President Trump will probably have pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement before I finish typing this post. But whatever the president does and whenever he does it, the whole matter will still have left me with one big, entirely non-environmental question, begged by the following points:
It’s not just the Europeans whom Trump dissed on his big trip who are pledged to the Agreement, it’s the Gulf Arabs whom he embraced.
It’s not just the environmentalists Trump ridicules who have urged him to keep the U.S. in, but the fossil-fuel industrialists he claims to champion. Crucially, they are doing so on the grounds that participation in the accord would help keep U.S. energy companies globally competitive…which is, one might think, right in line with one of Trump's main objectives.
It’s not just sworn enemies of the President who will be bummed big-time by a pullout, it’s his very most credible defenders: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
All this has been completely clear for months. Yet, as the clock ticks toward the moment of decision, the right-flank warning keeps rising and getting redder: if Trump announces that he intends to keep the U.S. in, millions of his most loyal supporters will feel betrayed and there’s no telling what revenge they might exact. In other words, forget climate-change geeks, Democrats, anti-Trump Republicans, the whores of the media, the leakers of “the deep state.” If President Trump heeds his own, hand-picked military and diplomatic advisers; foreign allies who love him, and the job creators in one of his favorite economic sectors, he will enrage “the base.”
Which leads to the aforementioned, and lingering, question: completely apart from the merits or demerits of the agreement itself, who does Trump's “base” really consist of, and why won't they give their own team a win?