You can add the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll to the confusion this election season.
The poll found that most non-republicans don’t believe Trump represents “the core values of the Republican Party.” 22% of Democrats and 21% of Independents believe Trump’s views represent the Republican Party. Compare that with 56% of Republicans, and 43% of Conservatives who believe he represents them.
Who would’ve thought that Democrats would see the disconnect between Trump and the Republican Party?
If anything, this exemplifies the power and danger of identity politics.
When you pledge your allegiance to a political party, wrapping up your political identity with it, you compromise your logical soundness. The perversion of reason, logic, and understanding begins at this intersection.
Donald Trump is the Republican nominee; he’s now the head of the party. Many republicans believe he should be supported because of party loyalty, winning, Supreme Court justices, etc. But there’s a mental difference between supporting the means justify the ends, and refusing to recognize your supporting that moral justification.
For example, I can support Gary Johnson despite his pro-choice stance, but not die on a hill to defend him. He’s merely checks off the most boxes for me. I haven’t wedded him to my political identity. I know he isn’t perfect, but he’s not the lesser of two (three?) evils, and that’s enough for me.
Contrary to that, if I were to make logical circles around him when confronted about my support of a pro-choice candidate I’d be falling for identity politics.
That’s what many republicans are doing with their support of Trump. It’s all fine and nice if you’re supporting the man out of party loyalty, but please admit it. Don’t die on every hill. Don’t justify every aspect of Trump to satisfy your mental soundness.
We humans suffer from a never-ending list of mental fallacies, perversions, and distortions. One of which is the need to feel justified in our choices. We’ll go to no ends to justify choices we’ve made, even to the point of fabricating facts and distorting reality.
One of the biggest reasons why 56% of republicans believe Trump represents them could be this mental distortion, this need to find logical peace of mind with their choice.
I’m not going to go into why Trump isn’t the poster-boy for Republican values. It doesn’t even need to be said that Trump speaks to a specific group of Americans who feel snubbed.
If Trump aligns with your values, good for you. But don’t distort Republican values to fit your narrative. Own up to the fact that what you want isn’t the Republican Party. You want a new party built on new principles and values.
At least be honest about it.