If you’re looking for a telltale sign that people are about to reevaluate and/or change their behavior, look no further than when they begin fundamentally changing the rationalization for their behavior – particularly if they no longer want credit for that behavior. When it comes to Donald Trump’s least solid supporters, we’re seeing a subtle, but crucial, shift in their rationale which suggests they’re reaching a breaking point. Allow me to explain.
For the first year and a half that Donald Trump was in office, we saw a familiar pattern on repeat. Trump would do something, or claim he did something, and his supporters would automatically give him credit for it. Did his move produce positive results? Did he even do the thing he claimed he did? None of that has mattered, of course. But when it comes to Trump’s decision to kidnap immigrant kids and lock them in cages, we’re seeing a change in the pattern.
Sure, Trump’s innermost base is cheering him on more loudly than ever for his brutal abuse of these kids. But when it comes to his more casual supporters, a quick check of social media reveals something different: they can’t bring themselves to give Trump credit for it. Instead, they need someone else to be responsible for it. It’s why we keep seeing ridiculous false claims that Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton was the one who started the child cage thing. They don’t want Trump to be responsible for it, because even they know he’s gone too far with this – and in order to continue supporting him, they have to pretend that his child cages are the handiwork of someone else.
When it comes to Donald Trump’s supporters, he has his ghouls – the bloodthirsty monsters who will eagerly be cheering on his every atrocity – and then he has his goons who don’t seem to have any idea why they’re passively supporting him. His ghouls will be with him all the way to the moral bottom. but his goons are already forcing themselves to pretend that his atrocities are someone else’s fault, a sign that they are indeed reaching their breaking point. If he loses them, he’s finished, because Trump’s ghoulish base is too small to prop him up all by themselves.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report