On the Appeal of Trump to Trump Fans

Trump is the only president in decades who has appealed to a particular segment of the American electorate.

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I've been mystified for the last five-plus years as to what his fans find attractive about Trump. I'm not talking about people who think of him as the lesser evil to a Democratic administration, but people who wholeheartedly support him.

I almost never like any politician, so I'm not the best person to address this issue, and to some extent the appeal of political celebrities is always going to be a somewhat mysterious product of visceral emotion. (Why did so many American celebrities and intellectuals fall for Fidel Castro? Beats me.)

But I had a recent epiphany: there is a large segment of American society, maybe 15-20%, that has not had a president who represents their basic worldview for decades. These folks tend to be white, exurban or rural, believe in religious tradition and cultural conservatism without being regular church-goers, very patriotic, very pro-military, hostile to immigration and free trade, skeptical of big business, big government, and establishment experts, and in favor of entitlement programs and the safety net. Gannett or some similar media outfit profiled them well a couple of decades ago, but I can't find a link.

Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan appealed to this demographic to a large extent. Beyond that, the only major national figure I can think of in my lifetime who more or less represented them was George Wallace.

So along comes Trump who appeals to this constituency almost perfectly. Sure, he's a rich New Yorker, but his outer-borough accent and mentality, scorned by the elite, reminds people that their own regional accents are also scorned by the elite.

This constituency used to be divided between Republicans and Democrats, which is one reason they lacked influence on presidential nominees, but they have shifted to be heavily Republican, which gave them a lot of influence on the nominating process in 2016, and they chose Trump.

Trump, to almost everyone's surprise, wins. So how do big government, big business, elite experts and so on, i.e., the establishment, react, from his fans' perspective? Without even giving Trump a chance, they decree that he is illegitimate, that he needs to be resisted, and that his voters are beyond redemption; "this is 1932 in Germany" was not a rare reaction.

So, from these voters' perspective, the one time in their lifetimes and much longer a president comes around who really speaks to their worldview, the establishment tries to destroy him. Rather than the anti-Trump sentiment persuading them, it makes them stronger supporters, people who see Trump as their weapon against an establishment that disparages them.

Now, while I never joined "the resistance," I was a never-Trumper, and my perspective is much closer to the establishment's than to Trump fans. But this intellectual exercise wasn't an attempt to figure out whether I got Trump wrong, but to try to understand why his fans have been so supportive. I'm sure my explanation is at best only a partial one, but I think it is at least a partial one.

 

NEXT: We Should Not Forget The Free Speech Lessons from President Johnson’s Impeachment Trial

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  1. A little whataboutism really makes me feel better about the silly insurrection thing. Let me know when the celebs for Castro try a coup at the behest of your party’s president.

    1. You’re right we need to get back to overthrowing other governments. Like Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan did. How’s that whataboutism taste.

      1. Unconnected with reality. Or, as we say these days, “Citation needed.”

        1. You need a citation for the places those presidents sent troops or focuses state resources on for elections?

          Okay… can you graduate high school first?

          1. Those of us who have graduated from high school know that you don’t graduate high school.

        2. Well how about Libya as the most recent example?

          1. If we don’t fight those Yemeni separatists on their turf, we’ll have to fight them in Riyadh next year!

    2. Castro’s a good comparison actually. The left really did see him as something of a dashing revolutionary, when what he really was was much darker.

      I will say something else that was a commonality- Castro had the right enemies. If you are a left-winger, the Batista regime, with its kleptocratic capitalism, vice, and racism, is just a a perfect foil. And similarly, I think a lot of Trump fans on the right felt he had the right enemies.

    3. It is clear from the article that Trumpers suffer from a collective wrong think. Since there are so many of them, they present a real threat to society and the rule of law. If we control them with an iron boot, it will be too bloody, so I suggest the humane and compassionate option and that would be a reeducation or deprogramming once they are Identified. If they are homeschoolers, their children are most likely not aware of their biases and wrong think. The parents of those children must be compelled to stop homeschooling and we need to take a serious look at the type of church they attend and provide alternatives.

      Until the threat is gone, we need to curtail their rights initially but temporarily until they have responded positively to treatment.

    4. Anyone using “insurrection” and “coup” is not a serious person to be taken seriously. That’s just pure trolling and CNN-level clowning.

    5. You mean, like they’ve been trying to overthrow President Trump even before he was sworn in?

      From the perspective of this “Never-Trumper” willing to give President Trump a chance, the final successful coup happened on November 3, when the Democrats in a handful of Democratic-controlled counties stole the election, and Big Tech did everything they could to silence and discredit any attempt to talk about it. (They never did attempt to make serious attempts to discredit the claims of fraud itself, though.)

  2. Before Trump won in 2016, before the Republican primaries even started, I was part of a Frank Luntz focus group. He showed us a bunch of possible anti-Trump attack ads. (Note: Given the timing, these were all certainly paid for by either the RNC or by one of Trump’s Republican primary opponents.) Some ads just generally attacked his lack of experience. Some generally attacked his amorality. Others gave specific quote or specific headines, which mentioned his serial affairs, or racist comments, or bankruptcies, etc..

    None of it mattered. The overwhelming consensus of the group was, “Nothing you show us or tell us matters. We (a) Don’t believe the media, and (b) Even where we do believe the media, we don’t believe it if media mention Donald Trump.” At one point, Frank Luntz did something unheard of: He came out from behind the one-way mirror and yelled at us. “Why don’t you guys care about any of this! You’re really saying that you don’t care if Donald Trump is a liar or an adulterer or a cheat? Really?!?” And, yes; that was what most people in that focus group thought. There was literally NOTHING that people could say about Donald Trump that would cause them to lower their opinion of the man.

    I mention this story because it happened WAY before the mainstream media started talking about Trump’s many shortcomings. There is something magical about Trump and Trump’s impact on how the Bernstein-identified subsection of America sees Trump. Hundreds of Psychology, Sociology, and Poli-Sci graduate students will be writing dissertation papers for decades on this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

    [I’ll point out that, after coming home from this focus group, I told my unbelieving girlfriend and my mom, “Trump is gonna win the Republican nomination!” Repeated this to my friends. No one believed me. (Of course they did not…it was crazy-talk.) But, in the spirit of total honesty: I also thought there was no way Trump would win the general . . . I thought that there were enough idiots in my Republican party to give the nomination to Trump, but that he’d never appeal to enough Independents to come close to winning in November. How wrong I was! ]

    1. “You’re really saying that you don’t care if Donald Trump is a liar or an adulterer or a cheat?”

      Nobody cared that Clinton was a liar or an adulterer or a cheat, either. That’s just how people work.

      1. I don’t think you were around in the 1990’s. If you were, you would know that what you say was not the case.

        1. You mean how he was reelected by higher numbers after being proven to be a liar and cheater? How the media ignored multiple women with time and dates of assaults? Ignored the dozens of convictions for an investment group the Clinton’s were a part of?

          1. Do you see how all that is different than “nobody cared?” Do you now understand the concept of moving goalposts?

            1. Fine. Clinton supporters didn’t care. Just like Trump supporters don’t care about his manifest failings.

              1. That’s exactly right.

                Nobody cared about what Clinton had done. Just a couple decades earlier– maybe 10 years — Clinton’s shenanigans would have done him in.

                By 1992, almost no one cared, at least no one on the Left.

                The people on the Right looked at Clinton and decided that they weren’t going to be the only ones with standards.

                1. Eh, Clinton still didn’t pay for it. (Well, he did, but not that way.)

        2. You’re saying that Gloria Steinem and NOW “cared” that Clinton was sexual assaulter and abuser? They had a funny way of showing it. Why do you act like everyone here has a memory hole and you can just make up whatever story you want?

        3. I was around in the 90’s it was absolutely the case that Bill Clinton was a liar, a rapist, adulterer, and on the take from when he was attorney general.

          Now most of that was not publicly known, but it was an open secret that he was having affairs when he was a law professor at University of Arkansas. My Father in law was also a professor at UA at the time.

          I also know for a fact that the 100,000 in cattle futures contract profits Hillary made were channeled to Hillary via Red Bone, a commodity trader who had been disciplined in the past, from Don Tyson, the Springdale chicken magnate.

          1. Citation needed

          2. Yes, the $100,000 cattle futures profit is one of my very favorite political corruption stories.

            It is obviously corruption to anyone who knows about financial markets.

            And Hillary got clean away with it.

        4. “I don’t think you were around in the 1990’s. ”

          I was around…back then there were religious Republicans who cared about the adultery, most did not but pretended to care for political reasons. Some weren’t bothered by Clinton’s extra-curricular activities but thought it poor form to bald-faced lie on television. (“Depends on what the meaning of “is” is). Some Democrats cared as well but (also for political reasons) gave him a pass.

          1. I was around and I cared about the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States perjuring himself and obstructing justice in a lawsuit against him.

        5. I don’t think you were around in the 1990’s. If you were, you would know that what you say was not the case.

          He was re-elected, wasn’t he?

      2. Feminists stuck Clinton when he was credibly accused of sexual assault. Gloria Steinem wrote an op-ed in the NYT saying that it was OK for a Governor to expose himself to a state employee as long as he “took no for an answer.”

        1. Stuck with?

          Indeed they did, as is even more true today the only critical item is whether there is an R or D after the politician’s name.

          1. Yes. Stuck with.

    2. Quite right. David’s analysis does not consider a very important factor: the disconnect with reality among Trump’s supporters.

      1. The reality is that Democrats actively hate normals; eGOP holds them in thinly veiled contempt.

        Trump does neither.

        He understands that without the people who build and manufacture things, nothing else is possible.

      2. What disconnect with reality?

        We all knew Trump was an adulterer, sleezy businessman, scofflaw, etc. But he was running against Hillary Clinton, a rapist enabler, corrupt politician and grifter.

        There was no high moral ground in 2016, or 2020.

        And the dishonesty in portraying Trump was breathtaking, he came out for gay marriage years before Hillary or Obama did. Jesse Jackson praised Trump for a “Lifetime of service to Blacks”. Yet he is anti-gay and a racist. There is no doubt he is xenophobic, but living in NY and interacting with the Black community all those years didn’t show it. And actually his hostility to muslims and illegal aliens is very widespread in the Black community.

