A new poll has been conducted by Public Policy Polling has revealed some truly depressing data about voters in the U.S.
If we say that Trump voters are fact-deprived, it is an understatement. The poll was taken after Trump Jr. admitted publicly that he met with Russians to discuss "sensitive info that would help his father's presidential campaign", & released e-mail exchanges regarding the meeting. Even though Donald Trump Sr. had tweeted that his son met with Russians, only 45% of Trump voters think Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians last year to discuss their offer to help his father win the election, 32% are certain there was no meeting at all.
This is how democracies die.
According to the poll, even though Donald Trump Jr. has publicly admitted it, only 26% of Trump voters think the Russian government wanted Trump to win. And 44% claim Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to win. (Putin HATED Hillary, and that’s a leading reason he got involved in the election to begin with.) Again, Donald Trump Jr. already tweeted out the emails he received from an intermediary for the Russians, acknowledging that they wanted Trump to win and wanted to help. Yet that admission by a Trump himself isn’t enough for Trump voters.
Also bizarre, only 13% of Trump voters think Trump’s team worked with Russians to help his campaign. Again, junior already admitted meeting with the Russians for this very purpose.
72% of Trump voters consider the Russia story overall to be 'fake news,' only 14% disagree.
Public Policy Polling refers to this as a certain amount of willful ignorance. But it's far worse than that. PPP polled how Trump voters would feel if he shot someone. (Trump had famously bragged during the campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care.) He was right.
Only 29% disapprove, while 45% approved — without even knowing who he shot or why.
Observing Trump’s incremental train wreck we can glean a view of how bad men rose to power in the past. It’s not just that they slowly, stealthily consolidate power to themselves when no one is looking. It is also the fault of a public who knowingly accepts, or shrugs off, what was previously unthinkable. (Fox News isn’t helping things, either... though this is no surprise, Rupert Mudoch is a friend of Trump)
The truth is the problem isn’t Trump, the problem is America. The Trump phenomenon goes much deeper than a shallow narcissist who never outgrew puberty and simply got lucky at the ballot box. Trump is in power because voters knew what he was, and voted for him anyway. Trump spewed sexism, racism, mocked people with disabilities and openly praised, and even embraced and defended, some of the world’s worst dictators, while repeatedly criticizing America.
And people voted for him anyway.
Though Trump lost the popular vote by a large margin; in the end, the American people didn’t actually choose him to be their president. But he still got far too many votes after everything we learned about him during the campaign. Trump received 63 million votes to Hillary Clinton’s 65.8 million, a veritable ass whooping. But someone as vile, inept, corrupt and unqualified as Trump should have lost by double-digit margins regardless of who he ran against. But he didn’t.
Trump isn’t the only thing that’s broken and incompetent. America is broken too. And a large swath of the electorate is incompetent. The question is whether there is still the will or time to save her.