Will Donald Trump Finally Get His Comeuppance?

Published: September 23, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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Alex Brandon | AP Photo

Is there any Rubicon, despicable, illegal or otherwise, that Trump could cross that would change the hearts and minds of loyalists?

Fox pundit Sean Hannity asked former president Donald Trump about Top Secret, classified documents he took with him to Mar-a-Lago. This was Trump’s response:

“If you’re the president of the United States you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified. Even by thinking about it – because you are sending it to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it.

Rambling on, Trump said, “It doesn’t have to be a process; it can be a process but it doesn’t have to be. You’re the president you make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified. I declassified everything.”

After falsely claiming the FBI’s legal search and removal of boxes of documents was an unwarranted raid, Trump utilizes his go-to response: “It’s a witch hunt.”

Trump has said and tweeted the phrase so often that it has become an impenetrable wall of doctrine in the minds of his most fervent supporters.

Journalist Alice Markham-Cantor cites a 2015 study that examines the “repetition effect,” a process whereby, if someone repeats a phrase often enough, people begin to believe it.

Trump on the Muller Russia/Trump investigation: “witch hunt.”

Trump on the civil suit brought against him and his three eldest children by New York District Attorney Letitia James: “Another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General,” (James is Black).

Trump on Georgia’s investigation into alleged election interference: a “strictly political witch hunt.”

In the small-minded Trump, he is either savior or victim.

Does any of this make the slightest bit of difference to loyalists?

When voters were asked in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, about the favorability of the former president, the country continues to remain tenaciously divided: 44 percent favorable, 53 percent unfavorable.

Regarding Trump’s actions after the 2020 election: 38 percent believe he was “exercising his right to contest the election”; 54 percent believe that “he went so far as to threaten democracy.”

Asked about Trump’s culpability in the January 6 attack, 38 percent believe he had not committed “any serious federal crimes,” 51 percent believe otherwise.

Despite that fact that those who testified before the January 6 committee—Republican after Republican, many who served in the White House—offered evidence as to the former president’s words and actions before, during and after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, supporters faith will not vacate the premises of their minds.

Despite Trump’s removal of more than 300 Top Secret classified documents, and storing them in his home, Trump’s supporters and his obsequiously toxic allies in Congress attack “law enforcement agencies, accusing the investigators of being partisan.”

Why?

Trump is their redeemer, their messiah. Whatever he says, they believe. Whenever he stands before them, arms outstretched, their doubts and suspicions are validated and blessed, while the rest of democracy is praying for a miracle.

Will Donald Trump finally get his comeuppance?

If he is not held accountable, American democracy will be on life support, and Trump supporters appear willing to pull the plug.

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