Infinite Gullibility, World Without End?
I understand why some believe in the unending, infinite gullibility of the Trump base—and why some are willing to place all their chips on continued, endless, world without end, gullibility. The evidence is abundant and compelling. And they may be right, and I may be wrong.
But human experience tells me that people who are gullible about thing A are not necessarily gullible about thing B. And that people do crash out of cults, at least sometimes. And when they crash out, they tend to crash out hard.
These sorts of concerns may underlie Sean Hannity’s reported doubts.
With those thoughts in mind, let me address the current state of the Trump defense.
“The Whistleblower’s Complaint Was Based on Hearsay”
And so it was. But it was powerfully corroborated by the document that Trump himself released. And in any event, the obvious course of action is to call the first hand witnesses and put them on the stand, so they can tell us what they heard and saw. Which leads to more investigation. Which is fine and dandy if more investigation provides more proof of your innocence. But which is not good if more investigation will just uncover more proof of your guilt.
“There Was No Quid Pro Quo”
The letter that Trump released proves that military aid was to be exchanged for cooperation in investigating his political enemies. It is not proof by a preponderance of the evidence. it is not proof by clear and convincing evidence. It is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some of Trump’s lackeys, having placed their bets on the infinite, eternal, unmitigated gullibility of Trump’s base, are trying to raise unreasonable doubts.
I’ve seen it done in the courtroom: trying to get the jury to believe a key document doesn’t mean what the document says. Advocacywise, it’s an act of utter desperation. It makes the judge and jury really mad. And if you can do it and get away without being disbarred, consider yourself lucky.
“Fine, But It was OK to Offer Military Assistance in Exchange for Dirt on His Rivals”
Mark my words. That is the fallback argument they will fall back on, and that right quickly. It has the merit of recognizing reality rather than trying to fight reality. It rests, not on gullibility, but on tribalism. Those who believe it also believe that Democrats and city dwellers are evil, and that any means necessary to defeat them—any means at all—are justified.
We will see how many such people there are in this country.
My guess is that it will turn out to be about 29 percent of the population. The others, I think, will, in the foreseeable future, find that they have reached the end of understanding and forgiving.
Greetings to new readers today from Austria, Finland, and South Korea. My US readership today has now surpassed the Canadians. Kenya, I am happy to say, is in strong third place.