It occurred to me that in my writings and in conversations with others, I speak of Trump supporters as though they were one, homogeneous group of people, all speaking and thinking alike. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth and it’s no wonder that anyone trying to argue that it is, quickly loses credibility with pretty much all the people who voted for Trump. Fact is they are as American as apple pie and you can’t paint them all with one brush. Since it is my mission to encourage healthy dialogue between those who did and those who didn’t (vote for Trump, that is), I endeavored to sit down and really give some thought as to who Trump supporters are, based on the feedback I’ve had from discussions with them and reporting on and portrayal of them in the media. After careful thought, I’ve cataloged Trump supporters into the following categories. First I will list them along with the titles I have given them and then I will discuss each one:
1. Hardcore supporters (30%)
2. Party loyalists (20%)
3. Change advocates (20%)
4. Anything but Democrat voters (20%)
5. Don’t have a clue folks (10%)
The people most of us non-Trump supporters are referring to when we reference Trump supporters are the hardcore Trump supporters. They are by far the largest group of Trumpians and are beyond communicating with. They unashamedly believe America belongs to white people and white people only, and should be led by white males or women who act like white males and/or support white male dominance, especially in politics. I don’t pretend to know any of these people. I’m sure I’ve met a few, but they would never admit being who they are, so I wouldn’t even know I was in their company. These folks cannot be reasoned or bargained with. They live in their own little bubble and derive all their information from the most rightwing reactionary sources out there. All we can do for them is pray that they truly find Jesus and the true meaning of Christianity. The other 70% of the people in Trump’s camp don’t believe in or subscribe to many things on Trump and his hardcore supper’s agenda, but never the less have been linked by association to the hardcore supporters since it is they that are driving the Trump agenda. For future reference, whenever I write something that implies I’m attempting to appeal to the better judgment of Trump supporters, understand that it is those 70% of non-hardcore supporters I’m appealing to.
The second group is the party loyalists. They appear to me to believe that even though the current presidential administration is somewhat “eccentric”, the country is better off with Republican leadership. They have served the Republican Party in some cases for generations and can’t bring themselves to vote for Democrats under any circumstance. They believe that on matters of substance, the Republican leadership will ultimately prevail over Trump and the Democrats for the betterment of all. My hope for them is that they somehow come to the realization that the prime objective of the Trump Administration is destruction of all democratic institutions created to preserve democracy and protect it from the men who would be king. Needless to say, Trump is going to cause irreparable damage to society and the American way of life if he is not checked in the 2018 midterm elections. There is no time to cultivate responsible Republican candidates before then and the only way to stop Trump is to remove all Republican incumbents from office. Once done, the message will have been sent and we can begin the process of putting a responsible congress together along with a new president by the 2020 elections. This is one of those times where you must vote against your party to save the republic.
The change advocates group believes the entire government needs to be shaken up and all of the old or existing traditions in Washington and in state legislatures need to be overturned. They’re not sure what needs to be changed or why, but they are willing to vote for any candidate who claims to be an outsider. The idea of the non-establishment candidate resonates with them, I believe because they feel they don’t have a context to enable them to understand anything that goes on in government. It appears to them like a bunch of mostly old white men arguing about everything and doing nothing about anything. Consequently, the Trump candidacy by its calling all government institutions un-American and claiming the public was being lied to by the media and the incumbent Democratic administration, he fostered an argument that was very appealing to them. I would say to them, that they are a perfect example of what happens when the general public fails to be educated on government inner workings and the rule of law prior to graduating high school. When I was in grammar school almost 60 years ago, you couldn’t graduate into high school until you past the state civics exam. Consequently, by the time you finished 8th grade, you fully understood the rules of government and the powers and limitations of all government officials on a federal, state and local level. You knew who was responsible for what in government and you knew how to hold accountable anyone who failed to do his/her job regardless of party affiliation. You could judge these things for yourself without the filter of propagandists or editorialist as long as you had the basic facts of any issue. You also gained an appreciation for government by the people and not just the wealthy, as we are coming close to having today. Our democracy was set up to insure no single individual could have undue influence or power in the government or place themselves above the rule of law. I would argue that all of that is in jeopardy if the current administration is not checked in the 2018 elections.
The “anything but Democrat” Trumpians are very similar to the “change advocates” group. Like the change advocates they are uneducated as to the details of how their government works. The main difference is that they have fallen prey to the incessant drum beat of far right rhetoric and propaganda for over the last twenty years, especially after 911, that has them convinced that the Democratic Party is somehow allied with all of the forces that they claim are trying to destroy America. This is another one of those situations where the individuals have been so thoroughly indoctrinated – almost to the point of being brainwashed – that there’s little anyone can say to convince them otherwise. What I would invite them to do is go back and read an unbiased history of the Democratic Party between 1930 and 2016 on their own. Read about the New Deal politics and the southern Democrats know as “Dixiecrats” in the 1950s and 1960s. Chances are, if you’re between ages 21 and 50, and your parents, grandparents or great grandparents, enjoyed a decent, reasonably comfortable middle class life, more likely than not, they were the beneficiaries of the New Deal politics that produced the largest middle class in the history of the world. It was only in the 1960s when the social programs of the New Deal were extended to Americans of African decent (which for the most part was not done prior to then), that social programs were attacked as being a negative force in American society and culture. In fact, most of the hardcore Trumpians would have been Democrats in 1959. My advice to them and all Trumpians is to vote Democrat in 2018, not because you like Democrats, but because you want to reassert public control over government.
Finally, there is the “don’t have a clue” group. They just don’t seem to take anything in life serious. I think they voted in almost equal numbers for Democrats, Republicans and third party candidates in the 2016 elections. Something as frivolous as the catchiness of your hash tag is sufficient to tip them in your favor if you are a candidate. I would say to them as I would to everyone reading this, these are serious times we live in. In this country, regardless of who is in the White House, there are certain things we don’t allow anyone in our government to do. Making war on innocent children is one of them. Having a presidential administration in place that would even consider doing such a thing should give us all pause to ask, why are they even in that position in the first place? When you consider all the evidence, the “s _ _ t hole counties” comment, the constant inferences that people who disagree with him are unpatriotic or criminals, the incessant attempts at self-aggrandizement, the constant lying, you have to ask, what is it going to take for all Americans to agree that this is not the kind of man who belongs in the White House representing all Americans. I remember at one point in his campaign to be president he said, “I could shoot someone in the head in the middle of Times Square and they would still vote for me”. Is that really true?
I think there is going to be a reckoning for all the things the Trump Administration is doing on this nation’s behalf. I don’t know if will be in the form of some economic disaster or some kind of environmental/healthcare crisis, but all Americans, Trump Supporters and Non-Trump Supporters alike will be held into account. Be that as it may, I could still support him as president if his mistakes were honest blunders instead of manifestations of his toxic ego. If he respected the things the poles say almost all of us value, such as the health and well being of children, the need for all Americans to have affordable healthcare, right of the elderly to lead dignified lives after a lifetime of hard work, I would know that his blunders were honest blunders. But he goes out of his way to be as nasty as he can to all the people that his hardcore supporters hate. He had the nerve to say that he was upset by the crying refugee toddlers in detention centers, when it’s clear that in his mind those children don’t even rate being considered human. We can’t go on like this. It has to stop.