Trump Never Stops Insulting His Cult Followers

Trump Never Stops Insulting His Cult Followers

Steve Bannon and Matt Schlapp

Image by Media Matters

Supporters of Donald Trump often complain about the "liberal elites" who have disrespected them. It is a feeling of cultural grievance that their idol constantly exploits, both to enrich himself with their donations and to defend himself against his critics.

Whenever Trump finds himself under pressure — in a courtroom, an impeachment or an election — he tells those credulous followers that it is not he but they who are the true targets of the Democrats, the "deep state," the media, the Republicans in Name Only, the Biden White House or whomever. That was how he responded to the first impeachment brought against him in 2019 and that is how he answered the huge $83 million jury verdict delivered against him this week in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case.

Trump makes this demagogic argument in full confidence that the MAGA cult will believe him — and with certainty that they will never realize how deeply he is insulting them.

"In reality they're not after me, they're after you. I'm just in the way," he tweeted when Congress first voted to impeach him. But did that make any sense? It wasn't the MAGA voters who attempted to extort the president of Ukraine, attempting to trade American weaponry for his own political gain (and to frame a political opponent with a phony prosecution).

Surely most of Trump's fans would never consider such a brazen blackmail scheme. Unlike him, they don't have to worry about being impeached or prosecuted; they have neither the motive nor the opportunity to perpetrate the offenses that Trump repeatedly commits.

In the wake of the Carroll jury award, the former president's most devoted associates have adopted the same argument, adding their own frantic spin. Steve Bannon, the convicted fraudster pardoned by Trump in order to keep his mouth shut, and Matt Schlapp, the right-wing activist repeatedly accused of homosexual assault, declared that the verdict foreshadows "the end of America."

On the "War Room" online broadcast hosed by Bannon, Schlapp echoed Trump's baseless insistence that the Carroll lawsuit is a "very coordinated thing" and the product of a "weaponized government" — when in fact it is simply a civil lawsuit brought by an aggrieved citizen. But Schlapp went still further, warning the MAGA audience that the judgment against Trump in favor of the woman he assaulted would portend their own ruin.

What the verdict proves, according to Schlapp and Bannon, is that the government "doesn't just intend to destroy your career and cancel you on social media, they mean to impoverish you and destroy any opportunity you have in the future. ... If these things continue to stand, all of this unconstitutional illegal activity, we've got nothing left, Steve. I mean it's run to the mountains, run to the catacombs time. ... This $83 million — this is just the beginning. All of us will be paraded down this gangplank. We won't have our resources, we won't have our homes, we won't have our livelihood."

Schlapp's panic is perhaps understandable, as he faces pressure to resign the chairmanship of the Conservative Political Action Committee -- a juicy grift -- because of sexual assault accusations that resemble Trump's offenses. And Bannon no doubt feels a twinge of sympathy as he faces continued prosecution by New York state authorities for the "border wall" scam that led to his federal pardon. (Three others involved in that racket went to prison, including a disabled veteran.)

But why would a normal person put any credence in such hysterical rants? There was nothing "illegal" or "unconstitutional" in Carroll's courageous effort to hold Trump accountable for assault, which resulted in a flood of personal abuse against her that included hundreds of death threats. More to the point, only an infinitesimal fraction of Americans has any reason to worry about being held responsible for an aggravated sexual assault - because unlike Trump, few have ever been accused of rape or assault, let alone by dozens of women.

It is remarkable indeed how many of our fellow citizens are willing to be implicated in the sociopathic conduct of the former president, who tells them every day that they are just like him.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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