New York Times columnist and MSNBC contributor Michelle Goldberg has a novel theory about Trump supporters: “Maybe They’re Just Bad People.”
That’s the title of her latest column for the Times, in which Goldberg speculates that the energy spent by liberal political analysts trying to explain why intelligent people would support, or work with, President Donald Trump may be wasted, since the simplest explanation — one that may fit the prejudices of Times readers — is that they are just evil.
Goldberg begins her column with a story about an aide to Christian activist Ralph Reed “performing oral sex on a future member of the George W. Bush administration during the 2000 primary.”
Having suitably demeaned Trump aides and supporters with that “slut-shaming” anecdote, Goldberg extends the analogy to those in President Donald Trump’s political circle (original links):
Trump is hardly the first politician to attract self-serving followers … But Trump is unique as a magnet for grifters, climbers and self-promoters, in part because decent people won’t associate with him. With the exception of national security professionals sticking around to stop Trump from blowing up the world, there are two kinds of people in the president’s orbit — the immoral and the amoral.
In many ways, the insincere Trumpists are the most frustrating. Because they don’t really believe in Trump’s belligerent nationalism and racist conspiracy theories, we keep expecting them to feel shame or remorse. But they’re not insincere because they believe in something better than Trumpism. Rather, they believe in very little. They are transactional in a way that makes no psychological sense to those of us who see politics as a moral drama; they might as well all be wearing jackets saying, “I really don’t care, do u?”
Senator Lindsey Graham, another insincere Trumpist, once justified his sycophantic relationship with the president by saying, “If you knew anything about me, I want to be relevant.” Some people would rather be on the wrong side than on the outside.
Read the full column here.