The Truth about Trump’s devoted supporters

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It’s been a while since my last posting. Unfortunately, life gets in the way at times. There hasn’t been much going on in the previous three weeks has there? Excuse my humor.

The truth is, no matter what I’m doing outside the blogosphere, I’m always paying attention to current events—especially in the political world. With the reality TV President of the United States at the helm, every day leaves us with more head-scratching chaos. What did he say this morning? What did he do overseas? Ivanka met with who….where? He joked with Putin, and praised what dictator?

It never ends. And of course, it’s all by design. We’ve never had such a narcissist as President, and if there’s one thing he has learned over all of the years in the public eye, it’s how to promote himself … good or bad. As long as we’re talking about him, his enormous ego is satisfied.

While away though, I experienced an epiphany. That’s right, through a series of text messages with friends and family, I learned a little bit about Trump supporters. It’s not like I didn’t realize it before, but sometimes you need confirmation. Let me explain.

Several months ago, my older brother informed a mutual friend of ours that I had partnered with another friend and started a political blog. Curious, he went to our site and read some of my articles. He figured out pretty quickly what side of the political aisle I identified with, and before I knew it, I began to get a bunch of pro-Trump texts from him.

It’s a funny thing because I’ve known Jim (not his real name) for almost 40 years. We went to high school together and have laughed and partied together more times than I can count. But one thing we never really discussed when we were together, was politics. I can’t remember any substantive political agreements or disagreements over the years. But, we kind of drifted apart over the years—he moved to Florida many years ago from Ohio(where we’re both from originally)—I moved to Southern California 15 years ago, and have been in Oregon for the last three.

But we do still keep in touch, mostly by text. And in recent months, the texts also include my brother and another friend of Jim’s who I also know from Ohio, a guy I’ll refer to as Bill (not his real name either). To put it all in context, let’s just say that my brother and I come from the left politically, and Jim and Bill come from the right.

And cutting to the chase, Jim and Bill are ardent Trump supporters; my brother and me are vehemently opposed to this President. And what has really stood out in our conversations, is the unwavering support my two friends still have towards the President. And it’s not for lack of trying to convince them otherwise. Nothing worked.

When I informed Jim that President Trump has an affinity for dictators, his reply was, “It’s a great strategy. We need to keep our enemies close.” Bill then weighed in, “Do you guys want Trump not to be talking to these world leaders? Trump is an expert at relationship building and negotiation. These are business/leadership skills.” When I informed Bill that the President had 5 bankruptcies and lost more money than nearly every businessman in the United States for 8 years in the 90s? No response.

When my brother informed our friends that the lies and corruption of this administration were unprecedented and that the world thinks we’re a laughing-stock, Bill replied, “No other countries liked Rome either. When you’re at the top, everyone is trying to knock you down. Nice countries finish last.”

And when I brought up the point that none of the previous Presidents before Trump would meet with either of the Kim dictators out of fear of them using it as propaganda and legitimacy, with nothing in return, Jim responded, “But Bill Clinton was willing to meet Loretta Lynch on the airplane right? The Clintons have no skeletons in their closet … do they?”

And on and on it went. The good news about all of our texts is that in the end, we’re still friends. I’m not going to throw a nearly 40-year friendship away because of Donald Trump. Besides, many of our texts were humorous and sarcastic. We all got some laughs out of it and tried not to take everything so seriously.

But the bad news is, my two friends are a microcosm of the typical Trump supporter. Both are pushing 60 years old, white, and Fox News is their media of choice. Trump won these voters by large margins in 2016, and I’m thinking he will win them again in 2020.

Therein lies my epiphany. There’s something about this President that elicits vitriolic and unbridled support, unseen in recent memory. I kidded both of my friends that they need an intervention, a reverse cult brainwashing if you will. But all joking aside, what stands out the most from my texts with them, as well as seeing countless interviews and tweets from other supporters, is a simple fact that it does not matter one bit what this President says or does—they’re with him through thick and thin.

And while I risk painting a group of people with a broad-brush, I have to say that there are some common traits I’ve observed from these supporters, my two friends included. I get a real sense of anger and resentment from these folks. My friends, both of whom are highly educated and financially successful, have a real disdain for those, who in their eyes, “sit around collecting welfare, while I work my ass off.” That’s right. They do not want their taxes going to help ‘those’ people.

