The Democrats misread conservatives when they attack Trump
With Trump's second impeachment, Democrats are trying to remove him from an office he has already left and hoping to disqualify him from future office. The odds are against them, but they are doing it anyway. Superficially, it makes no political sense. However, it makes sense when you realize this is the last in a long line of attempts to break the bond that Trump has with those who support him.
For more than five years, every attempt to take Trump down involved trying to sever him from his base. Democrats think the bond is emotional, missing that conservatives do not choose their leaders based on emotion. They choose the people they will support based on facts and reason:
1. The Mueller investigation focused on Russia because Democrats think Trump-supporters still have a Cold War mentality and assumed they would abandon him if he had been connected to Russians. Supporters saw that the facts did not support that he was a Russian sympathizer.
2. The Access Hollywood "Grab them..." tape was an effort to link Mr. Trump to behavior that Christians would hate. They forget that Christians are noted for forgiving past indiscretions when a person has shown a change in behavior.
3. The Ukrainian impeachment was appealing to conservatives' opposition to seeing justice manipulated for personal gain, but conservatives saw that Trump did not manipulate justice and that it was a specific Democrat who gained personally.
4. The emoluments clause attack was an attack on Trump's allegedly unfair business and earning abilities because Democrats thought that would appeal to conservatives' sense of fairness in business. Conservative knew, however, that Trump's businesses had been damaged because he was president.
5. The Charlottesville attack was intended to accuse Trump of being a racist to tar his supporters as racists. Conservatives know they are not racist, whether systemically or by privilege.
6. Not accepting the outcome of an election was to appeal to conservatives' support for legal processes, but the evidence quickly began to accumulate that maybe there was a problem with the process.
7. Democrats used a pandemic to make Trump look unscientific and dangerous. Conservatives, however, examined the sometimes contradictory information that was coming out and couldn't fault Trump.
8. The Democrats tried to sever conservatives' support for the police by provoking in them the fear that they are living in a police state. Conservatives noted that local leaders were supporting the rioters and pushing back against federal intervention — and that Trump was content to avoid turning the federal government into a police state.
9. The latest effort is to make Trump into an insurrectionist, something a conservative would never be. Trump-supporters, though, know that Trump never urged violence against the government and that he offered National Guard troops whom the mayor and congressional leaders did not want. A person does not lead an insurrection by bringing in forces to fight an insurrection.
Trump's supporters remained steadfast. The facts did not support the emotional appeal. They will again fail to break this support that remains because that support is based on evidence.
There is also a ratchet effect that is difficult to defeat. The support for most politicians swings from positive to negative based on the current perceptions and emotions.
The support for Mr. Trump is quite different. His support is a ratchet. He started out fairly low but with a decent base. As he brought people into his camp, most of them had to decide to abandon the person they had been supporting and attach themselves to Mr. Trump.
This new support was not emotional. It was reasoned. Once they made that rational decision, their support morphed into an immovable emotional bond as well. It is that bond that the Democrats do not understand. It is not their model of political support. They understand only emotion without reason at its base.
There are a few politicians who have ratcheting support. Bernie is an example, and it is one of the reasons that the Democrat party fears him and his supporters.
For Trump, every new supporter was a click of the ratchet. It was slow and methodical. The plan was to ratchet the support in the right places for a win in 2016. It worked.
Those clicks continue. By the time of the 2020 election, there were at least 75 million clicks of that ratchet. The Democrats may never understand that those 75 million will still be there at the end because they are there due to facts, not emotion. This will not break that bond.
As long as Mr. Trump remains a political force, the Democrats will be trying to break the bonds with his supporters. This "impeachment" is meant to put a constitutional face on that effort. They cannot break what they do not understand.
Image: Trump's in the way poster. Public Domain.