In the cult of Trump, factual thinking is forbidden – Daily News

Former President Donald Trump raises his fist as he leaves his apartment building, Thursday, Jan 25, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The impression that many supporters of Donald Trump give off is one of unconditional love. Speaking to Trump supporters and watching them talk about him, I get the sense that they are so deeply entranced by Trump that they believe that he actually cares about them, and that he always speaks the hard truth.

It’s so strange, but also deeply familiar. It’s the sort of unquestioning affection toddlers have toward their parents. It’s also the sort of devotion inspired by some of history’s most vicious dictators. I’m not saying that Trump is a dictator, but it’s clear that he’s benefitting from a similar cult of personality.

I’d first like to say that I understand Trump supporters. Many of them believe that America is in crisis. They believe that our open borders are allowing an invasion of unvetted immigrants, that crime is rampant and unchecked, that their traditional values are being replaced by perverted new ones, that Democrats are evil incarnate, and that Trump is the only antidote. If you believe all of that, it’s only natural to support Trump.

So, they’re taking in the evidence about these issues from news sources, and forming the easy belief that Trump is their savior. This sort of thought process only works if one is exclusively receptive to the evidence that fits to confirm that belief. Once one accounts for the evidence that Trump doesn’t care about his supporters or their concerns, the belief becomes unreasonable.

The latest piece of evidence that Trump supporters are refusing to accept is his recent interference with the Ukraine-border deal. Trump rallied Republicans against the deal, making it much likelier that it won’t be made. This is confusing, since the deal contained much of what Republicans and Trump supporters had been asking for: the deal included sending more personnel to the border, setting a threshold on the number of migrants allowed into the country and making it more difficult for individuals to claim asylum.

Why would Trump urge Republicans to reject that deal? The reason is clear — he needs to paint Biden’s administration as one that failed on the border and Trump as the only one to get the job done. He doesn’t care about protecting the border or your job, he only cares about regaining power.

Of course, Trump supporters will say that this is an absurd accusation. On Truth Social, Trump himself wrote, “I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions & Millions of people, many from parts unknown, into our once great, but soon to be great again, Country!” To his supporters, this will be perfect evidence that he does indeed care about securing the border.

However, deals in Congress rarely get one or both sides everything that they wanted and Trump knows this. That’s why one party always has to hold something hostage that is of interest to the other party. Why not take what has been offered and then finish the job once he becomes president? It goes a long way towards what Republicans want and it’s only at the cost of aid to Ukraine — something that is great for our interests abroad. Again, his motivation here is self-interest.

Trump regularly lies to his supporters and, reportedly, thinks they’re dumb. He knew the election wasn’t stolen but lied about it to cling desperately to power. He knows that he can say virtually anything without his supporters questioning it, irrespective of how ridiculous it is.

Regarding Trump’s birther claims against Barack Obama, Elizabeth Spiers, a close employee of Jared Kushner, claimed that Kushner assured her, “He doesn’t really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it.” Of course, Trump supporters will simply attack the source. “His son-in-law’s ex-aide said this? That person is evil and has an agenda.” That’s right, it’s always everyone else that is evil and crazy, never Trump.

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