The Top 10 Reasons Why Most Trump Supporters Will Never Care About the Russia Investigation
Unfazed Trump rally-goers in West Virginia Tuesday night.
For the past three years, I have been engaged in an informal, involuntary, and extremely painful study of Donald Trump supporters, with a special focus on those which I have come to describe as “Cult 45.” Via Twitter, Facebook, personal friendships (some of which have ended because of Trump), and even extensive interactions with my own extended family, I could probably qualify for a Doctorate, or at least a Master’s degree, in this subject, about which I have written many times.
Now that Trump’s former campaign chairman, personal lawyer, and national security advisor are all headed to prison for serious crimes, some of which are directly related to their relationship with him, this topic deserves to be revisited. After all, many people will be confused as to why none of this is going to significantly impact Trump’s popularity; a prospect which, given our past experience, appears to be a near certainty.
When it comes to the Russia investigation, there are many reasons why the core Trump supporter is completely impervious to literally any development, no matter how explosive, that might occur. Here, in no particular order, are the ten most significant:
- They don’t understand the investigation, partly because they don’t want to. It is complex and if you lack an interest in it because you’re afraid of what you might learn (and your preferred media outlets like to ignore these stories), then you don’t even know who the characters are. It then becomes impossible to put all the pieces together, which in this particular saga is critical to comprehending it.
- They think that by this point there should be proof of Trump’s “collusion” with Russia (the Trump Team setting that as the only goal post which matters has been highly effective) and therefore anything that doesn’t meet that absurdly high bar is deemed irrelevant and in fact, actually evidence that Trump is the target of some sort of coup from his own justice department.
- Trump and his State-run media (Fox News, the Drudge Report, and talk radio) have nefariously, and without a shred of real evidence or logic, used nutty conspiracy theories to discredit Mueller – a man who, in a rational world, every single Republican should easily trust more than Trump in literally every situation.
- Because they think he is a super-rich and highly successful “businessman,” and he shocked the world by slaying the wicked witch (Hillary Clinton) when everyone said he couldn’t, they presume he is both too smart to do anything this stupid, or, he is too politically inexperienced to understand all the rules, whichever works best for them personally.
- Because they think he is fighting for them when no one else will, they view him as far too virtuous for them to presume the worst about his actions/intentions. Understanding the real Trump is a critical component to properly interpreting the facts here (for example, if you don’t accept that Trump is an obvious scoundrel you might not even believe that he had extramarital affairs to begin with, or that he is obviously lying about knowing of the Trump Tower meeting). So lacking that perspective, the allegations can’t even get any real traction with them. The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that many strong Trump supporters will also openly admit that, as a person, he is an “asshole.”
- They think that the economy is great and that Trump has been in office long enough now to give him full credit for it, even though invariably they have great difficulty pointing to what exactly he has done to cause this, or how things are significantly better than the last few years under President Obama. I have yet to get a specific answer on these many “regulations” Trump has supposedly/magically cut which have allegedly spurred growth. The most bizarre aspect of this “the ends justify the means” defense of Trump is that this is the exact same argument these same people rejected when it was used on behalf of Bill Clinton during his impeachment.
- Prominent members of the “conservative” State-run media, themselves completely invested in the narrative that they didn’t sell the base a total fraud, are more than willing to keep feeding Cult 45 nonsensical rationalizations to explain/deflect any allegation that comes up. Here the “conservative” media and their customers have a symbiotic relationship that is much like that of a therapist and patient. The therapist gets paid and the patient feels better about whatever it is that they already wanted to believe in the first place.
- The non-State-run media has lost ALL their credibility with Trump supporters, at least when it comes to Trump. After all, their thinking goes, the mainstream news media cheered on Obama for over eight years and even spent the 2016 primary season telling them how exciting Trump was. They also said that Trump couldn’t possibly win so therefore, because he won in an Electoral College fluke, in their minds nothing else they say about Trump can ever be seen as the truth, even when they are simply quoting Trump himself!
- They are totally personally invested in the idea that their support for Trump is not a mistake. Calling them dumb, which I have been too prone to doing, only further deepens their investment. They are the embodiment of the extremely wise adage that it is far easier to dupe someone than to convince them that they have been duped.
- Because his opponent was the “evil” Hillary Clinton, and replaced the “un-American” Barack Obama (he violated campaign finance laws too, you know!!), they have created in their minds this fantasy that it is literally impossible for ANYTHING Trump does to be worse than what would happen if she had won (an illogical concept which I, despite being an ardent Clinton critic, have long fought against). As the ultimate catch-all, this automatically absolves Trump of significant blame for anything because, in their minds, things would be SO much worse if he hadn’t, with the possibly help of God himself, beaten back the beast who threatened to end America. In short, collusion with Russia is good!
Consequently, Mueller could come up with O.J. Simpson-like evidence and, to at least 25-35% of the population, it would not matter at all. And much like with what happened with Simpson, as long as Trump’s cult stays strong (and it will) there is no chance of getting a conviction in the Senate should the Democrats take the House and he is rightfully impeached.
They will never care about the Russia investigation. They won’t.
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issuesand is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Featured image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.