Listening to NPR recently, I heard a presidential candidate talking about swaying voters. I couldn’t tell you which of the two dozen candidates it was, but he didn’t wow me. But he hit on something that troubled me greatly. He was asked about ‘reaching Trump voters’. Not a bad topic to ask a candidate, I suppose. His answer, however started with an observation about Nixon. He remarked that (and I’m paraphrasing), ‘when Nixon left office, he had 25% support. So I think there’s about 25% of voters you just aren’t going to reach’. He continued to talk about reaching the remaining voters, but I feel like we’re burying the lead here.
Any reasonable person can see that Donald Trump is staggeringly corrupt and dangerously incompetent. The question generally just seems to be when does it become too much to bear. As the politician noted, some people voted for him not because they believed in him but because they wanted to ‘burn the house down’. And I can legitimately understand that. My entire life has been in the shadow of Reagan (as the speaker remarked) and that has colored my perception of politics. There’s never been a period when bible-thumping hypocrites and pro-business conmen haven’t largely had their run of the government. So there’s a certain desire to just see it all go up in flames, but that’s not what makes up this 25% percent. No, the 25% in question actually think Trump is a good president. The 25% actually think Trump is doing a good job. The 25% are aggressively and deliberately divorced from reality.
Does that bother anyone else?
Like, that absolutely terrifies me. And I know I’m not the first to point out that Trump is, in many ways, the symptom of the problem, not the actual problem itself. Well, I think this might be the problem. THE problem. 25% of voters could look at Trump telling them bold-faced lies and they not only would fall for it but would eagerly do so again? We need to fix that immediately. THAT should be the national crisis that needs resolving. I don’t know if we need to get lead out of the water, implement mandatory vaccines, or just require children to actually go to public schools, but next to climate change, it seems like fixing the 25% of this country so aggressively proud of their own ignorance needs to be priority number one.