If you have ever wondered how President Trump keeps the loyalty of his conservative base despite policy failures, exaggerations, frequent lies and unpopular political positions while making the rich richer, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill) spilled the beans today during an interview on MSNBC with Katy Tur.
The dirty little secret about Trump’s steady Republican following, Walsh explaining, is that they no longer listen but still are believers: “As a Trump supporter, I do my best not to pay attention to what he says, but I’ll tell you if what. If I pulled my hair out for every nutty thing he said, I’d be bald.”
Kur asked him how he could continue to support Trump if he feels this way?
“It’s not an easy job,” said Walsh. “I try and focus on what he does but I’ll be the first to acknowledge, he makes it very difficult.”
Joe Walsh: "As a Trump supporter I do my best not to listen to what he says." Me: Then why are you a supporter? https://t.co/XTKpYtG8cj
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) May 1, 2017
Walsh cited as an example Trump’s revelation that he would be “honored” to meet with Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea, if conditions were right.
“To say he would meet with Kim Jong-un is beyond offensive,” said Walsh, who had the support of Republicans and the Tea Party when he was elected to the House from 2011 through 2013 (after redistricting he lost his seat).
“That is not an easy one to slap away,” added Walsh. “There’s no way Trump should have said ‘honor.’ That is beyond offensive.”
The message is that Trump maintains his loyal following because they have stopped listening to him, or caring what crazy stuff comes out of his mouth. They are his followers no matter what.
“Most Republicans don’t pay attention to facts anymore,” reports PoliticusUSA. “Belief has replaced fact, which means that Trump can lie as much as he wants. He can break a million campaign promises, and it won’t matter to his supporters because they aren’t listening.”
“Unless Fox News or conservative websites and talk radio told them about it,” adds PoliticusUSA, “Republicans wouldn’t know because they aren’t listening to the guy who is running their party.”
What Walsh is saying is that people who believe Trump’s wall will end all immigration problems, that his massive tax cuts for the rich will help the middle class, who think Obamacare is terrible, who worry about minorities taking their jobs and homes, have stopped listening to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. They only watch Fox News.
Trump has fed this by demonizing his opponents in the press, in the judiciary, and in the Democratic party, so that whatever they say must be terrible, while what he says is for their good – even when it isn’t.
It means in the 2018 elections and beyond, most of these hardcore Trump supporters will not change their vote no matter what facts or arguments are presented. Those who don’t agree with Trump will need to turn out in record numbers and work for every victory because they are not going to get the support of his hard-core followers, right-wing radio, alt-right blogs, and those who have bought into Trump no matter what.
To turn the tide, those who don’t agree with Trump will need to participate in record numbers and work for every victory because they are not going to get the support of right-wing radio, the alt-right blogs or those who have bought into Trump no matter what.
That is the challenge for Democrats and progressives who want to get the country back on course, to save the environment, to once again be part of a compassionate nation that worries about the sick, needy, disabled and children, and to avoid unnecessary wars.
Just going through the motions of supporting candidates isn’t going to solve the problem. The nation is in a new kind of division and only by marshaling all the forces for American democracy can we avoid a further slide into an authoritarian nightmare.