Medved: Core contradictions in MAGA world?

Jan 28, 2022, 1:23 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2022, 9:29 am
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds on January 15, 2022 in Florence, Arizona. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty images)

A glaring contradiction flourishes at the very core of the MAGA worldview. As a result, the most ardent admirers of former President Trump passionately affirm two simultaneous propositions that can’t possibly both be true.

On the one hand, Trumpian true-believers insist that his presidential record demonstrates singular success in “draining the swamp” and “Making America Great Again.” Defying all odds, he vanquished Washington’s arrogant elites and kept the most meaningful promises to his previously downtrodden and disregarded base.

On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of those who supported his re-election bid also believe that a cabal of globalist traitors and malevolent media moguls managed to reverse the victory Trump so richly deserved, perpetrating the first outright “stolen election” in presidential history.

If Trump succeeded so conspicuously in restoring American greatness, how could his ruthless adversaries in politics and the press retain the power to defy law and logic, overcoming the will of the people and deposing an incumbent who actually won by landslide margins?

And if, in fact, the America of 2020 remained such a corrupt and miserable mess after four years of Trump’s inspired and inspiring leadership, how could that record be deemed a meaningful and sweeping success?

In other words, history may record the 45th president as a triumphant victor or a pathetically swindled victim, but it’s hard to imagine how he could qualify as both.

Of course, Trump himself sees no contradiction in the contrast between his heroic, reformist service as president and the disastrous aftermath of the contested November election, brought about entirely by the allegedly shameless chicanery of the other side. But if the Democrats deserve exclusive blame for “rigging” the 2020 election, doesn’t it make sense that the GOP, which actually controlled the federal government for the four years preceding the balloting, should at least share culpability? That’s especially true when the six most hotly disputed states in the final tally – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin – all boasted GOP control of at least one branch of state government for at least half the period between elections.

In fact, Trump had been complaining about fraudulent voting and falsified counts both before and after the close 2016 contest that originally placed him in the White House. During the first weeks of his term of office (May 2017) he established, with much fanfare, a “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and featuring distinguished political figures of both parties. Trump indicated his intention to find evidence supporting claims of up to 3,000,000 illegal immigrant voters, blamed by the president for Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory. But after seven months of squabbling, and threats from Congressional opponents to block continued taxpayer funding, the President disbanded the Commission at the beginning of 2018 and abandoned his heavily-hyped project with no finding of fraud of any kind.

It’s worth noting that even after this misbegotten adventure, Trump maintained control of both Houses of Congress – with a significantly larger margin in the House and a slightly better Senate advantage (51 to 49 seats) than Biden enjoys today. He entered the White House with his party in stronger control of both houses than any newly elected Republican since Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.

In that context, it’s impossible to finger Democratic obstructionism as the sole reason that Trump and his party made no significant moves toward fighting the charges of electoral fraud that continued to obsess him after the collapse of his grand but feckless commission. In fact, the frustrated quest for evidence for rigging in the election of 2016 – which he won – actually set the pattern for the ongoing search for proof of cheating in the election of 2020 – which he incontestably lost. In his acceptance speech to the Republican Convention in 2016, Trump famously promised: “I alone can fix it.” When it comes to the issue of election integrity, the ongoing agony surrounding recent voting issues proves that he fixed nothing.

The other contradictory contention of the MAGA minions runs into its own insurmountable wall of facts and fundamentals that mere wishful thinking can’t surmount. Those who supported him for president – especially those who did so twice – prefer to believe that Trump’s presidential achievements on behalf of his faithful really did amount to “promises kept” and put an end to “the American carnage” and economic suffering that he decried in his inaugural address.

“For too long,” he declaimed, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost … Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country … The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world … That all changes, starting right here and right now …”

But it didn’t change, at least in the minds of most working-class American voters who gave Trump a minority of their support after his service as president, just as they did before he took office. Among the slightly more than a third of American households who earn less than $50,000 a year, Hillary Clinton won a decisive victory, with 53% support to Trump’s 41%. Four years later, exit polls showed that despite all the speculation of blue-collar brigades rallying to the Trumpian standard, Joe Biden won lower middle-class voters by a remarkably similar margin, 55 to 41% gap. At the time, Americans saw the country “headed in the wrong direction” by a two-to-one margin, though the numbers turned (sharply but briefly) in a more optimistic direction after Biden’s victory had been confirmed.

The pendulum may well swing again if Republicans win their widely predicted Congressional victories this November, and Washington makes a new try at the divided government that worked so well for Presidents Reagan and Clinton and, to some extent, Obama.

But looking even further forward to the campaign of 2024, Trump supporters need to resolve their clashing impulses and decide whether they want to back him out of gratitude for his perceived victories or out of sympathy or a quest for revenge concerning his purported victimhood. Either way, a third Trump campaign promises even more generous doses of conflict and contradiction, confusion, and misinformation, for an exhausted electorate that’s already suffered more than enough from all of the above.

You can hear Michael Medved every week day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on KTTH.

Michael Medved on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to michael medvedTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 12pm for The Michael Medved Show.

Michael Medved

Bide, Trump, election...
Michael Medved

Medved: Escaping the trap of a ‘Groundhog Day’ election

It’s difficult to imagine deliverance from recent miseries when the next presidential election promises a rematch between two of the least imposing contenders in recent memory.
2 months ago
plymouth, Thanksgiving...
Michael Medved

Medved: Reshaping Thanksgiving into a festival of guilt

Instead of honoring forefathers, family, and the blessings of freedom, wokesters across the country want to make Thanksgiving into an orgy of guilt.
6 months ago
Adam Smith...
KTTH staff

WA Rep. Smith wants ’emphasis on completing the mission’ in Afghanistan, not deadline

Washington Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, joins the Michael Medved Show to discuss Afghanistan.
9 months ago
Michael Medved

Good news, and better news, for the GOP

Last month's special election in the 6th Congressional District of Texas brought good news, and even better news, for the GOP.
9 months ago
Michael Medved

Medved: Our children deserve perspective, not propaganda

Conditioned by the sophistries of Critical Race Theory and the ubiquitous propaganda of The 1619 Project, millions of Americans would feel tempted to identify the United States as slavery’s most shameless beneficiary.
11 months ago
Loren Culp, lawsuits...
MyNorthwest Staff

Medved: Loren Culp ‘not a serious candidate’ in bid to unseat Republican in Congress

What are Loren Culp's chances of unseating Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse? KTTH's Michael Medved weighs in with his thoughts.
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Medved: Core contradictions in MAGA world?