Not the average, run-of-the-mill low-information or misinformed Trump supporter, but those in the political, media or donor limelight. For ease of understanding, I have broken it down into several categories and some people end up there for different reasons. There may also be overlap in some instances, but they are not listed here. In the interest of dumbing things down a la the Trump strategy, anyone can land in only one category.
The Truly Duped
This can actually apply to any Trump supporter, but is reserved exclusively for Jerry Falwell, Jr. His early backing and continued staunch support gave Trump’s reincarnation as a conservative Christian an undeserved stamp of approval.
Although any Trump supporter can end up here, I reserved it for members of the donor class. It includes Sheldon Adelson. Trump’s campaign rhetoric about Israel should have led Adelson in the opposite direction, but like so many others, his excuse is “he’s our guy now.” Venture capitalist and libertarian Richard Thiel plans to go to Cleveland as a delegate for Trump after donating to Carly Fiorina- the woman Ted Cruz picked to be his VP. And finally there is long time GOP donor Stanley Hubbard taking a “so what?” attitude now after giving thousands to the Stop Trump effort earlier.
The Not So Crazy After All
This group includes some people whom the mainstream media dismissed as crazy or delusional, or who were attacked at one time by conservatives here and elsewhere. The first is Glenn Beck who is perhaps the one person who consistently saw through the absurdity that is Donald Trump. This next entry has taken a deserved beating on these pages, but has sort of redeemed himself with steadfast opposition to Trump…yes- Lindsey Graham. Another one pilloried on the Right was/is Jeb Bush, but his opposition to Trump is proving that even HE is a better alternative. Last but not least is another one who took a worse beating on these pages than the others combined- Ron Paul. OK- maybe he really is crazy, but he does oppose Trump.
The Really Crazy After All!
We can excuse Bob Dole, a failed presidential candidate has-been, bordering on senility or too much Viagra. But we cannot excuse renewable energy nutcase T. Boone Pickens. Then there is House GOP Minority Whip Steven Scalise, but his support for Trump is understandable since they both share the support of KKK member/leader David Duke. We always knew that Susan Collins of Maine was a RINO and her support of the ultimate RINO is not surprising. And while some were singing the praises of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, he was one of the first members of Congress to openly endorse Trump.
Then there are the media crazies like the genuine human form of the insect known as a walking stick- Ann Coulter. Never liked her, never will and her early and steadfast staunch cheerleading confirmed my dislike. Sean Hannity‘s propensity to shout over those he interviews meshes very well with Trump’s campaign style. And not only is he crazy, but he is also an enabler and that person is Matt Drudge and his Drudge Report.
Of course, this area would not be complete without mentioning the matriarch of America’s favorite political celebrity dysfunctional family- Sarah Palin. She even dresses the part.
THE MEDIA TROLLS
Let’s start with Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. It therefore makes sense that several talking heads at Fox would be on the Trump train. I’m talking about people like Kimberly Guilfoyle, Eric Bolling, and Bill O’Reilly. I’m not including Hannity since his insanity trumps trolls. It is also not surprising that the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal also gave Trump a tepid endorsement.
But perhaps the biggest early booster of Trump was Rush Limbaugh which proves that people who get their “news” from one source are prone to making yuuuuge mistakes!
THE ONES WHO SEEM TO GET IT
He was a flawed candidate and one wishes he had shown the fight and spirit against Obama in 2012 that he is showing against Trump in 2016 and that person is Mitt Romney. A major donor is putting his money where his mouth is- not with Trump and not with Clinton. Paul Singer is doing the right thing- being a good capitalist and building his personal bank account this year. Finally, we have the Koch brothers who likely would have supported any other candidate but Trump. Instead, they will probably divert their donations to races down ticket.
THE FENCE SITTERS
It is understandable that the last two men standing- Ted Cruz and John Kasich– would be in this category. One supposes they are crossing their fingers and saying their prayers that the Trump coronation in Cleveland fails to materialize. Senator Mike Lee, likely out of loyalty to Cruz, is also in this category. Finally, there is Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol who seemed like a #NeverTrump guy, but now is a “never say never” guy. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I put him in this category. And of course there is Paul Ryan and GOP House Caucus chair Cathy McMorris-Rodgers who seem to be hedging their bets.
THE POLITICAL CLASS WITH CLASS
I could find only one person in this category- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker– which proves that most politicians are classless.
