Monday, November 13, 2017

Trumpism did not die in the 2017 election, but we can outwork and outvote it.

This morning the Daily Star featured an op-ed by Leonard Pitts Jr., Trumpism wounded, but not dead. He provides some pretty compelling anecdotes about the thought processes of Trumpists.

… some Democratic euphoria just now would certainly be understandable. But keep in mind that while Trumpism might be walking with a limp, it’s still walking. Timely evidence of this came the day after the election in the form of a must-read Politico piece by Michael Kruse.

He visited Trump Country, the city of Johnstown in western Pennsylvania, to take the temperature of the failed president’s ardent followers. There, Kruse found what you’d expect: cognitive dissonance that would embarrass a toddler, toxic levels of intolerance and indestructible love for a man whose rants validate their rage, their petulant sense of themselves as a culture under siege, as victims of change.

It is an affection untethered by reason.

In one jaw-dropping passage, retired nurse Maggie Frear concedes Trump hasn’t kept his promise to bring the steel mills back, build a border wall or repeal Obamacare. “But I like him,” she insists, “because he does what he says.”

In another, a bunch of 60-somethings in this town of boarded-up homes and opioid addiction seem most exercised about the “clowns” in the NFL who kneel during the national anthem.

“NFL,” says retiree Pam Schilling, stands for “N——s for life.”

But nevertheless Pitts has hope for change.

One would be hard-pressed to find more vivid proof that if we intend to take our country back, the rest of us — a term meant to include the perhaps 17 principled conservatives who have so far managed to escape Trump’s re-education camps — will have our work cut out. You can’t persuade these people. You can only defeat them. Last week’s vote proves this isn’t impossible.

To the contrary, it is eminently doable if we are energized, organized and active — if we rise from our complacent backsides and vote, every election, every time. Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million. So people like those in Johnstown do not outnumber the rest of us. They simply outwork and outvote us.

But there are still more of us than there are of them. We are the majority, and it’s past time we acted like it.

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