A friend recently told me that a person cannot be reasoned out of a position they did not reason themselves into. Making logical arguments and reasonable cases does nothing for someone grounded in emotion. But one’s emotions can lead a person down a path they later regret. Thus we arrive at the third indictment of former President Donald Trump with a fourth indictment in Georgia most likely coming before the end of the month.
People who support Trump do not do so based on logic and reason. They support him emotionally. He has their back. He is their champion. He scratches certain itches for people who have been put down by parts of the country that derisively conclude all Trump voters in “flyover country” are bigots, racists, homophobes, uneducated and unsophisticated. Those people abhor Trump. He gets under their skin. His voters love it. For a time, he also got results.
That time, however, may be running out. The former president could not “stop the steal” in 2020 and now cannot stop the Democrats financially bleeding him dry with indictment upon indictment upon indictment. His campaign funds, replenished by the poor and middle class, now fund lawyers battling lawsuits. His campaign trail appearances have turned into courtroom appearances. He has a loyal base of voters and a diametrically opposed brigade of suburban voters who disdain both the current and former president but would prefer not to vote for a man on his third perp walk.
Undoubtedly, Republicans will circle the wagons around the man who lost to President Joe Biden once and who still maintains the election was stolen. His polling will rise with Republicans and not gain back any of those who abandoned him in 2020. His fundraising will soar, but his expenses will soar more. He must defend himself in New York City; Palm Beach, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and soon, Atlanta. Judges will not suspend trials so he can shake hands and kiss babies on the campaign trail.
The former president’s supporters are loyal. The current president’s supporters are only loyal because he is who stands between them and the former one. That real loyalty to Trump is stronger than the superficial loyalty to Biden. But that loyalty can also be the end of Trump and everything he represents.
In 2020, I predicted that Democrats would interpret any Biden win as a mandate for radical progressive change. They have done just that. From boys in girls’ bathrooms to bans on gas stoves, water heaters and gas-powered cars, the Democrats are racing to fundamentally transform America. Enough Republicans were so turned off by Trump and his candidates in 2022 that they either stayed home or voted Democrat.
Now, going into 2024, Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are not getting any younger. The regulatory state is coming for our cars, air conditioners, appliances — and our children. Donald Trump is now shackled to criminal prosecutions. It is increasingly likely a vote for Trump in 2024 will give Biden four more years to radically transform America. But Trump’s voters will not be reasoned with. They did not reason their way into support for Trump. Emotion is powerful.
That emotion, however, might turn toward letting Trump go to save him. Four more years of Biden and repeated prosecutions will end not just Trump, but Trumpism. His brand of populism will be shut out by regulators, legislators and litigators. Four more years of Biden gives the Left time.
Some Trump voters are convinced Biden will just turn his prosecutors on any other Republican. But Trump, frankly, was sloppy and made it easy. To save Trump, his voters might have to choose another Republican nominee. Unfortunately, some will decide that Trump trumps everything else and it must be him or defeat. That nihilism and fatalism is exactly what Democrats hope will happen.
Perhaps four indictments will make obvious what is happening. Trump believes the 2020 election was stolen. Not only does he have no plan to stop another steal, but he also cannot stop the Biden administration from prosecuting him. Some Republican somewhere probably needs to figure out a way to convince Trump voters that to save Trump and the nation, they must let him go.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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