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Rachel Maddow praises John Brennan? I listened to her for several minutes, long ago. I remember thinking, “Is she really as thoughtless as she sounds?” Now we know.

People talk about the Republican party as an institution that still functions as a political party. They also talk about the Republican party as if its members are conservative. I suppose if members say it is a party for people with conservative political beliefs, who are non-members to say otherwise? From outside the group, however, it does not appear to be a party. It appears in the arena as an association of Trump supporters.

Trump supporters did not vote for Trump because he calls himself a Republican. They voted for him because:

  • He was not Hillary Clinton.
  • Because they are angry at Washington politicians, bureaucrats, and busybodies.
  • They agree with Trump about certain key issues, economic nationalism in particular.
  • They want to make America great again, even if they are not sure what that means.
  • They thought, “What the hell, he can’t be worse than what we’ve had.”

These are not reasons tied to a political party, or even to an association. They are not particularly political reasons at all. They are reasons tied to personal frustration, disorientation, and helplessness. To disengage the country from Trump, people who oppose him must address the roots of these sentiments and dislocations. If they do not do so – if, for example, they bow to John Brennan because he condemns the president – they cannot succeed in their purpose to dismiss the president. Moreover, if they enlist the security state to aid them in their political efforts, they will fail.

Therefore Trump’s opponents must develop new strategies.