I imagine some day someone will paint a picture of Trump voters that will not be infuriating. Maybe it’s something that will have to come with time and distance. Maybe when Trump is out of office I’ll be able to read about Trump voters without feeling a seething rage. Maybe I’ll even get my snark back. It seems to be depleted these days. Some day I may be able to read about Trump voters without wanting to throttle everyone in the MSM or the Bernie-or-Busters. But today is not that day.
After the election, I decided to talk to 100 Trump voters from around the country. I went to the middle of the country, the middle of the state, and talked to many online.
The TL;DR quote is this:
“You all can defeat Trump next time, but not if you keep mocking us, refusing to listen to us, and cutting us out. It’s Republicans, not Democrats, who will take Trump down.”
In other words, “we’ll vote for someone we dislike and even find unfit for office out of spite.” INCREDIBLE.
“He is anti-abortion.” Note: This sentiment came up a lot. A number of people I spoke to said they didn’t care about anything else he did and would always vote for whichever candidate was more anti-abortion.
You buried the lede. You buried it bigtime. This is a huge admission. An admission that Trump voters are–fundamentally–conservative Republicans and they–surprise surprise!–vote like conservative Republicans. It’s also a tacit admission that many Trump supporters are avid misogynists.
“He is anti-immigration.” Note: This sentiment came up a lot. The most surprising takeaway for me how little it seemed to be driven by economic concerns, and how much it was driven by fears about “losing our culture,” “safety,” “community,” and a general Us-vs.-Them mentality.
Yeah. They’re racists and xenophobes. This isn’t news.
“I am socially very liberal. I am fiscally very conservative. I don’t feel I have a party — never have. I grew up in a more socially conservative time and picked the “lesser of two evils” during elections. Now, the more socially liberal side supports bigger governments, more aid and support, and that money has to come from somewhere. I see what’s deducted from my check each week. I’m OK with never being rich, but I’d like more security, and that doesn’t come from more government spending.”
Actually, that’s exactly where it comes from and now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go bash my head against the wall until I lose consciousness.
“I’m willing to postpone some further social justice progress, which doesn’t really result in loss of life, in favor of less foreign policy involvement, the opposite of which does.”
Well, betting on a toddler with personality disorder who surrounds himself with white supremacists seems like a poor way to achieve this result. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bash my head against the wall until I lose consciousness.
“Brown people are always the out-crowd. I think subconsciously, part of the reason I supported him was a way to be in the in-crowd for once.”
Translation: “I was willing to shit on other marginalized people so I could feel like part of the cool crowd.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bash my head against the wall until I lose consciousness.
“The way he talks about women is despicable.”
“Everything about his style. We only voted for him because this election was too important to worry about style.”
“I don’t like most things about him. The way it worked is we got to choose one of two terrible options.”
“I think our nation needs Trumpism to survive long-term, and to me, that supersedes almost every other reservation I have. My issue is with Trump himself — I think he’s the wrong vessel for his movement, but he’s all we’ve got, so I’m behind him.”
“I think the rollout of the immigration executive order is emblematic of a clusterf—, to be completely frank.”
“I now believe the Muslim ban actually makes us less safe.”
“Isolationism and protectionism at this point is insane. We’ve done that before.”
“I, too, worry about the dishonesty. His relationship with Russia, his relationship with women. His relationship with questionable financial matters. These all worry me, and were they to continue, I would lose all respect.”
“He continually plays into a character that he has created to rile his fan base. Accepting anti-Semitism, white nationalism, or hate emanating unnecessarily creates a vacuum of fear on social media, on television, and around the dinner table. Even though the policies may be similar to that of any recent Republican president, the behavior to act so immaturely sets a bad example for children and undercuts many cultural norms, which more than anything causes disruption to our sociological foundations.”
“I hate that he discredits the press all the time. That seems to forebode great evil.”
I just want to thank every media outlet, every activist and every pundit who made sure to hammer home how flawed Hillary was. How there was a “cloud” over her. Who implied that she was hugely corrupt. Who implied that her flaws were in any way commensurate to Donald’s. You did a great job.