Trump’s Cross to Bear
or why cross people can’t bear him
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
January 22nd, 2023
It’s not clear why Donald Trump decided to start attacking the Christian evangelicals who had been the backbone of his support. Perhaps it was Trump’s well-known propensity for shooting himself in the foot. Or perhaps it was because he always regarded the evangelicals as idiots and had an unguarded moment. He does that a lot, recently furnishing prosecutors for a motive for stealing all those classified documents (he apparently was looking for evidence to support the ludicrous “crossfire hurricane” election theft conspiracy theory). When his lawyers got fined nearly a million bucks for frivolous abuse of the legal system, he promptly withdrew another, similar case against Hillary Clinton et al, a tacit admission that it, too, was frivolous and would be seen as a waste of the court’s time. He does that a lot, too.
But I suspect that it’s mostly because the evangelicals have been souring on him. The flock are finally noticing that he isn’t really the second coming of Christ (and yes, a few of them literally believed that) and in fact, he might not be all that godly at all (paging Captain Obvious!). The evangelical leadership, safely inured from such inconveniences as faith or belief, saw that not only was Trump’s power slipping, but he was dragging the entire evangelical movement down. Yes, the evangelical movement had always been viewed from outside with a mixture of pity and disgust but that didn’t bother the leadership as long as their political stock remained firm. Now that it isn’t, it suddenly bothers them a lot.
The blob squad, the vicious biblical demagogues who hilariously characterize themselves as ‘pro life,’ have lost a certain amount of interest in the presidential race. They only supported candidates who promised to put anti-choice zealots on the courts, and Trump obliged them, giving them what they wanted. Now, they have a brighter fascistic zealot to worship: Ron DeSantis, who is intent on getting rid of all that “individual liberties” and “personal freedoms” shit and make the right people safe in the arms of Jeezus. At a recent blob squad convention, DeSantis outpolled Trump for President by about 54% to 20%. After all, he’s most likely to destroy women’s rights and keep the ‘lower races’ in their place.
Without the zealots, Trump is going nowhere. He didn’t have a prayer in ‘16 or ‘20 without them (and in fact lost the popular vote in both elections anyway) and even if he stays out of jail, he won’t have their support in ‘24.
Sic transit gloria mon dieu.
The MAGA crowd are evaporating, as well. That decline began the evening of January 6th, 2021, when the implications of what that mob in Washington were trying to do started to sink in with those followers who weren’t completely nihilistic zombies. That unease has slowly snowballed since, with the January 6th Select Committee erasing any and all doubt that these were not just enthusiastic Trump tourists agitated by dark AntiFa forces. Or that Trump didn’t really mean to have Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi hanged for daring to oppose his attempted coup.
As the legal system closes in on Trump himself, the legal penalties his hirelings and supporters face have sharply increased of late. A lot of the defendants haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory, offering excuses that are ridiculous on the face of it (Just wanted to go to the bathroom and somehow wound up with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk) and some are just cowards. A lot of them blamed Trump for misleading them into their predicaments.
Then there’s the matter of the sorts of people who have infiltrated the Republican party and turned it into a grotesque unintentional parody of the Sturmabteilung, Hitler’s brownshirts. While a lot of that indisputably preceded Trump (Newt Gingrich did much to create the present face of the GOP) he has encouraged and empowered the likes of George Santos (or whatever the hell he calls himself) and Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Lauren Boebert.
Then there’s Trump’s basic personality. We got a sample of that just today. There was a horrible mass shooting in Los Angeles at Monterey Park, where ten were killed and ten more wounded when someone attacked a Chinese New Years’ party. He wrote on his fake Twitter, “10 dead in California shooting, horrible gun wielding ANTIFA protest against our great police in Atlanta – Nothing will happen to them despite night of rage and destruction.” Yes, he really compared largely peaceful (and unarmed) protesters to a gunsel who massacred innocent people. He went on to say things like that wouldn’t happen if he was president, even though many of the nation’s worst mass shooting DID happen during his four years in office. But he was too busy trying to get the Army to teargas peaceful protesters in front of a church he was using as a stage prop.
A lot of people, myself included, believe that at this point, to support a man like this means you are utter filth yourself. And that view, increasingly, is becoming widespread, and Trump supporters are finally realizing that not only are their views unpopular, but many people see them as vile and anti-American. Yes, even the evangelicals, who pride themselves on being cruel, disagreeable and anti-American in the name of Christ.
Unfortunately, this crowd is impervious to the concept of “a learning experience.” Some other opportunistic demagogue will come along for them to glom on to. Church of George Santos, anyone?