In the aftermath of Tuesday’s news that both former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his lawyer Michael Cohen were found on the wrong side of the law in separate court cases, the question asked most frequently by the press, Democrats and “Never Trump” Republicans is, “Where do Trump voters go now?”
The answer is the same that it has always been since they first started asking it Nov. 9, 2016: With Trump.
This new conservative populist coalition is not the fluke the political class hoped it was. Donald Trump did not cause it, he is just the result of it, so no matter what he does, it continues. It is predicated on them, not him.
The coalition is a strike at not just tone deafness in both Congress and the White House but also high levels of incompetence, negligence and shoddy performance at agencies, as well as inept social services, a bloated and incompetent bureaucracy, endless wars and multinational agreements and treaties that don’t benefit average people.
These voters knew who Trump was going in, they knew he was a thrice-married, Playmate dating, Howard Stern regular who had the morals of an alley cat. They were willing to look past all of that because of how institutions had failed their communities for three consecutive presidencies.
Right now the value of Trump to the Trump voter is he is all that stands between them and handing the keys to Washington back over to the people inside Washington. That’s it. He’s their only option. You’ve got to pick the insiders or him.
So the question becomes: Can the Democrats pick someone who is Trump? Someone who just says, “I don’t trust anybody in Washington either. They all suck. The Democrats sucks, the Republicans suck and Trump’s a crook.”
If they could pick a Trump for their side, then Trump could have a problem. But as it stands we only really only have two parties; the party of the governing elite and the party of Trump.
That is why they stick with him.
This is what the never trumpers don’t get. The choice is not Trump or someone else more presentable than Trump, it’s Trump or the end of the Republic.