President Trump understands and strongly bonds with the different constituencies of his base. He first expressed this in his now famous January, 2016 observation that, “I could shoot someone… and not lose a vote…. I have the most loyal voters.” The intervening years have shown his comment not only was, but still is, correct. His base remains rock-solidly supportive.

The reasons for this backing are understandable. The president has shown that he listens to and understands the various groups that support him: Jacksonians with their concerns with the nation’s changing demographics, anti-abortionists, gun rights activists, among others. Unlike previous leaders from both parties, perceived as members of the political elite who only gave lip service to these concerns, President Trump is both vocal and active in his support.

These supporters may not agree with all his actions such as legal misconduct, mendacity, and bullying, but these can all be overlooked because of his support for their individual constituent positions. As much as progressives may have hoped that once "the facts" were revealed, people would change their positions, President Trump’s supporters’ beliefs far outweigh any revealed evidence. Errol Morris explained this apparent paradox in his 2011 book, “believing is seeing.”

The recent acquittal of President Trump in his Senate impeachment trial clearly shows that Republican members of Congress fully understand this. They will do nothing to offend the president, and consequently offend his base and imperil their reelection chances. They have shown that they will willingly eschew their oaths of office, and for the senators, their oaths to serve as impartial jurors, while, rather, giving fealty to the president and preserving their own partisan interests.

Stewart M. Mohr

Bozeman