I was watching a video on my phone last weekend (OMG, am I turning into a millennial? LOL). The video had the two hosts of SNL’s “Weekend Update,” Colin Jost and Michael Che, hooked up to a polygraph machine and asking each other questions about a variety of topics.
To be sure, it was mindless entertainment that was quite comical. Except, something happened that made me sit up and pay close attention.
At one point, Che asked Jost (who was wired to the lie detector) if there were any beliefs that Jost had that he could not share that people would not understand. Jost said “yes” and the polygraph said he was telling the truth.
But then Che began to probe Jost’s political beliefs about President Trump and Jost became evasive and untruthful. You could actually see Jost squirming in the chair and it was not an act.
Then the epiphany hit me. This Hillary-loving, socialist-leaning, blue-state-supporting, East Coast liberal was probably lying. On the surface, he lies to his friends about his political beliefs but deep down, he secretly understands and supports Mr. Trump!
I began to wonder how wide-spread this phenomena is.
It would certainly explain that bizarre night in 2016 when President Trump was elected. All of the political pundits were proclaiming a landslide for Hillary Clinton based on all of the polling that happened before election night. Then, the returns started coming in.
Blue states became red. The commentators were at a loss to explain what was happening.
I think my epiphany helps explain it. Although many disliked Mrs. Clinton, there may be a secret liking of Mr. Trump that East Coast liberals cannot publicly admit for fear of being castigated by their friends and colleagues. This was expressed in the voting booth.
This might also explain the extreme anger and irrationality that we see in some afflicted with “Trump Anxiety Syndrome” (a phrase recently coined by some therapists).
Is it possible that the evident anger is driven by some internal recognition that some of what the president does is correct but cannot be honestly admitted and is therefore repressed?
It’s sort of like jamming a big stopper in Mount Kilauea and waiting for the pressure to build up until it explodes in an irrational regurgitation of magma, bile, and hysterical hatred on social media — a veritable cacophony of deranged thinking that cannot give Mr. Trump one iota of credit for anything good that he does.
In speaking to one of my sons, he thought that this reaction is also driven by fear of baser emotions. For example, when Trump talks about illegal immigrants coming to our country in an uncontrolled fashion, there is a base sense that this is not right, but it conflicts with current left-wing political dogma.
Or, when the president points out that we bankroll NATO and few member nations (if any) live up to their treaty-based obligation for the protection of their own territory, liberals know this is right but cannot accept it simply because Trump said it.
Trump also has an uncanny knack for taking very complex issues and making them simple to understand. Ronald Reagan did this very effectively as well.
I think what galls many liberals is that Trump can do this, it makes sense to them, and they don’t want to accept it. They would rather point to the stereotypical caricature of some hillbilly, knuckle-dragging, country-bumpkin Trump supporter and say “See? Only stupid people like Trump!”
Yet, they secretly understand what Trump is saying and agree with it.
What I find with many folks is that liberals are all-or-nothing while conservatives tend to be more balanced. My right-wing friends acknowledge that Trump does both good and bad things but, on the whole, he is serving the country well.
Liberals, on the other hand, believe that Trump is the embodiment of evil with no room for understanding or compromise. I’ve had to block a couple of my liberal friends on Facebook because of the 24/7 vitriol.
It’s time for a bit more truthfulness. Maybe East/West Coast liberals need to be brave enough to admit to one another that Trump may not be as horrible as they imagine. It takes bravery to stand up to your enemies. It takes even more to stand up to your friends.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.