        1. “What disconnect with reality? ”

          That one.

          1. How is it disconnected with reality? What part of Kazinski’s statement, which point, is incorrect?

            1. “Trump… came out for gay marriage years before Hillary or Obama did.”

              “Lifetime of service to Blacks”

      3. David’s analysis does not consider a very important factor: the disconnect with reality among Trump’s supporters.

        Actually, you’ve proven his point here. We all must be disconnected with reality. So the elitists, like yourself, can just blow us all off without actually trying to think about why we feel the way we do.

      4. Nah. Probably you are the one disconnected from reality.

    3. Your take away was on the people you hate instead of recognizing the vast majority of Americans disbelieve the lies and narrative building of the media. Not everyone is stupid. People see how topics are treated differently especially in temporal proximity. They see a 4 year attempt to undo an election be defended and then watch the same media call those who question the election white supremacists, racists, idiots, etc.

      Youre just a true believer in the current media narrative because it confirms your current beliefs. Youre not objective so you looked down on those in your group instead of listening to them.

      1. ” the vast majority of Americans disbelieve the lies and narrative building of the media. ”

        Starting with the ridiculous claim that they aren’t actually a majority.

        1. OK, 49%. Quit splitting hairs.

    4. Don’t expect people to ever care about that stuff again. News media are enemies of Americans. It will never matter what they say.

    5. People liked Trump because he stood up for America. It is not hard.

      1. Remember all the people responding to MAGA with “America was never great”?

        Leftists never liked America or Americans. And they still don’t.

        1. “Remember all the people responding to MAGA with ‘America was never great’?”

          No.

          I DO remember “America is already great”, however.

          AWAG

          You seem to be confused as to which side went around wearing hats saying that America isn’t great.

          1. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, April 2018: “America was never that great.”

            Lots of other people have written that “America was never great”. They chant it, too: https://www.newsweek.com/dc-protesters-chant-america-was-never-great-they-burn-us-flag-following-trumps-july-4th-1515488

            Now we know how oblivious you are.

            1. Not oblivious, intentionally false and deceptive. Standard leftist behavior.

          2. “Remember all the people responding to MAGA with ‘America was never great’?” No.

            Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York

            You seem to be confused as to which side went around wearing hats saying that America isn’t great.

            As captcrisis would say, “Citation Needed”.

  3. This is an uncommonly sensible article. The only thing I can add is that the views you describe in those last few paragraphs as being his fan’s perspective is also the perspective of plenty of people who aren’t his fans and would never vote for him (like me) but also despise the establishment.

  4. Trump was my absolute last choice in the 2016 primary (I was a Scott Walker fan). And I like to say I didn’t vote for Trump in the general, I voted against Hillary.

    But I have to say I became a Trump fan pretty quickly, even though I’m not a fan of walls and I’m very pro LEGAL immigration and wish more attention could be given to simplifying the immigration process. Lord knows we need more taxpayers.

    But cutting taxes and regulations, keeping us out of needless wars, lowering unemployment and creating genuine wage growth got me firmly on the train. And his foreign policy instincts have proven to be effective. Just look at the Abraham accords.

    Ann Coulter wrote something to the effect that we need a better Trump. I could go with that. But he’ll do until that man or woman comes along.

    1. The biggest thing that gets missed is that not everyone is emotional and looking for a daddy figure. Many if us look at the policies, judicial choices, failed attempts but what they were for and realize the actions weren’t bad. We can separate the personality from the actions.

      Never trumpets, the left, etc never could. They cared more for personality while still calling anyone not raging against trump a cultist. His presidency started with a DNC paid foreign dossier fed through multiple friendly government channels, threats if impeachment before an inauguration, a riot at the inauguration, a 3 year investigation with democrats claiming for 3 years Russians changed the election, an impeachment predicated on a single person (Vindman) disagreeing with Trump on a call…. and Trump refused to back down and kept doing what he promised.

      Even as people were calling him the biggest fuck up with Covid and praising the true biggest fuck up in Cuomo Trump kept steady on trying to get a vaccine. His optimism was declared evil for fucks sake.

      The short of it is people are emotional and project their emotions on others.

      1. You’re right. His supporters are indeed emotional and projecting.

        1. That’s not a response to what Jesse said. In fact, you just proved his point by projecting YOUR OWN emotion back on his comment.

          What part of his comment was wrong?

      2. ” Trump refused to back down and kept doing what he promised.”

        I don’t remember him promising to play a lot of golf. I do remember a few of the promises, though. I remember he was going to sign a “better than Obamacare” healthcare plan on “day one” that we still haven’t seen. I remember Mexico was going to pay for his wall, and (oops) it seems that check is still in the mail.

        1. I don’t remember him promising to play a lot of golf.

          Obama played just as much golf.

          I remember he was going to sign a “better than Obamacare” healthcare plan on “day one” that we still haven’t seen.

          John McCain voted AGAINST removing the plan that was already in place. How can you expect Trump to have a healthcare plan when Congress wouldn’t even rescind Obamacare?

          I remember Mexico was going to pay for his wall, and (oops) it seems that check is still in the mail.

          Were you absent the last 4 years? He had to fight these battles all the way to the USSC on a number of occasions. He couldn’t even get it built partially until he used a different law to get financing for it, and everyone in the establishment screamed bloody murder.

          This is an utterly dishonest post. If you tried to be objective, you’d see that. So Jesse’s point stands: you’ll ignore the good he did and focus on the things you think are bad, and that’s because you personally hate the man. So emotion wins the day.

          1. “Obama played just as much golf.”

            Citation needed…

            1. Citation? Really?

              I don’t care that Obama played golf but he seemed to be out on the course several times a week.

              1. Citation? Really?

                Really.

                I don’t care that Obama played golf but he seemed to be out on the course several times a week.

                No, he didn’t.

    2. But cutting taxes and regulations, keeping us out of needless wars, lowering unemployment and creating genuine wage growth got me firmly on the train. And

      So things that didn’t actually happen got you to support the guy you already supported. Gotcha.

  5. The shallow examination of who you think support President Trump is to be expected from a self declared intellectual.

    Core values. Thats the trait held in common of President Trumps supporters

    vs, Democrats, who’s unapologetic principle is win at all cost. Best displayed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He declared he had Proof Mitt Romney was not paying federal taxes, something proven a lie after the election. When confronted with the lie, He smiled quite proud of himself and said “we won didn’t we”.
    Runner up goes to our next President. When asked how she could be a running mate to a man she declared a racist…she just giggled.
    Winning is all the matters….no core values

    1. “Winning is all the matters….no core values”

      Can’t… take… the irony…

      1. It is you who are missing the irony. Trump is a caricature of other politicians. He is vice without paying the tribute of hypocrisy to virtue. That is why most other politicians hate him.

        Now would you care to justify Harry Reid’s behavior?

        1. “Harry Reid’s behavior”

          Citation needed.

              1. If people don’t know how about Reids shamelessness just dismiss them as partisan hacks.

              1. IOW: “Oh, *those* citations.”

        2. “He is vice without paying the tribute of hypocrisy to virtue.”

          That’s your argument; it’s not Iowan’s. There is nothing “values”-driven, -related or even -adjacent to Trump, and to claim his supporters are motivated by “core values” at all is, in the most literal, out-loud sense possible, laughable.

          1. I know it’s my argument. That’s why I wrote it.

            And I noticed you had nothing of substance to say about it.

            That’s the rub. Trump is a total jerk. But he is also a fun-house-mirror reflection of American politics in the last few decades. That is why so many people in politics hate him.

            1. It’s a dumb, self-destructive, immature, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face argument, which I left unaddressed because my point was the irony in Iowan’s comment. The fact is, there are many, many people in politics who genuinely try to do their jobs and help the country, while sometimes compromising – including compromising their ideals – when they feel they have to in order to serve a larger purpose. The fact that all people – not just politicians – lie occasionally does not make it any less bad an idea to turn the country over to someone who lies constantly, and who self-evidently cares only about his own personal well-being and instantaneous whims.

          2. That you have never been around a culture of core values, doesn not mean it is not real.
            Don’t think they are perfect. No one is. The key is always striving to improve. Not attain perfection.

              1. Enough with the glib, snide comments. Answer a point: how were any of Trump’s policy goals not values-oriented? How about an example, and why it wasn’t?

                1. Well, first, “grift” can’t really be described as a “policy goal.”

  6. You want to know the basic reason?

    We figured out that the establishment GOP (eGOP) was more interested in its own agenda than serving its core constituency.

    This became blindingly obvious when the eGOP worked in concert with the Democrats during the rise of the Tea Party. The eGOP was eager to take contributions from the Tea Party, then essentially stabbed them in the back.

    At that point, many of the grass roots decided not to support a group of lying backstabbers. Time and again we were lied to and we got tired of it.

    Trump was totally unlike the eGOP; since they hated him so much, it seemed he was the one we were waiting for. He had the benefit of also being hated by the Democrats.

    And he was effective. He truly brought hope to minorities with the lowest unemployment rate for those groups since they have been keeping records.

    And who would have guessed that Trump actually got peace in the Middle East. This alone eclipsed Carter’s accomplishment of getting Israel and Egypt to sign the Camp David Accords. The press was silent on this and still has not acknowledged this historic moment. Now Biden wants to undo that.

    Is that enough?

    1. What will become of the GOP given the split between Trump and the eGOP? How does the GOP form a majority coalition (Democrats have the majority without the Trump base, although it doesn’t equate to necessarily winning the Senate or the electoral college)?

      1. Josh – good question. In my opinion, what ought to happen is that the Trump coalition not vote for any GOP politician who won’t pursue similar policies. In other words, force their hand. Because if the establishment takes over, it’s all going to crash anyway; why not just get it over with?