THE POLITICAL CLASS WITHOUT CLASS:
Given the overlap in outrageous statements between Trump and Maine Governor Paul LePage, his endorsement of Trump is not surprising. Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Richard Burr of North Carolina have jumped on the Trump bandwagon thus making Missouri a swing state now. Although he can be classified as delusional for saying that backing Trump could be to his advantage, Ohio Senator Rob Portman has placed his once somewhat safe seat in jeopardy. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy‘s seat may be safe in California and his early endorsement lands him here.
Most egregious is the recent endorsement and supporting statements by former GOP candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry. This was one of the guys at the forefront of the #NeverTrump movement. Maybe he needed new eyeglasses and Trump promised a lifelong supply, but for a guy so adamantly opposed to Trump, his 180 degree reversal lands him in this category.
THE POLITICAL CLASS THAT WANTS YOU IGNORE THAT PREVIOUS STATEMENT AGAINST TRUMP BEHIND THE CURTAIN BECAUSE HE IS (1) OUR GUY, OR (2) HILLARY IS WORSE, OR (3) IN THE INTEREST OF PARTY UNITY
There are many to name here and the list will likely fill up further as Cleveland approaches, and afterwards. Let’s start with Indiana Governor Mike Pence who failed miserably in delivering his state to Cruz likely caused by his less than stellar endorsement (hint: next time consult Scott Walker). Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval also earns a spot here as does former Rubio supporter Nikki Haley of South Carolina.
Obviously, since he has a free pass to any Trump golf resort and since they obviously share a tanning bed, John Boehner is in this category. The following Senators are less than enthusiastic “supporters-” Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Orrin Hatch has promised to advise Trump on Supreme Court nominees illustrating the art of the deal. Regardless, that is a scary proposition. John McCain, who was actually insulted by Trump and had his Vietnam War service questioned, supports Trump thus putting even his seat in play this year.
Nobody really cares that Eric Cantor supports Trump, but he does. Dick Cheney supports Trump after some negative comments about the Bush administration from the mouth of The Donald. But, one suspects that Cheney occasionally plays with the devil. Finally, we have Bobby Jindal who might just be seeking the relevancy he failed to achieve in the primaries.
THE BOOT-LICKING ASS-KISSERS
Let’s start with the infinitely inconsequential and highly over-rated Mike Huckabee, the former Governor or Arkansas and two-time failed presidential candidate. Then there is that nice guy…the former pediatric neurosurgeon who as a politician shares much with Trump- incompetence. I refer, of course, to Ben Carson. We have Bob Corker of Tennessee lending Trump foreign policy advice which is a very scary thought. One wonders what Newt Gingrich has up his sleeves but I venture it involves Trump money or a position in a Trump administration.
Finally, we have the quintessential stage prop- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. A lifelong supply of Krispy Kreme donuts apparently sealed the deal for Christie’s endorsement.
THE WHAT THE HELL DO THEY HAVE TO LOSE “SUPPORTERS”
Facing reality, Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin will likely lose reelection this year as they face serious Democratic challengers in traditionally blue states. Maybe they’ll catch some unforeseen break (doubtful) so they have nothing to lose.
Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already one of the most hated Republicans in conservative circles so his endorsement comes as no surprise. Besides- he’s not up for reelection this year. RNC Chair Reince Priebus is out if Trump wins and out if Trump loses so his support too comes an no big surprise.
Finally, I place Marco Rubio in this category only because he is not returning to the Senate. Regardless his “support” has been less than enthusiastic. He is looking forward to sun-filled days at the beach with his wife and kids.
THE TRULY ENLIGHTENED
This group includes the steadfast opponents of Trump because they really understand what is at stake with Donald Trump being the presumptive GOP nominee. I’ll start with columnists Charles Krauthammer and George Will who have intelligently articulated the opposition’s view consistently throughout the campaign. They use words with more than two syllables so obviously your average Trumpette just does not get it.
Erick Erickson, formerly of this website, and Leon Wolf, currently of this website, have also clearly articulated the damage a Trump candidacy and Presidency would do to the country, the Republican Party and conservatism. Too bad more people did not listen.
And finally there is Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Senator and godfather of the #NeverTrump movement. If this man is not one day President, the GOP and the country have surely gone to hell in a hand basket.