I don’t know if this has been posted here already – there’s so much great stuff on this forum I can’t keep up with it – but this opinion piece from The Atlantic did a lot for me in explaining Trump’s support.
Some of his support is (no surprise) rampant sexism:
Bust mostly, it’s that they don’t give a shit about who Trump is or what he’ll do for them. What they really care about is that he’s sticking it to people they hate:
I admit that even though I kinda knew this already, reading about it was chilling. “Who cares about what will happen to our country? Who cares if we get embroiled in another war? Who cares if we lose our allies so that when we do go to war, we’re fighting it by ourselves? We’re sticking it to The Man!”
I read the entire piece. While that may be the thinking of his hardcore supporters I have a hard time believing those people make up a majority of the voters who will turn up at the polls in November. More and more traditional Republicans are realizing they can’t vote for Trump under any circumstance and that number will be increasing the closer we get to Election Day.
A lot of the article was about why they think he’ll win. And I admit, it’s bizarre – they don’t need a “proper campaign” – people will go to the polls to vote for Trump because his message is exciting. Republicans will all vote for him because he’s now the boss of the party. White men will vote for him. He’ll do at least as well with Latino men as Romney. He’ll do better with black men that Romney did. Every time people demand he shows respect for Hillary and then laugh when Hillary disrespects him, more men will vote for him.
I find it interesting that the men who are quoted in this piece don’t see any difference in personal attack on someone vs. attack on their words and/or actions.
They think he’ll win because most of the people they personally talk politics with are also planning on voting Trump. The world they live in, mostly also White and less educated, is what they see, and what they perceive is the vast majority of the country, and how they believe most of the country will vote.
They think he’ll win because they believe that the country’s demographics is mostly them and that GOP candidates have only lost because they have been too politically correct.
They think he’ll win because their experience is one that choose to view as a dystopic America, as Trump states, and they think that the 40% of Democrat voters and leaners who voted for Sanders see it that way too and will cross over.
They think he’ll win because despite how much he should be losing by right now the race is not yet a slam dunk and there is a real chance he could, if only everyone realizes like they do how much a catastrophe Hillary Clinton as president would be.
There is no way I’m going to predict a Trump loss. I was with all the folks who “knew” that Trump could never win the GOP nomination. He scares the shit out of me because he seems to have re-written the rules by which we make predictions. My only consolation is that I don’t think he really wants to be be president, and so will not take an active role in the office if, by chance, he does win.
I don’t support Trump at ALL but I’m actually starting to get worried he’ll win. He’s gotten such a rabid ‘fanbase’ who doesn’t seem to care what he does or says. And now there’s some outside force working against Hillary through Wikileaks. I just don’t know. I’ll probably pop a valium on election day and sleep it away, hoping to wake up to sanity.
I read that article, too. The reporter David Frum put together a composite of statements he has heard from Trump supporters.
It’s well worth reading.
The thing I thought was fascinating was that the hypothetical Trump lovers interpreted the absence of Republican leadership from the convention and their general silence as a response to Trump as an indication of their RESPECT for him. But not sincere respect-- it’s the respect you have for someone who can damage you, who is holding you hostage. Holy shit. From the article:
I absolutely think Trump could win, and if you’d asked me this even three or four months ago, I’d have smugly told you something like “The general election’s different than the primaries.” I should have known better.
Trump seems like a crazy candidate and an impossible one, but when you really study American politics, it’s not that hard to fathom a Trump win. I mean, let’s be real here: American presidents have repeatedly been elected on the basis of being a disruptor. It’s like that old Sesame Street song “One of these kids is doin his own thing, one of this kids is not the same.”
You have a generation or two of Americans who think the system sucks, they all suck, they’re all the same, both parties do it. Lazy intellectuals. Brain-dead American voters. The chickens are coming home to roost, and if they don’t in this election, they will in the elections that follow. Honestly, Hillary Clinton would be better than Trump - we all know that. But it’s not like it solves the problem of American political gridlock. We’ll just be even more polarized. Nothing will change until we get more educated voters. But that might not happen in my lifetime.
So, Cliff’s Notes: American politics in 2016…is the argument for one party rule in China.