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Editorials

Does Trump Deserve the Loyalty Given to Him by His Base?

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Does Trump Deserve the Loyalty Given to Him by His Base?

2019-07-31 19:55:221 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump wearing MAGA hat (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

One thing that is both hurting and helping Donald Trump's chances for reelection in 2020 is his loyal base. He needs to keep them, so he makes comments and policy decisions that he knows they want, but in the meantime, he risks alienating those who don't agree with his base. 

There's no doubt there were many who were looking for something different in 2016. Most Republicans, many independents, and some Democrats as well. They were looking for something different than a career politician, and they found it in billionaire Donald Trump.

 

But because he's not a politician, he's being viewed as hurting the country. While at one time there were rumors that Republicans were trying to get one of their own to run as an independent in 2016 just so as not to have him in office, they soon found that with someone who didn't know the ropes, it would be beneficial to have him in office and get a laundry list of things done around Washington that they'd wanted. 

However, there have been many things that have caused everyone to pause, things that have proven to be an embarrassment to the United States. The Steele Dossier says he watched prostitutes urinate on a hotel bed in Russia. He got into a war of words with the North Korea dictator, as he has done with many other leaders, U.S. allies even.

 

He walked back nearly every policy decision of former President Barack Obama, including the Affordable Care Act, the Iran Deal, NAFTA, and the Paris Climate Accord. Just a few months into office, he was already being investigated.  

After a White Supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a rally, Trump claimed there were fine people on both sides. There were stories and reports last year that some of his administrators were trying to overthrow him by secretly recording him.

 

Aside from his policy, or lack thereof, there are questions regarding his personality as well. He lies constantly, so much so that it's just expected. It seems like no one bats an eye that the President of the United States is a bold-faced liar. 

Most recently he came forward with racist thoughts. He's calling out four congresswomen of color and a House Democrat leader.

 

But throughout, Trump hasn't lost his base. He's losing the Democrats who voted for him as well as many independents, and even some Republicans are turning against him, even switching parties, but he has not lost that base. 

Does he deserve the loyalty of his base? And what would it take to lose his base? It doesn't seem there is much he can do wrong in their eyes. And in fact, even before he was elected he suggested he could shoot someone on the corner and still retain their support.

 

No matter what he says or does, there are Trump signs waving, MAGA hats in every crowd, and of course, chanting. His base loves to show their loyalty by chanting. In 2016 they chanted "build that wall" and " lock her up." This year they are chanting, "send her back." 

Yet, for all that loyalty he commands, he has none. He turns out aides and officials quickly. Once they disagree with him, they are out, replaced by someone who will be loyal.

 

He became upset when his attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation. He wanted the FBI director to end the Russia investigation. He tried to get the White House counsel to fire the special counsel would was conducting the Russia investigation. And now that many of those individuals are gone, he won't let them testify before the House committees, insisting that they ignore congressional subpoenas.  

So this goes back to the original question: does Trump deserve the loyalty of his base? He has shown that he won't be loyal to anyone else, but they continue to support him, wear his headgear, and chant for him, no matter what he says and does.

 

Trump desperately needs that support moving into 2020. He needs to keep making decisions to keep them showing up for him. Just as illegal immigration was a cornerstone of his message in 2016, he's making racism a cornerstone in 2020. That's what his base seems to thrive on, and he knows it. 

But are these poor decisions, aimed at keeping his base, going to cost him the support of those outside his base? He can't win on his base alone. A recent survey showed half of the voters believe he's racist.

 

He needs to walk a tightrope for that support, and he's shown numerous times his bone spurs do not know how to walk on a tight rope. His base will continue to be loyal, but what will he do to try and attract those who aren't loyal to him to get their votes? 

Those who are not loyal to Trump have their eyes wide open going into 2020.

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