Why 41% still support Donald Trump?

One of the consuming questions in my mind these days is why 41% still support Donald Trump? The site FiveThirtyEight has been reporting for almost all of Trumps’s presidency that his base is 41% of American voters.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are obvious enemies of environmental progress and of fixing climate change in America. But most Americans believe climate change is real and that it is man-made and that I needs to be fixed.

Here is a little evidence for that statement.

In November of 2018, The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago conducted a national survey of 1,202 adults to explore Americans’ views on climate change, carbon tax and fuel efficiency standards.

This survey reported that “seventy-one percent of Americans say climate change is a reality, and most think human activity is primarily responsible, while only 9 percent say it is not. Nineteen percent are unsure. Among those who say climate change is happening, 60 percent think it is primarily caused by human activities.”

The report goes on to say that “Americans who accept that climate change is happening want the government to address it. Forty-four percent support and 29 percent oppose a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taxing the use of carbon-based fuels.”

So, if all this is true, why does Trump continue to have so much support among Americans when he so obviously favors an environmental position that will harm everyone? Why do 41% still support Donald Trump?

An article in the New York Times on October 20, 2019 throws some light on this question. The article is by Darlena Cunha, a freelance journalist and a professor at the University of Florida. The article is “How Florida Republicans are talking about Impeachment.” There is a link to this article at the bottom of this article.

Ms Cunha is not only a journalist and a professor, she is also a mom. And the other day she was sitting around in a park with some of the other mom’s who were watching their kids play. She says that as these moms talked, she was surprised by some of the comments she heard.

Storm light on road to a horse pasture in Teton National Park.  The Tetons are in Teton County in Wyoming.   Interestingly, Teton County is quite liberal.  57.9% of Teton county residents voted Democrat in the last presidential election, 31.1% voted Republican, and the remaining 11.0% voted Independent.  In Teton County only 31% voted for Trump.
Storm light on road to a horse pasture in Teton National Park. Approaching storm.

During a discussion of Trump’s actions in Ukraine, the mother of one of her child’s classmates said, “Oh, I don’t care about that, I’m just glad he’s standing his ground during this witch hunt.”

Another Mom said, “I work hard. I don’t want the government giving my money away to people who don’t.”

And a third Mom said, “It’s one thing to need help, but so many people scam the system. Why should they get away with that? Having kids just for the welfare, using food stamps for steak and beer, finding every excuse not to work, and then I have to carry them with my tax dollars?”

Ms Cunha was quite surprised to hear her fellow moms using phrases that were so obviously right out of Fox News. She was especially startled to hear such over-used cliches that Republicans have used ever since the days of Reagan. And particularly when most polls were showing that the majority of Americans favored the impeachment of Mr Trump.

And then she remembered that most Floridians were Republicans and most Republicans were still against impeaching Trump and these moms must be Republicans. But how could anyone, even Republicans, continue to side with Trump when he was so obviously not on their side? How could 40% still support Donald Trump

Trump had abandoned America’s middle class farmers, he had given the richest men in America huge tax breaks while millions of middle class Americans were losing their jobs and homes and even their cars. And he was so obviously guilty of bribing the leaders of a foreign country to verify a conspiracy theory that many of his advisors had long ago tried to tell him had been debunked months ago. The question still keeps coming up: why 41% still support Donald Trump?

Meadow in Teton National Park
Meadow in Teton National Park

Simple, says Ms Cunha, these middle class Moms identify with Trump. She puts it this way.

“Working-class Republicans in Alachua County, Florida, see Donald Trump as a white businessman who made a lot of money. They like to think that could be them. The only thing standing in the way of achieving that dream, they tell me, are policies that elevate people of color, immigrants and poor people without health care. My neighbors misidentify what is holding them back, but they don’t want to correctly identify the actual problem — corporations, billionaires, white privilege, late-stage capitalism — because they hope to be part of that world someday. They think they have rightfully earned it.”

“Florida Republicans appreciate a man who has helped himself, who can boil talking points down to the black-and-white, easy delineations of fair and unfair. The more investigations and allegations leveled against Mr. Trump, the more fiercely they cling to him. He is being treated unfairly, they think, just like they are. He will understand their plight and help them.”

“In their eyes, Mr. Trump is a patriotic man doing the best he can, and those who go against him are traitors to the country. They see the Democratic Party as desperate, willing to do anything to take the president down. They fully believe the conspiracy theories Mr. Trump spins on Twitter — from the birther movement to wind turbines causing cancer and everything in between. They subscribe to the “witch hunt” mentality he pushes forward.”

Bosque del Apache Wildlife area in New Mexico.  Contrary to what many Republicans believe, our government does many worthwhile things as all the wildlife areas in America prove.
Bosque del Apache Wildlife area in New Mexico.

“What Democrats see as self-pity and grandiose posturing, working-class Florida Republicans see as a man outspokenly demanding his rights in a way they wish they could.”

All of this depresses me more than I can say. To think that good people all over American are so easily mislead by Fox News and Donald Trump and the Republican Party seems very sad to me. Why do 41% still support Donald Trump?

And it makes me fear that the upcoming 2020 presidential election will not go well for the Democrats. It seems that nothing will convince the Trump base, the 41% of American voters who believe that Trump can do no wrong, that he really doesn’t have their welfare at heart.

And then there is the fact that Trump is gaming Facebook and Google to convince all Americans that he is their friend. The militarization of social media is rapidly becoming the most important factor in contemporary politics all over the world. And Trump is now far ahead of the Democrats in this endeavor.

But, in my opinion, definitely not all is lost in the upcoming election. For one thing, according to the most serious polls like Nat Silver’s, Trump’s popularity is at only 41% of all voters. If there is a large Democratic turnout in the 2020 election, Democrats have a good chance of winning.

True, the Republicans, due to their gerrymandering efforts, can lose the popular vote by as much as ten million, and still win the election in the electoral college. But if enough Democrats turn out, as it looks like they will, they very definitely can still win the election.

Another factor. It looks to me like Trump will not be able to add any more voters to his base than he already has. It looks like he has already convinced everyone he is going to convince. It doesn’t look to me that Trump will be able to expand his base enough to win the election. And with only 41% of the total vote, he doesn’t have enough. And the Democrats are now energized enough to turn out in large numbers.

So, it looks to me like the Democrats still have a good shot to defeat Trump in 2020. For the sake of the earth and the environment and all of us, even all the Republicans in Florida, I sure hope so.

But my question still keeps bugging me. Why do 41% still support Donald Trump?

More information on this subject

Opinion | How Florida Republicans Are Talking About Impeachment

Opinion | In the Land of Self-Defeat

Is the Public Willing to Pay to Help Fix Climate Change?

White Egret in Everglades National Park in Florida.  In spite of the fact that almost all Americans use and approve of National Parks. It's hard to understand why 41% still support Donald Trump.
White Egret in Everglades National Park in Florida.
Mountain Goat in Glacier National Park.  How can so many Americans love National Parks and still support Donald Trump?
Mountain goat in Glacier National Park
Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park
Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park

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