Columnist Karen Gardner: Why is the Loser still loved?

Published: 5/12/2021 7:04:51 PM

I so wish I could say he is gone, and good riddance. But it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that he’s not, that he intends to wreak havoc wherever and whenever he can. He no longer has that top spot in the real world or in the nether world of social media, but he still rules over his fervent believers and his party.

He’s the Loser now, the one who lost but cannot tolerate losing — so much so that he’s still trying to overturn the decision that voters made last November. The Loser will do whatever it takes to turn that loss into a win, to convince his people of the Big Lie, that President Biden cheated somehow and that’s why he’s sitting in the White House now and the Loser is not. This can only lead to more violence like that which he instigated on Jan. 6.

I struggle to understand what the Loser’s followers get out of supporting him. Their adulation gets them what? What did it ever get them? What about their personal lives improved when he was president? Did their health care premiums go down, did they get a big share of the tax cut he passed for the wealthy, are their kids any safer from crazy people with guns? Did he save their friends and relatives from dying of COVID? Did he protect them from getting infected themselves? Did he express any empathy whatsoever for their suffering during the long year of COVID lockdowns, economic pain and death? No. He did not.

In what way did the Loser make their lives better? No way that I can see. And yet, there is this fealty as if to a god or king no matter how outrageous he sounds and behaves, how off the wall. He rarely talks about them and their needs, rather it was and is, always about him and his needs and his endless suffering.

He is nothing but a puff of wind, despite how big he is. There is no there there. So why do just under a third of adults still love him so much? Why has the Republican Party almost entirely lost its grip on reality and tied its future, lock, stock, and barrel to this dangerous lunatic? Unfortunately, I have no answers to these questions, at least none that make any sense to me.

Yes, they are lied to about election fraud, their fears whipped into hatred for “the other,” but still, what are they gaining from it? How are their lives improved?

Court after court ruled that the election was not tainted in any way. On the contrary, it was shown by experts to be the most free and fair election ever. But the Loser’s party is busy passing laws in states around the country that will make it harder, not easier, for people to vote. These laws will fall most heavily on the poor and people of color who Republicans believe are more likely to support Democratic candidates. The Republicans seem so terrified and so sure that they will lose a fair election, that they must rig it in their favor ahead of time.

To combat these new state level voter suppression laws, we must restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the heart of which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. The new version is called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and is working its way through Congress. The president’s For The People Act, which is intended to protect voting rights at the state and federal level, has passed the House and is now being discussed in committee in the Senate. Unfortunately, neither of these bills are likely to pass in the Senate with bipartisan support since Republicans are determined to stop all legislation supported by Democrats and President Biden.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said as much last week: “One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration.” I guess that rules out any new legislation that might help the people of this country, and that includes his constituents in Kentucky.

While Democrats are working hard to create policies and legislation that will counteract the effects of the pandemic, save lives, lift people out of poverty, support education, reduce economic and racial inequality, restore our environmental protections, work to stop the causes of climate change, fix our aging infrastructure and lots more, the Republicans are only planning to obstruct, 100%, as McConnell clearly stated.

Unbelievably, no pretense of caring is necessary since McConnell’s constituents continue to support him. Just like the Loser. So, again I’m left wondering why their supporters stick with them when it’s clear that the Loser and his Republican Party don’t give a whit about them or their needs. All that matters is getting reelected.

But things are changing. The Loser’s followers are starting to see that what President Biden is proposing will be good for the country and good for them. The American Rescue Plan that passed into law in March is surprisingly popular across the country despite its big price tag. And Biden’s American Jobs Plan, “an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure,” and much more, according to the White House website, also is proving to be popular. In a recent Morning Consult poll, 65% of Americans think it’s a pretty good idea and support raising taxes on corporations to fund it.

That’s very encouraging. Perhaps a few Republican senators will notice that their constituents want the help that Biden is offering and quit their obstruction. That would be lovely, but highly unlikely.

Ronald Reagan is famous for pushing the false narrative that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” I strongly reject this idea and think that the Loser’s supporters will agree with me once they experience for themselves what their government can and should be doing for them.

The Loser and his party aren’t going to like what happens next, when people see what a con man he really is, and no longer believe his lies, nor care what he has to say. That will be a great day for this country.

Karen Gardner, of Haydenville, can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com


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