When talk of a cult of Donald Trump began, no one asked if his followers would be safe. Last Wednesday four of them were killed in the assault by supporters of the outgoing president on the Capitol. The response of establishment Republican, and many others, before the violent images was: “This is not the United States.” And that of the conservatives: “This is not the Republican Party.” Asked about the attack, the magnate’s voters condemn him, but blame the antifascists, the media, the usual madmen …, but not Trump. They call him a “patriot” and reject that members of his party have “cowed” at the last minute. The commitment of its bases seems to be greater: “The people are not going to abandon it.”
With 74 million votes cast in the November election, Trump is the most popular Republican in at least a generation. Never has a president in office achieved such a large number of votes – he achieved almost 12 million more than in 2016. Shooting audiences when he appeared on television, Trump called himself the “goose that lays the golden eggs” from conservative Fox News. This year, Americans voted him the most admired man in the world, according to a Gallup poll. Barack Obama had chained 12 consecutive wins in the annual poll, but in 2020 Trump managed to snatch the top spot from him.
Aurora Tinajero, 72, works for a Catholic and anti-abortion organization in Texas. Since 1973, when the Supreme Court established the legality of the termination of pregnancy, she travels to Washington every March to march peacefully against the regulations accompanied, according to her, by the same people who participated in the rally last Wednesday. “They are family people, religious, good people” who wanted to show their support for the president in the face of the “injustice” of an electoral fraud that was not demonstrated anywhere, he said in a telephone conversation last Friday. For his circle, there were agitators disguised as Trumpists who infiltrated in order to tarnish the president’s name. So does a septuagenarian from Tennessee, who prefers to remain anonymous, consulted on the streets of Washington. “I was there. Most were soccer moms [término para describir a las madres de los suburbios]”.
Tinajero’s support for Trump remains strong. “For very playboy It may have been in his youth, no matter how many marriages he has had and his taste for fame, when he ran for president he did so because he was fed up with the abuse, just like us. That is why we are not going to leave him alone ”, he defends. For her, whoever does not want to see the alleged electoral fraud is because they do not want to “or because it does not suit them.”
Many voters of the Republican value the economic achievements – at least until the pandemic – and do not want to know anything about the supposed socialism that is blamed on the environment of the president-elect, Democrat Joe Biden. Four years ago, Mike Rushton, then 29, had lost his business and left with $ 300 (about 250 euros) to try his luck in Tampa, Florida. Today he has a good job in the construction industry and his own home. “I voted for it because my biggest fear is that they will close the economy again. My wife is pregnant and I need to work, ”he says over the phone. He considers himself a moderate Republican, but feels that his ideology no longer has a place in current politics.
“Our country was divided before Trump and now it has only gotten worse,” says Rushton, who holds both the president and Democratic leaders responsible for the situation. He celebrates the general condemnation of the violence on Capitol Hill, but criticizes that this consensus was not seen in the riots that took place during the racial protests. “They said they were peaceful, when they saw buildings burning. If those of Wednesday are local terrorists, those of the summer also ”, he postulates. Reniol Rodriguez, a 79-year-old Cuban who believes an anti-fascist group infiltrated the congressional riots, says his community supports Trump because Democrats are surrounded by “a lot of real communists, not socialists.”
FiveThirtyEight measures the popularity of presidents throughout their term. Since the attack on Capitol Hill, Trump’s approval rating has barely fallen, now standing at 41.9%, while disapproval has reached 54%. However, that support is already weak compared to his last predecessors at the end of his term. During his four years in office, he went through worse times. One of the lowest was at the beginning of 2019, when the partial government shutdown was serving five weeks due to the stagnation in the federal budget negotiations. Trump insisted on requesting money to build the wall with Mexico, which the Democrats refused to fund. Finally, the president lost the battle and that fence across the border that he promised so much was never raised.
The promises he did keep are what led millions to vote for him. Ignacio Gonzales, 35, born in New York, did not give his vote to Trump in 2016 because he thought that “he was not going to do many things that he said, but in the end he did,” he says by phone. He stresses that the United States did not get involved in any new war and that for someone anti-abortion like him, a lot of progress was made. “And it is good that for a period of time we focus on the motto America First,” he adds.
Gonzales believes that Republicans took advantage of the Trumpistas’ frustration by making them believe that they could turn around the results last Wednesday in Congress, when it was something that “did not make sense.” He reproaches the Democrats for trying an impeachment process in less than two weeks: “It’s quite a show.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.