If you've followed the news during the last two years, you've probably seen footage of many campaign rallies held for our 45th president. Each rally has a couple of things in common.They are held in …
If you've followed the news during the last two years, you've probably seen footage of many campaign rallies held for our 45th president. Each rally has a couple of things in common.
They are held in cities and states friendly to him. The visuals are predictable. Dozens of his supporters are seated behind him. Lots of MAGA red hats and T-shirts. No. 45 himself whipping up the masses with highly partisan and inflammatory remarks about Hillary, the press, immigrants, etc. And the crowd invariably responding the same way. Hooting, yelling, fist pumping and shouting, "Lock her up!"
The last footage of a rally I saw was held the day following the murder of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The rally took place in Murphysboro, Illinois, on Oct. 27, 2018. The visual was the same. This time No. 45 made a feeble attempt to dignify the affair by reminding the crowd of the tragic event which had just occurred and asking their permission to tone down his dependably inflammatory rhetoric out of respect. His request was denied. Why?
These people didn't attend the rally to hear No. 45 lecture them on the need for the country to unite at a time like this. No, they wanted the same pleasure his other supporters have always been treated to when he insults, mocks and bullies his opponents and critics. This was the same sort of crowd that cheered him on when he mocked Christine Blasey Ford at a rally following the Kavanaugh confirmation and the mob that applauded him when he praised Rep. Greg Gianforte at a campaign rally in Montana for body-slamming a reporter.
Who are they?
What we can say for sure is that they are strong supporters of No. 45 and more than willing to express their support publicly. They are almost exclusively white and come in a wide range of ages.
Do you suppose they brought their children and/or grandchildren to the rally? If not, did they tell the kids to make sure they watched them on TV?
They obviously don't have a problem conveying their support for No. 45 and taking joy in watching and hearing "their boy" abuse others. Are they just as indecent as he? Do they treat people in the same way and take the same delight when they do so?
How many are there?
What percentage of No. 45's base do these people represent?
Consider this possibility. The Republican Party finds its spine and develops some integrity and supports someone to challenge No. 45 in the 2020 Republican presidential primaries. Someone who holds the same policy viewpoints as No. 45 on a border wall, climate change, reducing the corporate tax rate, etc. but, unlike the incumbent, is actually a decent human being?
Is that possible? If so, would such a challenger get the nomination? That would give us an indication of how many of his supporters value the qualities that make a person a decent individual and how many prefer an individual who is a lying, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist hatemonger.
Mark Asmus is a Taos County resident.
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