As the arguments continue over whether any of malignant narcissist and fraudster Donald "Individual-1" Trump's cult followers can be persuaded to leave his fold, it's become clear that, after crossing many red lines that would have doomed another politician, Trump continues to have a firm grip on them. As Trump famously boasted in January 2016, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
In recent days, the real possibility of a recession caused by his inept trade wars has been cited for an erosion of his support, particularly in the agricultural Midwest, where the export market for soybeans and other crops has diminished over Trump's actions toward China. There have been anecdotal reports of farmers and small business owners saying that the trade wars have soured them on Trump for 2020, as well as anecdotal reports indicating the farmers are sticking with him. We'll find out over the coming 14 months which is more true.
The Washington Post's Colbert King argues persuasively that Trump's red cap cult is beyond reaching with rational arguments, appeals to patriotism or to a sense of shame:
"Within the ranks of Trump’s 'Make America Great Again' disciples are people who believe he is all that stands between them and an earthly perdition where their version of Christianity is on the ropes. That helps explain why they cheer Trump on when he moves against the LGBTQ community, makes life miserable for “invaders” along the southern border and when he launches ugly racist attacks on women of color, oh yeah, and slurring that black congressman from Baltimore who dressed down a white federal bureaucrat over the treatment of detained migrant children. Put him in his place.Trump is their megaphone for all of the misplaced grievances they've been taught by right-wing demagogues and media over decades. He voices their innermost anger and prejudice, unrestrained by norms and decency. In an interview with Chauncey Devega for Salon, psychoanalyst Dr. Justin Frank discusses the mind of the Trump cultist:
It doesn’t bother them at all when Trump resorts to racist, sexist and religiously intolerant tropes in his onslaughts.
Face it. They helped put — and are now fighting like mad to keep — a prejudiced president in the White House. What does that say about them?" (our emphasis)
"As a kind of superego, the president is the person who says what's right and wrong. Most people's superegos dictate that we cannot go around doing whatever we want. We may have certain impulses and feelings but we know how to resist them because they're hurtful to other people or they're illegal or what have you. Donald Trump gives people permission to do such things, to be unrestrained.So when you hear a politician or pundit talk about reaching across the aisle or making appeals to the hardcore Trump voter, be very skeptical: they've chosen the "dark side" deliberately, and admitting fault or failure isn't in their -- or Trump's -- DNA, even if he shoots them on 5th Avenue.
That is why his supporters love him. Trump does not believe in "political correctness." A person just can't just walk around and attack people or say negative things about people. You have to be proper, thoughtful and respectful. But Trump is saying, "You don't have to do that. I'm sick of being respectful." Because Donald Trump is giving people permission to do whatever they want, that makes him an immoral and amoral leader. Alcoholics drink in order to narcotize their superego so that they can act without guilt. In that way Donald Trump is the ultimate glass of vodka for his followers." (our emphasis)
Once again, the worst thing Trump supporters can imagine is being known for what they are.— A.R. Moxon (Julius Goat) (@JuliusGoat) August 14, 2019
The worst offense they can imagine is accurate criticism. https://t.co/bQB9uZzWv6
(photo montage: Angry red cap cultists at Trump's Nuremberg rallies)