The numbers don’t lie
You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts
Another thing that’s getting tired and old is this whole dead horse we keep flogging about the evils of Trumpism. Some people define it as the slavish way that GOP members who should know better let Trump lead them around by the nose. Others mean the brain dead, Q-Anon delusions that make his base so loyal. They’re two completely different things, but at their base, they’re identical.
Because at it’s core Trumpism isn’t a political movement, it isn’t a national agenda, and it isn’t a religion. What it is, exactly like David Koresh and his Branch Davidians, Jim Jones and his numbskulled flock, and Charlie Manson and his family, it’s a cult. Just like Scientology isn’t a religion, it’s a cult created by sci-fi author L Ron Hubbard.
Which means it’s tailored to appeal to a specific group, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose. And for Trump in 2016, the reasons were threefold. First, ego satisfaction with his huge rally crowds. Second, a branding exercise to prop up his loser properties. Remember Trump had just gotten the boot from NBC for The Apprentice, his sole steady stream of income. And third, fleecing the suckers with campaign donation scams. After all, why pay for taking Trump Force 1 on the road when the campaign donations can do it? And you can say that it worked, but Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, and many people, me included thought that Putin stole the election.
And here’s how you know that Trumpism is a cult. Trump’s 2016 campaign was nothing more than a patchwork of virulent racism, homophobia, sexism, and self aggrandizement. And it worked. But here’s the McGuffin. Most Presidents, after being elected, grow up and appoint a cabinet and administration in order to govern. But not Trump. Instead he appointed a cabinet and administration with the sole purpose of taking his street hustle worldwide. For his own benefit.
Here’s how you know. Because look at Trump’s campaign, which was launched the day after inauguration day, for reelection. He didn’t change a single, goddamned word. The racism was still the same, the homophobia was still the same, the sexism was still the same, and the nonstop bombardment of donation pleas was unchanged. Trump didn’t pivot to the middle, his rallies were like a greatest hits reunion tour for an 80’s rock band. It was not meant for reelection, it was meant for feeding red meat to the base to keep all that long, lovely green flowing in. Trump never believed he could lose.
But here’s the problem for Trump in particular, and for Trumpism as a whole. The numbers don’t match up with an actual political movement, and they never have, from day one. And before I break it down in detail, let me point out that George W Bush also lost the popular vote. But that was when the GOP was still the GOP, with a platform and agenda. Trump has never had any such thing. And as a result;
- In 2016 Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. And here’s where the very concept of Trumpism falls apart at the seams. because a political movement would have ridden momentum. Instead;
- In 2018, almost every single GOP candidate, whether an incumbent or candidate, tried to run as being Trumpier than Trump. And the Democrats flipped 40 seats in the House, and fought off what should have been sizeable losses in the Senate. What happened to the invincible Trump movement?
- In 2020 Trump was back on the ticket again. But as if that wasn’t enough, he hand picked a roster of Trombie candidates for both the House and the Senate to give him what he thought would be a permanent ruling majority, once he finished dismantling democracy once and for all. The result? The Democrats won the White House, maintained the House, and took over control of the Senate. And Trump compounded his humiliation by losing to Biden by some 7 million votes, twice what he lost to Clinton by
- In 2022, almost every GOP candidate on the ballot was religiously married to Stop The Steal! Trump was a washed up loser, facing criminal indictments, but it didn’t matter. End result? The Democrats gained a seat in the Senate, and the GOP barely flipped the House, with an ungovernable majority hamstrung by the Freedom Caucus, the ultimate Trump flamethrowers
The GOP is no longer a viable political party, and they know it. They’re wandering around in the wilderness like the Fuqawi tribe of Johnny Carson fame, and can’t even do simple math. The Trump GOP has lost every election since he first ran, and each time lost by a larger national margin than the cycle before.
Trumpism was created for a very specific purpose, and that purpose was the grift. Look at the numbers. The army that Trump rode to a palsied victory was the largest he would ever control. Because a grift is not a sustainable way to build a political organization, other than the brainless twits who backed you in the first place. But the simple fact that his base keeps shrinking shows that he doesn’t even have a sustainable cult.
There are pundits out there that are starting to whine that convicting and actually imprisoning Trump would make him a martyr to his followers. You know what I say? bring it on! The last time I checked, there’s no such thing as a living martyr. If trump becomes a martyr, it means he’s dead. In this case politically. But since Trumpism could never even get an electoral majority when Trump was around, what does it say for their prospects when he’s wearing an orange jumpsuit? They’ll sputter on interesting to nobody but themselves, especially after Trump’s base crawls back under their rocks once he’s out of the picture.
I will close with this to hammer home my point. In the late summer of 1969, Charlie Manson and his Family committed multiple atrocities on innocent citizens of LA. Manson’s family peaked at somewhere between 60-75 members. in researching an update to his landmark book Helter Skelter, LA prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who put Manson away found that as late as 2002, the Manson family was still alive in LA. It consisted of right around 10 pathetic losers, eight of whom were women. Such is the ultimate end of a cult.