An interesting question related to Trump's supporters is how those from Trump's early days think now, before his candidacy in 2016 and during the takeover of power that year, and today. I do not mean those who stormed the Capitol in the costumes of sorcerers and shamans. No, but those who relied on Trump to change for the better from the beginning of his mandate. Those we saw in the Capitol, obviously belong to those supporters who did not change their minds, but may have become more radical, along with Trump's appearances and revealing the real person. Some, as everywhere in the world, probably lost interest in politics and political orientation as a solution to the problem, because of everything negative that was happening. Some have even turned against Trump, there are some not only among his supporters, but also among the Republicans themselves. There are also those who saw Trump back in 2016 as a joke. Considering that it doesn't matter who the President is, Americans will have no power with anyone. That is why they voted for Trump 2016 out of pure joke, not hoping for much, but at least they hoped that Trump would shake up the system. This possibility was seen by some supporters from 2016 as a middle finger directed at the establishment. Many did not vote for this reason in the 2020 elections this time. Not hoping that things will change significantly, and yet not wanting to repeat the joke with Trump as president. Really, there are many who do not see any change for many people, at least not the root changes. The essence is that those who did not vote this time, no longer believe in the political system. Isn't that a blow to the American values that were woven into the foundations of the state when it was founded? Isn't that a loss of vision and hope for the famous American democracy?
Here is an example, an opinion of a Trump supporter from 2015, and how different his opinion is now:
____ " I’ve been a Republican all my life. I subscribe to conservative values both economically and morally, and the Republican Party has always been my political home. The best way I can sum up the past four years is that Trump made it very hard for someone like me to be a Republican. My life is as close to the American dream as possible. I have been married for almost 20 years to the same woman, I have two boys—one is disabled (autism), but I have the resources to take care of him, and a comfortable middle-class job. I attend a church and generally don’t suffer any real external strife. I’m very fortunate.
There were things about the Trump administration I liked. I was a huge fan of his Supreme Court appointments. I supported his economic policies. COVID-19 has been horrible for the nation, but in assessing Trump’s response, I think he did the best he could and it could have been a lot worse. More than 300,000 Americans dead is a tragedy but the original projections were in the millions, so he must have done something right. I think when the history of Operation Warp Speed is written by disinterested professional historians, it will be remembered in the same manner we remember the Manhattan Project. Maybe Trump will get credit for that, maybe he won’t, but I do think he deserves some.
The problem with Trump is that every time he opens his mouth he says something racist, misogynistic, or, in the past week, downright treasonous that makes me want to crawl under a rock. For the first few years, I would defend his behavior, but eventually I just couldn’t.
The events of this past week by a few thousand protesters egged on by President Trump are a travesty that no reasonable person can excuse. I don’t talk much politics anymore, unless it’s with close friends or relatives. For the first time in my professional life I feel [that] stating my political affiliation would cost me, if not my job, then at least my professional standing with peers. For that reason I ask again that you keep these comments anonymous.
So while I think Trump’s policies were supportable, his rhetoric and personal style was not. Savannah Guthrie actually summed up the problem pretty well when she said, “You are the president of the United States, not someone’s crazy uncle.” I don’t think Trump ever got that.
I think in the long term the country will be fine. We’ve been through a lot as a nation and the arc of history bends toward justice, but in the short term I think Trump’s rhetoric and actions will leave a huge part of the country adrift. The actions of the rioters last week are inexcusable, but what about the millions of people who voted for Trump because they just always check the box marked “R” or agree with him on his policies? Where are they going to go? Will they have a political home? And if they don’t, what happens to our elected body politic?
I am going to be watching the Joe Biden administration closely. I do not think the election was stolen; I think he won fair and square. I had an opportunity to meet Biden when he was doing the Cancer Moonshot at the end of the Obama administration. He has built a political career on two pillars: relationship-building consensus and personal empathy. That’s not exciting to the left who would rather be led by someone like Bernie Sanders or [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], but it may be what the country needs right now. And in case you were wondering, I’m not talking about bipartisanship for its own sake. I thought in 2008 and continue to think Barack Obama is a pompous asshole. I don’t feel the same way about Biden. " _____