    2. That’s half the picture. But there are also real principles involved.

      Trump became the target of a wave of hatred, including from the big media, because unlike everyone else in DC he is not corrupt — and because he shares principles a lot of us do. He wants a much smaller federal government, one that works the ways the Founders promised it would in the Federalist Papers. One that doesn’t deliberately misinterpret phrases like “interstate commerce” to give itself outrageous and unauthorized powers, and doesn’t spend our money at a rate that puts banana republics to shame. And one that upholds the rule of law, and expects the courts to do the same. That last was the reason for his downfall — the courts refused to do their job because they were afraid of millions of brick throwing terrorists who lie that their opponents are racists and Nazis.

      More importantly, even the parts of our system that the New Deal didn’t destroy, today’s Democrats are trying to, whether by locking down the economy needlessly for years to destroy small business, by letting in hordes of so-called refugees to replace real Americans, or by teaching our children the harmful, racist lies known as intersectionality and Critical Race Theory.

      With his defeat we are now headed down the path of Venezuela, and the best we’ll be able to hope for is that another Pinochet comes along and brings back a market economy. I hope you ghouls are satisfied with your feast.

      1. Trump became the target of a wave of hatred, including from the big media, because unlike everyone else in DC he is not corrupt

        Donald Trump is more corrupt than everyone else in DC combined. This is why intelligent people look down on Trumpkins: because they are deeply deeply stupid.

        — and because he shares principles a lot of us do.

        Donald Trump has no principles of any sort, unless self-aggrandizement counts as a principle.

        He wants a much smaller federal government,

        No, he doesn’t.

        one that works the ways the Founders promised it would in the Federalist Papers.

        Donald Trump couldn’t spell Federalist Papers. Donald Trump has never read the Federalist Papers. Donald Trump couldn’t give a shit about the size or role of the federal government. Or state government.

        and doesn’t spend our money at a rate that puts banana republics to shame.

        Also, Jeffrey Dahmer was a vegetarian.

        by letting in hordes of so-called refugees to replace real Americans,

        Gee, I wonder why people think racism explains Trump’s support.

    3. This became blindingly obvious when the eGOP worked in concert with the Democrats during the rise of the Tea Party. The eGOP was eager to take contributions from the Tea Party, then essentially stabbed them in the back.

      I too base my political opinions on imaginary things that never happened.

      And he was effective. He truly brought hope to minorities with the lowest unemployment rate for those groups since they have been keeping records.

      Real conservatives — not Trumpkins masquerading as such — have always understood that government does not create jobs.

      And who would have guessed that Trump actually got peace in the Middle East.

      An idiot, since he didn’t. Israel and Egypt were at war. Israel and the countries that have signed deals recently were not at war.

  7. I was never a Trumper, in fact I so disliked the Democrat I didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election, not that it made any difference, my state was going heavily Republican no matter what I did.

    But there is a is a large segment of the country that is partly as you describe but even more importantly they feel overlooked, denigrated and insulted by the elites who don’t share their values. These are people who are often hard working, married and raising (or have raised) a family and look at their “leaders” and do not see anyone like of themselves. They see a world preoccupied with with money, LGBTQ+ and race. They are called stupid and racist when in fact that’s not true and they wonder why they are not valued.

    1. I agree with your comments. I, for one, am tired of being categorized as a knuckle-dragging illiterate who doesn’t have the sense to know what’s in my own interest.

      And I have a PhD in Engineering.

      Screw them all.

    2. “they feel overlooked, denigrated and insulted by the NONWHITE PEOPLE who don’t share their values.”

      Corrected your oversight there.

      1. You fart-huffing dilettante.

        Hillary Clinton called us a basket of deplorables. Nancy Pelosi is not much better.

        Last I checked, they were both white chicks.

        1. Hillary was correct when she said about half of Trump’s supporters were deplorable.

          She was responding to a poll that said that half of Trump’s supporters thought black people were intellectually inferior. I’d call that deplorable. Wouldn’t you?

          1. That’s an excuse. Clinton used the “deploables” line in private fundraisers before she let it slip publicly.

            And then she followed it up with the term “irredeemable,” which is far worse. Convicted felons who achieve parole are by definition redeemable.

            She said those things because she is a bad person, not because of some poll.

            PS, who responds to polls anyway?

      2. Cries of racism. The goto for retards put of arguments they were given by their so called elites.

        1. The thing that put me off Hillary was decades of covering up for Bill’s wandering pecker, while claiming to be a Feminist. I actually believe in gender equality but you have to walk the walk.

          1. When did she cover up for it? Citation needed

            1. You didn’t watch 60 minutes?

            2. Someone missed the 1990s completely.

              ^Citation needed!

      3. No it is by the establishment elites including White Democrats preoccupied with race and Republicans preoccupied by power.

      4. captcrisis – your hate is so full you don’t see how you’re proving the commenter’s point from top to bottom.

        Think.

  8. Trump in a nutshell is a moderate Republican who says mean things on social media. The firestorm of controversy over him lays bare

    1. the how powerful and how taken for granted the unspoken fake etiquette policing has become over the past couple decades when pumped up by the social justice movement and social media. IN the past guys like LBJ threw the word n&*ger around and nobody really was around to bat an eye. But today you have impossibly high standards everybody runs afoul of, you just have to hope the spotlight doesn’t get shown upon you. You mix it up with a guy like trump and well.

    2. How powerful the modern media’s influence on perceptions are. For most people the established media outlets are all or the vast majority of the information they get about the outside world. The media hates Republicans of course but still past republicans have played ball with them to some extent accepting that even if they were going to be roughed up a bit they should be gracious in prevent even worse treatment. Trump of course takes no such conciliatory approach so its not to difficult to believe Orange Man Bad if thats literally all you hear.

  9. Well duh professor. You’re awfully late to the party. You finally figured out that Trump is but a strawman for a real political movement.

    So you identified 10-15%.

    Add to that the people who were fed up with government and who wanted a non-politician, any non-politician. I voted for Ross Perot for that reason.

    Add to that the group who were fed up with American Democracy. Neither the Reps nor the Dems looked out for them. Their possible choices for office seldom appeared on the ballot, and there is no option for a non-violent overthrow of government on the ballot.

  10. It’s just negative partisanship. This commentariat makes that very clear.

    Trump seems to hate the libs as much as they do.

    Policy, principle, values, all that bows before the pleasure of negative tribalism.

    It’s all some talk about in here.

    1. Visit r/politics right now and scroll down the topic list if you want to see how into positivity and nontribalism the Left is.

      1. So what? How is that a reply to what he wrote, or a defense of negative tribalism?

        1. The culture war is already lost for conservatives but I believe most MAGA supported liked Trump simply because he felt like a bully who stands up to the other bully who calls you “racist”, “sexist”, and “homophobic” because MAGA people don’t hate the color of their own skin, believe in male / female marriage, and don’t want their children to see any anal stretching at the local LGBTQ+ pride parade.

    2. Your fake sanctimonious act is once again noted

    3. People finally wised up about the left.

      1. Thanks for agreeing with me.

        1. If the left doesn’t want to be hated, they should stop being haters themselves. Look for opportunities to work with people instead of trying to bully everyone all the time. Stop name-calling and making up bogeyman stories. Try empathy instead of disdain sometime.

          I won’t hold my breath waiting to ever see it happen.

          1. Except you don’t hate real things. Nothing will ever change your mind because your hatred starts within you and you find a reason for it regardless of reality.

            1. That could be tested there was ever a time of leftist quiescence or tolerance.

              You’re impeaching a President with less than 10 days left on his term in office right now though. What could be more pointlessly vindictive than that?

            2. That’s a copout, Sarcastr0. Who is making lists now of people who have to be hounded out of polite society? Hint: it’s not conservatives.

              You may be the exception, but for the most part the progressives hate conservatives more than the other way around. Rev. Art, who trolls the comments here, is a living, breathing example of that hatred.

              1. He wants to think he’s the exception. Maybe he is sometimes.

                But leftists get an infinite number of mulligans with Sarcastr0, while everyone else has to be perfect every time.

                It’s not just Rev. Name-calling and ad hominems and but Whatabout Trump are more than half of the leftist responses here.

  11. Trump supporters literally wore camp Auschwitz shirts to the invasion of the Capitol.

    Bernstein: it must be because they feel left out. Poor dears.

      1. Nothing more deranged than pointing to the bad acts of a single nameless unknown individual to smear an entire political side.

        “Democrats are literally murderous terrorists who gun down Republicans at baseball games, which is a thousand times worse than wearing an offensive T shirt”

    1. Actual known leftists ate calling for re-education camps, truth commissions, jailing of political opponents, and this i clues calls to take children away from the wrong parents.

        1. What’s wrong with anti-fascism? Are you pro-fascist?

      1. Citation needed

        1. Go find your favorite search engine. The calls that JesseAz mentioned are not from obscure or fringe-but-known leftists. Some of them are coming from members of Congress.

          1. captcrisis is the most dishonest commenter in these threads. When you give him a link, he ignores you anway.

            1. Almost all of them ignore it. Principles are something they see in others to use as a vulnerability to launch attacks. It’s Alinsky rule #4.

              They mostly don’t follow any rules or adhere to any principles themselves.

  12. Trump is philo-Semitic and a supporter Israel. From moving the embassy to Jerasulem to his Mid-East peace deals, he’s enhanced Israeli security. Charges of anti-Semitism are just more black leftist lies. Further, few Trump supporters are anti-Semitic. Mostly that’s on the Left these days.

    1. I’d be interested to hear (not really) how you think moving the US embassy to Jerusalem increases Israeli security. I refuse to ever use the word “enhanced.”

      1. It formally recognizes the FACT that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel, not Tel Aviv. “Palestine” is a pseudo-state that does not deserve to exist. Send those filthy Arabs back to Egypt and Jordan.

      2. That’s a good point about the embassy, Israel probably isn’t any more secure from having a U. S. embassy in Jerusalem. But they probably like the gesture.

        And in any case, it certainly goes against the narrative of Trump being anti-Jewish.

        If he doesn’t like his daughter’s religion, he sure does a good job concealing his dislike.

  13. Jaypd: Since 2015, I’ve asked for any social science evidence showing that Trump supporters are more likely to be antisemitic than Americans in general. No one has provided me with any, and I can’t imagine no one has tried to find it…

    1. Have you seen a “Auschwitz” T-shirt at any Obama-supporter rallies?

      1. Perhaps you missed Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib? And in add Jim Clyburn’s defense of Omar. There is plenty of anti-semitism to go around, in all parties and all races.

