My colleague Sarah Bloch is literally on tenterhooks waiting for the explosion and destruction of the Trump for president campaign. Yesterday, at a town hall in new Hampshire trump was asked a question by a bigot about President Barack Hussein Obama being a Muslim and ISIS training camps in the united States. Trump didn’t do what John McCain did in 2008 to a woman who called President Obama an “Arab”, instead he said “We will be looking into a lot of different things.” Sarah burst into my office while I was looking for nude pictures of Carly Fiorina shouting, “He’s toast!” and I sat her down poured us both three fingers of bourbon and explained to her why Trump isn’t toast.
The base that Trump has politically in the United States are primarily composed of two distinct groups. The first are people who are simply sick of professional politicians. This is about 15% of Trump’s support and it is a very economically, socially and racially diverse group. Were Trump a centrist he would be a populist candidate the likes of which America hasn’t seen in 100 years. But Trump isn’t a centrist; he’s a nativist.
Trump’s core supporters are the same people who are still fighting the Cold War, the Culture War and support the fearmongering that allowed the United States to skip down the primrose path to slaughter that was the Iraq War. These are mostly white men over the age of 50 who have watched, and that is an important word, while the United States of America has changed fundamentally from a nation dominated by white conservatism to a nation of young mutlicultural Progressives in the last two decades.
It is that change that the supporters of Trump, I estimate 85% of them fear more than ISIS. Their country, the country of their parents, the country of the greatest generation, the country of unearned privilege which they knew their grandchildren would inherit has become a country socially which they no longer recognize and have no means by which to remake into their grandparent’s vision of the future.
The slander uttered by the questioner in New Hampshire cannot have a severe effect on the polls of likely Republican voters in regard to Trump, because this is what the base believes. Chris Cuomo said on CNN’s New Day [which since the addition of Alysin Camerota is my favorite morn ing show. –F.S.] this morning pointed to a CNN/ORC poll where 43% of Republican voters still believe that President Obama is a Muslim. It is this sort of thinking by birthers and bigots that will keep Trump at or near the top of the polls for the rest of this year.
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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