Keep dumping water on him, the witch is not dead yet

Keep dumping water on him, the witch is not dead yet

Photographs courtesy of https://progressive.org/

For those of you who do not know, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a children’s book published in 1900 that spawned innumerable adaptations and sequels, in every medium from books to plays to films. In almost every interpretation, the Wicked Witch of the West, the main villain of the story, is defeated when protagonist Dorothy throws water on her and causes her to melt. Her followers, an army of flying monkeys bound to her will, along with the enslaved residents of her kingdom, rejoice at her downfall and their newfound freedom. In that one swift move the villain is defeated and abandoned, launching a new day as a more just and empathetic ruler steps up to take her place.

            For many on the left, the 2020 election victory by Joseph R. Biden was the water thrown in the face of the Wicked Witch of the White House, Donald Trump. To them, his attempts to block the certification of the election were merely the agonized screams as he and his political career melted away. These optimists expect that, following his ouster from the White House, Trump’s supporters will abandon him in droves and the Republican party will return to its pre-Trump state – what optimists on the left view as the “normal” Republican party. They believe that Trump’s political career is over.

            This is unlikely. Over 70 million Americans voted for Trump in 2020. One recent post-election poll showed 91 percent of Republicans holding a favorable view of Trump and 88 percent of Republicans approving of his performance in office. On specific issues, 90 percent of Republicans said they approved of Trump’s handling of immigration, and 94 percent of Republicans said they approved of his handling of the economy. Similarly, 94 percent of Republicans view him as a strong leader while another 80 percent of Republicans view him as honest and trustworthy and roughly 71 percent said they like the man as a person.

            That is a lot of numbers but they all say essentially the same thing: Republican voters still approve of Trump’s agenda of protectionism and hardline immigration stance. Many might not necessarily like him, but they approve of his leadership style despite (or possibly even because) of his authoritarian leanings. And they still trust him. Trump might be on his way out of the White House, but his sway over the Republican voter base – the same sway that has allowed him to keep Republicans in line – has held despite his overall unpopularity over the past four years. He is currently a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024.

            This leads me to my prescription for my fellow leftists: keep the water coming because neither Trump nor the dangerous ideology he represents are dead yet.