the “other”. If you don’t believe any of this and stay home in November, you will be enabling this kind of alternate reality to take root in our democracy.
The white supremacist part of Trump’s coalition is equally unshakeable, but far more dangerous. They loved hearing him say there were very good people on both sides in Charlottesville (where neo-Nazis chanted “Jews will not replace us”). The white supremacist who massacred nine African Americans during Bible Study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015 left a manifesto. It echoed Trump’s rhetoric. The white supremacist who shot and killed 23 Latinos, and injured 23 others at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019, echoed Trump’s rhetoric on immigration: “[I]t is an invasion”. The white supremacist who killed eleven worshippers in 2018 during a Shabbat morning service at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh was connected to neo-Nazi and Alt Right groups. He thought Trump wasn’t nationalistic enough. By not voting, this too is something you will be allowing to grow and explode in the U.S.
Donald Trump is a thrice married man who has admitted to sexually assaulting women. He paid off a porn star to keep her quiet before the 2016 election. Yet, he has unwavering support from white evangelicals. They, like the cultists, are willing to look the other way. They do this because they support his conservative takeover of the courts and assaults on reproductive and LGBTQ rights. If you don’t vote, you will also be empowering these things.
If you are anti-Trump, you should also be concerned about Republican politicians and a convention that instead of producing a 2020 platform, expressing what it wants to accomplish with a second term, simply passed a Resolution voicing wholehearted support for President Trump: “The Republican Party … will … enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda.” Do you really want a Republican Party that has become part of the Trump cult to retain power?
The choice is up to us America. Clearly the pro-Democratic/anti-Trump forces have the power to remove this man from office — if we all turn out and vote!
Correction: This post was corrected to state that the neo-Nazi rally took place in Charlottesville, not Charleston.