Many of us rolled our eyes in disbelief when Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump said he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and not lose any votes.
Sure, some Americans applauded. They laughed. They cheered. Others of us were, um, appalled.
Then the candidate got elected. Now the boast doesn’t seem quite so farfetched, given the strength of the president’s firewall in Congress against the amazing array of examples of his utter lack of character, his lack of decency, his disregard for the law, his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump’s political base remains wedded to him at some level approaching 40 percent. They give him a pass as he tells Congress to stick where the sun doesn’t shine in search of answers to serious questions about whether the president obstructed justice. They stand and cheer this clown as he hurls juvenile insults at his foes.
They have shrugged as he called the late John McCain a “war hero only because he was captured” by the enemy during the Vietnam War; they laughed as he mocked a New York Times reporter’s physical disability; they didn’t care that he acknowledged groping women; the base didn’t flinch while he denigrated U.S. intelligence analysts’ view that Russians interfered in our 2016 election; they didn’t mind when he attached moral equivalence between Klansmen and Nazis to those who protested against them.
I could go on. You get my drift.
What was seen and heard as a preposterous assertion on the campaign trail no longer can be dismissed. Donald Trump rode that solid base of support to a victory no one saw coming. He is relying on that base now as he campaigns for re-election.
He has endorsed a hideous Twitter message that slanders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she is a drunk.
The base doesn’t care!
One of the many Democrats running for president this time, Pete Buttigieg, recently lamented how Republicans used to care about “character.” They no longer care about that.
They stand foursquare behind a president who lacks character at every level one can imagine.