Trump destroys everything & everyone he touches- even (and perhaps especially) his allies (as eloquently noted by Josh Marshall). He makes them debase themselves in a humiliatingly familiar pattern. He is currently doing it to his supporters- those who voted for him in the general & remain loyal.
I’ve been thinking about the rise of the Reich. I remember learning in 7th grade social studies (using the Facing History & Ourselves curriculum) about the way that after the war, “good” Germans denied involvement- claiming ignorance of Hitler’s agenda. They sought to distance themselves from the Nazi’s genocidal reign.
But Hitler was initially elected in a democratic election. He won by speaking to the basest resentments of the German people. Hitler emboldened & freed the uncivilized parts of German citizenry. Some were sociopaths, awaiting permission to kill. Others were greedy- happy to take the property & riches of Jews who “disappeared.” (These people were OK with or lied to themselves about the fate of those from whom they stole.) Others were simply happy to have their racism validated & exalted. They wanted scapegoats- people to blame for their struggles and failures. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
After the horror of Trump clears- there will be many Americans who will deny knowledge & complicity. They will protest that they didn’t know. They were following order or secretly opposed. But it will be a lie. Trump exposed the rot that already existed within them- from party leadership, to propagandists to the subjects of endless “think pieces” on the disenfranchised blue collar white Trump voters.
With some of them- it is already obvious- Mitch McConnell is so transparently craven that you can see the rot oozing from his pores. In others it has been somewhat hidden (McCain). But those lovely church going folks who chanted “lock her up” and “Build a Wall” are not simply under a spell. Trump is the black light that exposes the filth on hotel bedspreads-the rot in their souls. It was always there- they chose not to know it.
They will claim they were fooled- that they are truly good people. They only fooled themselves.
Note: There will be many who supported Trump & came to regret it and actually did something to help. They should be applauded- not only for standing up to Trump- but for wrestling the parts of themselves that allowed them to be seduced.