What does it mean that Donald Trump believes he would not lose a single vote if he shot a man on 5th Avenue? Or that Mitch McConnell recently said he “can’t imagine anything Trump could do that would cause the Senate to remove him from office?” Or that Republican members of Congress are demeaning themselves with frantic, irrelevant arguments against overwhelming evidence of illegal behavior that put our national security at risk? When both his guilt and the severity of the offenses have been established beyond all reasonable doubt, it’s a fair bet Donald Trump’s base will simply forgive him, as they have done so many times already. A rational mind begs for explanation.
I understand the attraction of authoritarian leaders to people who feel frightened and/or impotent. I understand that Republican politicians are justifiably afraid to cross him. And we all know how bias confirmation can trap people into ways of thinking they cannot or will not change. But this passionate worship of Mr. Trump by almost 40% of the population, this blind loyalty to a man who is loyal to no one but himself, has a cult like feel that suggests something else is going on.
Let’s look on the dark side.