October 11, 2023


This was something I wrote back in October 2016. It's old, but it still feels relevant.

Back when Donald Trump famously remarked that his followers were so "loyal" that even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue, they'd still vote for him, I partly suspected that he had found a subtle way to marvel at how stupid his followers were. Of course, I soon came to realize that Trump is not, in any way, capable of subtlety.

This morning I watched an excerpt of a news program where a reporter was talking to Trump supporters. Most of these people were as un-subtle as it gets. They didn't admire Trump for his grasp of foreign policy (do they even know what that is?) or his knowledge of the Constitution and how government works (they don't know those things, either). They didn't admire him for his ability to build coalitions within the party, his honesty, his morality, his charm, or even his good looks and physical fitness. They admired him because he is "strong" - and by strong, they meant loud and aggressive. That's what they like. They like bullies.

All the people talking to the reporter (including the women) were loud talkers, the kind of people you don't want sitting near you in a restaurant.The men were particularly obnoxious. In one case I was a bit concerned that one of the men might physically attack the petite female reporter, as he began to try to intimidate her with his looming stance and aggressive comments. She moved away, keeping an eye on him just in case. (That's the kind of behavior Trump supporters see as good debate skills.)

Trump supporters don't care about his racism, his sexism, his hypocrisy, his dishonesty, his possible criminality, his disloyalty, his ignorance, his crudeness, his impossible ideas, his overall obnoxiousness. All they care about is his loud voice. That makes him "strong", and by golly you gotta be strong to be a leader. Ugh.

And while there are some people who finally, finally, are moving away from Trump because at long last they have seen that he has no redeeming qualities, there is a core group that actually admires and identifies with the very things that make him a monster. Those people will never change. If he actually does shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, they will still vote for him. I'd say, go ahead and vote for him, because if he wins you will get what you deserve. But the problem is that if he wins, it won't be only those who voted for him who pay the price. We will all suffer. I don't deserve that. The good people of America and the world don't deserve that.


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