By Briana Brady, Opinion Editor–
Now, don’t be mistaken. Before you read any further, no, I do not think this is the last bombshell news report to come before November 3rd. No, I never thought President Trump was being forthright about his taxes (or honestly, anything). But I do think that the New York Times story detailing Trump’s taxes over the years marks perhaps the first of the “October Surprises” that this election will hold. And we aren’t even in October yet.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now the details of the news story: Trump paid a laughable and maddening $750 in taxes during the year he won the Presidency and the year that followed. He wrote off $70,000 worth of hair styling during his time on The Apprentice. He claimed losses on his businesses to the point that he managed to avoid paying years of federal income taxes. Or perhaps avoid isn’t a strong enough word. Maybe manipulate. Cheat.
All that being, said, though, I’m not knowledgeable enough about tax laws or anything related to them to be able to adequately discuss the intricacies of what all these findings mean for any tax fraud he did or did not commit. I am interested in noting, however, the harsh reality of what I think sets this nearly-October not-so-surprise surprise apart from those of the past (remember Hillary’s emails?): this revelation will not in any way impact the die-hard Trump supporters who have stuck with him through thick and thin (in my opinion, all thin).
It seems like nothing can tear his supporters from him. They idolize him. I mean, the man has numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault, yet his supporters never wavered. Trump told Americans to inject bleach into their veins to counteract COVID while knowingly lying and withholding information from the public regarding what he knew about the disease, yet his supporters stood with him. He teargassed peaceful protestors for a Biblical photo opportunity, and his followers praised him, ignoring the hypocrisy in their own words and support. He has joined with Mitch McConnell in leading the Republican Party’s rushed effort to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before November 3rd rolls around, completely reversing their claim from the last election that the electorate should decide the next Justice.
The hypocrisy is sickening, and the lies are never ending. The self-serving nature of this President is so blatantly obvious to me; I balk at his supporters who sheepishly follow, praise, and stand by his every move like some kind of cult.
So yes, in normal times, the nearly-October not-so-surprise surprise release of Trump’s taxes and the atrocities that accompany them would completely do in a candidate running for the nation’s highest public service position. But we are not in normal times.
If we want to return to normalcy, we cannot re-elect this President. And we have to show up in droves to vote against him. As he has proven through his actions thus far, he is going to try to pull every tactic he can to secure four more years (and who knows beyond that)–even so far as to potentially ask what would be a days-old Supreme Court Justice to be a deciding vote on the results and legitimacy of the 2020 election.
To paraphrase a quote from Maya Angelou: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first (and second, and, third, and fourth, and 500th) time. And vote accordingly.