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If Trump Were a Leftie, Democrats Would Love Him

© AP Photo / Justin Lane Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings on the second day of jury selection at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York
Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings on the second day of jury selection at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.06.2024
If you don’t understand your enemy and their motivations, Sun Tzu counseled, victory will elude you. Part of the reason Biden’s polls are so awful is that Democrats and their supporters don’t have a clue about what is driving Trump and his MAGA movement.
The answer would shock many of them. Republican voters want the same thing as Democrats: a warrior. Republicans don’t much care whether their president or senator or congressman is a decent or law-abiding individual. They just want him to vote for the bills they agree with, and to push like hell to turn them into law.
Evangelical Christians, the bedrock of the GOP base, embodies this seeming paradox. “It is odd,” The New Statesman muses, “to see a man who embodies so many sins—including all seven deadly ones; is there anyone who better exemplifies a noxious combination of pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth?—be so widely embraced by the religious Right. This is a politician who has no home church and can’t name his favorite Bible verse.”
White evangelicals went 84% for Trump in 2020, up from 77% in 2016 according to the Pew poll. And from their perspective, it paid off. Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, a trio of hard-core right-wingers, are why Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion are no more.
If they thought about it, Democrats would realize it’s not odd at all.
Recently I noticed a photo I have of myself with the late Ted Kennedy, liberal lion of the US Senate and perennial candidate for president. Kennedy’s personal life, particularly vis-à-vis women, was deplorable. I knew, everyone knew, about that when I went to work for his primary campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1980, and then when he tried again in 1984. And yet again when I met him at the ceremony where I received the RFK Journalism Award.
I didn’t care.
© Flickr / City of Boston ArchivesSenator Edward Kennedy with Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn
Senator Edward Kennedy with Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.05.2024
Senator Edward Kennedy with Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn
I wouldn’t let my daughter catch a ride in Kennedy’s black Oldsmobile. So what? What mattered to me was not what he did as a private individual but how he voted and championed liberal values.
Many women felt like that. “If you are sympathetic to Kennedy and his politics," Newsweek observed when Kennedy died in 2009, you were “willing to measure the benefits that Kennedy brought to countless people through his politics, and give them proper weight on the scales of the man’s record.”
In 2004, when antiwar leftists and progressives disgusted by the then-popular Cult of George W. Bush and his lie-based invasion of Iraq were at their most desperate for a champion to walk tall, consequences be damned, Kennedy stood head and shoulders above his fellow Democrats. We thrilled as he dared to unleash his outrage against a GOP that hadn’t faced serious criticism since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam,” Kennedy said in one of his many famous speeches. “Truth is the first casualty of policy” when it came to Bush, he thundered. “This is the pattern and the record of the Bush administration [on] Iraq, jobs, Medicare, schools, issue after issue—mislead, deceive, make up the needed facts, smear the character of any critics. Again and again, we see this cynical, despicable strategy playing out.”
Mitch McConnell (R-KY), then the Senate majority whip, blasted Kennedy as “vicious” and “outrageous.”
It is, however, no coincidence that Kennedy’s favorability polls peaked in 2004.
Liberals could sure use a warrior like Kennedy now.
This combination of photos shows former President Donald Trump, left, and President Joe Biden, right. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2024
Trump: Biden 'Doesn't Know He's Alive'
If you can, try to imagine a Joe Biden with many of the same qualities and flaws of men like Ted Kennedy and Donald Trump. Let’s say that we knew for a fact that he repeatedly crept out on Jill with, among other people, a porn star. That he cheated people who worked for him. That he issued truly disgusting utterances, some of it racist.
But, that he was also indefatigably determined to push forward a far-left agenda whether or not the establishment was ready for it—socialized health care, free college, much higher minimum wage, legalized abortion at the federal level.
If you are tired of a Democratic Party that constantly seems to sell itself cheap to the Republicans, you might vote for that kind of Joe Biden.
Alternatively, what if Trump were the same exact person, but a warrior for the Left? Admit it—progressives would love him.
Of course, the real Joe Biden is not that different than the theoretical Joe “Mr. Hyde” Biden I just described—the bad part, anyway. A former Capitol Hill staffer accused Biden of sexual assault. So did other women. Like Trump, Biden credibly stands accused of corrupt business dealings. He launched his political career by defending segregated schools, engineered a racist crime bill that sent two generations of young Black men to prison for minor crimes and made numerous racist remarks.
US President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.03.2024
Over 60% of US Citizens Concerned Over Biden's Mental Capability - Poll
Sadly, Biden isn’t enough of a warrior to justify turning a blind eye to his negatives. If he were, the extreme-right government of Israel would have to look somewhere else for the tens of billions of tax dollars Biden is sending them to help slaughter the Palestinians.
Even so, tens of millions of Democratic voters will do just that this November. Like the Trumpies, the Bidenites are overlooking their candidate’s flaws, not least of which is his alarming mental decline.
Surely liberals should be able to see that, in this respect, they are exactly the same as the Republicans. But, of course, there is a difference. Unlike the Republicans who ignore Trump’s failings, Democrats who put their consciences on silent mode in order to vote for Biden are doing so without any indication that they will ever get anything back in return.
(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. His latest book, brand-new right now, is the graphic novel 2024: Revisited.)
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