I think we have been unknowingly bearing witness to what will eventually be looked at as a period in which a significant evolutionary shift took place in the Trump Phenomenon. My guess is that Charlottesville will inevitably be identified as the flashpoint in the subtle, but widespread transformation among the 33% unwavering base of support for Trump from an outwardly-directed philosophical and psychological support system to an inwardly-directed one. I could very well be proven wrong and chances are I will be but I am getting the distinct feeling that the unwavering support of the 33% has altered from a stance of “I know I’m right in supporting this guy because I believe he will do what he promises and the rest of America is not smart enough to get that” to “The Trump that seems to be the problem here can’t possibly be the one I voted for because I’m not that big of an idiot, the rest of America isn’t that smart and therefore the problem can’t really be with Trump, but lies elsewhere.”
Like I said, I could be wrong. Something sure feels different since Charlottesville, though, and it’s got nothing to do with a lack of support among his base.
There is a recognized (and, some even argue, predictable) pattern of psychosis at work in certain types of less oppressive cult situations in which actual physical coercion becomes unnecessary because a significant portion of cult members have become so heavily invested in the collective construction of the image of their leader-figure that rather than admit to having been duped or gulled from the beginning (think Scientology), each new presentation of facts and truth that undermine that image only serves to intensify their devotion because to admit otherwise is far more psychologically damaging…in fact, it is utterly devastating to their self-image.
I still say that Charlottesville was the turning point at which Trump supporters either developed this psychosis or started down the long, difficult path that inevitably ends with admitting they made the most horrifying mistake in judgment of their life. I am now convinced that we have reached the point where those who decided they would rather live with the shame and humiliation of admitting they were wrong rather than follow Trump have all escaped the Waco compound.
Every single one of those who are are left I fully expect to raise a pint of Kool-Aid with a smug smile of satisfaction on their lips as they delightedly watch the world burn from Trump’s metaphorical Jonestown, secure in the belief that quite literally nothing that he ever did was deserving of an apology to anyone.