Opinion: Debased: Trump Risks Losing His Core Supporters Due to Recent Controversies

Donald Trump at CPAC in 2011. (Unmodified Creative Commons photo by Gage Skidmore. http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Donald Trump cannot afford to lose his base of support, yet he has risked losing it twice in the past weeks. He almost compromised with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on DACA (Differed Action for Childhood Applicants) and “the Wall”. This alone caused a firestorm over President Trump’s preferred platform, Twitter and conservative sites. In addition, Trump backed Luther Strange in the Alabama GOP primary (to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant seat). Strange is an establishment figure and mired in controversy due to his selection to Attorney General of Alabama by its licentious former governor, Robert Bentley.

Trump’s Four Letter Word

DACA. This acronym brought “Fire and Fury” to the Trump supporter community, when Trump announced he was making a deal with the Democrats regarding DACA and postponing the Wall. DACA’s intended purpose is to legalize 800,000 illegal aliens into a legal status. Some argue that since this act covers children who were brought to the US through no fault of their own, the immigrants should be able to stay in the US. This compromise with the Democrats inflamed many of his supporters and they took to Twitter with the hashtag “burnmyMAGAhat”, burned their “Make America Great Again” hats and a made new moniker for Trump; “Amnesty Don”.

They are rightfully angry, for DACA arguably violates the fourteenth amendment, section I of the United States Constitution, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” Since these children (now adults) were not born in the United States, did not have parents who were US citizens, they are violating the aforementioned clause. In addition, Trump proposed a postponement on the Wall, one of the hallmark promises of his campaign, since he announced his candidacy for president. In the recent weeks, Trump has emphasized stronger border security and reneged on his postponement for the wall, calling for “physical barriers”. Whether this action will assuage his base is unknown, but it is unlikely due to the possible amnesty of 800,000 illegal immigrants.

A Strange Affair

The other half of the recent disillusionment of the Trump base was Trump’s endorsement of Luther Strange, the Attorney General for Alabama, even attending a rally for Strange’s campaign. Due to the hasty appointment of Strange then subsequent resignation of Governor Bentley due to a sex scandal and being sponsored by millions of dollars of donations, he was seen as a conspirator with the “swamp” by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Strange’s opponent, Judge Roy Moore, received endorsements from figures in Trump’s nationalist base such as the previously mentioned Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and former UKIP head and “Mr. Brexit” Nigel Farage. In addition, nationalist website, Breitbart (under the ownership of Steve Bannon) endorsed Moore.

In an interview with Moore, he levied accusations of Strange abusing work visas (which Trump opposes strongly) and having ambiguity on DACA. DACA and border issues being the number one concern due to Trump’s own ambiguity regarding the policy. In the end, Roy Moore heartily beat out Luther Strange for the vacant seat, solidifying the resolve of Trump’s nationalist base.

There are reasons why Trump did not endorse Moore, however. Moore has been involved with a fair bit of controversy himself, mostly involving the defiance of constitutional law with his own personal religious beliefs. The easiest answer to this question is one of political capital. Trump has been losing it since the resignations of Bannon and former Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka and the failure to pass a repeal of Obamacare. In addition, Strange was in favorability with the party due to his lack of political scandal (at the time) and the desire for someone who would kowtow to the establishment’s demands, and not rebel against “the swamp”.

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