Impeached twice, investigated by the New York State Attorney General, and raided by the FBI but the American establishment cannot understand the unwavering political power of Donald Trump. The popularity of Orange Man Bad vexes them. They whine about his “continued prominence” and cannot fathom why Trump remains standing after the many knock-out punches that should have dropped him to the mat. Perhaps it is because these people do not understand Mr. Trump or what makes his steadfast following tick.
It is almost as if they do not believe they won in 2020. Every day since that fateful election, Donald J. Trump has graced the front pages of the legacy media almost without exception. Two years later and with midterms rapidly approaching, the Liz Cheney wing of the Republican party remains perplexed. In a New York Times column recently, Never-Trumper David Brooks marveled at the continued political strength of the former president:
“One of the stunning facts of the age is the continued prominence of Donald Trump. His candidates did well in the G.O.P. primaries this year. He won more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016. His favorability ratings within his party have been high and basically unchanged since late 2016. In a range of polls, some have actually shown Trump leading President Biden in a race for re-election in 2024.”
Then, as the left (among whom Brooks must be counted) lurched uncontrollably into the truth. “His prominence is astounding because, over the past seven years, the American establishment has spent enormous amounts of energy trying to discredit him,” Brooks whined.
In a rare display of rational thinking, Brooks outlined the many strategies employed by the establishment to take Trump out: This included, but was not limited to, the immorality tactic, various impeachment schemes, and the so-called exposure ploy, which were designed to unmask him as a terrible human being. Frustrated and nonplussed by the inadequacy of these efforts, the thought occurs to Brooks, and likely others, that “The barrage has probably solidified Trump’s hold on his party.”
He got that right.
Never-Trumpers Search for the Holy Grail
Joe Biden & Company appear to have settled upon the strategy of damning the entire lot of Trumpists. By going after the electorate (an unusual approach to be sure), the establishment hopes to marginalize the Trump advocate. The idea is to corner the pro-Trump crowd, and make them appear radical, which is why words like white supremacist, semi-fascist, and Ultra MAGA are being tossed around ad infinitum.
Why employ such a divisive tactic? Because it is designed to persuade the folks who live in the political center. Brooks even admitted as much. “The job was to peel away independents and those Republicans offended by and exhausted by his antics,” he wrote. However, trying to make everyone who supports Mr. Trump into a lunatic has a downside, as is evident by this story shared by The New York Times columnist:
“This week, I talked with a Republican who was incensed by Biden’s approach. He is an 82-year-old émigré from Russia who is thinking of supporting Ron DeSantis in the 2024 primaries because he has less baggage. His parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II. ‘And now Biden’s calling me a fascist?!’ he fumed.”
One wonders if the president and his party satraps have become so insular, they cannot recognize the strategy of making Trump supporters out to be an archetypal anti-Christ is not working. Much like the elderly émigré mentioned above, it may actually be backfiring.
And so, it appears MAGA man and his millions of followers have gotten into their heads, and the establishment is utterly exasperated. The Never-Trump elite may be frustrated that they have not been able to rid the earth of Orange Man Bad, but they continue to search – almost without pause – for an answer. It is if they are locked inside a political maze without entrance or exit. Perhaps they are so confounded because taking the time to understand the average Trump supporter is beneath them. It is class politics to the core – a concept which Donald Trump has fundamentally turned on its head. Although the Shakespearean provenance is disputed, this quote aptly describes the situation: “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”