It was at a post-election Trump protest in Morris County when I overheard a woman say the president really got 70 percent of the popular vote and about 400 electoral votes. At another such event in Bedminster, a gentleman suggested Trump would win when the Electoral College voted. He also said only an idiot would believe Joe Biden got 80 million or so votes.
A trip to the more extreme quarters of Trump World brings you to a Twilight Zone-place; a locale where reality is rejected, or better yet, ridiculed.
Hence, the cries about the “lamestream media” and “fake news,” which these days seems to include Fox News.
An obvious question is, from where do Trump supporters get their news?
The simple answer seems to be from the president himself through statements and tweets and from his now-dwindling band of acolytes.
Relying basically on one elected official – and one elected official only – for your political news is a sure sign of cult-like behavior. Only the leader knows what’s going on.
Which brings us to a dilemma.
What happens when the cult leader’s proclamations and predictions fail to materialize? After all, for a cult leader – any cult leader – to maintain control over his followers, some of what he says has to really happen.
But in this case, nothing has happened related to the great election “fraud.”
All significant lawsuits have been dismissed.
The Supreme Court refused to even consider some of them.
All this talk of thousands of people filing affidavits in support of voter fraud amounted to nothing.
Even states run by Republicans (Arizona and Georgia) rejected the president’s claims of fraud.
And every day gets closer to January 20 and the end of Trump’s presidency.
It was the president himself who zeroed in on January 6 as the time for his followers to take a stand one final time.
If a cult leader’s words don’t come true, cult members can go one of two ways – they can turn on the leader, or in desperation and anger, they can strike out against the dark, sinister forces of the outside world.
We know now what the Trump devotees in Washington opted to do.
As scenes of hoodlums running amok flashed across TV screens, some may have said to themselves, “And this is the party of law and order?” After all, just a few months ago, many Republicans running for Congress did so on a “law and order” platform.
That observation may be a bit unfair, given the fact the rioters yesterday were Trump-sters and not necessarily true Republicans.
That distinction is important – at least here in New Jersey.
A few days after the election, I wrote a column suggesting Trump’s defeat was great news for New Jersey Republicans. Free from Trump’s craziness, they could now concentrate on reasonable and traditional Republican positions as opposed to having to explain the latest presidential tweet.
Hopefully, more Republicans believe that today than they did on November 7.
Still, you never know.
Doug Steinhardt, one of the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates, put together a video attacking opponent Jack Ciattarelli for being an anti-Trump Republican. Steinhardt, for his part, says he strongly supports the president.
Steinhardt’s video appeared yesterday. It went up online before the Trump-inspired riots. but was still up there this morning.
It makes you wonder. Just what will it take for some state Republicans to break away from the Trump cult?
One thing is certain. If Republicans keep on paying homage to Trump, New Jersey Democrats are going to be very happy.