Brooks and Capehart on Trump’s guilty verdict and what’s next for American politics

David Brooks:

Well, he tells a story. The story is, they’re out to get you and the system is fundamentally broken.

And that’s a story a lot of people agree with, and a lot of people think was vindicated yesterday. I was very struck by my friends in the Republican Party, some of them Trump supporters, some more Nikki Haley types, I was struck by how vociferous their reaction was.

A lot of them saw this as the equivalent of January 6, that this was the day the justice system was perverted to launch a political attack and the fundamental institutions of society are under threat. And so they are way more fired up than I anticipated.

And these are people from Susan Collins, who’s a moderate Republican from Maine, over to the right. The second thing is, the political effect of this is I suspect it’ll be a little marginal. The people who are supporting him are going to support him. They have discounted who he is. And they buy the basic, the system is out to get you. And this revivifies for that for them.

The people who are marginal — and there are a significant number of people who tell pollsters, I will reconsider my vote if Donald Trump is convicted. But those are not people who pay a lot of attention to politics. They tend to be people who supported Biden in 2020 and now are shifting over to Trump. So they’re low-information, fickle voters, and we don’t know how they will go.

I suspect they won’t go very far. I think the basic system of this story, the basic question of this election is, the system is broken. We need this guy, no matter how big a jerk he is. We need him to take it to the man. And I suspect they will stick around for him.


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