I doubt Trump supporters have or will draw a line by which to determine if he fails to live up to his promises to them. He made a lot. Perhaps many don’t expect any deliveries; perhaps the only motivation for Trump supporters was to make sure Clinton did not win. So check that off the list, based on a technicality many don’t understand.
Trump swore to throw out Obamacare. Seems like he’ll keep most of it. Trump said he’d drain the swamp of Washington and instead did the opposite and appointed longtime Republican politicians to take up posts. Since I don’t see Trump supporters in the streets, they must be ‘okay’ with that. Great!
On the other side of the aisle, I have heard whispers of optimism from some Clinton supporters; some is holding water, and some leaking at other points. Particularly what is coming true is what Clinton supporters read into Trump’s demeanor: his mission of hatred. This is less about his words since election but expressed in whom he is appointing to office. This is about judging character and presuming all the policies that correlate with it. It’s conjectural, but I think it will come into play in social reforms and civil society more than the promises of a wall or “rescuing” the economy. Granted, he did state on 60 minutes that he did not condone attacks against minorities. So maybe there’s a chance?
The danger of the Trump campaign is that it attacks social welfare and the civil rights that Democrats have been fighting for, as well potentially damaging foreign relations that have been built on diplomacy over the last 8 years. Some are reversible, others aren’t. I anticipate there will be a greater impact on the social level and civil society than other aspects that worry Clinton supporters. Trump’s encounter with politics will be deference to people he likes who have some experience and motivation to change their condition. He won’t admit that he has basically no fucking idea about politics, presidential budgets, the economy, or foreign affairs. I don’t blame him, he’s not a politician. He’s a business man. But politics rule over business, the economy influences businessin some ways. (Business’s influence on politics isn’t necessarily true but and when it occurs it’s corrupt. This is the single message Trump aimed at Clinton and frankly even Clinton supporters aren’t comfortable with that relation…maybe it got lost in the email scandal.)
The parts of optimism that are leaking are seen in whom he is appointing to office. Stephen Bannon is an anti-Semite. This is serious. Reince Preibus is the RNC chair, so of course he’ll aim at all the vulnerable civil rights that Republicans dislike: prochoice, gun control, gay rights, etc. Paul Ryan mentioned a softer stance on deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Two last things:
One: we must accept in this post-election season that nobody apologizes for his/her vote. If you’re old enough to remember George W. Bush fucking up Iraq with the supposed weapons of mass destruction, you’ll remember that exactly zero people said, “Oh, I guess my candidate isn’t the right person for the Presidency,” instead many re-elected him. And It wasn’t until mobilizing a disenfranchised demographic that the country got a new party, renewed economy and some semblance of regard for jurisprudence. The best that anyone can hope for in asking for redemption in this messed up reality television show that is the United States, January 21, 2017-January 21, 2021 is, “Man, maybe I should get more active in the community.” This should come from all sides (even the apathetic). I’ve heard a few people say this and it’s music to my ears.
So if you’re holding your breath for a Trump supporter to say, “Geeze, why didn’t he drain the swamp,” you’ll pass out. It’s not going to happen. Maybe the mandatory aspects of the Affordable Healthcare Act will be thrown out, but I expect much will be kept. Trump has already stated this. No one is going to say, “You know, I gave him a change in 2016 and he really didn’t live up to my expectations, so I’m going Democrat.” Not going to happen. His supporters will give him a second term.
So I encourage you to enjoy a few moments of shock and irony as you see some friends of yours who supported Trump and whom you anticipate to be on the short end of his stick. For me, a very nice guy I met at a co-working space has become vehemently vocal about his support for Trump and his hatred toward women. I’m surprised. He’s also Black. I asked him what he thought about the KKK celebration parade and he scuffed it off, saying they didn’t have power here. Ok. Right. Hopefully not. But as Trump appoints more bigots, like Stephen Bannon, I anticipate my friend will suffer from that. But prodding this friend of mine will likely just make him more staid in his ways, because that’s the stubborn disposition he has. (I couldn’t help thinking of the Dave Chapelle blind KKK member skit).
Lastly, take solace in knowing people do make the wrong decisions, and they do so in democracy also. There’s been this wave of people saying, “You can’t call them stupid or ignorant for voting for Trump.” Their point is that it’s counter productive. I agree with that. But there is room to simply say, “You made the wrong decision.” Of course they won’t agree with you, but look, historically democratic processes have resulted in what most people believe were bad candidates. You don’t have to go to the extreme of Hitler to see this. People make bad decisions all the time–all day! Of course they can vote poorly. It’s not anti-democratic to say someone voting poorly. If you’re in a pizza parlor and your group of friends ask what type of pizza you should build and you think all the toppings from their icecream buffet should go on the pizza, well, you’ve just made a bad decision. And Pizza Hut: Please don’t make an icecream buffet pizza.