Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Disappearing Trump Voter

At various times over the coming months, as Cheeto Benito's outrages mount and multiply, we will be reminded that millions of people voted for them, and we need to be respectful of their feelings.  We get a taste of that here.  I won't respond to the particulars, since Martin Longman does it so well.

What do we owe Trump voters?  Again, Longman makes the case that voting for Trump is not the same as voting for McCain or Romney or Dole.  The decision to pull the lever for Trump must've been hard for some of them.  As Jeffrey Medford says in the Times piece, they wanted a better Republican, but there wasn't one on the offing.  The point of the moral outrage is that Trump was uniquely disqualifying as a candidate.  Many people, including a substantial majority of those who cast their ballots, saw that Trump was uniquely disqualifying as a candidate.  The idea that you could excuse what he was saying in order to justify lower tax rates or a Supreme Court judge or whatever the hell your rationale was...that IS morally offensive.

As Trumpistan unfolds before us, some of those who reluctantly voted for him are expressing their profound regrets.  Fine, but you own this.  Don't expect attaboys for unleashing Twittler on the world, just because you now regret doing it.

As for the Deplorables who continue to think he's doing a great job, (Can you get a load of the guy in this video?) there really isn't much that can be said or done.  Some of them might sour on Trump if the economy craters, but right now, the Obama economy is humming along.  A trade war or the killing of ACA might throw off some supporters, but Trump voters are uniquely invulnerable to facts and empirical evidence.

There is also the fact that Trump voters are largely the uneducated.  Trump's popularity numbers are underwater with African Americans, Hispanics and Whites with college degrees.  It is only whites without college degrees that still have a favorable opinion of him.  Having a college degree doesn't make you intelligent, but it does - hopefully - open your mind up to more than one possible reality.  Finally, Trump voters are older than the population as a whole.  The actuarial table should take care of some of them over the next three and a half years.

I have little worry that if the election were re-held today, Clinton would win.  Those suburban, college-educated Republicans who fretted over her emails would not be able to cast their votes for this tangerine-colored clown.

At least... I hope so.

UPDATE:  Charlie Pierce, of course, says it better:

And, please, for the love of god, ye editors and news directors throughout the land, enough with the expeditions into the heartland to talk to people who helped bring this down upon themselves and on us. These folks have nothing new to say. They voted their id and their spleen and they're still on a high from that. Some guy in a café in Dubuque wants to say that he voted for this president* because he "tells it like it is," or because he thinks the steel mills are coming back? Can you watch that rally in Florida and believe that these opinions have any real merit?
"You gotta keep his con even after you take him," Henry Gondorff warned. "He can't know that you took him." Until they realize how badly they've been taken, what's the point in all these stories? You're listening to people in love with their own delusions. It's not even magical realism because there's no magic and nothing's real.

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