Who are the supporters of Trump’s behavior?

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

Fran McNeely

On January 24, the Star printed a letter to the editor I wrote with the headline of “Moral clarity.” For the sake of continuity in this opinion piece, I want to restate some of those thoughts here.

“On Friday, January 5, at a campaign event, Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden for his stutter. Every time Trump becomes a mega bully, you have the hope this will be the last time. This behavior is what gets children placed in time out, teenagers sent to the principal’s office, military personnel discharged, and employed adults fired.

Why would we tolerate this behavior in a presidential candidate and nowhere else?”

Then I read an article on March 11 in the Washington Post written by Lauren Weber and Carolyn Johnson, entitled “Trump Mocks Biden’s Stutter Again,” and I was even more flabbergasted. Outraged because once again, most of the people in his audience at a campaign rally in Rome, Georgia laughed when Trump made these remarks. This is scary stuff. Anyone who does not think this is scary does not understand mob behavior, cult followers and where it might lead us as a nation.

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And yet, I do not want to believe most of these people are also bullies and bully enablers. Some of these people, in order to excuse their behavior, say Biden is faking his stutter; false theories circulated by conservative media. This is a disability, not an act. Do people really believe someone would fake an obvious war injury? That Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, is faking his need for a wheelchair? That Gabby Giffords is faking her aphasia? So why would our President, someone who needs to be an effective communicator, fake this type of disability?

If you are reading this opinion piece and are not appalled by former President Trump’s behavior, or even worse, believing the rumors that President Biden is faking it, I would ask you to take a minute to look inside and ask yourself why you feel this way? What is motivating you to support this person? A person whose behavior might turn on a dime to decide, for some reason, you are not one of his loyal supporters or that there is something imperfect or weak about you. And we know plenty of people in Trump’s former circle who have had that fate befall them.

I welcome comments from Star readers who might have been one of those cheering on the former President to explain this to me and other Star readers. I often read in this newspaper that those on the right, Republicans, and conservatives, are not given ample opportunity to speak their truth, to voice their opinions. Please, help explain to some of us your defense of this behavior.

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Fran McNeely is a former medical librarian, business owner, retired employee of the Pima County Attorney’s Office and active community volunteer.

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