“I love that man,” he said.
“Who?” I asked.
“The president… Trump.”
“I like his ideas. I like what he has done,” he concluded.
I said nothing. I was stunned. I knew the speaker was a long-time, successful Republican. So, his keeping to the party line, I expected. But it was the “love” part that startled me. I wasn’t prepared for that. Much, if not most of the language I hear about the president is of the very opposite kind.
Then I caught myself. What have I been missing? And on second thought, I had to confess: Trump’s “core” supporters do find their man “lovable." They love his lies. They love his tweets. They love the way he gets by with breaking virtually every presidential protocol and/or rule promoted by the educated elite.
Hillary should have never called them “deplorables.” For Trumpites know themselves far better. They are fully conscious of their attraction to persons who can flaunt the rules and still be Somebody. And they are not ashamed of that attraction.
People who’ve never been Somebodies seem to me to be especially impressed by men like Trump. They appear to identify closely with his irascible ways, as though they see him as the man or entrepreneur they could have been if they had been granted the opportunity.
But the man who told me of his “love” for Trump is different. He is a professional, highly respected, the epitome of decorum—a man who would demand respect in virtually any court in America.
And that’s exactly what puzzles me, how such a man could be so enamored with a president whose conduct he would never emulate in himself, nor tolerate in his fellow professionals. Clearly, my Trump-loving friend is blind to his contradictions.