ZANESVILLE, OH — Last week, a woman in her mid-40s who lives in a tidy suburban enclave just outside of Columbus, Ohio, summed up her continued support for President Donald Trump despite his morals, values and behavior not matching hers nor matching her expectations she had for any president of the United States.
“For decades I have been inspired by aspiring politicians and elected officials who took to the podium or the camera and delivered poetic speeches to earn my trust and my support. They would sway me with expressive words and artfully delivered promises,” she said.
While the words were beautiful, they never manifested into anything tangible in her community.
“It took me a while to realize those words weren’t theirs, but skillfully crafted sentences that had been massaged and focus-group tested by a full staff of speechwriters and strategists.”
Along comes Trump in 2016. She cannot abide anything he tweets, finds his speeches a stream of consciousness that is hard to unscramble and considers his morals in the gutter. She reluctantly voted for him and knows she will vote for him again, something she admits even surprises her.
Why does he hold her support?
He delivers results.
“It’s just that simple.”
She mentions the tax reform bill, the remaking of the judiciary, how he has repealed regulations that have improved the economic conditions in the state, both of his picks for the Supreme Court and his unflinching manner in taking on the establishment wings of both political parties as her reasons.
The woman shudders as she imagines what kind of problems she would encounter if she gave her name, so she declines.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s news that both former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his lawyer Michael Cohen were found on the wrong side of the law in separate court cases, the question asked most frequently by the press, Democrats and “Never Trump” Republicans is, “Where do Trump voters go now?”
The answer is the same that it has always been since they first started asking it Nov. 9, 2016: With Trump.
This new conservative populist coalition is not the fluke the political class hoped it was. Donald Trump did not cause it, he is just the result of it, so no matter what he does, it continues. It is predicated on them, not him.
The coalition is a strike at not just tone deafness in both Congress and the White House but also high levels of incompetence, negligence and shoddy performance at agencies, as well as inept social services, a bloated and incompetent bureaucracy, endless wars and multinational agreements and treaties that don’t benefit average people.
These voters knew who Trump was going in, they knew he was a thrice-married, Playmate-dating, Howard Stern regular who had the morals of an alley cat. They were willing to look past all of that because of how institutions had failed their communities for three consecutive presidencies.
Right now the value of Trump to the Trump voter is he is all that stands between them and handing the keys to Washington back over to the people inside Washington. That’s it. He’s their only option. You’ve got to pick the insiders or him.
So the question becomes: Can the Democrats pick someone who is Trump? Someone who just says, “I don’t trust anybody in Washington either. They all suck. The Democrats sucks, the Republicans suck and Trump’s a crook.”
If they could pick a Trump for their side, then Trump could have a problem. But as it stands we only really only have two parties; the party of the governing elite and the party of Trump.
That is why they stick with him.
Democrats are not making any efforts to drive a wedge between Trump and his voters. Instead, they’re running on issues like “abolish ICE.”
The party’s entire goal is get more Democrats to vote. It’s not to win back Trump voters. So how could you expect Trump voters to move away from him? Where would they go?