In a column sure to infuriate supporters of President Donald Trump who bristled when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled them “deplorables,” a New York Times columnist pointed out that, for some, Trump worship is less rooted in conservative ideology and more because they are just awful opportunistic people.
According to Michelle Goldberg, “It’s not exactly a secret that politics is full of amoral careerists lusting — literally or figuratively — for access to power. Still, if you’re interested in politics because of values and ideas, it can be easier to understand people who have foul ideologies than those who don’t have ideologies at all.”
While citing opportunistic Trump groupies like former White House adviser Steve Bannon and “Anthony Scaramucci, a political cipher who likes to be on TV,” Goldberg went on to focus on self-promoting Trump voters who set aside the deeply held beliefs that conflict with Trump’s views, for a moment in the spotlight.
What set Goldberg off was a New York Times feature about a gay couple — Bill White and his husband, Bryan Eure — headlined “How a Liberal Couple Became Two of N.Y.’s Biggest Trump Supporters” who claimed to also once support Hillary Clinton.
“Trump is hardly the first politician to attract self-serving followers — White and Eure, after all, used to be Clintonites,” Goldberg wrote. “But Trump is unique as a magnet for grifters, climbers and self-promoters, in part because decent people won’t associate with him.”
“With the exception of national security professionals sticking around to stop Trump from blowing up the world, there are two kinds of people in the president’s orbit — the immoral and the amoral,” she continued. “There are sincere nativists, like Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller, and people of almost incomprehensible insincerity.”
Goldberg then laid out her case.
“In many ways, the insincere Trumpists are the most frustrating,” she wrote. “Because they don’t really believe in Trump’s belligerent nationalism and racist conspiracy theories, we keep expecting them to feel shame or remorse. But they’re not insincere because they believe in something better than Trumpism. Rather, they believe in very little.”
Goldberg concluded by citing one Trump supporter who has the president’s ear — possibly to push his own personal agenda in a search for more power — who doesn’t work directly for Trump.
“Senator Lindsey Graham, another insincere Trumpist, once justified his sycophantic relationship with the president by saying, ‘If you knew anything about me, I want to be relevant.'” she wrote before accusing, “Some people would rather be on the wrong side than on the outside.”
You can read the whole piece here.