National Public Radio discussed the question Wednesday morning of whether President Donald Trump’s supporters were too loyal or “dumb” to support impeachment.
Joshua Johnson, host of 1A, discussed the White House’s release of the transcript of a July conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, following Democrats’ decision to move ahead with an impeachment inquiry against Trump on Tuesday. He was joined by Financial Times journalist Edward Luce and by Southern Methodist University presidential historian Jeff Engel.
At one point, Johnson asked whether there was merit to Democrats’ suspicion that Trump supporters would not care about the evidence:
I don’t think that it is inaccurate to say that some Democrats would rather focus on 2020 because they believe that the president’s base is unshakeable, that they will support him no matter what, and that whatever comes out of this impeachment inquiry, that they are solidly set on re-electing Donald Trump. I also don’t think that hyperbole would be overstating it to say that some Democrats just think that the president’s base is too dumb to know the difference, that they wouldn’t get — even if all of the evidence pointed toward impeachment, pointed toward this being someone who needed to be removed, that the president has fooled enough people, that they are so gullible, that they will not vote against him no matter what. That’s the vibe I get from some Democrats — that this whole thing is a waste of time, because “those people” are going to pick him no matter what.
Luce replied: “There’s a pretty good case to be made for that argument … There is a bedrock of support that, as Trump said, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, they’d still vote for him.” He added: “Whether that means they’re gullible or not, I don’t know.”
Engel said that Trump’s supporters might not believe evidence against the president that otherwise seemed plain because people were less trusting of news. “We are living in a much different truth environment” than during the era of President Richard M. Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached during the Watergate scandal, he said.
He explained that people might not believe evidence against Trump even if they saw or heard it themselves because they were less trusting of news and because video or audio evidence will be more manipulable in the near future.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.