Misinformation: The differences between Donald Trump’s supporters and detractors are political.
Information: Unquestionably, there are political differences between the two groups. Issues such as immigration, climate change, taxes, foreign policy, the wealth gap, and abortion are all vitally important, life and death issues about which people feel very strongly, but they are issues that our political system is designed to resolve without tearing the country apart.
However, there are issues related to Donald Trump’s presidency which are not in any way political, and which define the more fundamental divide between those who follow him and those who do not.
It’s not a political issue whether or not our national leader should be a compulsive liar.
It’s not a political issue whether or not he should do his job and pay attention to his briefings.
It’s not a political issue whether or not he should invoke voter fraud, which is in reality virtually non-existent in America, to explain his failure to win the popular vote in 2016, and then use that as an excuse to suppress voting in 2020 (because, as he has said, the more people vote the more likely he will lose).
It’s not a political issue that his personal vanity is more important to him than the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.
These are moral issues. Those who continue to support Donald Trump because they believe he is taking the country in the right direction politically have abrogated their own morality by doing so. They either see nothing wrong in his behavior, which reveals their own behavioral standards, or they believe that the ends justify the means, even when the means are corrupt. And that calculation also reveals their own standards. Ends are defined by means, always.
No one is perfect—we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. But it’s time now for Trump’s supporters to begin their journey back to true American citizenship by rejecting his behavior.
What needed is not a political conversion among Trump’s adherents, but a moral one. The political issues will remain, but at least we’ll have the hope of resolving them in an atmosphere in which the means to the ends value truth and integrity.