Nothing seems to sway diehard Trump supporters

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Berl Falbaum

“Absolutely not!”

Those two words from a Trump supporter (we’ll call him Unmoved) have been reverberating in my head for weeks.

I had not seen Unmoved since before the outbreak of COVID in early 2020 and decided to give him a call and ask whether anything — the Big Lie, the insurrection, the January 6 committee hearings, all the testimony from Trump officials, and this week’s revelation that the FBI raided his palatial estate in search of classified White House documents — have changed his mind about the former president.

Without hesitation, he replied, “Absolutely not!”

I was stunned not only that nothing had moved him, but how firm and proud he was of his continued alliance to Donald Trump and Trumpism.

This is not a man whom you’d call “fanatic.” He is what you usually describe as “nice” and who raised his children to have high morals and integrity. (Go figure.)

I wanted to write off Unmoved’s continued support for the former president as anecdotal, and not representative of our body politic, but I sensed otherwise.

All around us, in my view, we are sinking deeper and deeper into Trumpism and all that it implies. At about 3 a.m. the morning after Trump’s election in November 2020, I wrote a column stating that his victory revealed a cancer. I added that I hope it would not metastasize.

Regrettably, it has.

Before we analyze some results from the primary election, just take a minute to think about the following:

One of the major issues, if not the major issue, was whether a candidate endorsed or rejected the so-called Big Lie. Again, reflect on that. Our politics has sunk so low that we vote according to whether a candidate endorses not just lying, but a big, big lie. A whopper! 

Polls reveal that 60-70 percent of Republicans believe the election was fraudulent and 32 percent of the total electorate agree.

This despite the fact that several of Trump’s top aides testified at the January 6 hearings that they told the former president the election was fair and he lost.

These officials included the White House counsel, the attorney general, his campaign manager and his daughter. 

It is obvious that all the “bombshells” the media reported on while covering the hearings — and there were many — turned out to be duds.

Indeed, if the election were held today, most polls show that Biden and Trump are in a dead heat, and in some polls the former president beats Biden by 2-3 points. 

With that foundation, let’s examine some August 2 primary election results, and other troubling movements at state and local levels.

In Michigan, the entire statewide ballot on the Republican side — candidates for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general — believe Trump won.

In the Third District in the Grand Rapids area, Peter Meijer, the incumbent congressman who voted to certify the 2020 election and to impeach Trump, lost to John Gibbs who considered the election crooked.

In Arizona, the Republican candidates nominated for statewide office, are all elections deniers.

A real biggie in Arizona involved Rusty Bowers, the state’s speaker of the House who rebuffed efforts to overturn the election and gave some searing testimony before the January 6 select committee. He lost his bid to be nominated for a state Senate seat.

In Kansas, all eyes were on the victory for proponents of abortion. A ban on abortion was defeated by a huge margin, 60-40%. That, of course, was not a Trump or Trumpism issue. Totally ignored in the primary results was the fact that an election denier won the nomination for attorney general.

In Nevada and Pennsylvania election deniers were nominated for statewide office, including governor and secretary of state.

If any of these win — and a good bet is some will — our entire democracy would be endangered because they have pledged to overturn our voting systems. They would adopt laws and regulations restricting voting rights and give them more control over the results of elections.

Let’s not forget what’s happening, as well, in local level politics which are generally out of the media limelight. Throughout the country, Trump election deniers are working to take control over voting and the decision-making process. It can be argued that this is more perilous than statewide races since it sets dangerous precedents and a foundation on which to spread their power.

Many organizations dedicated to democratic values and protecting our democracy have sounded the alarm.

“If any one of these election deniers wins statewide office, that’s a five-alarm fire for our elections,” Joanna Lydgate, the chief executive of States United Action, a nonpartisan legal and democracy watchdog organization, told The New York Times. “It could throw our elections into chaos. It could put our democracy at risk.”

Then there is the powerful conservative media which continues to hail Trump as their hero and besmirches the January 6 committee hearings. (But that’s a subject for a future column).

Yes, the cancer has metastasized. We will find out in November what stage we’re in.

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Berl Falbaum is a veteran Detroit area journalist and the author of 12 books.


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