        Cut the crap.

        1. Citations needed
          As far as I know they never advocated gassing Jews. If you know different you should tell us or STFU

        2. Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. You cut the crap.

      2. I mean I could also point to farrakhan and racist cartoons done by the left.

      3. Sounds like a typical leftist talking-point.

        If 1-3 guys in shirts represent all Trump voters, then all leftists are exactly like the unabomber and the congressional baseball game assassin.

      4. Both extremes are full of antisemites. The right-wing antisemites admit to hating Jews, the left-wing antisemites (as a rule) pretend they don’t, but somehow they, for example, believe that a group of Jewish neocons conned Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, most of the House and 3/4 of the Senate to support an invasion of Iraq on behalf of Israel. But they have nothing against Jews….

        1. Hey now! Even 4chan’s /pol/ board had an Israeli Election General (/IEG/) thread during last year’s election. Bibi and Yair and /ourguys/. Time will show that Meir Kahane was RIGHT!

          1. Meir Kahane is a hero. As is Chaim ben Pesach.

      5. Ooh one guy. That certainly proves it.

        1. Basing your view of about half the country on seeing a message on one guy’s shirt…

      6. So you talked to the “Auschwitz” T-shirt wearer? Were you there? You know he’s a Trump supporter exactly how?

        And no, because he was there, it doesn’t mean he’s a supporter of Trump.

      7. So what do you make of white supremacist Richard Spencer endorsing Biden this last election? Spencer endorsed President Trump in 2016, but was disappointed with how President Trump improved life for minorities in the years since.

  14. “Trump, to almost everyone’s surprise, wins. So how do big government, big business, elite experts and so on, i.e., the establishment, react, from his fans’ perspective? Without even giving Trump a chance, they decree that he is illegitimate, that he needs to be resisted, and that his voters are beyond redemption; “this is 1932 in Germany” was not a rare reaction.”

    This is a lazy strawman. Certainly some people took this attitude, but to say “big government, big business, elite experts and so on…” (and dropping the Oxford comma is just barbaric) is the sort of vague and false sloppiness which so commonly litters what passes for rightwing thought these days.

    Leave that kind of shit to American Thinker and Powerline. Thanks in advance.

    1. 2016 was my 14th presidential election that I was old enough to remember. I’ve never seen anything like the reaction after Trump won.

      Democrats calling EVERY SINGLE TRUMP VOTER (I wasn’t one) racist or a nazi. People cheering social media posts in which someone punched a complete stranger on the assumption they were nazis. Adults stealing MAGA hats from children. Name me a president prior to Trump about whom there was talk of impeachment BEFORE THEY WERE INAUGURATED.

      Bernstein is absolutely right here.

      1. The massive wave of political violence against Trump supporter is a story that goes virtually untold and unreported to this day.

        And some of it was actually paid agitators sent by the DNC and Bob Creamer.

      2. What’s worse, he’s one of the ones who is implying that supporters of President Trump is racist:

        “Beyond that, the only major national figure I can think of in my lifetime who more or less represented them was George Wallace.”

        Bernstein is part of the problem.

  15. Like I said, political demographers have identified this cohort, and they do, in fact, distrust/are hostile to big government, big business, and establishment experts, which is why Trump disparaging all 3 (while supporting entitlements, which is big government, but not the sort of big government these folks oppose) worked.

    1. David. Trump has a New York way of talking. It was described in a letter of John Adams to his wife in the 1700’s. They induce pointless hostility even in those who agree with them.

      You have to ignore the speech. In achievement, Trump was the greatest President since Washington. The biggest beneficiaries? Democrat constituents. They busted records of prosperity.

      The tech billionaires got rid of Sanders. They used their media and the Democrat governors to cause the shutdown, and got rid of Trump. He raised wages through a labor shortage. He had to go.

      1. When is President Biden going to give full citizenship to all of the “undocumented” Americans living in the U.S.? Also, how to do you square an excess of labor with Biden’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour?

        1. The left’s philosophies are not particularly coherent. They’re based on falsehoods that in the end always collapse.

    2. Professor Bernstein…To understand them, you must dwell among them. Have you?

      Your profile is off.

  16. There was once a man who found a genie in a bottle. The genie said he could have anything he wanted, on the condition that whatever he asked for, his neighbor would get double.

    The man hated his neighbor. He thought for a minute and said, “can you make me blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, and lame in one foot?” Because his hatred for his neighbor was so powerful, it was more important to him to stick it to someone he didn’t like than to get something nice for himself.

    Trump’s base loves him because he hates on the same people they hate: immigrants, blacks, liberals, the media, Californians, Hispanics, Jews. So no matter how bad he may be, they’ll love him forever. It’s rage based voting.

    1. Tell me, if he hates blacks so much, why would he enact policies that benefitted them the most?

      If by hating immigrants, do you mean illegal immigrants? Do you favor selective enforcement of laws?

      Why shouldn’t he hate the media? They have done nothing but lie about him for over 4 years.

      You got to do better than that.

      1. The questions asked was why his fans love him, not whether their reasons match the facts on the ground. And for his die-hard true believer base, it’s mostly rage driven.

        Google trends allows searches by geographic areas, so if, for example, you want to know how many people in greater Orlando googled recipes for chocolate chip cookies last week, you can find out. This makes for some fairly fascinating data about the geographic areas that went for Trump. In 2016, according to Google trends, the single best predictor of whether a particular county was likely to vote for Trump was whether it had a higher than average percentage of people who routinely googled “racist jokes.”

        1. Correlation does not imply causation.

          1. No, but it does call for an explanation

            1. Which Professor Bernstein gave you, although it was a bit too simplistic for me.

              The 15-20% is just a subset of the people who are pro-Trump. These are the people who had jobs, but because of free trade policies, saw them move to China and Mexico. These are people who may not be future coders. As far as I’m concerned, they have a legitimate gripe.

              They’re also people who have an issue with the government making decisions for them. They want to be left alone. Reason commenters and readers should understand this better than anything.

              I added to David’s explanation. Calling them people who hate others like they do is a perfect encapsulation of the projection that so many have brought up in this thread.

        2. Ooh, interesting claim. Can you provide some links to this?
          A quick check on Google Trends shows that the regions associated with the phrase “racist jokes” – which actually automatically includes phrases like “blonde jokes” and “redneck jokes” – were not distinctly different, and that the election season popularity of the phrase in 2016 was the lowest it had been since summer of 2007. And 2007 was, in turn, the low point since 2004’s beginning of data.

          Incidentally, when you breakout the included terms, you get things like “Best racist jokes” being most popular in Illinois and California.

    2. This is true. If there is a “grand unified theory” to explain Trump voters, it’s hatred of people who might vote for the other side. It overrides what used to be prinicipled positions as the importance of character, honesty and competence in politicians.

      1. When neither side has character, honesty, or competence you get Trump.

      2. It’s a mystery why these voters turned away from the character, honesty and competence of the Democratic party.

        After all, the Democrats are the same compassionate, inclusive New Dealers they’ve always been, the party of the working (wo)man, eschewing racism and avoiding divisive appeals to one group of Americans against another.

        Why can’t these clingers appreciate this? Will the Democrats be forced to curb-stomp them and force progress down their throats until they learn to appreciate their betters?

        1. ‘We Don’t Need White People Leading the Democratic Party’:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9iNcXCHhTc

        2. I think it would be hard to conceive of a Democrat today running on the policies of FDR, or even Hubert Humphrey as of 1968. By their standards, those policies are completely racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and all-around fascist, unfit even to be mentioned in public discourse by any decent human being.

          1. And, on the economic front, these policies would antagonize Democratic donors and hence don’t get more than rhetorical support.

          2. Trump is a Democrat of 20-50 years ago.

        3. You know, I’m a life long Democrat who has been active in politics at the national level, so I’m willing to bet that I could name a bunch of faults the Democratic Party has that you have overlooked. Despite its faults, it is the party that has given Trump’s base the social safety network they rely on. The red states mostly run on federal money; they’d starve if we went back to pre-FDR policies. So the bigger mystery is why all those red state voters have turned on the party that has mostly kept them from starving to death. It’s biting the hand that feeds them on steroids.

          1. That’s like asking why ungrateful blacks don’t vote for the Party of Lincoln.

            I’d give the same response you’d give – it’s not the same party, circumstances and issues have changed. (I’m not going to get into your starving-to-death comment).

            FDR didn’t lay aside his economic program to push for having boys in girls’ sports, he didn’t use “whiteness” as an insult, he didn’t promote legal abortion, etc., etc.

            1. They’re not libertarians by a long shot. They’re not yearning for free-market solutions to health care or for the creative destruction of getting their jobs outsourced.

              They might vote for a populist Democrat – like some of them did for Obama. Of course, the first time around Obama was running as a moderate hope and change, healing kind of guy. The second time around, he was running on not being Mitt Romney, whose job-killing ways may not have seemed all that “moderate” and “statesmanlike” to swing voters.

              Obama was perhaps the last Presidential candidate of the Dems who actually pretended to like these voters.

              And Trump didn’t win their votes by running on the Libertarian platform, that much is for sure. He wanted to protect American jobs from greedy corporations. What a heartless capitalist stooge!

            2. Yes and no. The party of Lincoln is actively trying to walk back black civil rights, so it’s entirely obvious why blacks aren’t inclined to vote for it. The Democrats, on the other hand, aren’t trying to walk back the social safety network. That’s Republicans. So not only are red state voters voting against the party that gave them that net in the first place, they’re voting for the party that’s actively trying to unravel it. If you are poor and live in rural Mississippi, your economic interests would be served by voting Democrat. Yet that is not how poor Mississippians vote, at least not white ones.

              1. Just to be clear, Trump didn’t run on a safety-net-cutting program, he ran on protecting American workers’ jobs. When Trump wasn’t on the ballot in 2018, many of his voters seem to have gone over to the Dems because of health care. So in short they’re monitoring the situation.

