We keep hearing moral reasons for supporting an immoral president, led by opposition to abortion.
They’re excuses. None of them accounts for sticking with a corrupt, incompetent, racist autocrat who threatens public health, national security, and democracy itself.
Abortion? The abortion rate has been falling for decades and falls faster under Democrats. Why it falls faster under Democrats isn’t clear from the data, but if you want to reduce or stop abortions, you’re going in the wrong direction by voting Republican.
The economy? It does better under Democrats, including under Obama vs. Trump, who had slowed down the Obama recovery even before his pandemic bungle caused an economic catastrophe as well as a health one.
And so on. You can still disagree with Democratic policies, of course, but none of the existential threats Democrats supposedly pose is real.
Meanwhile the truth is readily available — including from many of Trump’s senior staff and from Trump himself — unless you refuse to hear it.
So what’s the real reason for sticking with him?
Trump dead-enders need to ask themselves why they need an excuse at all. Might it just be that they like what the excuse excuses? Is the darkness the draw?
This is not to say that Trump supporters are evil — or at least any more evil than anyone else. It’s important not to assign evil to others without recognizing it in ourselves as well. That just provokes more evil, while helping it hide.
It’s human nature to have darkness within us: fear, shame, hatred, greed. Different people will surrender to that darkness under different conditions — especially if they find a leader who offers them license to do so. Trump is doing that now, for people who respond to his particular form of darkness.
It’s also human nature to invent excuses to conceal our dark urges, including from ourselves. Many of history’s worst atrocities have been committed in the name of righteousness.
So, is it really all about protecting the unborn? Or the economy? Or “law and order?“ None of those reasons survives scrutiny.
Maybe the scrutiny needs to turn inward.
As William James said:
Evil facts… are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.