Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pro-Trumpers Are Just Republicans Doing Their Thing

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Terre Haute Tribune Star, April 21, 2018

To the Editor:

“The pro-Trumpers [Tribune-Star Editorial: Taking the voters' pulse,  Apr 3, 2018], who carried the unorthodox candidate to an Electoral College victory despite losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, are standing by their man. They want him to continue pursuing his current set of policies and ‘shaking things up’ in Washington.”

Nope. Not really. Pro-Trumpism in Indiana is a sadder and deeper problem.

It’s safe to say that most pro-Trumpers in Indiana  are middle-class, reasonably educated, white Americans who are Republicans and will vote Republican for ever and ever. They are not (entirely)  Fox News drones. They are not working class Roseanne Barr wannabes. They are not on the take from the Koch brothers “money is speech” electioneering juggernaut.  And only a sliver qualify as racists and misogynists, the true deplorables in 2016 and now.   

And Indiana’s red state voters are not pro-Trumpers even when they cherry pick from the policies and positions Trump sort of, kind of, pronounced during his election run and since he’s been in office.  In 2016, 1,557,286 Republicans voted for Trump in Indiana. Ask yourself this Republicans:  If you supported Trump the candidate and now support Trump the president, which of the following cherries do you choose to swallow today,  pits and all?  

The Obama birth certificate lie?  Inauguration day crowd size estimates?   The “I Will Build the  Wall” bluster? Mexico will foot the bill for the Wall?  The save steel, sink soybeans tariff war?  Deregulation of environmental protections of the air we breathe and the water we drink? Going it alone on the climate change catastrophe the world faces?  The selling off of our national forest lands and monuments to the highest bids from oil and mining billionaires?  A tax plan that will refund average Joe citizen enough to pay for a one day outing at a local county fair?  A Bush-type war led by John Bolton? And on and on . . .  

And there are also those  Hoosier Republican pro-Trumpers of a religious bent.  They shiver and run away from Trump’s squalid personal life–the three wives, the train of mistresses, the Access Hollywood tapes.  Increasingly they hide in church pews mumbling, “Leave him and his sins to God.”  

Of course, Pro-Trumpers still feel Washington needs some "shaking up." But with Trump’s scattershot  tweets, his daily menu of lies, an oval office in disarray, and a series of impulse  flip-flop policies, foreign and domestic,  it’s hard to say who is doing the shaking and what exactly is being shook.  

So we are forced to face the reality that most pro-Trumpers, Republicans who elected and appear to support Trump today, are just lazy thinkers who have convinced themselves that stubbornness is individuality. Emotionally these passive pro-Trumpers long to live in a  fixed world rather than one that is fluid.  Philosophically, simple tops the complex in all things,  personal and political. Nuance is banished.  Habit rules. 

And so, eyes and minds  closed, a Republican vote is cast and once thinking, conservative Hoosiers, despite denials from many, become “pro-Trumpers.”  

Will pro-Trumpers ever be open to the path of  golden “compromise” the Trib Star editorial pleads for?  Will Lee Hamilton’s hopeful advice [Trib Star, April 8, 2018] to voters and politicians to be  “ prepared to adjust, compromise, and improvise in order to move policy in the direction they’d like to see it go” come to pass?  Not with Trump in the White House and his lock-step Republican enablers controlling Congress.

Gary W. Daily