Daily Kos Staff
Wednesday July 04, 2018 · 4:00 PM EDT
In the New York Times' quest to get to the bottom of what makes every last Trump supporter in America tick, we have been treated to endless interviews, loving tributes to downtrodden towns in which nary a non-white person is ever seen, and one particular day when the op-ed pages were turned over to Trump supporters to argue for Trump's genius directly. But this is still not enough, and so Sunday's paper included a zoological analysis from a journalist who grew up among them.
It is meant to be flattering, or at least neutral, but the short version is that the people who have been bleating about "family values" for the last half-century do not actually give a flying damn about family values and never did. It was all garbage from the get-go. While people from "college" or "in New York" or "religiously conservative" or "liberal" or take-your pick all had harsh words for the crooked, lying, adulterous, misogynist trash-heap of a human being, the salt-of-the-earth Trump supporters back in Nebraska could not possibly care less about the bullshit-laden values attributed to them in fawning tributes to the heartland's common clay.
To hell with it all: Go team adulter-crook!
In contrast, almost all of the people I know in my hometown in Nebraska proudly supported him. They glossed over his infidelities and stressed that he seemed to be a good father. They were impressed by his “respectful” sons and admired the success of his daughters.
“Glossed over” is a fine phrase. “Good father” is quite the phrase itself. And this new notion of “respectful,” which apparently consists of “glossing over” his sons’ histories of charity fraud, public attacks on black politicians, and that whole ‘met Russian agents in Trump Tower’ thing, is doing quite the heavy lift.
Reading between the lines, what we have here is a group of people who practice what is known in the rest of the world as aggressive ignorance. You can’t say that Trump’s behavior bothers you if you drive wooden stakes into both ears and swear you didn’t hear about any of it.
The author goes through some trouble and many paragraphs to explain this phenomenon of Trump support despite Trump’s grotesque family-values-averse behaviors via a mix of sociology and class, because we are not allowed to point out that these people are simply dishonest bullshitters. When you grow up in Nebraska, you are apparently expected to bleat about family values and the corruption of the elites, to be sure—but, socioeconomically speaking, it is apparently all a ruse meant for the children and whatever gullible reporters wander through town. In reality, when it comes to the churches and the voting booths, you can be as adulterous as you want, cheat your neighbor eagerly and gleefully, lie to everyone about everything and—if you are in the right tribe, and only if you are in the right tribe—it is expected.