Rusty Bowers, the Arizona state representative who testified the other day before the January 6 committee that Trump tried to strong-arm him into changing the results of the 2020 election, says he’s still a Trumper.
Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers’ voice wavered as he spoke to the House Jan. 6 committee Tuesday about his belief in a divinely inspired Constitution. His conviction was clear when describing the offense he took at former President Donald Trump asking him to break the law. In testimony that’s being likened to Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Bowers said violating the Constitution “because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being.”
Like the fellow Republicans who joined him on Tuesday’s panel, Bowers was willing to speak the taboo that has condemned so many of Republicans: Trump lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden and tried to persuade officials like Bowers to help him illegally stay in office. But Bowers stood out for his simple yet eloquent musings on the nature of courage and democracy.
It was easy to get lost in the moment that Bowers created — but then reality comes crashing in. In an interview with the Associated Press, Bowers said of Trump: “If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again. Simply because what he did the first time, before Covid, was so good for the county. In my view it was great.”
So, yeah, Trump tried to overthrow the government of the United States and install himself as president, but hey, up until then he was my kinda guy. We heard the same rationalization in 1974 about Nixon: hey, he was a great president until he tried to fix the 1972 election. Such a shame he had to resign.
I’m sure there’s some psychological term for this inability to reconcile the totality of a situation with how it runs headlong into morality, not to mention legality, as long as you get what you want for yourself. History is replete with people and entire populations who accepted horrific attacks on freedoms and social norms as long as they didn’t shit on your lawn. Mussolini made the trains run on time; so what if he caved to the Nazis and deported the Jews.
This is a part of a larger picture. I still get robo-calls about my car warranty and my Microsoft computer sending out “bad things.” That’s because for every call I delete or send to spam, there’s ten or a hundred who fall for it and willingly send thousands of dollars to some scammer’s cube farm in India. If they didn’t work, they wouldn’t still be in business. It’s the same with politicians: if the lie and bullshit worked the last time, it’s going to work again as long as you give the marks the false hope that their life will get better if you blame all your problems on someone else and warn them that the opposition is going to use the same tactics that suckered you in. (Case in point: Wackos like MTG warn of rioting and violence from the “radical leftists” at the same time the members of the January 6 committee are getting security details because of an increase in death threats from Trump supporters.)
In short, no one ever lost an election by exploiting the greed, fear, and paranoia of the average American. Works every time.