                But when Dems beat them and shout “you’d starve without me, clinger!” that makes them *less* inclined to vote Dem. It maybe even makes them doubt the Dems’ assertions.

                1. With the exception of the occasional Arthur Kirkland, I don’t hear too many Democrats actually saying “you’d starve without me, clinger.” Though in point of fact there is some truth to it. If we woke up tomorrow to find the Republicans had dictatorial control, do you really think they wouldn’t severely cut back, if not eliminate portions of altogether, the safety net?

                  1. The only difference between Kirkland and most other Dems is that he’s honest about his feelings.

              2. Yeah, you might be better served by voting Democrat until the money runs out, as it is going to very soon.

                And what about poor rural people who are offended by giving “marriage” licenses to men who like to erupt in another man’s tuchis?

                1. Now see, that’s an example of what I’m talking about. If I’m living in poverty in Appalachia, I need SSI, food stamps and welfare far more than I need my gay neighbors to not be able to get married. Whatever one’s opinion of homosexuality may be, the fact that gay marriage is legal has zero impact on the lives of anyone else. Yet, rural Appalachia votes its homophobia rather than for economic policies that make their lives better. Go figure.

                  1. For the second time, voting for free stuff does not make one’s lives better in the long run.

                    Dismissing cultural issues is exactly why these people hate you. You think it’s no big deal if a woman is allowed to kill her baby or if a dude is allowed to shoot off in his “husband.” They don’t agree. They think it’s destructive to society, and that’s why they vote the way they do.

                    1. All right, so they’ve made a choice that meddling in their neighbor’s marriages is more important to them than their own economic well being. I think that’s a foolish choice, but it is their choice to make. However, they cannot then complain when their own economic well being is threatened as a result. You get what you vote for.

                    2. You can call it what you want, but a marriage it ain’t.

                      Their economic well being is threatened by the Democrat Party, not Republicans.

              3. “The party of Lincoln is actively trying to walk back black civil rights,”

                BULL SHIT

          2. Why don’t these people we hate vote for us?

          3. Despite its faults, it is the party that has given Trump’s base the social safety network they rely on. The red states mostly run on federal money; they’d starve if we went back to pre-FDR policies. So the bigger mystery is why all those red state voters have turned on the party that has mostly kept them from starving to death. It’s biting the hand that feeds them on steroids.

            They’ve turned on that party because that party has turned on them. If the Democrats were running like 1950s Democrats, or even Democrats in the early 1960s, they would be winning national elections with 80% of the vote. Donald Trump has no interest in repealing the New Deal. In fact, he’d be quite at home in the Democratic party of Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy (and maybe even LBJ).

      3. I hear more hatred of Trump supporters from the major media than I heard of hatred BY Trump supporters the whole 4 years. Try again.

    3. Trump’s base loves him because he hates on the same people they hate: immigrants, blacks, liberals, the media, Californians, Hispanics, Jews.

      As an immigrant Jew, let me tell you: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. But the ADL, SPLC, and ACLU said Trump was a bigoted racist!

      2. He has a funny way of hating on Jews, what with the Jewish daughter and son-in-law, and with some of his biggest fans being in Israel.

        And as Kazinski pointed out above, Jesse Jackson said he’d provided “Jesse Jackson praised Trump for a “Lifetime of service to Blacks”. Worst. Racist. Ever.

        But he supported civil unions rather than same-sex marriage. I guess that makes him the equivalent of Westboro Baptist Church.

  17. white, exurban or rural, believe in religious tradition and cultural conservatism without being regular church-goers, very patriotic, very pro-military, hostile to immigration and free trade, skeptical of big business, big government, and establishment experts, and in favor of entitlement programs and the safety net.

    I’m not seeing the great match here. Trump, your protests aside, is urban, irreligious, a serial adulterer, a draft dodger.

    Yes, he qualifies on immigration and trade, but “skeptical of big business?” I doubt it. I uess you could say he is skeptical of big government and experts – he thinks he’s a universal genius, remember – but the entitlements business is unconvincing. A platform of cutting Medicare or SS isn’t going to get anyone elected President.

    IOW, I don’t think he checks any more of than any other prominent Republican politician, though some of them may check different ones.

    1. The difference is that Trump genuinely seems to love America.

      The Democrats (almost uniformly), and a lot of the eGOP, actively hate the country and the vast majority of the citizens.

    2. The average person doesn’t analyze politics in great empirical detail. Trump gave lots of lip service to supporting the military, protecting religious freedom and supporting Christianity (war on Christmas etc), being against abortion… his rhetoric and policy positions were a good match, if not his personal history (a lot of people did wonder whether he was a liberal Trojan Horse).

      1. So what you are essentially saying is that he conned an awful lot of people.

        That makes sense, since his one talent seems to be grifting.

        1. The difference is that he delivered on his promises.

          Some con.

          1. He did not build the wall.

            Mexico did not pay for it.

            Hillary wasn’t locked up. Or charged. Or arrested. Or prosecuted.

            He did not enable disaffected, downscale Whites in shambling communities to prosper, let alone at the expense of educated, skilled, modern “elites” residing in successful communities.

            He did not repeal Obamacare.

            He did not “open up” defamation laws.

            He did not create health saving accounts.

            He did not bring back manufacturing.

            He did not bring back coal.

            He did not grow the economy by four percent.

            He did not cancel ‘sanctuary city’ funding.

            He did not get China out of the World Trade Organization.

            He did not end birthright citizenship.

            He did not eliminate the federal debt; he increased it, hugely.

            He did not balance the federal budget; the deficit increased.

            Other than that, though . . . he was a weak, lame failure.

            1. Artie. You are highly selective, and a liar by omission.

              Democrats began their lawfare from Day 1.

              The same should be done to any Democrat administration. In 2023, impeach Biden, then get rid of Harris. The Republican Speaker should become President.

            2. Hard to do any of that when you have Obongo and Klinton judges throughout the judiciary willing to grant nationwide injunctions on every executive order or other action.

            3. He carried through on his promise to make Supreme Court appointments from the list drawn up by Leonard Leo and a couple of like-minded people. That, and the fact that he would not be Hillary Clinton, were the two things I was counting on from him. Anything beyond that was just gravy, and a pleasant surprise.

            4. And I’m sure you’re just hoping against hope that Pretendant Biden is going to do all the things that President Trump wasn’t able to do, right?

              Because, being a fellow lizard man, Pretendant Biden is going to know how to convince the other lizard people in Congress how desperately we need these things, now that President Trump is out of office.

              (I particularly like how Pretentant-Elect Biden has already promised a $1.9 billion “stimulus” package to help decrease the deficit.)

            5. “He did not enable disaffected, downscale Whites in shambling communities to prosper, let alone at the expense of educated, skilled, modern “elites” residing in successful communities.”

              I have to address this particular promise in particular. Oh, the horror! President Trump actually caused minorities to prosper more than they have under 8 years of Obama! I’m sure a lot of President Trump supporters are losing sleep over that little detail!

              Good thing that Pretendant-elect Biden is going to fix that as soon as he gets into office. He’ll almost certainly make it a 100-day priority. Heck, he’ll probably have an EO to cancel their prosperity signed before the echos of his oath have dampened to be too quiet for human hearing!

        2. True, but that doesn’t really set him apart (as a politician).

        3. Hope and change, bernard11. Biden will be different?

  18. That could be.

    Personally, I’m in the “Least worst candidate available” group. I would have vastly preferred Rand Paul.

    I don’t agree with Trump on everything, but I find that he’s been better on the issues I care about than Republicans who’ll tell me they agree with me.

    1. Randlet the Manlet can’t even fight his neighbor. How is he going to fight the Establishment?

  19. David. One of Trump’s achievement is the way people like you feel.

  20. I don’t know about Trump “fans”. I would guess they like straightforwardness and lack of political phony-ness. And the willingness to oppose the enemy news media who hate Americans and enemy DC swamp-dwelling rent-seekers.

    Personally, I like the actual policies: long overdue tax reform finally achieved. Sentencing reform finally achieved. No new wars. Wall. Immigration policies to benefit Americans outside of executive suites. Getting rid of burdensome regulations. Environmental policy for people instead of for Gaia. Due process for men at colleges. Judges who actually follow the laws instead of making shit up. Foreign policy driven by American interests for a change. Actual policies.

    You guys remember policies from before you went insane, right? Some of us never went insane and never forgot policy was a thing. Some of us care about Americans more than we care about foreigners frowning at us. Some of us want low and middle income Americans to do better, not just wealthy college professors and professional-class elitists.

    Policy lost the election to enemy news media bias, enemy big tech censorship, shallow feelings-based voter narcissism, and phony absentee ballots with no signature verification. Congrats to enemies of Americans on your “victory”.

    1. Good comment. Now that the scales have fallen from our eyes it’s time to cast out the GOPe. Arguing with a bunch of leftists is a waste of time. If you have kids home school them. Reject social media and move to alternatives. Don’t comply with any upcoming gun laws. Use lawfare. Stop ordering from Amazon. Patronize small businesses. Recruit blacks and hispanics. Engage in and support targeted civil disobedience.

      The near-term is going to be bad, very bad because the GOP has to be destroyed. That will give the Left a lot of leverage until there can be a re-grouping but in the long term it’s the only solution.

      1. It’s possible to kick out the worst of the GOP fifth column without letting it become an obsession or a distraction from opposing the Dem Marxists and their army of fellow travelers and useful idiots.

  21. I don’t know that I’d lump Perot in with most of the same supporters as Trump and Buchanan. Perot, when he ran for president, supported gay rights, stricter gun control, and was pro-choice. He was also far more balanced budget than Trump ever was. Basically their commonalities lied in opposition to nafta, support for soldiers, and opposition to involvement in Iraq.

    He was also far more pragmatic than Trump has ever been. Perhaps that was just his form of populism. Sure the supporters may be partly the same group but I’d wager that he also pulled in support of a different segment while losing quite a number of Trump supporters.

    1. Which is why Trump had success in the rust belt states the first time around. I live in Michigan, and we really don’t care about the items you listed in your first paragraph as much as we do the auto and steel industries going kaput because of government policies.

