I have a serious question for the Trump supporters, and I hope they will be able to answer it, at least to themselves. It is a question that every supporter of every candidate should be able to answer if they consider themselves a thinking voter instead of a mindless, drooling sports fan. The question is this:
What, hypothetically, would Trump have to do or say to cause you to stop supporting him?
If someone were to call and poll me today, I would probably fit under the category of “undecided.” I would happily cast my vote for any one of Jindal, Cruz, Rubio, or Fiorina (probably in that order) and would likewise vote (but with considerably less gusto) for Carson, Christie, or Bush (probably also in that order). I would grudgingly pull the lever for the rest of the field in order to prevent either Trump or Kasich from getting the nomination.
That having been said, I can easily envision any number of events that would cause me to absolutely refuse to support even the candidates I like a great deal. If Bobby Jindal, let’s say, were to come out tomorrow and say that he would only nominate judges who promised to uphold Roe v. Wade, he would without question lose my support. If [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] came out in favor of funding Planned Parenthood tomorrow, I would be done with [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]. If [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] stated that his favorite President of all time was Jimmy Carter, that would be the last of [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] for me. If Carly Fiorina said that she believed that everyone should pay at least 30% of their income in federal taxes every year, I would quickly become an enemy of Carly Fiorina.
This is what distinguishes “voters” from “fans.” Fans don’t have to really ask these questions of themselves. I mean, there might be something that would cause me to stop being a fan of the Boston Red Sox, but it hasn’t happened yet, and after watching roughly half of my most beloved players end their careers in a Yankees uniform, I can say at this point that even if they traded Dustin Pedroia to the Yankees tomorrow I would still put on the big red “B” hat next year with hardly a second thought.
Voting, though, is at least theoretically supposed to be a different endeavor, especially for people who pride themselves on being the “reasonable” people in this country. It’s supposed to matter what candidates think, do, and say. There should be a point with literally every candidate where something they have done would push us over the edge to the point that we wouldn’t support them anymore.
This is all the more true with respect to Trump and his supporters, who allegedly exist because the Republican “establishment” has betrayed them one too many times, thus pushing them into the welcoming arms of The Donald. If betrayal of conservative principles, or strategic failures, or cronyism or whatever it is that caused you to become a Trump fan in the first place, shouldn’t an equivalent sin committed by Trump likewise cause you to end your support of him?
I ask because I would have thought that being a repeat donor to Clinton and other Democrats might have been that point for principled conservatives.
I ask because I would have thought that using Michael Moore’s talking points on 9/11 might have been that point for principled conservatives.
I would have thought that defending federal funding of Planned Parenthood might have been that point for principled conservatives.
I would have thought that adopting Democrat rhetoric on the need to raise taxes on the wealthy might have been that point for principled conservatives.
I would have thought that publicly professing a love for eminent domain might have been that point for principled conservatives.
I haven’t even gotten into the insanely liberal things Trump said and did before he decided to run for President, because apparently being an unprincipled and opportunistic flip flopper only bothers principled conservatives when the candidate in question is Mitt Romney. It doesn’t even apparently matter that The Donald’s immigration stance is likewise a transparent flip flop from what he said as recently as 2013.
None of these things, though, has been enough to dislodge any measurable amount of Trump’s support. And they are all things Trump has done during the short course of this campaign.
For all the manifold sins of [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ], he has never in his life had a 4 month stretch of time in which he has betrayed as many conservative principles as Trump has since entering the race, but Trump’s supporters are still there.
So at this point, it is a matter of honest curiosity to me, and I think this is something the Trump supporters ought to answer at least to themselves: Is there anything Trump might do or say that would cause you to stop supporting him?
If you can’t spell it out to yourself ahead of time then you’re not an informed voter or principled person of any stripe: you’re a fan of a celebrity. And what you’re watching right now isn’t a political campaign to you, it’s a slightly more sophisticated reality show than The Kardashians.