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Opinion: Trump’s Undying Supporters

Opinion%3A+Trumps+Undying+Supporters

It is now clear that Former President Donald Trump’s supporters will continue to show out for him, no matter what.

After the public has become clearly aware of the seditious behavior through live videos, testimonies, and investigations, his cult-like following is unflappable.
The aftermath of January 6th, 2020, made this especially evident, after at least 2,000 people forced their way into the U.S. Capitol.
In a speech made by Trump on January 6th, just hours before the insurrection, he said, “We want to go back and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed and we’re not going to stand for that.”
After convincing his supporters that the election had been stolen, through about 70 minutes of fear-mongering rhetoric, thousands of people came together to ‘take back’ the 2020 election, where Joe Biden was elected President.
According to the LA Times, more than 140 law enforcement officers were injured in an attempt to defend the Capitol, and at least 5 deaths (of both rioters, and police) can be accounted for. You would think that a group who consistently claims to be ultra-patriotic, would not stand for such a horrific display of disrespect.
According to PLOS, (a non profit research organization), pro-police beliefs are strongly associated with “high approval” of Donald Trump. But apparently, people have no issue putting those beliefs aside, when Trump convinces them to do so, as observed at the Capitol insurrection.

Since January 6th, Trump has been indicted a total of 4 times.
The most recent of the 4, “…details dozens of acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including beseeching Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find enough votes for him to win the battleground state; harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud; and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters…”, According to AP News.
Normally, this alone would seem like enough to diminish support. But Trump’s supporters are an anomaly – they simply don’t care.

And in fact, Trump is overtly aware of this fact. At a campaign stop in Iowa, he claimed ,”I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

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Maybe he was right.

This level of devotion is bizarre; Trump has managed to craft a group of supporters that act as if he is a mega-celebrity, rather than a former president. It seems as if some of these people just want someone to tell them how to think, and Trump has no problem doing that for them.

Moreover, on August 24th, 2023, Trump turned himself in to Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, after his 4th indictment. His mugshot was then released that same day, and he will go down in history as the first U.S. President to ever have a criminal mugshot taken.
After this most recent scandal, the hashtag “#MAGAmugshot” circulated on social media, with people like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene editing their face over Trump’s mugshot in support.
This is an incredible illustration of the problem at hand: as NPR wrote on their website, “Typically, mug shots are associated with shame and humiliation. But for Trump and a pocket of his fan base, his mug shot — the first ever of an American president — was a badge of honor,”

Trump’s supporters are rapidly abandoning the values that they once claimed to hold true. Traditionally, the Republican Party, which Trump is a part of, is very vocal about following the law. In a resolution released by the Republican National Committee in 2016, they state, “The rule of law is the foundation of our republic”. But when it comes to Trump, this apparently does not hold true, as he has violated the law countless times.

Of course, at this point in time, it would be unfair to blame the issue solely on republicans, or conservatives. This seems to have gone beyond political parties. It is a handful of people who are die-hard Trump ‘fans’. Many republicans, and even ultra-conservatives have spoken out about Trump. In an interview with Time Magazine, Theologian Russell Moore, who has more traditional conservative beliefs, had this to say about the Capitol breach, “If you can defend this, you can defend anything.”
Moore has been proven right, from countless indictments to a sexual abuse trial, Trump supporters will – and do – defend anything, if Trump is the face of it.

The former president has brought together a group of people who will stay by his side regardless of how gross, and frankly, unpatriotic his actions are. He has convinced his followers that without him in office, American democracy might quickly diminish. But I would argue that if he is reelected as President, it would act as a disturbing illustration of abuse.

 

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