The other day I told one of my editors that I felt Donald Trump could come out tomorrow and fully admit that he colluded with Vladimir Putin and the Russian government in a direct attempt to undermine the 2016 election to help him defeat Hillary Clinton, and his approval rating probably wouldn’t drop a significant amount — especially among Republicans.
Just look at a Gallup poll from a few weeks ago that shows a twenty point rise among Republicans who view Putin favorably. In 2015, only 12 percent of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Putin — that number now sits at 32 percent. Nearly one out of every three Republicans has a favorable opinion of a serial-killing dictator who hates Americans and supports a Syrian government that uses chemical weapons on civilians. The same party that idolizes Ronald Reagan for bringing down the Soviet Union (though he had very little to do with it), is now experiencing a massive uptick in support for an ex-KGB agent turned quasi-dictator.
So in the spirit of this absurdity, I felt like I should run down a few reasons why many Trump supporters don’t care if Trump did, indeed, commit treason by colluding with Russia.
1. They truly believe Hillary Clinton being president was the worst thing that could have ever happened: Because so many people bought into these ridiculous conspiracies about Clinton, I’ve met more than just a few conservatives (and even some asinine “liberals”) who truly believe that she’s one of the most criminal, dishonest, and dangerous people living today. These are people who I honestly believe would have voted for Putin over Clinton if given the opportunity.
2. Winning is all that matters to many Republicans: As we’ve seen for years with these asinine “voter ID” laws that are nothing more than blatant attempts to disenfranchise voters who tend not to vote for conservatives (especially minority voters), Republicans are more than fine with “winning” — even if they have to cheat in order to do so. Heck, just look at how many GOP-led state legislatures have been taken to court over their unethical gerrymandering of congressional districts. I know quite a few Republicans who would have no problem cheating to “win” every election. For them, all they care about is winning — even if that means supporting someone who was colluding with an enemy like Russia.
3. Many want to be ruled by a dictator: A few weeks back, I wrote an article about this very issue. We look back on Nazi Germany with disgust and astonishment that someone like Adolf Hitler could come to power based on his beliefs. While it’s true many people were manipulated and blinded by Hitler’s propaganda, there was still a good chunk of those who knew exactly who and what he was, yet supported him anyway. There are people in this country who’d love to live in a country ruled by some sort of conservative theocratic dictatorship. They know what Trump is and what he really wants, and they’re okay with it because he’s vilifying and pushing hate against the same groups of people they hate and vilify.
4. For some, it’s not that they don’t care as much as they’ll never believe he did even if they’re shown indisputable evidence: Unless Trump, himself, came out and publicly admitted that he committed treason (which I really don’t think he’d ever do even if he knew the evidence was overwhelming), many of his supporters would simply never believe that he did. As long as he continues to deny all the accusations again him, while pushing ridiculous conspiracies against any evidence proving he’s a traitor, the majority of his supporters will never believe the truth. It’s why I’ve said Trump’s the leader of a cult more than he is a political party or movement. When it comes to most of his supporters, they never question or doubt anything he says, and he’s their number one “source of information.” That’s why no matter how much evidence they’re shown, as long as he never admits it’s true, they’ll never believe that it happened.
5. Many simply don’t care: This might be a cheap “reason,” but the headline of this article is true — many of his supporters simply don’t care. Think about it, when have his supporters held him accountable for anything he’s said or done? No matter how many campaign promises he breaks, they simply don’t care. They like Trump, believe whatever drivel he feeds them, hate Clinton, and don’t mind cheating to win. In their minds, “winning at all costs” is acceptable. Their main objective wasn’t just to see that a Republican won, but that Trump won. In their minds, if Trump did work with Putin, he had his reasons, so they’re okay with it. Because they believed that Clinton was basically the devil, or that Trump was the only person who could “save America,” they don’t care what it took to help him “win,” even if he needed help from an anti-American serial-killing dictator, just as long as he “won.”
As always, there are clearly more I could have listed, but these are several of the main reasons why I feel Trump supporters simply don’t care if he did commit treason on his way to the White House.