Pondering the gullible (or mean-spirited?) 38%

Every time I read that, at 38%, Trump has “the lowest approval ratings of any president at this point in his administration,” that statistical fact is far overshadowed in my mind by the single alarming thought: how can more than a third of the population still approve of this presidential anti-christ?

Something is clearly wrong in the land of my birth.

Over the course of my adult life, I have often been in sharp disagreement with national policy, both foreign and domestic. Never before has this tempted me to regard a sizable sector of the population as a danger to democracy.

A year into the Trump putsch, there is no mistaking the malevolence that has taken hold in the oval office. The chief executive almost weekly manages to do something even more odious than before; so much so that it is becoming difficult to summon language commensurate to the outrage felt by the majority of Americans and the rest of the world.

That “38%” statistic is a scary figure. While not enough to secure relection of the incumbent in a truly democratic process, it could unquestionably serve once again as the foundation upon which to build a gerrymandered mandate, especially aided by foreign actors who benefit from the further degradation of U.S. global credibility and domestic accord.

When interviewed on their reasoning, almost to a man that loyal 38% indicate that they only care about their own personal well-being and still believe the transparent lie that Trump is looking out for their interests; never mind that it’s all smoke and mirrors intended only to enrich the president and his friends. They don’t care if he lies, cheats and steals so long as they continue to believe that they wil personally come out ahead. So much for all of those civics lessons we used to be taught in school before education became a suspicious proclivity only indulged in by left wing elites.

In this midterm election year, I think we can be certain that, buoyed by the success of the 2016 Russian “project,” and with the Trump administration having shown absolutely no interest in preventing a repeat of last year’s interference, the floodgates of foreign election meddling are already opening wider.

Should Donald Trump, by some miracle of justice, be legally removed from office or even lose a reelection bid, that 38% could generate a formidable resistance movement. These are people who wildly cheered some of the most violent and hateful sentiments expressed during the campaign. Thanks to right-wing media, they are armed to the teeth with cold steel, fevered conspiracy theories, and “alternative facts” to gin up their fury.

We should all share equally the outrage over corruption of our democracy, but unlike in the aftermath of Watergate, when Republicans ultimately put the nation ahead of partisan interests, with few exceptions, the GOP has sold its soul for the fickle favors of a neo-fascist.

I’m afraid there is little possibility for redemption there, and, if the nation survives this constitutional crisis, the Republican Party is doomed to shame and obsolescence.

Even Vermont Republicans who continue to embrace the brand, remaining silent as the Trump administration delves ever deeper into racism, xenophobia, misogyny and toxicity, are complicit. History may judge them harshly, just as it has judged even minor officials in the Third Reich who turned a blind eye to the terrible agenda telegraphed from Berlin.

There are simply no remaining excuses for complicity.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

2 thoughts on “Pondering the gullible (or mean-spirited?) 38%

  1. Not enough to secure reelection? I wish. In a Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll released the day before the 2016 election, 47% of likely voters supported Clinton while 43 % supported Trump. Third party candidates split the remaining 10%. In 2020 if the base of each major party represents about 35 – 40% of the vote, that leave 20 – 30% up for grabs. If Trump holds his 38% all he needs is to get slightly less that half of that potentially available 20 – 30% to win. Child’s play for a party that has suppressed the vote, benefitted from illegal outside interference, and is willing to lie to our faces.

    Then there’s the money advantage the Republicans enjoy. They have already spent between $3 – $5 million to defeat Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin in an election that is still 10 months away. “ Never underestimate your enemy.” ~Sun Tzu, 5th Century BCE

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