We often fantasize about conservatives coming to their senses and abandoning conservatism. We fantasize about talking to them and saying those magic words that will get them to see the light. We fantasize about someone who has been so cruel suddenly becoming not so cruel. If we rack our brain hard enough we might even know someone like that.
As a kid, I remember watching an episode of The Wild West where a mad man with a scar down his face had propped up a front man to lead Arizona to statehood. He was cruel. He was smart. He also knew no one would listen to him. In the end, there was a pathetic scene where his front man had finally cracked. The power behind the throne tried to rally the base, but the base wasn’t buying.
There have been dozens of movies and tv shows with similar plot lines. So, the scene we saw last week in Ohio is a familiar one. Except this time we are talking about reality. I was on vacation with the family, so I couldn’t address it at the time, but it was a rare bit of political news that escaped through the wall we had built for ourselves in the land of Disney.
There are videos showing hundreds of people leaving the Ohio Trump rally early. When queried they simply said they had gotten bored. The sound wasn’t very good and their vantage point wasn’t very good. Some said they were tired of the same old same old. He was playing all of the familiar hits from 2019 and 2020 and they were looking for some new material.
We can overplay this if we want. Seeing people walk away can warm our hearts more than anything in the world. There is nothing more heart warming than seeing people we might see as monsters walk away from an even bigger monster.
Except many of those people that walked away are people we know. Sure, we don’t know them personally, but we know people like them. They really aren’t monsters. Some of them might want us to think that they are, but they aren’t. Some want us to believe that we are. We aren’t. The fact is that we disagree on fundamental issues. That’s all.
They identify with the message. When the message doesn’t resonate anymore they abandon the messenger and look for another one. In between we have a tiny window of opportunity. We will miss that opportunity most of the time and that is a tragedy. Still, we can bask in the moment.
The moment has this particular madman finally having people abandon him. It may not be everyone. Heck, it may not even be most, but it is some. Some will have to be enough for now. We will have to call some a victory. It tastes good going down to see a guy call guys like John McCain and Mitt Romney losers to now be seen as a loser. Sure, they will just latch onto the next charismatic jackass that comes along, but until we then we can bask in this moment.