Over the past few weeks I’ve been following a fair number of discussions on why the Republican Party has not done an ‘autopsy’ on why they lost in 2020. In most of these discussions the continued faithful loyalty of the GOP rank and file is almost always touch upon. What is often totally ignored is just why the rank and file of the GOP are still loyal to Donald J. Trump. There are, undoubtedly many reasons for this but I would like to just touch on one that seems to being ignored.
What I will be talking about is the known reluctance of a Con-Artist victim to actually admit to the con. This phenomenon is well know to all those in law enforcement who’s job it is to track down and lock up the Con-artist. The reasons for their behavior is legion and I will not attempt to go into it here. What is important is the attitude of the victims that keeps them from admitting, even to themselves, that they have been conned. All that is important here is the phenomenon itself.
This disinclination to admit to being conned by Donald Trump is the starting point to understanding why so many GOP Rank and File are staying loyal to him. At some level they know that if they start looking for some other leader than Trump they will be starting down the road to admitting that they were conned by Trump and they are not yet ready for that. It is just too painful. It is also to shameful. We all know the old saying “You can not Cheat an honest man.” And, fundamentally, a con is offering the mark a way of cheating. In the case we are addressing here we are looking at getting something you have not really a right to.
There is no nice way to say this, it is not just possible. Donald J. Trump has offered the GOP something for nothing. The problem is TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) and at some level we all know this. The genius of Donald J. Trump is he offered something different to all the segments of the GOP. Each and every faction was offered what they most wanted, without having to pay for it. The White Supremists were told they could, no matter what the law said, do as they wish on all non-whites. He offered some the ability to take from the public coffers all they could manage. This list is both long and well known so I shan’t go on here. I will close with the most fundamental thing Trump gave the GOP rank and file the confirmation that “You are in the right! No matter what anyone else says.” He gave them the freedom from self doubt and questioning. He gave them permission to say “it is self evident that I’m right so I don’t have to explain.”
And there is the rub, eventually it will all come out. Eventually you will have to explain yourself. You will have to admit you were conned and admit you were being dishonest. Some people will not be able to do this, ever. Some will, but it will take time. What we, who recognized Donald J. Trump for what he is, have to do now is wait. Stand our ground. Be understanding of the MAGA but not give one inch in holding them responsible for what both Donald J. Trump did and what they did even though he told them they could. Eventually the lunch is paid for. We just need to be sure that it is paid for by those who eat it and not by us.