Trump supporters use faulty reasoning in their defense of their candidate. Here are five examples and why they matter.
Changing the Rules of the Game
Trump has thrown out Reagan’s 11th commandment, so why should others treat him as if he were just another candidate? There is no reason to expect Rubio, Carson, or Cruz to endorse or support Trump, should Trump win the nomination.
If they do not support him, they have history on their side. Previous elections have shown that not all failed candidates endorsed the nominee. I don’t think that practice was common until after the 1960’s. And why would Trump need their endorsements or their support, anyway? If Trump is so powerful and connects with so many people, then he can win without the supporters of other candidates, can’t he?
Trump is Unstoppable
If Trump is unstoppable, then not only is it completely unnecessary for him to receive support from other candidates’ voters, he needs no endorsements, and he can win without my vote. Apparently, my support does not help him and my criticism does not hurt him, because he is unstoppable. Therefore, there are no restrictions on any individual criticism of the man. Attempts to shut down non-Trump supporters are therefore hypocritical.
Everybody Does It
Trump is running for president of the United States, not for porn star of the year. I make this contrast to point out that there is some honor in being the president. To say that everybody does the things which he has admitted doing is first, to lie, and second, to demean the office. Those who lead will inspire others, and so that is why we elect the best among us – not those who simply do what everyone else is doing. The more responsibility a person is entrusted with, the better a person he should be. The president is the public face we show the world and the person we trust to responsibly handle difficult and weighty issues. Thus, even if many lie and commit adultery or use juvenile insults, that does not mean that we should pick “everybody” to be our representative. Saying “everybody does it” is a convenient dodge to avoid comparing Trump’s lack of morality to character demonstrated by fellow candidates Rubio, Cruz, and Carson.
Applying a Different Standard of Scrutiny
Applying a different standard of scrutiny across the candidates is simply dishonest. Stop pretending that people cannot examine Trump’s finances or disclosures the way people have examined those of Cruz, for instance. If Trump is the frontrunner, as supporters claim, then you need to expect this. It’s part of the territory.
Arguing in Bad Faith
It’s up to you to provide credible defenses for your man. If you can, you must be able to defend his mob ties, his adultery, his scams, his claim that Bush lied about WMDs to get America into a war. Simply brushing away criticism doesn’t work. Neither does name-calling or ignoring everything opponents say. Welcome to the big leagues. If you want Trump, you have to be able to at least answer your critics.
If you fail to correct these issues, then the longstanding impression of the Trump voter will remain – unserious, dishonest, shallow, and finally, stupid.