By Hal Brown
I'm showing my age in the title. The 64 Thousand Dollar Question was popular in the early 1950's when it was hosted by Hal March, the only famous person with my first name who I knew of even though actor Hal Holbrook was on Broadway playing Mark Twain at the time. I am old enough to remember when $64,000 was a small fortune. The household median income in the U.S. in 1950 was $2,990 and you could by a nice house for $7,000.
I titled this "The $47,000 Question" because Trump is running to be the 47th President of the United States and is making a big deal of this number. I suppose you could call this the $47 trillion question.He even has something of a Mein Kampf-like manifesto called Agenda47 which I wrote about yesterday here.
There are Trump cultists and there are Trump cultists. A few can actually have an immediate effect on his electability if they fall out of love with him. One is Judge Aileen Cannon.
We have no idea whether Judge Cannon is following Trump's shenanigans like this with another Florida judge:
If she has a EUREKA! moment where she falls out of love with her dreamboat she might actually rule in the Mar-a-Lago documents case treating Trump like he was any other defendant.
Then there are people like Walt Nauda:
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I can't imagine that the other defendants in the Georgia case who aren't named Trump are thinking that the limits of loyalty ends along the line to the lockup.
The most important members of the Trump cult are the millions who worship at the fatasses' feet:
Experts have tried to analyze the appeal of Trump for ordinary people and cult experts like Steve Hassan have been trying to educate the country about the psychological hold Trump has on his folowers (read Cult Expert Steve Hassan is on a controversial cursade in Slate).
The millions of voters who will make the difference between Trump winning or losing in the primary and if he wins against President Biden may flush him down the drain not because of one revelation, but more likely I think they will experience the drip-drip-drip of damning news about him having decieved them into believing he was divine. I expect they won't wake up one morning and say "I'm so done with him" but instead will vacilate back and forth for a period of time.
It is incredibly difficult to admit you were taken in by a master con man. It takes a lot of self-awareness to admit one was gullible. Much will depend on where ordinary Trump cultists gets their news and how they shape their opinions. Peer groups have a major effect so if they surround themselves with other cultists their beliefs won't be challenged. If they have friends and family who try to get them to see the truth about Trump it might help break through their denial of reality.
We also have those in the right-wing media who influence Trump cultists. What will it take to disabuse them of their alligance to Trump? The answer is that they will drop him like a hot potato when their bosses tell them to because supporting him and giving him a forum no longer brings in revenue. This is all the better for the likes of Tucker Carlson on X and Steve Bannon (with his Warroom show) but they don't have the reach of television. Still, Fox News is on everyone's TV and has a major impact on what people think about Trump.
The known unknown that may have a huge impact is the Georgia trial and if Trump testifies is how his behavior under cross-examination will be perceived by his cultists. Trump is aggressive this has worked with his cult, they love it, but he's always snarled, blustered, and blown his stack on his own terms. He's never done it from a witness stand on live TV.
Another group who can tarnish Trump's golden glow are the other GOP candidates for president. I suppose you can break them into a few groups. Of course, there is Chris Christi. He doesn't stand a chance of winning the nomination. He can only go after Trump if they ever share a debate stage. Then there those who have their sights on Trump chosing them to run as vice president and those who don't want to incur the ire of his base. Notably there's Nikki Haley who has come fairly close to breaking with Trump probably because she thinks DeSantis may crash and burn leaving her as the only credible candidate with a chance of success to take him on once she exposes Vivek Ramaswarmy for the fraud that he is.
One way for Trump cultists to fall out of love with him is to fall in love with someone else. It won't be the the dour DeSanstis for obvious reasons not the least of which is that Trump has dumped on him dubing him Ron DeSantimonious, but I can see it happening with Nikki Haley. This could happen if the bigots among the cultists overlook the fact that she's an Indian-American.
They also might take into consideration that she might stand a better chance of beating Biden in the general election than Trump. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Hail Haley movement among Republicans that really want to win back the presidency and make sure America doesn't turn into the kind of country Trump, DeSantis, and Ramaswarmy want it to be.
I think she's a more appealling candidate for the Republicans to chose for the general election than Pence, Asa Hutchenson, or Tim Scott or the currently declared candidates (here).
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