I’m tired of hearing about Donald Trump’s “base.” I hear about it every day on every cable network, and have heard it every day since he first entered the GOP primaries in 2015. I’ve heard about it during the recent hearing of the Supreme Court nominee. I’ve heard it has so much power that it can now determine the fate of any politician running for office in any state. I understand “whoever or whatever” this “base” is that they will support him even if he shot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue. Many have tried to define this “base,” without much success. Many polls have been conducted to determine who and what this “base” is, who they are, where they live, their racial, cultural, educational, and economic background, etc. I never heard much about an Obama “base” or Bush “base”—but every day I hear about the Trump “base.” There is nothing wrong with having a “base,” except when it is touted as the only base that counts!
There are 232 million Americans eligible to vote and there are only 160 million registered voters (a despicable thing in a democracy). Sixty percent of the Americans eligible to vote are registered to vote. In the 2016 election 139 million people voted. The 139 million Americans who voted cast 65,844,610 votes for Hillary Clinton (48.2% of the total vote) and 62,979,636 votes for Donald Trump (46.1% of the total vote). Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.86 million votes. However, as has happened on four different occasions, the Electoral College installed a president who received fewer popular votes than the opponent. It happened in the presidential election of 2000.
I don’t care much for statistics. Some people say even “the numbers can be doctored.” But I think the numbers I’ve stated above are fairly accurate and cannot be disputed. They are factual (though there are always some who reject fact and will insist that the “system is rigged”). It is said (but hard to verify) that 65% of white Americans with evangelical beliefs voted for Trump. Does that mean all white Americans with Christian beliefs voted for Trump? Of course not! Our America has more than ONE BASE when it comes to white (evangelical) Americans and more than one color when it comes to Christian Americans.
Given these numbers it is evident that our democracy, our America, does not have ONE BASE—it has many. I heard a few days ago that some poll gave Mr. Trump a 38% approval rating, which means there are 62% who do not approve. The Washington Examiner (Trump-supporting) in August 2017 wrote, “Data show that Trump’s real base is 24 percent of the electorate.” How can 24% determine the fate of the 75%?
We are a democracy, not a theocracy. The difference is huge. A theocracy has one base. We are a democracy, not an autocracy. The difference is huge. An autocracy consists of one person or one group. We are a democracy, not a plutocracy. The difference is huge. A plutocracy has one base—the wealthy. We are a democracy, not a meritocracy. The difference is huge. A meritocracy is based on one base—those who have ability and talent. We are a democracy, so let’s drop this stuff about this base, that base, or the Trump base and allow no base to dominate our policies, our thinking, or our religious persuasion.