Trump’s Legacy: Voters Who Reject Democracy and Any Politics but Their Own
The sight of a violent mob inspired by President Donald Trump smashing its way into the Capitol was more than just a shocking spectacle. It also highlighted one of the most dangerous parts of Trump’s legacy: the disbelief in democracy that has metastasized among many of his supporters.
While the turmoil has divided Republican officials, there are few signs of division among these voters who fervently back Trump. In interviews earlier this month, they expressed sympathy with what they said were the motives of the mob: to stop the counting of Electoral College results in Congress, under the false premise that widespread fraud had deprived the president of reelection.
The adherence of Trump’s base to his groundless claims of a “sacred landslide” victory and their rejection of a routine constitutional process — a position abetted by 147 congressional Republicans who objected to certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election — suggests that a core part of the Republican Party is dead-set on rejecting the legitimacy of any politics or party but their own.
In the interviews, Trump supporters adamantly clung to what they called evidence of a fraudulent election, engaged in so-called whataboutism to play down the scenes of destruction in Washington and accused the news media of being overly melodramatic in describing events as a historic inflection.
Since Trump first ran for president, his critics have been predicting that one of his norm-shattering acts would send droves of his supporters fleeing. It has never happened.
For these voters, the lack of allegiance to democratic values seemed to stem, in part, from the shift among many Republicans to imbibing information from sources that offer propaganda rather than news and facts.
Another likely factor that leads to delegitimizing political opponents among Trump supporters is the scorched-earth attacks on Democratic candidates during elections.
Some members of the president’s base said they would view Biden as illegitimately occupying the Oval Office, a further polarization of Americans after years when some Democrats questioned or denied Trump’s legitimacy.
In the view of many Trump supporters, the president was never given a chance to govern; he was besieged from day one by claims of Russian collusion, fierce obstruction of his priorities and, ultimately, an impeachment.
文／Trip Gabriel 譯／陳韋廷，核稿／樂慧生
川普選舉前後不斷播下懷疑大選合法性的種子，delegitimize即形容他此項作為，字意為「使失去合法性」，即to remove the legitimate status of。
首段片語smash into指「闖進」，同break into，play down是把嚴重事情淡化。play up正好相反，指「誇大」。