Was Supporting Trump A Mistake?

A Facebook friend replied to a comment on one of my posts saying this:

“I was thinking just this morning about a conversation I had with a co-worker at Carrizo during the campaign. Like so many, I was in amazement that Trump was getting so much support. His comment to me was ‘maybe we need to toss a monkey wrench in the machine and see what happens’. Talk about being careful for what one wishes for. Honestly, I would like to remind him of his statement and see if he still thinks that the events of the past 18 months was worth it.”

I guess that his co-worker would say that it was worth it. Let’s sort that out.

The last 18 months were awful, and much of that awfulness is attributable to the left’s hatred of Trump by many Americans, especially deep state Americans. [Of course, things would have been much less awful had the Democrat politicians and bureaucrats treated Trump as their Republican counterparts treated Obama. That, however, is a different subject.] So, things would not have been so awful had a Republican swamp creature been elected, but not likely by much. [See below for a discussion of how awful things would have been had Americans elected Hillary.]

While Trump had too many faults for me to go gaga over him, I get why so many people did and still do. Foremost, he is a genius when it comes to relating to those Americans who several prior presidents, president wannabes, and others in power had ignored, ridiculed, or considered deplorable as they pursued policies that Trump supporters believed to be ruinous. Before his election, they had suffered through “the swamp” becoming larger, stronger, and more expensive, intrusive, and corrupt.  Adding insult to injury, the swamp creatures exempted themselves from the rules they imposed on everyone else and came after everyone who opposed them, e.g., religious people and the Tea Party Patriots.

Adding to the discontent, the MSM became more fake, political correctness and cancel culture became more oppressive; the left’s claims about “our values” (which are antithetical to American values) gained traction; disclosures of corruption by Democrats was suppressed by Big Tech and the MSM and imaginary corruption by Republicans was hotly pursued; district attorneys and state attorney generals were not enforcing the law against favored felons and self-declared “sanctuary” cities and states (and getting away with it); growing welfare rolls and benefits, veterans being ignored and the military being downsized; and no Republicans effectively fighting any of it. [The foregoing is an abbreviated list of grievances.]

As bad as the above items were for the people who became Trump supporters, with the notable exceptions of Reagan and Gingrich, hardly any federal politician noticeably tried to slow the acceleration of Democrats’ hotrod rumbling down the road to serfdom. Many Trump supporters had always suspected that federal-level Republicans played the role “opposition” similar to the Washington Generals feigning steal attempts as the Democrat Globetrotters ran up and down the court, slam-dunking on them.  Trump supporters presumed that the Republicans played that role because they were either Republican in name only or were in on the corruption’s booty.  Because the Republicans did almost nothing when they held all three government branches during Trump’s first two years in office, those suspicions turned into beliefs.

Trump came down the escalator and started denouncing villainy and villains in the story above, i.e., he was saying what the people who became Trump supporters had been pining to hear from politicians for decades. By doing that, Trump easily and quickly dispensed with all the other Republican presidential candidates who were too busy trying to look presidential instead of taking the fight to the opposition. Trump handily beat Hillary because he was NOT Hillary. In so doing, he became a hero to many because he was saying the right things, appeared to be a doer, and had promised to drain the swamp. His victory over Hillary validated their beliefs about him, thereby creating a personal connection between himself and his supporters.

Many, perhaps the vast majority of Trump supporters, thought that Obama had fundamentally transformed America into a crippled giant that would finish the slide into totalitarian socialism, i.e., a world in which only the wealthy and powerful of the world could thrive. For the non-rich and wealthy, a course reversal was necessary for Americans. They saw proof of the transformation in the constant bashing of American values in schools, on TV and in film. Many of them were worried about China buying US companies, funding its news organizations, co-opting sports leagues, and curating the content of Hollywood films. They saw the Democrats doing nothing effective to stop the rising threat from China and even seemed to encourage it. A smaller but noticeable percentage of them believed that much of this was going on because Washington Politicians were selling America’s interests to line their own pockets and gain power.

While in office, Trump (unlike the Bushes and the vast majority of other Washington politicians) fought earnestly for what his supporters believed needed to be done. His defeat of Hillary was seen as giving the country four years to attempt to save the country. Vanquishing the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Washington was a necessary step to getting the country back on track, and Trump pledged to do that. As flawed as Trump was, Trump supporters viewed Trump as the only person who might be able to give the country a chance of getting the nation off the road to ruination, a path they believed the country was on.

Trump has failed to drain the swamp. The swamp drained him. With the inauguration of Biden, the swamp will continue to siphon the country’s wealth and power away from the people and to itself. (Many of them believe that Trump still has plans to drain the swamp. I doubt that he does, but who knows?)

So, while the above take on Trump supporters may not apply to my Facebook friend’s co-worker, many, perhaps most Trump supporters believe that because Trump was the only shot the country had to save itself from a brisk jog to the end of the road of serfdom, “it was worth it” to take a chance on him. My guess is that they will give him credit for trying and continue to disdain the swamp. BTW: While there are several things I like about Trump, I’ve never been a Trump supporter. On the other hand, I too believe that he was the only person in the country that could beat Hillary. Because a Hillary administration would have been so bad for the country, I agree with the Trump supporters who believe that taking a chance on Trump was worth it.

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