President Trump has had trouble getting the GOP-controlled congress to pass signature policies. The Senate failed (by a very slim margin) to repeal Obamacare, and Trump and the GOP leadership clearly do not get along very well. This shouldn’t be a surprise, he didn’t get along with them during the primary season, or the general election either. I don’t think any of that was about politics, but more about personality, and people can only fake their way through those kinds of deep feelings for so long.
So Trump has turned to democrats to try to get stuff done, or at least that’s what his supporters are saying. From what I can gather among my diverse group of FaceBook friends, and outlets like FoxNews and Breitbart, etc, his supporters seem to have divergent responses to his new partnership with democratic leadership. I’m finding this fascinating, and revealing.
On the one hand, there are supporters who dislike Trump, but want some of his policies enacted. These people seem to be fine with Trump’s new partnership, because they see it as a pragmatic way to get stuff done. Honestly, that feels very reasonable to me.
On the other hand, there are folks who I find less reasonable, and they seem to split into those who are outraged, and those who have some kind of religious-like devotion to the genius they see in Trump. This whole bunch is heterogeneous, and I can’t put my finger on larger themes, but I find them fascinating nonetheless. Some of them are those who, I would argue based on other things they’ve said, like and support Trump because he hates democrats and liberals. They have said things like “thank God Trump is president” in discussions of media bias. They fill their FaceBook feeds with memes about how awful Hillary is (almost a year after she lost the election). The core support seems to be his lashing out at all things they hate, and not necessarily anything he really wants policy-wize (except that he’s somewhat blindly followed, as long as he lashes out). These folks seem a bit confused. They love to hate democrats, but now their prime cheerleader is working with democrats. So some of them are outraged and feel betrayed. But others seem to have solved the challenge to their religious devotion to Trump by believing that it’s all part of his grand plan. He’s now proven that the GOP is irrelevant, and sent them home with nothing (this seems to come with cries of draining the swamp in 2018, apparently by replacing GOP reps, but I’m not sure which ones, and with whom). They believe he’s created chaos in the GOP on purpose, and now he’s luring the democrats into his trap to create chaos within them as well.
That last group is the one that I am enjoying watching. There are a few FaceBook friends who fall into that camp, and watching them jump all over the place to say “true” to Trump has been fascinating. I can pick specific issues, and find interestingly conflicting views, all depending on the position of the President on a given day. DACA is a great example. When Trump didn’t renew DACA, they were joyful. They called these people lawbreakers, and said we have laws for a reason and people need to follow them. They were upset that these people were stealing “real” American jobs, or that they were mooching off the system (it seemed to go back and forth…making me wonder if they know much about the “dreamers” at all). But then reports came out that Trump was working with democrats to get Congress to pass a long-term fix, and he tweeted stuff supporting the “dreamers” and they quickly decided that Trump is a kind soul who doesn’t want to hurt people.
It’s fascinating to watch from the outside, and makes me wonder how many times similar discussions could be had about me. What positions have I changed because of some charismatic leader? What about the whole trust thing that I’ve written about before? Is that what we’re seeing here? Maybe.