NASH COLUMN: How do Trump supporters rationalize his behavior?

NASH COLUMN: How do Trump supporters rationalize his behavior?

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I was completely astounded and disgusted when, during one of his campaign rallies, Donald Trump mimicked a man with the same spasticity and speech impediment, associated with cerebral palsy that my disabled sister had. But I was even more astounded when the crowd at his rally laughed in response. I’ve worked with a lot of disabled children in schools and never once saw another student, no matter how young, make fun of them. Yet there was the future president doing just that. Yet people voted for him.

I’m not surprised at anything he does anymore, but I can’t begin to understand why anyone can still support him. I especially can’t understand how people who claim to be Christians can support a man who has bragged about his immorality and infidelities. They also don’t care that he founded and ran a fake university that took the money of innocent students or that he created a fake charity and used the money to enhance his own business instead of giving it to the veterans and needy children it was supposed to help. At least he’s been legally forced to make some reparations for the fraudulent university and fake charity, but his followers merely shrug at this corruption.

I also can’t understand how people who call themselves patriots can support a man who admitted he believes Russia’s President Vladimir Putin over all of our country’s intelligence sources. They don’t question why he made the translator destroy her notes after one of his meetings with Putin or that he refuses to say what they’ve talked about in phone conversations. You’d think they’d wonder why he acted in Russia’s and Turkey’s interests when he pulled our troops out and allowed Turkey to attack our Kurdish allies — allies who have died helping American troops fight ISIS. Don’t his supporters wonder what Putin is holding over his head?

I can’t understand why his supporters don’t question why he prohibits any of his staff or appointees from testifying to Congress. An innocent person would want all the facts to come out. Trump supporters have no problem with the president’s obstructions of justice during the Mueller and House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment investigations, but I can imagine what they’d have said if President Barack Obama had prohibited anyone from testifying during an investigation, had refused to release documents, or if he’d have lied more than 15,000 times during his first term.

Why don’t his supporters call him out for those lies? They should have known he was lying when he said Mexico would pay for the wall, and China would pay the tariffs he enacted. We’re the ones who are paying, but his enablers say nothing.

Remember when Trump criticized President Obama for the $18 trillion debt that was the result of a bipartisan stimulus plan that lifted us out of the Bush Great Recession? And remember when he said during his campaign that he’d eliminate the debt if he were elected? Well, due to the massive Trump tax cuts and over-spending, on Jan. 2, the national debt hit a record high of over $23 trillion, or more than $73,000 for every person in the United States. What have Republican lawmakers and his other supporters said about that?

I hear comments from Republicans who say they don’t particularly like what the president says or how he bullies people, but they apparently think its fine to ignore it as long as their stocks are making money. I guess they haven’t figured out that he intentionally manipulates the stock market with his endless tweets on tariffs, etc., and I’d bet he, his family and donors are doing quite well because of his manipulation of the stock market, in addition to their big tax cuts.

Now we’re facing stepped-up terrorist attacks from Iran after Trump ordered, without notification to, or consultation with, Congress, the assassination of the second most powerful man in that country. Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo think we’re stupid. On Jan. 3, Pompeo said he did it because “hundreds of lives were at risk” and that we’re safer now. Thanks to the assassination, however, many more American lives are at risk because, naturally, Iran has vowed to, and will, retaliate.

If he was really worried about American lives, why didn’t he order the evacuation of American embassies in Iraq and elsewhere before he ordered the assassination? Could it be because, as usual, this president doesn’t think or listen to experts before he acts?

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is thrilled. Prices of oil skyrocketed right after the assassination, so now those big donors can give even more to Trump and his enablers while we pay more at the pump. When will his supporters wake up and realize he doesn’t care one bit about us?

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 35 years. Contact her at

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