How screwed up are Republican voters? That question may seem unnecessary to anyone who has been watching the GOP primary campaign this election season. It began with seventeen candidates, most of whom never had any hope of success, and some of whom were just plain delusional. And as the field narrowed, the remaining candidates represented the worst of the party’s fringe element. And that’s not even counting Donald Trump.
What really makes the Republican Party a fall-down laughing stock is something that was revealed in a new poll from the New York Times and CBS News:
“Alarmed by the harsh attacks and negative tone of their presidential contest, broad majorities of Republican primary voters view their party as divided and a source of embarrassment and think that the campaign is more negative than in the past.”
That’s right. Sixty percent of Republican primary voters said the campaign had made them feel mostly embarrassed about their party. The reasons they cite are exclusively associated with the grotesqueness of the Trump campaign: his boorish, unpresidential demeanor, lack of substance, and advocacy of violence. And yet, 46% say that they favor him to be the party’s nominee, twenty points higher than their next choice, Ted Cruz. In fact, half of all voters said they would be “scared” if Trump were elected president, and another 19% said they would be “concerned.” And their concern would be justified, not just because of his unfitness to be president, but because both Clinton and Sanders hold double-digit leads over him in head-to-head match-ups.
So Republican voters are saying that they want Trump to be president despite the fact that they are embarrassed by him as a candidate and afraid of the prospect of his presidency. What sort of sickness would cause people to make such contorted decisions about something so important? Whatever it is, it is the reason that I said way back in September of last year that Donald Trump is just a symptom, Republicans are the disease:
“The fact that his hateful idiocy has caught on with a significant faction of the Republican electorate isn’t his fault. Trump’s support isn’t coming from the back seat of his limo. There are actual voters lining up to align themselves with his noxious brand and without them he would be an asterisk in the polls.”
What’s truly frightening is that so many Republicans are willing to support someone that they affirmatively find embarrassing. The results of this poll should be a source of ongoing concern for the health of our democracy. We probably won’t know until July if Trump actually becomes the GOP nominee, and he may be dumped by party insiders at the convention. But it will be hard to wipe off the stink he has attached to the party and, even after he inevitably flames out, the ignorance and bigotry that are the hallmarks of his campaign will remain. The cult of Trump isn’t new. It’s just the latest incarnation of the Tea Party and the Fox News Church of Right-Wing Crackpottery.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
One last note, if it makes Republicans feel any better, most Democrats are also embarrassed by Donald Trump. But they’re also embarrassed by Republicans who would still vote for him despite their embarrassment.