Why does Trump have such strong support from Republicans?

Scott Jennings:
Why do Republicans stick with Donald Trump?

It’s a question I’m asked again and again by Democrats, “Never Trumpers,” and journalists. But the answer is simple.

Attitude and gratitude.

For years, Republican voters wanted someone — anyone — to come along and do two things: stick it to the Clintons and punch back against the media-Democratic Party alliance that fires on every Republican brave enough to stick a head out of the foxhole.

If you attended any GOP fundraiser or grassroots event between 2000 and 2016 — and I went to hundreds — you heard this sentiment over and over. And over. And over.

For Republicans, it seemed like those awful Clintons got to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. And they always seemed so smug about it. Many had tried and failed to oppose them. The first Bush and Bob Dole, decent men and dedicated public servants, were steamrolled by the Clintons in ’90s.

Sure, we had George W. Bush after Clinton was termed out, and Obama managed to knock Hillary down a peg in 2008. But she still wound up secretary of State while Bill traveled the world, racking up speaking fees and foundation tributes that would embarrass Croesus himself. Damn those Clintons.

For finally bringing them to heel, alone, the president has earned the forever gratitude of virtually every Republican. The rest hardly matters. Jared’s security clearance? National emergency? Stormy Daniels? Please.

Like the high school quarterback who took his team to the state championship, Trump will never buy a Diet Coke in the proverbial Republican saloon again. And the barkeep will hang Robert Mueller’s report in the back of a urinal.

Republicans waited a long time. They became angrier and angrier as a succession of honorable leaders — think George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney — were portrayed by the media as stupid or feeble or criminal while Obama and the Clintons were treated with near-reverence.

Republicans waited through the Obama years, simmering with rage as the country lurched dramatically leftward and anti-Christian sentiments flourished. They seethed as traditional Christian values were mocked and barred from public policy decisions. If a baker doesn’t want to make a cake for you, leave him the hell alone and find someone else.

The natural conclusion of this pent-up anger finally boiled over in 2016.

Enter Donald Trump, the only Republican candidate who understood the actual consumer demands of the Republican marketplace: Be strong enough, bold enough, crazy enough and ruthless enough to beat the elitist media and Hillary Clinton, who is slipperier and meaner than a wet panther.

Policy? GOP voters assumed he’d basically govern like a conservative. But who had the nerve to absolutely and unapologetically take on the tormentors? Who had the guts to, oh, I don’t know, put all of Bill Clinton’s female accusers in the front row during a debate? At least Trump owned his playboy lifestyle, unlike the hypocrite Clinton. Embarrassing and tough to defend? Sure. Deal breaker? No way.

And when he achieved the presidency, Trump delivered. His campaign had sent the message Republicans wanted to hear — I take crap from no one. Everyone on this primary ballot will show their belly, he said in effect; I will show them my fists.
But it isn’t policy that drives Trump’s staying power. After all, doing basic Republican stuff is what he is supposed to do. No, the secret sauce is Trump’s continued deliverance of an attitude for which Republicans thirsted for years.
Jennings does capture Trump's appeal to Republicans.  It is something the media never really got.  Not only the liberal media but the Never Trumper conservative media just did not get the frustration of GOP votes with politics as usual.   They still don't get it.  You have Democrats who think they can impeach the President by getting Republicans to back their efforts.  Those Democrats like Jerry Nadler are completely out of touch with why Trump is so popular among Republicans.  The same goes for the Democrats who plan to run in 2020.


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