Supporters of Donald Trump live in a “hermetically sealed world” in which “facts don’t penetrate,” says former Bush administration official Peter Wehner, speaking to CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday night.
As HuffPost reports, Wehner, who served in the administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, said that Trump supporters are so eager to “accommodate” themselves to Trump that they are loathe to admit that he can do anything wrong. And that means that facts simply don’t penetrate their brains, as if they lived in a “hermetically sealed world.”
“Facts are like BBs, they’re just bouncing off of a brick wall. They just don’t penetrate.”
So why are Trump supporters so reluctant to admit that Trump isn’t infallible? Wehner posits that it’s a matter of self-preservation. That is, for a Trump supporter to admit that Trump has done wrong, the supporter must admit to their self that they were wrong about Trump.
“Now it’s not just a defense of Trump. It’s a defense of their defense of Trump. To indict him is to indict themselves, and to indict their own judgment, and that’s hard for any human being. They will defend him regardless of what happens, come hell or high water,” he said.
By popular request, here's video of @Peter_Wehner talking about Trump supporters on today's show. "Now it's not just a defense of Trump, it's a defense of their defense of Trump. To indict him is to indict themselves, to indict their own judgment, and that's hard for any human." pic.twitter.com/AvE7wPx9ih— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 13, 2019
Sunday night’s CNN appearance was not the first time Wehner rolled out his theory about Trump supporters being unable to admit his purported wrongdoings to themselves. Two weeks ago, Wehner wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, opining that, “in a sane world,” the Ukraine scandal would have done to Trump supporters as the Watergate scandal did to Nixon supporters — that is, invoking those supporters to abandon their guy.
“One might hope that some of the party’s elected officials would forcefully condemn the president,” he wrote.
However, with Trump, that is simply not the case.
Wehner points out that it’s not impossible for a supporter of Trump to stand behind his agenda while at the same time condemning his “corrupt behavior.” But few are willing to do that.
The reason? Wehner cites an unnamed psychologist who suggests it’s “tribalism” and group-think. That is, so cohesive and self-protective are Trump supporters, as a group, that to criticize Trump is to risk being excluded from the group.
Earlier in September, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, Wehner suggested that Donald Trump is “not well” mentally, and suggested that he had some sort of obsessive or narcissistic mental disorder.