President Trump doesn’t care about appealing to the majority of people in this country. For him, it’s all about pleasing “his people”. This has become obvious in so many ways over the past couple of years that it cannot be refuted.
Of course, it all started in the Republican Primary where he simply played a strategy of building a strong plurality, rather than ever gaining a majority of support from Republicans. Divide and conquer was (and continues to be) the game.
In many ways, this is not especially new. Politicians have been doing this more and more blatantly, beginning around the year 1796, as political parties began to take hold. However, for most of the 225 years since then, most Presidents have at least attempted to pretend to try to unite the country.
Not so with Trump. The more antagonistic he can be with anyone who doesn’t fully support him, the better, in his view.
And his supporters love it.
It feeds upon itself, because when his supporters and sycophants (aka FoxNews celebrities) cheer, it provides all of the praise and positive reinforcement that Trump’s narcissistic ego craves, which entices him to continue, ever increasing his absurdities.
We see this in his tweets, his rallies, and his actions.
For example, when he revoked former CIA Director Brennan’s security clearance, many former intelligence officials condemned the action.
Dr. Robert Gates has added his name to a stunning list of former intelligence officials who signed a letter criticizing President Trump’s decision to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.Axios
Retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, who was the commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, added his own harsh criticism in an open letter to President Trump.
An outspoken retired Navy admiral, who oversaw the Navy SEAL raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, has issued a fiery open letter to President Donald Trump over his revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, comparing his tactics to those who led communist witch hunts in the 1950s.Military Times
When Trump was specifically asked for a reaction to McRaven’s letter, he said he didn’t know McRaven, but stated that he has received “tremendous response” for his actions of revoking Brennan’s security clearance.
As he departed the White House for Marine One, President Trump made comments about John Brennan from the South Lawn.CNN
So, one must ask, “trememdous response” from who?
The answer is obvious: his base.
He’s all about the base.
His base, such as FoxNews, including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro, Fox & Friends, etc. Add to that his Republican allies in Congress, as well as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and all of the Trump supporters that follow these people.
We can look at pretty much everything Trump has said and done during his time in office, from his tax “reform”, immigration policies, health care, judicial nominees, rallies, media attacks, and more. It’s been all about throwing red meat at his base, ensuring their support. There has been absolutely no attempts to form consensus or build bridges for anything.
To be clear, all politicians put forth policies that are partisan, and there is nothing wrong with that (or at least nothing unusual). The thing that is so different with Trump is that he revels in smearing it in the face of the “other side”. He enjoys blatantly pitting one group of Americans against another. He riles up his supporters in the most hateful ways.
Jonah Goldberg has written a piece at the National Review about the vanishing attempt to win over “The Center” of the American electorate.
But this idea that each party had to win over enough of the great American middle in order to be the majority party informed pretty much every presidential election since the end of World War II.National Review
All of that seems to have vanished.
Donald Trump is the first president in living memory who seems utterly contemptuous of even appearing to care about voters outside of his base in a sustained way. He often refers to “my people” as if he were president of his fan base and no one else.
Why would Trump continue a strategy that alienates the majority of the American people?
I have two theories:
- He needs to maintain his support from his base in order to avoid any attempt at impeachment. As long as he continues to throw them red meat and “stick it” to “the others”, he really could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and still have their support. And as long as he has their support, impeachment (or at least removal from impeachment) is off the table.
- Trump TV. I still believe that his ultimate plan was to create a media empire. The Presidency was secondary and he really didn’t expect to win it. Creating this rabid, loyal, cult-like following is all about building a long-term audience. Even if Trump were to be removed from office, he would still have millions that would believe he was a victim of the Deep State and FAKE NEWS and they would follow him to Trump TV. In fact, I would not be surprised if Trump would rather be impeached or lose the reelection so that he can become a martyr to his zombie-like cult followers.
I’ll leave you with this: