Author: Jeevan A. Robinson - MNI Media | Date: 21 February 2019
U.S President Donald Trump represents the lie of politics.
Trump surely has been a "figure" these past years.
I find it somewhat of a misrepresentation to call Trump a political figure. For even though he operates within the parameters of political discourse, the man himself has shown he is anything but a shrewd political operative. His brash campaigning style that opted for misdirections and untruths as opposed to substance and clear political clout, signalled to the world that here it is that the United States' choice for President was between an ill-prepared entitled member of the one percent, or a woman whom many simply did not trust, despite her best intentions.
The Trump Presidency has given the media, critics, pundits and comics enormous content over the years.
As Bernie Sanders himself stated during his announcement of his second bid for the nomination as the Democratic Candidate for the U.S Presidency; “We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.”
What Sanders stated, by all means, is nothing new to most who have observed and have had to deal with the more outlandish elements of Trump's style of governance since becoming President. The disgust has been registered widely.
However, as widely as many are flabbergasted by Trump, so too he maintains a strong showing of support amongst his base supporters who see nothing wrong with the way the President operates, by and large.
A recent CNN poll that was done in January during the partial U.S government shutdown had 81% of Republicans approving of the job Trump was doing as President, with only 16% disapproving.
Those numbers speak volumes for a President that is said to be embattled on several fronts; with an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, over alleged Russian interference in getting Trump elected. Coupled with that, Trump was in the middle of partial shutdown that was hurting millions of Americans across the divide when this poll was taken.
By way of comparison, I searched for what the Gallup polling numbers were indicating around the same time as the CNN poll, and what was evident was a consistency in the numbers. The Gallup polling had Trump with an 88% approval rating amongst Republicans in their very own mid-January poll.
I come back to my term as referred to earlier of the "lie of politics". For what we see here is that despite the pressures and the scandals that Trump has been under from the very day he stepped into office, the support for him amongst his key voting block has hardly wavered.
Clearly, there is a debate that can be put forward that 'your base is your base', and they would of course remain constant.
The flaw I would point out in that pretext is that this is a base who in most circumstances would not have tolerated similar display as Trump has shown from a Democratic President. The overt racism and bigotry of Trump has been widely excused and justified over and again by this base.
Remember, this is a man who spoke openly of grabbing women by their privates. Also, it has come to light the hush money he has paid to cover his affairs et al.
Yet, Trump's core supporters and the Religious Right in particular have stood by their man, in light of the contradictions he represents to their stated positions on many of the issues.
Donald Trump himself once stated of his Evangelical base that "they're going to show up for me because nobody's done more for Christians or evangelicals or, frankly, religion than I have."
Is this true? Has he done more for the Christian Right than any other President?
An Al-Jazeera look into this by Ryan Kohls in 2018 revealed:
"About 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, his administration has prioritised, and delivered, on numerous campaign promises to evangelicals, like appointing conservative Supreme Court judges and moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Sixty-one percent of evangelicals say the US is headed in the right direction, according to a 2018 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). In stark contrast, the same poll revealed that 64 percent of the overall public, which includes a majority of other Christian groups, believe the country is seriously off track."
It is also notable that The Trump Administration is filled with Evangelicals to include key figures such as Vice President Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
To justify Trump's clear misgivings in office, one Religious Right member used the Bible to excuse why they support Trump.
"God always used people that had a past, " Joshua Feuerstein told Al Jazeera. "You look at David. He had multiple affairs. Yet, the Bible says he was a man after God's own heart."
"While I know that Trump's past has had moral failure after moral failure, I have no doubt that he is standing on a God-centered, Biblical agenda," he added.
So does that explain it all? That God has excused even more Godly men than Trump during Biblical times, so this then makes all Trump has done and said passable, and fit for governance display?
Perhaps in their minds it does, and to be sure, arguing with fundamentalists of any kind from either an Eastern or a Western culture, can be an exercise in futility. Extremism is not a a condition that favours the darker skinned races as many would have you think. Religious extremism and fundamental practices are heavily planted also across all races and cultural divides.
Trump has exposed politics on a global scale, perhaps unlike anyone before him has done - towards showing that often times many will campaign in defense of and on behalf of the people. However, this in fact may well be a smokescreen to mask their true intent of seeking access to power and the means to control a society's advance with a cabal of close friends and a supporting base that will seek to excuse even the most firm evidence that some leaders are not who they say they are for the people, and in fact their engagement from the start has always been fake and skewed.