Memo to Trump base: It’s over
To: Trump “base”
From: Everyone else
Ok, Trump base — the 20 percent #AlwaysTrump who remain deluded or defensive that 45 is the best president in history — stick a fork in yourselves: You’re done.
You might think you’re still running the country. After all, your president continues to demonize innocent immigrants including women and children, threaten a trade war that sounds muy macho but would kill the economy, attack law enforcement and the legitimate media for doing their jobs in a healthy democracy, blurt insults and impetuous nonsense, throw tantrums in public like an over-sugared toddler at Walmart, and treat the highest office in the land like a cat treats a litter box.
Maybe to you, Trump base, decency, decorum, dignity and diplomacy in the White House seem like a lot of high-falutin’ Washington elitist bullshit.
Or you like watching things being blown up and don’t care if they’re put back together, or how. Like high school kids tossing a cherry bomb in a toilet.
Or you have no specific ideas or even a clue what our national security, economic, or social policies should be except the simplistic America First, Obama bad, Trump MAGA.
Or you don’t see how Trump’s actions (like signing the big, beautiful tax bill that won’t help you, or undermining the Affordable Care Act in ways that definitely will hurt you) will leave you bewildered about what happened, and then you’ll blame the government, politicians and Washington elites.
Or you gorge on the political propaganda Fox cooks up with Republican Party talking points, as the network feeds your confirmation bias and motivated reasoning to make big advertising money by agreeing with you that Trump is great.
Maybe you don’t realize Fox is a business enterprise. So when it attacks “mainstream media” competitors like CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, New York Times and Washington Post, and calls their coverage of Trump liberal “fake news,” it’s about leveraging your anger and resentment for market share and bonuses for summer homes.
In any case, Trump base, you achieved the impossible in November 2016. You brought us all a President of the United States who’s a mashup of Gordon Gekko, David Duke, Drunk Uncle and Donald Trump. That’s the president you — at least your dark side — wanted.
“Trump’s extremism — his combination of plutocracy, misogyny and nativism,” as conservative columnist and former President George W. Bush staffer Michael Gerson put it: It’s all for you, Trump base.
Like the pathetic attacks on Hillary Clinton … the dog-whistle to white supremacists after Charlottesville … the smear on immigrants who just so happen not to be white … and the impulsive, childish predawn tweet storms.
And the crazy White House chaos … and the invention of national and foreign policy on the fly, seat of pants, surprising and defying Trump aides, experts, and loyalists in Congress … and his increasingly desperate denials that the thickening smoke from his campaign, lawyer, payoffs, businesses, and Russia has no fire whatsoever.
All this is for you, Trump base. You bought the classic pig in a poke.
You had no idea and didn’t care what slick, high-flying and shady Manhattan commercial real estate deals and secretive financing perhaps by Russian oligarchs might compromise the president. And now the air is redolent with barbecue. A grateful nation thanks you.
It’s also on your indulgence that the president constantly changes his mind, then changes it back, then says he never said what he said (“fake news!”), then says what he originally said, leaving people who are trying to support and carry out his policies whipsawed, whip-lashed, gas-lighted and reeling.
You’re OK and even thrilled with all this nonsense, Trump base.
Or you defend it because nobody likes admitting they got taken. So this deranged and disgraceful presidency and danger to our democracy, country and standing in the world as a beacon continues, thanks to you.
As for Fox, good job there too, Trump base.
It’s all for you that Fox kisses the president where the Good Lord split him, feeds his fragile and rapacious ego, tells him he’s the greatest president ever, ignores forehead-smacking evidence to the contrary, and lets the president use the network like Kim Jong-un uses the official state Korean Central News Agency.
Good job with the GOP Congress too.
You got many old-school, solid, respectable Republican lawmakers to quit office or roll their eyes, suck it up, and do Trump’s bidding when many know, in their experience, hearts and respect for their office and America, it’s bad for the country and their reputations, legacies and perhaps souls.
Also, good job with the government.
We get it; you hate it, even though Trump states get more from taxpayers than they give. But governing a democracy of 300 million different people with different demands gets complicated and confusing, and you don’t know who to trust or what to think or believe, so you trust Fox to tell you. (If all else fails, blame the liberals, globalists and Clintons.)
Meanwhile, for you, Trump base, his revolving cabinet treats every day like opposite day.
For you, they’re destroying the federal agencies they were appointed to lead, reversing decades of hard-fought progress advancing and protecting justice, rights and the rule of law, the air, water and soil, public lands, housing, education, health and human services, etc.
All of which eventually will come to hurt you. While Trump’s cabinet also travels, decorates and lives like you never will, on your dime.
Finally, good job with your reputation, Trump base.
So far, nobody dares to blame you. Not even the mainstream media you hate. It focuses on Trump, Fox, the boot-licking GOP Congress, the Russians, Facebook, alt-right conspiracy traffickers, and the NRA.
Even though you’re behind and driving all these bad things, you’re off the hook.
In fact, the mainstream media feels for you. You’re the innocent, hapless victim. You’re the protagonist in Hillbilly Elegy, “a compassionate, discerning sociological analysis of the white underclass that has helped drive the politics of rebellion,” as one review describes.
So no matter how proudly racist, homophobic, xenophobic, narrow-minded and self-centered you are, or uniformed, misguided or inexperienced in the things you despise (as your Facebook and online posts express), the Trumpism that makes America a lot less great is not your fault. Bless your hearts, as they say in the South.
I do think you had a point worth taking.
Nobody likes being ignored, left behind, insulted, called ignorant and insensitive “deplorables,” left wondering where their “white privilege” is. Nobody likes being condescended by the college-educated as ignorant hicks, or high school kids threatening their gun rights.
Trump Nation doesn’t appreciate feeling less deserving of respect than the officially designated underprivileged, even if their situations appear the same (if you indulge false equivalency)
In any case, Trumpsters, you might feel that while Black Lives Matter, yours don’t.
But acting out in anger and resentment, tearing down the country, our government, and our values is not the answer.
America knows this. The Trump 20 percenters got played by the GOP 1 percenters who always wanted less taxes and regulations to make more money, and jumped on the Trump horse to do that. Now they see the mayhem you accept will disrupt the certainty they expect, and will toss you off like a Ritz Carlton washcloth.
You were never really in charge. You were used by those always in charge.
Meanwhile, the 2018 election season is trending to bring sanity back.
It’s not about a “blue wave.” It’s about restoring decency, decorum, dignity and diplomacy to our democracy.
My advice to the Trump base: Embrace the change. Be for what’s going to happen. Or be roadkill again.
You had a great albeit limited run. Point taken. But your way is not the American way. America is a place where angry, nasty, resentful loses, and nice eventually triumphs.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer