President Trump is going through an impeachment trial right now, and his supporters are furious. They believe him when he says it’s all a witch hunt, because that’s what their friends and their favorite pundits also say.
This is conspiracy 101, a Presidential incarnation of 9/11 being an inside job conducted by the Jews or the Earth being flat. If enough people say it, it must be true… except that it isn’t, and even a basic examination of the available evidence demonstrates that. The supporters tell themselves that they’ve looked at the evidence, but in reality they’ve looked at tiny portions of large masses of data which have been rearranged and presented to them to produce a false narrative. They have become confident in their ignorance because their friends say the same thing.
This is possible in part because their opposition has a history of presenting false narratives as well, often about major events. From the Winter Soldier discussions to crazy Vietnam vets to exploding cars to George W. Bush going AWOL to edited calls to the police, the evidence is there to show that individual news organizations can’t be completely trusted.
The answer is not to pick a team, but rather to examine all available evidence oneself. That has always been the correct way to get to the truth. The biggest warning flag possible is when people are told not to bother examining evidence, but rather to accept a version of it. The Trump fan base were told this about the Mueller Report and now again with the Impeachment, and they’re going along with it, ignoring the evidence provided and usually tuning it out completely. This should be a sign for them that they’re being conned, but it isn’t.
What they’re doing is supporting a king. Even as they swear they’re patriots (they aren’t), they are actively promoting the notion that a President may perform any act and keep Congress from having any oversight of those acts. By withholding material evidence and rejecting the call for witnesses, they have weaponized the Attorney General position far more dramatically than it was under Obama… and Holder was correctly held in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with legal oversight.
Certainly they are ceding all political power to Trump, even as he negates the separation of powers by installing acting Secretaries without getting confirmation. Many of his actions, such as his tariff decrees, are made under the auspices of war powers – they are authorized to deal with immediate threats to our national defense. Trump has learned that he can take virtually any action, say it was for some unspecified defensive purpose, and get a pass from the Senate. He has unlimited power.
The people who swear they don’t have nor want a king point to the rejections of some of his dictates by the courts. This is nothing new for monarchs. It has, historically, inspired some to restructure the courts, but it’s still a standard king/judiciary system.
They will also claim that Trump is bound by term limits. Perhaps. But after repeatedly and consistently authorizing him to violate the Constitution, I expect I may be forgiven my suspicion that the people who swore to “hold his feet to the fire” would happily encourage Trump to overturn the results of an election if the election were to go against him. They have demonstrated fealty to Trump and antipathy toward the law. I am given no reason other than their word to believe they would suddenly shift allegiances, and their word has been demonstrated to be worthless.
But is Trump truly the king they are empowering?
Trump has consistently shown himself to be incapable of achieving his goals. This is not a new development; he has a history of failure reaching back decades. He has been propped up first by his father, then by international banks, then by Saudi princes, then by General Electric/NBC, and finally by Russian investors. These have been the groups which kept Trump in the lavish lifestyle he has enjoyed.
Much has been made of Trump’s deference to Putin and other dictators who have the power he craves; he views them as worthy of respect because they have achieved complete control over their populaces. It is apparent that Putin has significant influence over Trump, as has been demonstrated in everything from Trump’s obsequious deference to him at their meetings to Trump’s actions against nations trying to repel Russian invasions to his efforts to get Putin reinstalled in the G-8.
That’s only part of Putin’s strength, though. Because of Trump’s base desire for continued power and the Republican Party’s complicity, we have intentionally weakened our national cybersecurity. This is a domain which Russia currently rules, and they demonstrated their ability in 2016 to influence the country. They attacked both Democrats and Republicans, working to increase divisions and learning how to orchestrate conflict among groups.
They are not being fought, now; they are being encouraged. Between the direct influence on Trump and the subtle but omnipresent efforts to affect American viewpoints, Russia is exerting as much influence on America as any national leader might. The Trump fan base think they have installed King Trump. They have empowered King Putin.