Donald Trump piles up the scandals – already at a pace of two in a day. As bad as that would be for everyone else, he gets away with it so easily. “The US is divided so that everyone is confirmed in his own convictions,” explains America expert Bart Kerremans. “And that’s why Trump can easily be elected again.”
‘The New York Times’ revealed Tuesday how Trump helped his father for years to avoid taxes and that he became rich in it himself. He was already a millionaire at the age of eight because of all the money that his father was pushing him to keep it out of the hands of the tax authorities. Even if nothing illegal happened – which is to be doubted – there is already an image of shards: that of a self-made man for which Trump has always spent. He was really a fils à papa.
Such a revelation would have been sufficient in the past to lead to a major crisis – but not so with Trump. He did the same on the same day by making Christine Blasey Ford ridiculous. During a speech in Mississippi he imitated the woman who accused candidate chief judge Kavanaugh of sexual abuse. “I had drunk only one beer”, he mocked. “But I do not remember how I got home. Where it was? I do not know anymore. How long ago exactly? I do not know, I do not know.”
That a president can afford such a brutal attack on the credibility of a possible victim, while he had previously called it “credible” is also unseen. Perhaps everything is, and is it precisely the amount of scandal that makes Trump insensitive to it? “America is so divided that those scandals confirm everyone in his conviction”, explains Professor Kerremans of KU Leuven. “Whoever was against Trump gets even more disgust from him. But whoever supports him sees everything in the perspective of a great witch hunt.”
In doing so, Trump can temporarily afford to only serve his own constituency and do nothing about the rest. A constituency that consists primarily of low-skilled white men. “This is also apparent from the attitude towards Kavanaugh,” Kerremans adds. While a majority of Americans speak out against his appointment and Ford considers it more credible, 72% of the white ‘blue collar’ men indeed think Kavanaugh is the real victim of a smear campaign in particular.
That supporters feast on his style. But will that also last? “It may be that he adds something to his attitude if the Republicans lose the elections in November”, Kerremans suggests. “But actually, I do not believe that. His impulsive and narcissistic personality is too strong for that. And be sure that in 2020 he can still be re-elected. The Democrats will have to find someone who is countering his populism in an almost brutal way to counter that.”
And the Russia investigation? Cannot that call Trump? “Only if it were proven that he personally cooperated in a conspiracy”, Kerremans thinks. “And so far, I have not seen anything about it. In everything we know now, the last link is always missing, which connects him directly with the facts. Do not be mistaken: even if a procedure of deposition was to be started once, two-thirds of the entire Senate must still agree with his deposition and that will not happen.”