It’s not every day you’ll see me say Donald Trump was right about anything (mostly because he rarely ever tells the truth), but when he called his supporters mindless idiots who’d support him no matter what he does — as painful as it is for me to say — he was absolutely right.
It happened on January 23, 2016 when Trump was giving a speech at one of his campaign rallies. It was that day that Trump proudly boasted that his supporters were so naive and brainwashed that they’d support him no matter what he did, even if he committed murder:
I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.
A few days later, he doubled-down on his belief, this time pointing out how easily manipulated his supporters are:
You know, if it [a campaign rally] gets a little boring, if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, ‘We will build the wall!’ and they go nuts.
Made within about a week of one another, those were statements where Trump clearly admitted that he knows his supporters are easily manipulated lapdogs who will bark on command.
This is why I’ve told Trump supporters that I’ll stop calling them stupid just as soon as the “president” they so enthusiastically support stops treating them like they’re idiots.
Say what you want about Trump — and there’s plenty to say — but the man knows his supporters. He built his entire campaign on what seemed like one of the most obvious strategies I’ve ever witnessed: pander to the top comments on conservative websites, blogs, and social media posts.
After most of the country cringed when he launched his campaign by calling most Mexican immigrants “rapists and criminals,” conservative voters rushed to his side. When he made vilifying Muslims a large part of his campaign, the support for his candidacy only grew. When he made building a wall a central part as to why people should vote for him, millions of his supporters all across the country, as Trump said then, eagerly chanted “Build that wall!”
Well over two years since Trump launched his campaign, what we’ve seen is that, no matter how incompetent, shameful, or vile his behavior becomes, Trump’s supporters never turn on him. He’s belittled POWs, attacked Gold Star parents, bragged about being a sexual predator, praised Russian tyrants, attacked the credibility of U.S. intelligence agencies, and downplayed the horrific nature of white supremacists, the KKK, and Nazis — yet none of it’s mattered.
So while Trump’s lies have been (and continue to be) well documented, I think it’s time we all admit he was proven right about the one thing that, in the end, probably turned out to be the biggest key to his success.