Salon: Trump and His ‘Cult’ Won’t Easily Be Defeated

In a sign Americans have begun to tune out the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill, Trump climbed from 46 percent to approval to 50 in one daytied for his biggest single-day increase ever –  on the Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll, the only daily tracking poll now operating.

Trump’s enduring polling strength has caused alarm in the mainstream media that he will be re-elected in 2020.

In response, there have begun to be pieces such as one by Chauncey Devega of Salon headlined: “Don’t get suckered by the polls: Donald Trump will win again – unless we fight for democracy,” with a subhead that reads: “All the pieces for Trump’s re-election are in place. At this turning point in American history, will we fight?” 

Devega’s thesis is that 2020 is “starting to feel a lot like 2016” when Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, “who had devoted much of her life to public service, is highly intelligent and an expert on public policy,” was supposed to have crushed Trump, who was “viewed by the news media and most serious political observers as a buffoon, the gimp at a political freak show.”

But Trump won, Devega wrote, because news networks “found him to be an ‘entertaining’ TV character and rewarded him with $5 billion in free air time and spent what time they did on true coverage of the election “focusing more on negativity and scandal than on substantive policy issues.”

To prevail, Trump employed his “skill at developing and manipulating a cult-like following, his authoritarian and fascist appeal to racist, nativist and sexist voters, his deft use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, the Fox News right-wing propaganda machine and illegal Russian interference on his behalf,” Devega wrote.

Democrats are doing something about it, Devega noted. They’ve ”finally decided to impeach Donald Trump for his many crimes and other misdeeds, including obstruction of justice, abuse of power including bribery and extortion {as seen in the Ukraine scandal}, his rampant corruption and violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution and his general betrayal of the presidential oath of office.”

Beyond that, “Trump’s overt embrace of white supremacy and racism, his disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution, and his threats of violence against the American news media, leading Democrats and various private citizens are also impeachable offenses,” Devega wrote.

On top of that Trump’s “many political scandals are multiplying like bacteria in a petri dish,” Devega wrote, and he “should be doomed.”

But he’s not doomed, Devega wrote. In fact, “Despite all the evidence suggesting otherwise, Trump will likely win in 2020.” Americans are turning against Trump “at an increasing rate,” Devega wrote, ignoring the Rasmussen result, but 62 percent say they will continue to support Trump “no matter what he does,” and the president has the “highest level of baseline support for an American president in the history of modern public opinion polls.”

Moreover, he noted, citing a poll mentioned in a New York Times article, Trump may trail Democrats in mythical face-to-face matchups, but he is ahead and appears to have expanded his advantage in the six battleground states where the election is expected to be decided – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

How does Trump do it? He “leads a political cult,” Devega wrote. “His members will not abandon him for any reason, because they are enmeshed together in a state of collective narcissism and other mental pathologies.” They’ve also “sealed themselves into a right-wing echo chamber of lies and disinformation,” he wrote.

Particularly galling to Devega is that white women especially continue to support the president – especially those without college degrees. “Non-college-educated white women’s support for Trump is also a function of internalized hostile sexism where his misogyny, dozens of alleged sexual assaults and efforts to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedoms are not viewed as disqualifying and may in fact be understood as reasons to vote for him.”

Devega did not say how he knew Trump’s misogyny and alleged sexual assaults were driving women to vote for him.


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Author: Brian McNicoll

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