Again, I see this playing out daily. I live in a very ‘red’ county on the Southern Oregon coast. I see the Trump/MAGA signs on cars and pick-up trucks. I hear conversations at the local grocery store, many of them from guys my age, who are white like me, yet have an ideology that’s utterly foreign to my sensibilities. They talk in a similar manner that my Ohio friends demonstrated in their texts with me. How is it that I can feel empathy for people, and they cannot? What happened to them in their lives, where the animosity and hatred they feel for specific segments of society seem to grow worse by the day?

Indeed, there’s a racial component to it. I’m not saying that every die-hard Trump supporter is a racist. But it certainly can be inferred that a sizable number of them are, can it not? In many ways, it was the election of the first African-American as President, that drove many current Trump supporters crazy. To them, Barack Obama represented a changing of the guard—from a white male dominated society—to a changing demographic that threatens, in their minds, a lifetime of privilege and hierarchy. To my two friends, Obama ruined the country; Trump is ‘fixing’ it.

Whatever the reason, Donald Trump can count on his supporters in the 2020 election—full stop. And we’re talking about roughly 40 percent of the population, a relatively large number when you think about it. That figure rarely changes. A few times Trump’s approval rating has dipped below that threshold, but mostly it’s held steady … through Charlottesville, 10k lies, nepotism, pay to play, dictator worship and many other displays of incompetence and corruption.

Finally, I’m reminded of the 2016 campaign when the current President famously boasted on the trail that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and his supporters wouldn’t care. A few weeks ago(seems like an eternity), a journalist wrote a piece in New York Magazine credibly alleging that Donald Trump raped her in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store … on Fifth Avenue. The reaction of Trump supporters? Ominously silent. Why?

Trump was right. They just don’t care.

21 comments

  1. It takes some knowledge and some work to know if what Trump said is true or false.

    It takes some knowledge and work to know if Trump’s decisions are immoral.

    It is much easier to tell whether “my tribe is winning”.

    I think that’s what it is all about. It is a raw tribalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Neil. So true what you say. Just turn on Fox News or some other right-wing media, and take what they say as the gospel. In many of these rural areas..in fact most, there aren’t any alternative media resources. Progressive, or even independent media is nowhere to be found…thus, that tribalism becomes even more hardened. It’s a real hurdle and I’m not sure what we can do about it…except as you say…work harder for knowledge and the truth!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear that sound? That’s a low rumble deep in my throat. As I read this, read the texts by Jim and Bill, I looked down to see my fist (the one I wasn’t using to scroll with the mouse) clenched tightly, already in fight mode. I have had very similar conversations with friends, with the same results, only my friends decided I was a “snowflake bitch” and said, “bye-bye”. My side of the conversations was much the same as yours, with me asking, “what do you mean when you say, ‘he’s one of us’?” Only to be told that I should mind my own business and maybe educate myself. But to your point … you are right … Trump is a symptom of a broader illness in this country, an illness whose foundation is built on bigotry, income disparity, and more.

    One thing that struck me about your header picture here. The signs, “The Silent Majority stands with Trump”. WTF??? First, Trump supporters are, as you correctly noted, around 40% which, according to my math skills, does not constitute a majority. Second … SILENT??? Since when? They drown out all sensible thought with their braying and chanting “Lock her up”! Sigh. Gonna be a long 16 months. Invest in cheap wine, for I expect sales to skyrocket this year and next!

    I shall re-blog. Good analysis, Jeff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jill….as always…
      Yes, there are some in my family who I will never debate politics with. In other words, I never bring Trump up. Now, if they bring him up and say something beyond idiotic and stupid…then I can’t be silent. I’ll make sure I set them straight, in a nice soothing voice(not really!). Then, move on to another topic.

      BTW, I just got another text from ‘Jim’ showing me a survey he filled out for the RNC, and pledging his $$$ to Trump. I asked him if Sean Hannity had filled it out for him because the questions and answers were straight from the Fox News trash pile. Holy crap..WTF? is right!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you! I can avoid the topic of Trump, but if somebody else brings it up, I’m like a little yappy dog spoiling for a fight.

