When someone has lied to you, you probably started to question your relationship and whether they are lying to you again, right?
When a spouse cheated on you, were you able to forgive and forget? Or did it cause you to question when he or she was “working late” or going on a business trip without you?
When an employee or employer lied to you, did you “let it slide,” or did you begin to question future communications with him/her?
What’s most surprising about Trump supporters is that they know he is a habitual liar, yet they “let it slide” again and again and fall in line with his next set of lies. Here are some of the lies that surely they know were lies:
> He said he didn’t have sex with porn star Stormy Daniels, but Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to paying for her silence and went to prison for it.
> He excused his Access Hollywood genital grabbing language as “locker room talk,” then claimed it wasn’t his voice.
> He described the Jan. 6 insurrection as a “love fest.” I think we know better.
> It rained on his inauguration, but he claimed the sun came out when he spoke. He claimed his inaugural crowd was bigger than Barack Obama’s despite photos proving otherwise.
> He said that Covid-19 was a Chinese hoax, intended to help the Democrats.
> He accidentally said that Alabama was at risk from Hurricane Dorian, but because he can’t ever admit he was wrong, he not only lied about it with a Sharpie, but he pressured government agencies to confirm his lie.
> He said the head of the Boy Scouts called him to say his political speech at the 2017 Jamboree was “the greatest speech ever made to them,” but a Scouts spokesman said no such call had been made — Scouts honor!
A Trumper might still believe one or two of that short list of Trump’s lies, but my own experience as a human being is that it only takes one lie from someone to make me question everything that person says in the future. I suspect that’s true for Trumpers — except when it comes to Donald Trump.
That’s very cult-like. “Cult-45.”
So, how do you explain that behavior by Trump supporters, if not by saying it’s a cult?
I think it’s largely racial. Trump has been successful by playing on voter’s racial fears — fears triggered by the U.S. Census reporting that we’re approaching a time when white Americans will be in the minority. He compounded that by claiming that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists, or worse — a claim that no amount of factchecking would fix, since it played to what his base wanted to believe.
In the 2020 election, Trump pleaded with suburban women that they should love him, because Democrats would end single-family zoning, bringing inner city crime to the suburbs. Again, the race card. But suburban women didn’t buy it in enough numbers to carry the day for Trump in 2020.
So now we come to the Big Lie — that the election which Biden won resoundingly was “stolen” through fraud. Again, the truth doesn’t matter to Trump supporters. Lesson number one from Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and other autocrats: repeat a lie often enough and it will be taken as truth.
Trump supporters ultimately should realize they’ve been conned by Trump except for one big thing: he speaks to their fears. They are less wedded to Trump himself than to his philosophy. Tucker Carlson is banking on that.
The one lie which strikes closest to home for me as a journalist, and now a columnist, is that the mainstream media are puppets of the liberal left. I don’t expect any Trumper reading this to be convinced otherwise, and that’s the problem — how to change minds.
The Trump GOP thrives on playing to the fears of its base, but now it’s filling us non-Trumpers with fear that they could succeed, that they could take control of the Congress in 2022 and the White House again in 2024.