All those patently false statements President Trump has made about – well, all kinds of things? Forget them. The vicious and at times violent words he heaves at his foes? Never mind. His explicitly distasteful statements about women, his disdain for members of his own party, the chaos in the White House, the Russian questions, his still hidden tax returns and his growing list of legislative setbacks? Who cares?
His die-hard supporters are apparently not the least bit concerned. Indeed, in a new Monmouth University poll, six in 10 people who approve of how Trump is doing his job say they can’t imagine anything that would change their minds. Let that sink in: They can’t imagine anything that would change their minds.
When he bragged during the election “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose voters,” I thought it was hyperbole. But now it sounds like, at least with a slice of his base, he was absolutely right. And yet I admit, I find the kind of loyalty expressed in that poll baffling.
Because political history is overflowing with tales of failure, scandal and betrayals from which no party has ever been immune. Great leaders have descended into cauldrons of ignominy, just as weak “also rans” have risen to acclaim. Sure, I know some people have natural faith in God. Some people never doubt for a moment the love of their families. Some have unending trust in their dogs or a heartfelt belief the Phillies are about to bounce back.
I understand that. People can have deep-seated, personal history with those kinds of subjects, experiences on which to base their trust. And I’m not saying the president’s supporters are in any way wrong to stand by their man. It’s a free, democratic country. They have every right. But I find it strange when people expressly say they highly doubt they will ever change their opinions when circumstances can change so easily.
Of course, the poll found that roughly the same number of those who disapprove of President Trump’s performance also can’t imagine changing their minds. And that’s a whole other point of view worth pondering.