As America speeds closer to the first primary elections, supporting Donald Trump increasingly requires a suspension of disbelief. It requires believing, for example, that, when he said of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that she had “blood coming out of her wherever” (when she was questioning him during a debate) that he wasn’t suggesting anything untoward or misogynistic. It requires believing that when he said the American public won’t put Republican candidate Carly Fiorina in the White House, because “look at that face!” that he was not commenting on her attractiveness. And it requires believing that when he holds his arms in a way as if to mimic a reporter who suffers from a condition called arthrogryposis, that it was just a coincidence.
There’s always an excuse. It was always just a huge misunderstanding! And, what is more, you’re the bad guy for thinking he had impure motives.
Believing in Mr Trump is hard work. And yet, if we are to believe the polls, a pretty sizable chunk of the Republican base is caught in the Trump Reality Distortion Filter.
So how did it happen?
The fact that a political figure like Mr Trump exists is not concerning. What is concerning is that so many people support him. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that the political environment invites it.