This has now appeared three times in one of my social media accounts. It’s been posted by a relative in New Jersey, and old friend from the Navy, and a former co-worker, all of whom are voting Trump:
A vote is not a valentine, you aren’t confessing your love for the candidate. It’s a chess move for the world you want to live in.
It comes with a pastel background (I’ve seen it both in pink and blue) and is not being pushed directly from a central location…. which is to say that I don’t believe it’s gone viral organically but it has not been spread from a popular pundit or website.
It’s an instructive message.
It tells us that many of the Republican voters – or at least the subsections that inhabit my feed – are not fans of Trump. They may given him a little credit or cheer him on when their favored media sources promote his rare accomplishments but for the most part they believe they recognize his failings as well.
They’re wrong in that. They’ve been shielded from confronting the worst of his failings. But they don’t realize it, any more than they recognize that they’ve had fear generated for them about Biden’s competency and health.
The screams of fealty to Trump, though? They absolutely exist, but they’re not nearly as common as most people are trying to present. The Republicans are insisting they are because they’re appealing to solidarity and personal history to get out the vote. The Democrats are insisting they are because they are running successfully against Trump up and down the ticket. Both sides are lying.
I think Trump believes the spin, because I believe he’s vain and stupid. He intends to file lawsuits after the election and maintain power. He’s going to be fought not just by Democrats but by Republicans, and he’s going to go away (hopefully to prison, if the charges in New York bear out.)
It also shows us the primary concern of the reluctant Trump voter: it’s the culture war. This is why the arguments about the courts have been somewhat effective. But this is not necessarily because they’re embracing racism, it’s because they’re concerned about issues like microaggressions and gender fluidity and especially being told they’re not allowed to practice their religion anymore. I’m not speaking to the validity of those concerns, I’m only recognizing they exist.
Attacking every Republican as being a racist, sexist, homophobe and the rest isn’t going to encourage these people to join those calling them such names in the creation of a third party. It’s only going to ensure they stick with their group, even as they regret the psychos they’ve got marching beside them. This is no different than the way that traditional Democrats have stuck with their party despite a sometimes-ascendant wing that has at different times embraced socialism, violent anarchists, and some fairly aggressive anti-white and anti-Judeo-Christian bigotry.
The answer is to split the Trumpists from the Republicans and purge them. That will either mean a third party comprising independents and former Republicans who rejected Trumpism or a cleansed Republican party with the former Trumpists left aside like the Birchers or the David Dukes before them. Which of those is plausible is yet to be seen, but as those are the best options moving forward, those have to be the goals pursued.