Jeanette Strong: The most loyal people
“I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.” Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Iowa, Jan. 23, 2016.
President Donald Trump’s people are loyal. They believe everything out of Trump’s mouth, including over 22,000 documented lies since his inauguration. They swallow the conspiracy theories Trump dishes out, no matter how false or dangerous. They refuse to accept any facts if they contradict anything Trump says.
Here are a few facts: Trump lost the 2020 presidential election by over 6 million votes. Joe Biden won 80,085,824 individual votes to Trump’s 73,912,552. Biden won 306 electoral votes, including Nevada’s 6 votes, a result Trump called a “landslide” in 2016. Republicans still insist that the 2020 election was rigged.
Election officials in all 50 states affirmed that their elections were safe. Trump’s own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency stated that the election “was the most secure in American history … There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” In gratitude for keeping our election safe, Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director of that agency. (New York Times, Nov. 12, 2020)
I’ve read comments by Republicans saying that Democrats refused to accept the results of the 2016 election. That’s not true. We knew Trump was legally elected, but we also knew Hillary Clinton got nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Despite that, we accepted Trump as president. Now Republicans need to accept Biden. He won.
Biden is a decent, compassionate man of integrity who is a faithful, loving husband and a devoted father. He helped rescue our economy and restore our standing in the world and he will do it again. Republicans hate him.
Trump is a man who cheated on all three of his wives and bragged about it. He has spent his life cheating and defrauding people. He has zero integrity or compassion, putting his desires above everything else, including our national security. He’s crashed our economy, trashed our standing in the world, and is complicit in the deaths of over 266,000 Americans. Republicans love him.
Trump has even been strangely submissive to President Putin of Russia, craving Putin’s approval instead of standing up for America’s interests. Russia interfered in our 2016 election and tried to interfere in 2020. Trump’s loyal followers have condoned this. In an eerily prophetic letter to Joshua Speed in 1855, Abraham Lincoln wrote about people like Trump, even mentioning Russia:
“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
Sadly, Lincoln predicted the depths of hypocrisy and despotism into which his party would sink.
Paul Waldman, a Washington Post columnist, summed it up on Nov. 4, 2020:
“What more could Trump have done to alienate voters? Was being the most corrupt president in American history not enough? …
How about bungling a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans and counting, and that threw tens of millions of Americans out of work and destroyed untold numbers of businesses — was that not enough?
Was it not enough to be the most morally repugnant human being in American public life, a bigot and a misogynist and a xenophobe and a tax cheat and a petty, insecure narcissist? Was that not enough to lose an election by a wide margin? No, it was not….
The overwhelming majority of Republicans — 93 percent, according to the data we have so far — decided that there could be no Republican so incompetent and corrupt and immoral that they would vote for a Democrat to replace him….
This is now the distilled essence of the GOP, a party of elementary school bullies for whom nothing is more important than seeing other Americans suffering and unhappy.”
Almost 74 million of Trump’s loyal people felt we needed four more years of this. I hope over the next few months, they’ll reconsider so we can come together as a nation and heal. I pray this is possible.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.