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Trump critics fall victim to ‘witchcraft loop’

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Re: “Trump apologists double down on unwavering loyalty,” by Nancy N. Hawley, Thursday:

Honesty compels me to say that, at times, I wish the president were more diplomatic, but after eight years of soaring but empty rhetoric, broken promises, nationwide divisiveness, “blame the police first” crime control, economic stagnation and a slow, managed economy, I’ll take the plainspoken Mr. Trump.

1. Mr. Trump has taught his supporters to “parrot” the idea that he can do no wrong? Does anybody remember Mr. Obama’s supporters calling every criticism of the Obama White House racism or treason? Talk about doing no wrong! In fairness, it may not have been blind allegiance to the president, but lack of information.

As Ben Rhodes, former Obama speechwriter, was heard to say, “We own the media.” In his history of the Obama presidency, he also notes that, the day after the election, the president looked out the Oval Office window and said, “Maybe we went too far.” Ironically, compared to current Dems, his administration was fairly moderate.

2. Mr. Trump also gets a pass on his behavior. Anyone who reads the National Review can dispute that. They continue to criticize policy decisions with which they disagree. Anyone who watches Fox News, as opposed to Fox commentators, will find that they report his misses as well as his hits. Ironically, the Left has been successful in spinning the news to the point that their readers and listeners hear one side of the story.

Does anyone remember Rachel Maddow declaring, on air, that the president of the United States was a Russian agent? Earlier, such a claim would be too ludicrous to publicize, but the Hate Trump Hysteria reached such a fever pitch that any comment prior to the Mueller report was treated as hard-hitting analysis. However, now such anti-Trump media outlets as The New York Times are finally admitting they may have been duped by their sources.

3. Michael Shermer, in “Why People Believe Weird Things,” describes the Witchcraft Loop (named for Salem) as a series of actions: a small group of dissidents makes enough noise to gather a following; the following gets larger, louder and more hysterical; the results are irrational behavior; a group of dissidents starts to question their excesses; the movement loses power, and normalcy returns.

Such examples as the McCarthy hearings, the Michael Brown incident, the Missouri State riots, Antifa’s control of downtown Portland and Seattle and protests against conservative speakers would be examples. Again, one is forced to ask: have the Trump supporters behaved in such a way?

4. As to rallies, Mr. Trump offers results, speaks Middle America’s language and stands up for his country. He’s been called “the blue-collar billionaire,” and the term fits. He fills stadiums, while Biden gathers a thousand people, and the Bill and Hillary speaking tour is discounting tickets to $2 and can’t fill a stadium. Mr. Trump’s track record after two years is responsible, not his soaring but empty rhetorical flourishes.

Lastly, he fills those stadiums because Main Street USA favors substance over style.

Bill O’Boyle

Elm City

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