  22. I’m convinced I know the real reason for Trumps appeal. Simply put, he’s entertaining. He’s funny. He’s a comedian. He puts on a good show. There are no other politicians like him.

    You could have somebody else with the same anti-globalization and anti-immigrant policies, and most of those people wouldn’t even listen on TV, much less attend a rally. But Trump is different.

    To his supporters, whether he’s lying or telling the truth, whether he makes sense or not, it makes no difference. They found somebody who basically agrees with them on the issues, but does it in the most entertaining way. In fact, BECAUSE he plays fast and loose with the truth, BECAUSE he says the most bombastic things, it’s even more entertaining.

    1. There is some truth to this, undeniably.

  23. Bernstein gets half of it right. The first president many of us could enthusiastically support. But that list of things describing supporters is off kilter.

    The thing Trump did right, the number 1 thing he did right is not allow the media to control him with claims of racism or getting this or that detail wrong.

    That’s what GW Bush did wrong. That’s what Liz Cheney is doing wrong. Buying the media narrative, not seeing the socialist agenda in action.

    1. Trump headed in our direction. Not always smoothly, but he wasn’t going to be diverted. That’s why we supported him, despite media reports of his shortfallings.

    2. Is Lez Cheney going to return the GOP to the good ‘ole days of Dubya?

      1. If it was up to her, she would do just that.

        Listen to the media. Try to please.

      2. Old Liz has got brown people to bomb!

  24. My assessment is that Trump tapped into a segment of the populace that, for whatever reason, is disaffected from either major party. He presented as a populist.
    For myself, I didn’t buy into his schtick. I voted against him in the Illinois Primary in 2016 and in the General in WA State. Technically I voted against him in WA state’s primary (and general) but it’s a weird primary system than I was used to in IL.
    I was raised up as a Democrat but grew disaffected from that Party in the 90s and jumped on the Ross Perot and later Ron Paul bandwagons.
    I pride myself that I have never, since my first Presidential election in 1984, voted for the winning candidate.

  25. “These folks tend to be white, exurban or rural, believe in religious tradition and cultural conservatism without being regular church-goers, very patriotic, very pro-military, hostile to immigration and free trade, skeptical of big business, big government, and establishment experts, and in favor of entitlement programs and the safety net.”

    Omitted: The tendencies concerning gays, non-Whites, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and others; the White nationalism, the White supremacy.

    And ostentatiously omitted.

    Why?

    1. Because it is nonsense.

    2. Because most of us don’t care about those issues all that much. Stop projecting.

  26. This seems like pure speculation, based on a stereotype of the “Trump voter”.

    1. I think it is unwise to stereotype Trump supporters as all racist, hating, rednecks. Sure many are, but there are also some that are drawn to him for other reasons.

  27. I think it’s more basic than that.

    Starting in 2008 you heard from Fox News and the GOP that Obama was an atheist Muslim communist from Kenya who was going to euthanize the elderly, destroy the healthcare system, open the doors to waves of Al Queda terrorists, and generally destroy America.

    In response to this claim of an existential threat Republican voters came out in droves, elected a bunch of Tea Partiers, and got judicial vacancies, government shutdowns, and a bunch of ACA repeal bills no one expected to pass. They didn’t even impeach Obama.

    Trump appeals to Republican voters because he’s the only Republican politician who acts like he believes the last 12 years of Republican rhetoric.

    1. I guess that’s right, but that’s because the last 12 years of “Republican rhetoric” has actually come to fruition.

  28. David Berstein,

    I am one of those people who viewed Trump as the lesser of evils and supported his reelection because there will likely be Supreme Court vacancies in the next four years that I would rather he nominate instead of Biden.

    I do not fall into the demographics you described for people who wholeheartedly support Trump, but I certainly would like to read your description of the demographics of the stark-raving-mad, barking-at-the-moon never-Trumpers who write articles for the Volokh Conspiracy.

      1. RabbiHarveyWeinstein – You have a tiny mind.

  29. You nailed it, professor.

    1. On the contrary: he’s merely yet another voice calling Trump voters “deplorables”.

      It’s disgusting, really.

      1. I didn’t read that in this post.

        1. He did it when he insisted that President Trump attracted the people George Wallace attracted.

  30. I’ll give you a hint:

    1) Mass de-industrialization = Trump winning working class whites, blacks, and Hispanics, who have been continually asked to commit economic suicide in the name of free trade

    2) Decades of identity politics eventually created a white-working class ethnic voting block. They believe they’re the largest minority block

    3) Political correctness became a threat to the working class

    4) Washington is non-responsive to the needs of middle class and working class Americans

    5) Trump absolutely recognized the strategic opening and exploited it.

    6) Trump celebrated workers and small business owners while the establishment calls them deplorable.

    I know you expect these Trump supporters to be racists. And some very likely are – but most aren’t. Ask yourself, where would you rather be broken down on the side of the road and needing help? In one of our sophisticated urban elitist cities or in small town America?

    1. Yours is the most thorough comment of the entire thread. Professor Bernstein would do well to read it and think about it.

  31. You’ve hit on something I’ve thought about Trump for quite a while. There’s this populist underbelly of both parties; for the democrats it tends to be people that think free trade is responsible for all sorts of bad things, and on the republican side it tends to be the people that think immigration is responsible for similar bad things. Both parties pay lip service to these people when they’re campaigning, but otherwise generally ignore them. Trump spoke directly to these groups and took action on the things that matter to them. Unfortunately, we’re probably stuck with some of it for the foreseeable future, especially the trade war bullshit. Trump basically called the Dems bluff on that stuff and I’m not sure how they wiggle their way out of it.

    1. “Unfortunately, we’re probably stuck with some of it for the foreseeable future, especially the trade war bullshit. Trump basically called the Dems bluff on that stuff and I’m not sure how they wiggle their way out of it.”

      Start by identifying the results of the trade war bullshit. Iphones are still made in China, Americans still want them, and what we trade to get them (agricultural products) are available from other sources. Cranking up taxes on Chinese-manufactured tech products doesn’t keep people from wanting it.

  32. So, this is actually about a fundamental restructuring of the GOP. I am not being pejorative here, just an observation.

    When you have a first-past-the-post system, with the other structural features that we have, you will always end up with a two-party equilibrium. If you look at our past, that’s always been the case. At certain times, there has been a party (such as the Whigs) that has been replaced by another party, but it’s always two parties. Whether those two parties adapt and change (as the Democrats and GOP have changed since the Civil Rights Era to new constituencies) or are replaced (Federalists-Whigs-Republicans), it’s always two.

    When you only have two parties, they are necessarily big tent. For example, in the Democratic big tent, you have African Americans who tend to be more religious and more socially conservative in many ways than some other members of the party; on the other hand, you have “Hollywood liberals” who tend to be incredibly socially liberal and more fiscally conservative (those tax cuts aren’t all bad when you’re making a lot of money). And so on.

    The GOP has long had an alliance between, inter alia, the Chamber of Commerce types, the Wall Street types, the values voters, the culturally conservative (the former Moral Majority), the libertarians, and the nativist/anti-immigrant. There are others, of course, but you get the gist.

    What Trump did was to explode those categories. He is deeply unpopular, not just with most Democrats, but also with some Republicans that used to be a part of that coalition (those who are part of it because they have reasons to be, as opposed to those who are part of it because they hate the other side). But he appeals directly to the populist, anti-immigrant, nativist voters- the culturally conservative, and the reactionary. Not just with the GOP, but with elements of the Democratic base as well.

    Which is interesting. Because, for example, despite his sometimes racist rhetoric, Trump is slightly more appealing to some Latinx and African American voters; men. The idea that Trump would perform so well in areas like South Florida is instructive. On the other hand, I think it is also an incredibly worrying sign to the GOP that Trump has accelerated their loss of the suburbs in general, and women in particular. One of the things that was so funny about Trump’s lies of voter fraud was that he overperformed in Philadelphia, while underperforming in suburbs. But you know- CITIES BAD AND DANGEROUS!

    Whether this portends the beginning of a full shift or was just a blip remains to be seen.

      1. Prior to 1/6, I would have definitely said you are correct.

        Now, I think you are likely correct, but maybe not.

        1. Actually I think the events of 1/6 and the subsequent reactions to it will accelerate the shift. People are seeing a concerted effort to shut down nascent media alternatives, for example. I also expect the charges for the trespass and vandalism at the Capitol to be overblown, even using a sedition law that has rarely if ever been used before. Trump’s impeachment is infuriating his base. Sure a number of the GOPe are indignant and terrified at the lack of proper respect being shown them by the great unwashed but they are ones being expelled from the movement anyway.

          1. Maybe!

            I agree that parts of Trump’s base are getting even more radicalized. But whereas prior to 1/6, the structural changes seemed inevitable … now, maybe not. There were a large number of people that voted for Trump that were not tied into the Trump brand (either against the Democrats, for tax cuts, whatever), and some number of Trump supporters that have been turned off by recent events.

            In other words, that’s why I’d say it’s gone from definitely to maybe.

    1. That’s because the Republicans previously had a lot of liberals who only cared about their taxes. That accounts for much of the shift among “suburban women,” for example. These people don’t care about any cultural issues. They either are fully on board with gun control or don’t really care. They support legal abortion. They have no issue with their “gay friends” going home from their “weddings” to penetrate their “husbands.” They don’t care about immigration law, because “their Mexican housekeeper is such a great person!”

      Basically, they only care about their wallets. They don’t care about the deleterious effects that open immigration is having on the white working class, because they either aren’t aware of them or don’t identify with them.

      Trump has exposed this schism.

    2. I always cringe when I see the word “Latinx”. It’s a denial of Latino cultural identity, and it shows how Democratic focus on “intersectionality” is dehumanizing to the very people they claim to support.

  33. What I saw a lot6 of was Trumpistas loving the fact that Trump really drove the progressives nuts.
    At first, he did it largely by talking smack, which is one of his few actual skills, but later on he started doing it by breaking things the progs cared about, like the federal government.

