What’s Going On: Trump supporters still don’t care

What’s Going On

He was in Sioux Center, Iowa a little over a year ago when he said the now prophetic words:

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?”

I vividly remember the day then presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke those words, and they ring just as true today for President Trump.

The world of Democrats, mainstream media, social media and twitter media have been afire this past week regarding the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails leading up to a meeting with a Russian, a rabbi, a horse and a bartender.

According to the emails, the bartender (or was it the rabbi?) promised the Russian government had dug up some serious dirt of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Junior, understandably, replied with unfettered enthusiasm at the prospect of seizing some damning evidence against his father’s opponent, regardless of the source.

If you believe Junior, the meeting, which was also attended by Trump’s then-campaign chair and son-in-law Jared Kushner, turned out to be a colossal waste of time.

However, as with most scandals, the story is in the cover up, or in this instance, lack of transparency.

While Senior may praise Junior on Twitter for his transparency in releasing the emails minutes after being told The New York Times was going to release them in a story, the emails also reveal the Trump camp is either filled with liars or incompetents. It has to be one or the other as forever and a day, the defense regarding Russia’s meddling with the presidential election was “we didn’t know.”

Well, these emails prove the folly in that reasoning as at the very least, Junior, Kushner and the campaign manager were informed very early on that the Russian government wanted to “Make America Great Again” and was doing what they could to ensure it.

But again, who cares?

Right now at least, the American public, and more specifically those who supported Trump, don’t.

Americans have a very negative view of our political system. They view it as corrupt to begin with, so the revelation that some shady back room meeting took place involving another country’s interference won’t be that shocking. It is even less shocking, and difficult for our leaders to be too pious on this subject, considering America’s history of “meddling” in elections on pretty much every continent in the world.

More importantly though, this ambivalence can most likely be attributed to American’s changing opinion of Russia in general and the threat it poses to our national security.

It’s hard to believe that just 60 years or so ago, a person could be shunned in business and society and even imprisoned just on the suspicion of talking to a known communist, attending the wrong meeting, or reading the wrong book.

I don’t know who would be turning over in their graves faster at the prospect of an American presidential candidate allying with the Russians: Winston Churchill, who delivered the famous Iron Curtain Speech regarding the dangers of communism, or Sen. Joe McCarthy, the fire-breathing Republican who conducted countless congressional hearings into Soviet activity here in America.

Today though, we don’t view Russia as our number one enemy as we did for so much of the cold war. Thank jihadists and other terrorists for that. And you don’t need any more evidence than the Silver Screen where the Russians were the big bad guys in movies. Today, it’s Middle Easterners.

It has been rightly pointed out this week that the Watergate scandal that would eventually consume Richard Nixon’s presidency was about two years in the making. It was a slow burn, building up over time, which this Russia scandal could possibly do.

But right now, this isn’t even close. If Donald Trump is going to lose support in his own ranks it will be over health care and the wall, not a meeting that resulted in nothing.


Gregory Orear is the publisher of The Journal. His award-winning weekly column, “What’s Going On,” has been published in four newspapers in three states for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at gorear@nujournal.com.