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They’re not all Trump Republicans, are they?

Does it seem as if Republicans who were adamantly opposed to President Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle are now supporting nearly every move that he makes? Candidates seeking the Republican nomination during 2016 did not view Trump as a viable candidate.  In fact, they claimed that his lack of experience would prevent him from winning the Republican primary, let alone the general election. Now these same Republican colleagues are supporting nearly every move that he makes. 

This should not come as a surprise. Anyone with any knowledge of political science could have predicted this shift in attitudes towards Trump. Currently, Trump has an 82% approval rating among Republicans. With the 2020 election cycle underway, Republicans have to appeal to their base in order to win their campaigns. If 82% of their base approve of Donald Trump, then it would be unwise of Republicans to stray too far away from the leader of their party, especially if they have their eyes on the oval office in the near future. Even though Republican candidates may silently disagree with Trump, they cannot risk voicing their grievances with the White House without also risking their election. 

The idea that politicians lie and do not tell the entire truth is not just an idea that appeared out of nowhere. Politicians do lie and they do dance around the truth to increase their chances of election. Republican candidates may not agree with Trump, but distancing themselves from his popularity within the party could risk potential donors and potential votes. People like former Governor from New Jersey Chris Christie may not agree with Trump. However, if they want to keep the option of a run for the White House open, they need to do their best to appeal to their party in order to win the party’s nomination. 

Democrats do the same thing; it is simply politics. When Obama was popular with the party, Democratic candidates did not distance themselves from him, but instead embraced him, just as Republicans are doing with Trump. This was completely evident in the Michael Cohen congressional testimony, where Republican congressmen deemed Cohen incapable of honesty. They showed their loyalty to Trump by reducing Cohen’s damning testimony against Trump down to absurdity. These are not Trump Republicans: these are Republicans that must appeal to the 82% of Republicans that approve of Trump’s performance. 

These factors do not make lying to the American people ethical, but more so just more understandable. Republicans that do not support what Trump proposes should speak out against him, but his popularity makes it risky for them to do so. This is how American politics are played, whether or not you agree. If Trump loses popularity with the Republican base, you will be able to see Republicans distancing themselves away from him. For now, politicians have to be politicians in order to win the office that they are seeking.

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