        Why on earth would anybody donate money to a man who already has millions, perhaps billions??? That’s nuts!!! Tell ‘Jim’ that if he has money to burn, I could really use a new vacuum cleaner! Aaarrrgggghhhh! 😱

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear you Jill. Btw, why is he taking so much money in? Since he’s so rich, why isn’t he self funding? Oh, I know why. He’s a FRAUD!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Because … you don’t really think he’s going to spend his own money, do you? All the b.s. about him not taking a salary? Just that … b.s. As a real estate “mogul”, he never missed an opportunity to stiff contractors … why do you think he has some 6,000 lawsuits with his name on them? He is a crook … just happens to be rich enough to buy his way out of trouble. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Once again, Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done some deep thinking and come to a conclusion that, while I don’t like it, I believe is spot-on. We have all had conversations ala the ones Jeff describes having with his trumpeter friends, and it seems that no matter what the ‘man’ in the Oval Office does, no matter how heinous his behaviour, they still love him. They would murder their spouses for behaving as Trump does, but since it’s Mr. Ugly doing it, it’s all just peachy. Sigh. Anyway, please take a look at Jeff’s very well-thought-out post, for I believe he is correct in all he says. Thanks Jeff!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post. Sadly, I agree with all you say here. I, too, know many Trump supporters, and they are, indeed, impervious to reality. It’s all about winning to them. Winning at any cost. Crush the libs! Smash the SJW’s! Destroy the social safety net that “those” people use–even though most people using it live in red states and are very, very white. They want to feel their boots pressed against their perceived enemies throats as they squirm beneath them. They’re angry. Righteous, and very, very wrong in their beliefs. And, they are very, very dangerous because they will crawl over broken glass to vote for Trump, even if he kills a bus load of children on 5th Avenue on Christmas morn. We HAVE to vote in 2020. We HAVE to get those who usually do not vote to do so. If Trump wins again, as a nation, we’re finished. As a matter of fact, we may already be.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you! Sadly, I fear you’re spot on about our country being doomed if he wins again. And the damage he’s already done is immense. The courts….he’s stacked them for years to come thanks to his buddy Mitch in the Senate. They know their ideas are bankrupt and relics of the past. But, if they have the courts, they feel they can compete. Gerrymandering…voter suppression…hell, outright rigging and help from foreign powers. They’ll do anything to keep power, and as you said, ‘crush the libs.’ These people are scary as hell. We can’t sit around like a bunch of conquered fools though. Fighting them every step of the way is the only answer.
      Thanks for reading!!

      Like

    1. Thanks Nan. I appreciate that. I wish I didn’t have to write about these things. But, I feel an obligation. These people need to be called out. And we must defeat their ideology..one county and one state at a time….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post and astute observations. Racism and white privilege scream the most to me but also religious extremism and the obsession with gay marriage and abortion. Another point is the market. If their portfolios are making a profit, that is all that counts to many as well.

    I think he’ll be re elected and we may have to hit a very serious rock bottom or the people over 60 dying out by attrition, to ever see any change and it will get worse before that ever happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mary,
      I am not a voter, being Canadian, but there are a large clump of us over 60 who see right through Trump, including YOU! Please don’t kill us off yet. We are carrying on the fight against him and his ilk worms.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it’s because I live in Florida….land of the old white conservative that I said that and I’m an old person too (72) but yes you are correct…there are those of us who ARE NOT trump supporters. Sometimes I literally feel surrounded. My apologies.😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel your pain Mary. I lived in Ohio for 42 years. I don’t know what has happened to my home state. Trump won it by 8 points. That to me was a shocker. And this was after going for Obama twice. He’s got a lot of people hoodwinked. Dem candidate will have their work cut out for them in 2020. We MUST beat this man.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nothing to apologize for. I realize what you were trying to say, and I agree with it. It must be hard on you to be surrounded by republican voters Do seniors get some kind of tax break in the States that turns them into conservatives, or is it just that conservative seniors move to Florida? Where do more liberal voters move to?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I hate to say it…but you’re spot on. The old relics will have to ride off into the sunset before some serious change can happen in this country. I’m hoping to have several more years on this planet…although at the current rate, who knows how long it’s going to exist as we know it? When Obama was elected, I thought and hoped we had turned a corner. Obviously, we have not. So much work to do!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem that way doesn’t it? I may as well be talking to a wall when I’m talking to his supporters. I like that though…zombie…very appropriate.

      Liked by 1 person

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