The left is doing its level best to keep former President Donald Trump from winning a second term as Commander in Chief. Exhibits A, B, and a forthcoming C are evidence of this if one counts the Alvin Bragg, Jack Smith indictments and those still dangling out there in the divisive politisphere known as American politics. Democrats and progressives believe their cause is righteous, if not noble, and are flummoxed by the reaction of the average Trump voter to these numerous prosecutions.
There are two essential elements that lead to their confusion: One is a perverted perception of pro-Trump supporters. The other stems from the left’s imperious attitude.
A Leftist View of the Trump Voter
What those on the left read and write about the average Trump voter is worth a brief examination because it informs their views. A recent article in Salon is indicative of their perceptions about those still backing 45. The title pretty much tells the story: “New research on Trump voters: They’re not the sharpest tools in the box” posits, “Now there’s proof: Trump’s voters lack ‘cognitive sophistication,’ [and] often believe Bible is literal word of God.”
In the article, Salon senior writer Chauncey Devega toils at length to make the case that the Trump voter is a result of an inherently flawed nation, i.e., “American society was founded on white settler colonialism, genocide and slavery. This unresolved birth defect at the foundation of the American democratic experiment meant that the country was racially exclusionary by design, from the founding well into the 20th century.”
To prove this premise, Devega launches an all-out vilification of those who vote Trump:
“Conservatives now inhabit their own self-created media echo chamber, which functions as a type of lie-filled and toxic closed episteme and sealed-off universe. The creation of such an alternate reality is an important attribute of fascism, in which truth itself must be destroyed and replaced with fantasies and fictions in support of the leader and his movement.”
The Salon author tries to prove this theory by citing professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University Darren Sherkat, who wrote a piece for the Social Science Quarterly in 2021 titled “Cognitive Sophistication, Religion, and the Trump Vote.” To boil it down, Sherkat claims: “Trump’s campaign may also have been more attractive to people with low cognitive sophistication and a preference for low-effort information processing because compared to other candidates, Trump’s speeches were given at a much lower reading level….” But wait, there’s more:
“As a result, people who identify with and participate in white Christian denominations and who subscribe to fundamentalist beliefs have substantial intellectual deficits that make them easy marks for a wide variety of schemes — from financial fraud to conspiracy theories.
If you can’t read the New York Times, you’re going to believe whatever you hear on talk radio or on television. It’s simply impossible for people with limited vocabularies and low levels of cognitive functioning to make sense of the complex realities of the political world.”
In a nutshell, they perceive Trump voters as stupid, poorly educated Bible literalists, which they claim are vital elements needed to create a fascist. And Trump supporters, they conclude, are fascists. Such marginalization of a wide swath of the electorate has led them to believe in their derogatory suppositions rather than trying to truly comprehend the mind of a Trump voter.
So, here is a more accurate depiction for those on the left.
The Trump Voter Mindset
First, it should be noted a sense of equality and fairness animates those who back the former president. The charges of illegally holding classified documents are a case in point. Trump supporters are willing to consider obvious questions like why one president is indicted for doing what many presidents, vice presidents, and high-ranking public officials have done. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago boxes bad, Joe Biden’s boxes good somehow doesn’t seem fair to them.
Second, Trump voters are animated by facts and an objective standard of truth. In some cases, this objective truth criteria may even emanate from their faith. Thus, when presented with documents that reveal the existence of 16 shell corporations or dozens of unusually large deposits flagged by banks involving the current president’s son, they understandably are concerned that something fishy is afoot. The point is that the Trump voter uses logic and reason to rightly question an unequal application of the law.
Third, Trump voters see the past as prologue and are willing to learn from it. The Hillary Clinton emails, her home-based server containing classified information, and a trumped-up Russia Collusion investigation that resulted in nothing are all areas of concern for the Trump voter. Omitting publication of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop and collecting 50 former intelligence officials to publicly put their names to the lie that the computer was filled with Russian disinformation are also alarming. The steadfast support of the Trump voter can be seen as a reaction or, perhaps more accurately — somewhat of a protest — against all these events.
Last, by nature the Trump voter epitomizes the American spirit of individualism that was abundant during the birth of the nation. These people tend to question authority, are independent thinkers, and distrust statist attitudes and platitudes. Unlike those on the left, they don’t believe this is an inherently flawed nation founded on genocide and slavery. Instead, they believe that – while not perfect – America is the greatest nation on earth.
The reality is the anti-Trump movement may be making its case throughout various courts, but they have not made it to the court of public opinion. An unctuous, imperious attitude toward Trump supporters only broadens the national divide and ultimately reveals the left’s ignorance about millions of Americans they simply can’t – or won’t – understand.
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