Quote of the Day: Trump Supporters and Willful Ignorance
Quote of the Day: Trump Supporters and Willful Ignorance
For any voter, there is a certain amount of ignorance necessary to stand behind their candidate. Anyone who supports Hillary will force themselves to ignore her many scandals — Benghazi, the e-mail servers, just to name a few. Rubio supporters will find a way to overlook the Gang of Eight. Cruz supporters will close their eyes to the accusations of dirty campaigning. This is natural, and it’s to be expected during election season to a certain extent. However, most voters still do some amount of research. They may overlook their chosen one’s scandals, but they’re still aware of them. They aren’t completely, and willfully, ignorant. The only exception is Trump supporters. Never before has there been a group of people so willing to close their eyes to everything about their candidate. Combine that with anger, and you have a combination that threatens to burn the entire country down. Donald Trump is aware of this, and he’s playing these people like fiddles. David Catron at the American Spectator wrote a brilliant column about this phenomenon.
Donald Trump is a grifter who created a fake university to bilk thousands of ordinary people out of enormous amounts of money. He’s a brazen hypocrite who denounces illegal immigrants, yet has a long history of hiring them. His pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare is plainly BS. He has often praised socialized medicine and still does. And, though he touts financial savvy and his mastery of negotiation as his primary qualifications for the presidency, he won’t release his tax returns so we can see for ourselves just how good he really is at the art of the deal.
Yet his supporters are legion. Why? To answer this honestly, it’s necessary to emulate Trump’s refusal to be politically correct—most of his supporters are too intellectually rigid to do their homework. They simply refuse to do the minimal research necessary to learn about this man’s astonishingly sordid history. Thus, they remain willfully ignorant of the above-listed facts. Rather than conducting the due diligence required of them as responsible citizens, they yammer about their betrayal at the hands of a nebulous “establishment” most couldn’t define to save their lives.
All they know about “the Donald” is that he had a TV show, is rich, and affects disdain for political correctitude. Yet they believe him when he says that, as President, he can easily fix complex public policy problems that have eluded solutions for decades. At length, some of the Donald’s supporters will realize that, as the immortal P.G. Wodehouse wrote about a group of characters who had been taken in by a particularly slippery poseur, “They had taken him at his own valuation, and had been cheated into admiring him as a man who amounted to something.”
But, by the time Trump’s supporters have their epiphany, it may be too late. Unless they trade up to an honest candidate tomorrow, he may have the Republican presidential nomination virtually locked up. There will be many subsequent GOP primaries, of course. But, if Trump comes even close to running the table tomorrow, the chances of any other candidate overtaking him will be dramatically reduced. As Henry Olsen writes in the New York Post, “After Super Tuesday, we should know with certainty if Donald Trump is unstoppable or if another candidate has a chance.”
… But these well-meaning folks have allowed their desire to save the Republic to cloud their judgment. Trump is not the man for the job. First, he hasn’t a prayer of winning the general election, even against the likes of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Many of his supporters have mistaken his respectable showing among independents and Democrats in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries as proof that he has crossover appeal. But many of these people were almost certainly Dem trolls who voted for him in the Republican primaries because he’ll be easy to beat in the general election.
Few of these people will vote for him in November. Among the general electorate, Trump has abominable numbers. As Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight points out, “His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton … has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.” If your net unfavorable figures are worse than Hillary’s, you’re toast.
Try to explain any of this to Trump supporters, though, and they will not care. They’ll get angry at you. They’ll deny it. They’ll say that it’s all lies. It doesn’t matter how many facts you present them with. It doesn’t matter if you point out that he will lose to Hillary. They refuse to see even an ounce of common sense. They are the epitome of the uneducated electorate, people who vote but don’t spend any time researching candidates at all, who don’t know what’s going on in the world beyond what they see on TV. They’re the same kind of voters who elected Barack Obama.
Much of this can be blamed on campaigns like Rock the Vote. Buses roll up on college campuses, register students, and encourage them to vote right then and there. Do they offer any kind of information about the candidates these students will be voting for? Nope. It’s style over substance to the extreme, with a dash of feel-good activism sprinkled in. It’s been almost 30 years, and what has Rock the Vote gotten us? What has the idea that everyone should vote no matter what wrought?
People have been told, over and over again, that voting is a patriotic duty. But what never gets mentioned is the responsibility that should go along with voting. Instead, the reality TV culture has reared its ugly head, and culminated in someone like Donald Trump being a serious presidential candidate. Who needs facts and policy positions when we have soundbites and catchy slogans?
Stupid Tuesday, indeed.