    He had a lot of fun smugly telling people “nya-nya-nya you can’t do anything to me, because I’m President.” and for some reason people are surprised that anyone would be looking forward to a time when he isn’t President.

    1. This too. One of the million Trump flags I saw last fall said “TRUMP 2020. FUCK YOUR FEELINGS”. I thought that was it in a nutshell.

      1. Did you try to analyze what that flag means?

        Every single policy is based on feelings nowadays. And in addition, the elite clutch their pearls because Trump says something they don’t like.

        All based on feelings. The people who voted for Trump don’t care about that.

        1. Cool! So don’t be surprised if the people whose feelings you didn’t care about …

          Don’t care about your feelings, now.

          You’re like all bullies- you don’t care about other people’s feeling, but you demand sympathy when you get punched in the nose.

          1. Yeah, except we have all of the guns and the support of the military.

            1. Well, the weird thing is that eventually all of your threats have to either be manifested or called out.

              And we have gotten to the point of the threats being called out. Most Americans are not scummy racists like you, Aktenberg. Thankfully.

              And I mean that. Most Americans of all stripes- Democrats, Republicans, and Trump supporters- most are not vicious racists like you. Most are good people.

              And that’s why I maintain some hope! Because we might have dark patches, for most Americans, most of the time, are good, kind and generous. Not people like you.

              1. Most people recognize that IQ is not evenly distributed among races. Blacks will never be equal in socioeconomic statistics because of their 15 point IQ deficit. Until whites admit that, we can’t move forward.

  34. All you really need to know is these people are so pathetic that they idolize any politician, let alone one like Trump.

    1. But they loved him allegedly because he’s not like other politicians.

  35. As an aside, and one reason these voters moved strongly GOP is that Obama basically represented the exact opposite of these voters’ political and cultural values.

    1. That’s right! Those voters knew that Obama engaged in an UNPRECENDENTED assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law ™.

      All of this really makes you wonder how some voters were so primed to believe all these lies, doesn’t it?

      1. You’re saying it’s precedented to make a dossier up from whole cloth, and use that dossier to justify a warrant for spying on a Presidential campaign?

    2. Whoa! Then, what’s your explanation for the Obama-Trump voter? This was a cohort taken note of after the 2016 election and believed to be significant in accounting for Trump’s success in the Midwest.

  36. Policy-wise, Trump tapped into two huge policy preferences that the major-party duopoly has defied for decades: immigration control and an end to foreign wars.

    Particularly on the R side, the mismatch between the beliefs of voters and the actions of elected officials was a huge untapped market. And in the general, there are also a lot of nominal D voters who hold those preferences, but aren’t going to jump for an Ivy League asshole like Romney or Jeb. An unlikable globalist lizard person like Hillary gave many who had voted for D’s like Carter or Bill Clinton (Democrats that at least pretended to like America and Americans) that last shove.

    As for why the loyalty to Trump? Well, look at the alternative. A party that literally wants you to die will do a lot to drive you to “join the team that you’re already on”. (See the “equity” argument on vaccine distribution and the overall casual anti-white racism that pervades the left.)

    1. but aren’t going to jump for an Ivy League asshole like Romney or Jeb.

      Jeb went to the University of Texas.

  37. President Trump’s appeal is his track record. He gets it done.
    Turn off the noise for a minute and look at his list of accomplishments.
    Sure, he upset some applecarts and ruffled a lot of feathers but that has needed to be done for far too long now.
    Look at all the good things he did which benefited tens of millions and some, all Americans.
    Almost 4 million jobs created since election.
    More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
    We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
    Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
    Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
    New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
    Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
    African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
    Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
    Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
    Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
    Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
    Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
    And a ton more accomplishments.
    President Trump got it done despite opposition at every step.

    1. “President Trump’s appeal is his track record. He gets it done.”

      Um … I assume you haven’t been paying much attention recently, have you.

      1. It’s true that he got cut off at the knees by a virus that came out of the blue (well, out of China, but it’s racist to say that). I presume the Democrats made a lot of sacrifices to Moloch to get that windfall.

        1. So … it’s okay to parrot completely made-up statistics (and those that aren’t fantastical are badly out of date), and when it’s pointed out that they are imaginary, it’s someone else’s fault?

          That’s the Trump philosophy for you- “The buck always stops with someone else.” 🙂

          1. How are those statistics made-up? Prior to Covid, these things happened. You can’t use a one-time anomaly to handicap your view unless you use it on all of them.

            1. How are they made up? Because … wait for it … they are!

              That was from an early press release that has been trotted around for over a year. Along with the “Mexico is paying for the wall.”

              But yes, those claims are either cherry-picked from different points in time, or are incorrect. Now, don’t get me wrong- the economy was fine. Trump inherited a good economy and didn’t make it noticeably worse (although he caused the deficit to skyrocket when he didn’t need to). But saying, “Trump didn’t manage to screw up the economy, and he did a decent job, except for the one major crisis that has killed so many Americans,” is hardly great praise.

              And, of course, anyone who is posting talking points that ignore the past year of his Presidency is just lying.

              1. The last year was terrible. I don’t really know what he could have done, policy wise, while still maintaining federalism (and I’m not convinced he acted purposefully to defend federalism, but that’s the outcome of his action/inaction regardless). He certainly could have done more with the bully pulpit and deserves the criticism he receives on this front… it is singularly why he lost the election, imo.

                But that his handling of Covid being bad does not retroactively make other claims about his failures before Covid true all of a sudden. He isn’t now “proven” to be a racist because of Covid. His economic plans can’t be “proven” to be failed given that they were in fact working prior to Covid (and prior to states making their own decisions about how to handle it… and yes, this is in part where the bully pulpit criticism comes in to play, fair enough, but it was still governors and mayors making decisions). He isn’t “literally Hitler” from 2016-2020 because of Covid in 2020-2021. That is the problem with how the left uses Covid.

                Yes… the left has a real criticism. No… it doesn’t make the “right all along” it just makes them right “right now.”

                1. Understand that they make up stories and believe them. You can point out the stories are false and they will either ignore you and keep telling the lie or make up a new story and believe that one.

                  1. You seem to have left and right confused. There’s a huge conspiracy a work here, doing shadowy things to accomplish shadowy goals.

            2. Sorry- let me put in terms you can understand.

              You don’t get a participation prize for the Presidency. There is no “Good job for being there at 3/4 of the why. Now go have a nice time out so you can tweet and watch Fox News. Such a good boy. GOLD STAR!”

              1. I’m curious if there’s any President who gets 3/4 of the way through the promises they make on the campaign trail.

                As a general rule, Presidents fail to deliver on most of what they promise.

                1. “I’m curious if there’s any President who gets 3/4 of the way through the promises they make on the campaign trail.”

                  Your guy didn’t get to the stuff he said he was going to do on “day one”.

    2. “President Trump’s appeal is his track record. He gets it done.”
      […]
      “President Trump got it done despite opposition at every step.”

      The fact that something happens does not establish that Trump had anything to do with it, and putting the best possible spin on something. Counting jobs, for example, you have a 4 million gain that is actually a loss of 3 million. That’s actually due to Trump’s plan for dealing with coronavirus.

  38. I’m surprised that this is an “epiphany” given that the “epiphany” had has been noted a large number of times by commentators over the last four years. How far up your ass must your head be to not know this?

  39. The assertion that we are “hostile” to immigration and free trade makes my head explode.
    I understand this country cannot continue without immigration.
    We are for allowing people in who want to contribute, and bestowing citizenship on those who value the principles in our founding documents.
    We are for controlled borders and more balanced trade.

    1. “The assertion that we are “hostile” to immigration and free trade makes my head explode.”

      Well, you sided with a guy who wanted to block immigrants based on their choice of religion and then he sought a trade war because he mistakenly believes trade wars are easy to win.

  40. Trump’s appeal to his supporters is really really easy to understand.

    A kid gets picked on. He is called all the names in the book. Every day someone comes along and offers to help him, only to ignore him at best or join the mockery at worst.

    Then the kid everyone talks about as some sort of bully (even though they’ve never seen it) and no one really cares to get to know…. that’s the one that actually stands in front of the kid being picked on and tells everyone else to get lost.

    Does the kid being bullied agree with this other kid on stuff? No… they are very, very different. In fact, in another life, they would never be friends. But one thing matters… the kid who stood up for the victim earned the victims respect.

    Trump is the giant “fuck you” to the system, the establishment, the media, the race-baiters, etc. The rest really doesn’t matter. He stood up for people and it wasn’t what he did for them that mattered… it wasn’t his character or ideals or beliefs. It was a voice that told everyone else to get bent and to start respecting the voices of the unheard. That their whiteness, or patriotism, or maleness, or heterosexuality, or their wealth or poverty… none of that was a reason to discount them, which the left has actively been doing for some time now. Their political idealism didn’t deserve to be taken advantage of like it had been by the eGOP.

    These people needed to vent… they needed to lash out at their persecutors. At people who discounted their experiences, lives, troubles, worries, cares, etc. based on pre-conceived ideas of them based on things like geography, education, race, etc. The pressure release was right there for them… Trump, warts and all.

    1. ^ This is an excellent and very insightful comment.

    2. “Trump’s appeal to his supporters is really really easy to understand.”

      They are collectively not too bright.
      See, e.g., the video of the insurgents storming the Senate and reading Sen. Cruz’s notes. They are initially outraged that he planned to object to counting Arizona’s electoral votes, before they work out that, wait, Arizona’s electoral votes went to Biden, and so they, too, object to counting Arizona’s EC votes. It’s amusing.

  41. I found this bizarre, theorizing about Trump supporters as if they were animals in the zoo. I guess you don’t know any, because then you might just ask them. I recommend you take a leave from your job and do manual labor in the countryside for a few months.

  42. David Bernstein, your “insight” is deeply offensive. You had four years to try to understand the Trump phenomenon, but you never put any effort into it. Even in this brief effort of “retrospection”, you start off by assuming President Trump’s supporters are racist.

    As someone who despised President Trump going in (and who even believed Trump was a Democratic mole who was deliberately throwing the election the first time around), I have my own observations.

