As Trump prodded police to abuse suspects when taking them into custody, I shook my head…again…at the cartoonish levels of conservative dogma he repeatedly displays. He’s like the personification of a tractor pull at the turkey hunting club sponsored by Skoal where everyone is wearing American Flag cowboy boots (and if I could just digress for a second, the American Flag is not meant to be clothing. Wear the colors, but the flag deserves more respect).
Once again, I found myself wishing I could give the president some basic lessons in constitutional principles, yadda yadda yadda. But I also kinda smiled a little bit. Because in a lot of ways Trump is the most perfect tool for stripping away all of the GOP’s double talk and obfuscations and just getting right down to the root of why conservatives do things like talk “tough on crime.”
See, Trump doesn’t know the arguments for and against different policies. He just knows what “feels right in your gut.” Stephen Colbert famously penned this as “truthiness.” It doesn’t matter if it’s true, it matters if it FEELS true. And as much as that’s easy to make fun of, it’s actually quite insightful into the way a lot of American voters and their representatives think.
Do you really need a study to tell you that stuffing criminals into cruel, overcrowded, understaffed jails with no services, medical care, mental health support, education or sometimes even safety is going to lower the rates of re-offenders? Of course not. There are, of course, many of these studies. But what drives many right wing voters is that criminals deserve to be punished. They should do HARD TIME. Going soft on them means not be vigilant. Making hard time too easy means there’s no deterrent for criminals.
And Trump’s magic can be applied to other areas as well. Immigrants are committing crimes and taking your job. Forget about all the other arguments you’ve heard out of republican politicians for why we can’t have immigration reform. Turns out, this was just racism after all.
The reason this is beautiful is because you can now argue with the root of the problem, and the GOP has a much harder time making you believe their made up reasons.
Of course, the really scary part is that republican voters either won’t know or won’t care. Eventually it will hit them, right? I mean, in the dystopian futuristic novel, the populace ALWAYS rises up against their authoritarian government, right? It’s just expected. They never write in those novels how the people are too busy watching Duck Dynasty reruns to take up the rebel cause.