Could someone please explain why support for a twice-impeached ex-president recently indicted on 34 felony counts is increasing? I am perplexed. Is Trump really a stronger candidate than he was before losing the 2020 election? And why don’t Trump supporters react to evidence that Trump planned and led the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol?
Many years ago, a client of my law firm with whom I was friendly was indicted and later convicted of defrauding the federal government of millions of dollars. I was shocked at the news, disbelieving it until details were revealed at the trial. When the time for sentencing came, the friend asked me to write to the judge to ask for leniency. I refused. I agreed with the conviction. I was not comfortable with condoning fraud.
I also do not condone insurrection, tax and business fraud, misappropriation of government documents, obstruction of justice, “hush money” payments to sex workers, and sexual assault. Those are only some of the reasons why I want Trump out of politics. The allegations are also the reason Trump’s continuing support among his base is a mystery to me.
The videos of Trump’s supporters smashing windows in the Capitol and using flagpoles as spears against Capitol Police are repugnant but apparently fail to convince most of Trump’s “base” that his involvement in the crime disqualifies him for public office. Still, what about evidence that Trump sexually assaulted—raped—E. Jean Carroll in a changing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York many years ago? Ms. Carroll says Trump followed her into a changing room and assaulted her.
A court in New York is expected to find that Trump more likely than not raped Ms. Carroll and award her damages in the civil case. (The statute of limitations precludes a criminal action being brought against Trump.) Mr. Trump, as usual, denies the allegations and has suggested Ms. Carroll is a politically motivated, publicity-seeking liar hoping to profit from the case.
Rape–even an allegation of rape—should be enough to convince people that the accused is a problem. In the case of Trump, not only have 17 other women accused him of sexual assault, but Trump bragged about committing sexual assault on tape (the infamous 2005 Billy Bush tape released shortly before Trump’s 2016 election). And what about the disgusting stories of Trump walking into changing rooms at the Miss America pageant, which he owned at the time, so he could see contestants in various stages of undress?
Trump’s sexual history is disgusting. So why haven’t the sordid details of the E. Jean Carroll rape shocked his followers? That is what I want to know.
Trump will go down in history as a liar. He is likely to be convicted for felonies that involve lies. He is the author of the “Big Lie” that he won the 2020 presidential election, and he has lied about thousands of other things ranging from how wealthy he is to how many people attended his 2017 inauguration, to how he escaped service during the Vietnam war. My question is why anyone would believe Trump when he suggests that Ms. Carroll is lying about getting raped?
Given that the details of the Trump rape case are now out, it appears unlikely that even a loss in the case resulting in a multi-million dollar payment to Ms. Carroll will cost Trump political support. That is tragic.
I remain hopeful that a combination of Trump’s other problems will persuade him to drop out of the 2024 presidential race before the Republican convention next year. (Both Craig Fuller and Al From predicted Trump will not be the party’s 2024 nominee in The Spy’s From and Fuller video posted in the April 27 edition.) Among Trump’s “other problems” are the virtual certainty of indictment for election interference in Georgia and a multi-count indictment in Washington for crimes associated with January 6, 2021, and related efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Let us hope From and Fuller are right.
Until 76-year-old Trump retires from politics, I will continue to try to understand the psychology of his followers. Political science will benefit from a detailed study of the rise and fall of Donald Trump. I do not want to author that book, but I will read it.
Trump is a mistake that America cannot afford to repeat. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, and other subjects.