    First, the constant drumbeat of “Republicans are racist, sexist and homophobic Nazis!” even when we nominate nice, milquetoast candidates like Mitt Romney. If we’re not going to win with nice people, we might as well get someone who’s not going to be nice.

    Second, the constant lying from the Media — indeed, this is something that turned me towards Trump in the first place. I saw someone who was a rather average President, trying to reach out to both sides of the isle, yet the Press took every effort to mischaracterize him, to cast every action in as bad a light as possible. Indeed, some of my support for President Trump was to spite the Media. But my personal hostility towards the Media has been there for decades. When one is a conservative or libertarian, it’s deeply annoying to see the lies and distortions ramped up to 11.

    Indeed, this is the biggest reason why the #WalkAway movement started.

    Third, I actually saw that President Trump was implementing some ideas I appreciated, and that even the ones that I disagreed with, weren’t unreasonable. It drove me nuts that President Trump was treated as some sort of monster.

    Fourth, the Democrats have made it clear that they don’t like America, while President Trump loves it. This is something that can be clearly seen in the differences between the Democratic and Republican conventions.

    Fifth, Democrats have made it very clear (both in online forums such as here, and in their policies and news reporting) that they don’t particularly like the working class. I do not know how often my alleged “lack of education” has been held against me as if it were something to be ashamed of — and what’s more, how ironic it is that I have a PhD, yet am assumed to be uneducated, because I support President Trump. I happen to have lots of friends and family who aren’t “educated”, and yet know far more about their fields that I ever would, without going into that field myself, and who deserve respect in their fields, despite (and perhaps even because of) their lack of education.

    Sixth, how many of us are sick of cancel culture? Say one wrong thing, whether it be 10 seconds ago or 10 years ago, and it comes back and destroys your entire life without warning? While it hits both Democrats and Republicans, it seems to have a far more disparate impact on Republicans than it does Democrats.

    Seventh, to my amazement, President Trump actually tries to get things done that he promised to do. Yes, lizard people like loki13 try to insist that his failure to succeed means that Trump supporters should reject him outright, but a good portion of President Trump’s failure is due to lizard people in the Republican Party and the Bureaucratic “Deep State” — and loki13 thinks the solution is to vote for the lizard man who makes promises that will harm the country, and our best case scenario is that he doesn’t keep his promises! (I admit I give Republicans too much credit when I call them lizard people. They are really jellyfish — you need a spine to be a lizard.)

    Yes, you do get something right: Trump supporters despise how the entire establishment has picked up arms against President Trump, and fought him every inch of the way. You get something wrong, too: we’re sick and tired of being examined at a distance, as if (as one person put it) weird animals in a zoo. We are humans too, and if anything, we are far more human than the lizard people in Washington whose only interests are to secure money and power for themselves, at the cost of decent Americans who are supposed to be their constituents.

    Why don’t you go out and find Trump supporters, and actually talk to them for once? Go into their “native habitats”, see what it’s like to visit them in their homes and their workplaces, and find out what their actual concerns are, and why they decided to vote for President Trump?

    And, above all, stop assuming we are racist! If you want to see real racism, pick any black conservative, and see what Democrats have to say about them. Heck, a documentary was even made about it!

    1. Offensive and … far from original for an “epiphany” that’s been expressed by others, in various forms, over the last four years. So, behold the blindness of coastal enclave academics. Try not to be angry, rather enjoy the spectacle of a sincerely given self-own.

    2. David Bernstein, your “insight” is deeply offensive. You had four years to try to understand the Trump phenomenon, but you never put any effort into it. Even in this brief effort of “retrospection”, you start off by assuming President Trump’s supporters are racist.

      When one takes a look at a lot of evidence and decides something, we call that “concluding” that they’re racist, or “deducing” that they’re racist. Not “assuming.”

      I saw someone who was a rather average President, trying to reach out to both sides of the isle,

      So you’re delusional as well as being a poor speller. Good to know.

      Seventh, to my amazement, President Trump actually tries to get things done that he promised to do.

      Spelling was okay here. Delusion still intact.

      Why don’t you go out and find Trump supporters, and actually talk to them for once? Go into their “native habitats”, see what it’s like to visit them in their homes and their workplaces, and find out what their actual concerns are, and why they decided to vote for President Trump?

      Jesus. The media spent four years doing that after Trump was elected. Why don’t you go out and find the far more numerous Trump opponents, and talk to them, and find out what their/our actual concerns are, and why we oppose Donald Trump?

      1. I have seen little evidence that the Media has been trying to understand the Trump voter, and even less evidence that Senators and Representatives were.

        As for those who oppose President Trump, we don’t need to seek them out: they are constantly telling us why they oppose President Trump. Often disingenuously, by telling us lies as if they were legitimate reasons to hate President Trump.

        1. If you’re following Donnie the T, it shows that your ability to detect lies is deeply impaired.

    3. “First, the constant drumbeat of “Republicans are racist, sexist and homophobic Nazis!” even when we nominate nice, milquetoast candidates like Mitt Romney. If we’re not going to win with nice people, we might as well get someone who’s not going to be nice.”

      No matter what, don’t let them talk you into even considering a candidate who isn’t an old white man. If you do that, the terrorists have won!

      “Second, the constant lying from the Media — indeed, this is something that turned me towards Trump in the first place. ”

      They kept telling you lies about Donald Trump. Like things he actually said. Any apologist for Trump complaining about somebody else lying deserves the mockery that results.

      “Third, I actually saw that President Trump was implementing some ideas I appreciated, and that even the ones that I disagreed with, weren’t unreasonable.”

      But the ones that WERE unreasonable, you didn’t notice?

      “Fourth, the Democrats have made it clear that they don’t like America, while President Trump loves it.”

      Clearly? Donnie was the one who built a campaign on the claim that America isn’t currently great. He sold a lot of hats that said so.

      “Fifth, Democrats have made it very clear (both in online forums such as here, and in their policies and news reporting) that they don’t particularly like the working class.”

      Odd to bring the working class into a discussion of Mr. Trump.

      ” I do not know how often my alleged ‘lack of education’ has been held against me as if it were something to be ashamed of — and what’s more, how ironic it is that I have a PhD.

      Accredited, or Trump University? Based on your written work, I’m not buying that you earned a Ph.D. Trump spent time at some actual institutions of learning, and it doesn’t seem to have caused any education.

      “Sixth, how many of us are sick of cancel culture? Say one wrong thing, whether it be 10 seconds ago or 10 years ago, and it comes back and destroys your entire life without warning? While it hits both Democrats and Republicans, it seems to have a far more disparate impact on Republicans than it does Democrats.”

      Were you complaining about “cancel culture” back when it was solely a weapon of the right? Or is you complaint limited to the fact that your political opponents have stolen your tool from your toolkit?

      “Seventh, to my amazement, President Trump actually tries to get things done that he promised to do. ”
      In the sense that he’s going to have slightly less time to cheat at golf when he re-enters private life. Donald Trump has never tried to get things done that he promised to do in his life.

      1. “No matter what, don’t let them talk you into even considering a candidate who isn’t an old white man.”

        Why should I care about the race of the candidate? I supported Herman Cain when he ran for President. Democrats didn’t hesitate to use racist epithets against him, merely for being on the “wrong side”.

        “Accredited, or Trump University?”

        Dur, I make spelling mistakes and don’t hire an editor to look over my posts before I hit “submit”, so I must be uneducated! And, at the same time, you double down on your insulting of Trump supporters as “uneducated”, both because some of them are, and because you couldn’t possibly believe that an educated person could support Trump.

        “Were you complaining about ‘cancel culture’ back when it was solely a weapon of the right?”

        Since when did the right shadowban, delete material, and outright ban people from social media?

        “Clearly? Donnie was the one who built a campaign on the claim that America isn’t currently great. He sold a lot of hats that said so.”

        And Democrats responded to that campaign by saying “America was never great.”

        “Donald Trump has never tried to get things done that he promised to do in his life.”

        I would not trust you judgement on what President Trump’s accomplishments were, nor his attempts to accomplish things. The only reason you make this claim is because he didn’t attempt to do the things you wanted him to do — and I suspect you are even wrong about that.

        1. “Dur, I make spelling mistakes and don’t hire an editor to look over my posts before I hit “submit”, so I must be uneducated! And, at the same time, you double down on your insulting of Trump supporters as “uneducated”, both because some of them are, and because you couldn’t possibly believe that an educated person could support Trump.”

          Dude, I said you were stupid, not uneducated. The fact that you continue to be confused by the difference suggests I was accurate.

          “Since when did the right shadowban, delete material, and outright ban people from social media?”

          Back before there was anything called “social media”, there was cancel culture, and it was a tool of the right. They went after John Lennon for saying “imagine no religion” and “give peace a chance”, after the previous campaign to cancel him for saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

          “And Democrats responded to that campaign by saying ‘America was never great.'”
          I also pointed out that you have an extremely vivid and fanciful imagination.

          “I would not trust you judgement on what President Trump’s accomplishments were”

          Nope, you’d prefer your previously-noted-as-vivid imagination as a source.

  43. A strategy I would suggest to President Biden if I thought he wanted my advice would be to offer Mr. Trump a pardon for whatever criminal activity he might want to confess to. Then you have a videotape of him confessing to crimes if he might want to try to re-enter politics. and if he doesn’t, and is willing to disappear into Florida and stay there, then the healing of the nation can begin.

    1. A strategy I would suggest to Pretendant Biden — if he were sincere in his promise for Unity — would be to pardon all the people who were involved in the Capitol Hill riots, denounce the impeachment of President Trump, and offer to carefully investigate the last election and promise election reform.

      And it wouldn’t hurt for him to announce that some of the policies he wants to implement are properly State issues, and while he’ll make recommendations for those policies, he’ll call on States to decide for themselves whether they should be implemented.

      I sincerely doubt Pretendant Biden will do this, though: he’s not interested in unity. He’s interested in showing those deplorables just who’s boss! He’s not even sworn in as President, and has flamed the divisions in this country with the few words he’s uttered.

      1. Gosh, you rise up in insurrection just once, and suddenly everybody hates you!

        1. And they want to hear about your thoughts concerning “sincere” interests in Unity even less.

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