As I continue to expand my awareness into the Twitter-verse I started following the @Trump_Regrets feed. It’s primary purpose is to retweet those that now regret having voted for Donald Trump. The election rhetoric and our current political instability and sense of chaos has created some deep divisions within our society. It can be very easy to gravitate to the infamous term used by the Clinton campaign to characterize half of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” The truth is that despite her caveat that only half of his supporters belonged in this category, it can be very easy for us to skim the news and apply that label with a broad brush to every conservative our there. Many who voted for Trump are decent Americans with legitimate concerns.
Am I overcome with a very distinct feeling of Schadenfreude when reading the tweets of former Trump advocates? Yes. Should I feel this way? Probably not. As I relish in the anguish of Trump voters realizing they made an error and are just as disappointed as we are with the President; it is not necessarily a sentiment that is beneficial to my own sense of karma. I imagine there are many toxic personalities out there that are taking great pleasure in the misfortunes of progressive liberals and minorities in this country as well, so I don’t necessarily let my guilt over my schadenfreude keep me awake at night.
I had an opportunity some time ago with a longtime friend of over sixteen years to talk about the current state of affairs in this country. Strangely, I misread the situation entirely and found that we disagreed significantly over many issues. I was shocked! We both consider ourselves to be well-informed, critical thinkers with the intellectual capacity to analyze a situation and formulate opinions rooted in fact and not on the unfiltered ravings of a mad demagogue. How could he think in such a way? That being said, I didn’t “unfriend” him. I didn’t get angry. I still stand by my convictions and will continue to do so. We agreed to disagree, but continued to have a mature, adult and reasoned discussion on critical points.
There are racists, hate-mongers, sexists and paranoids within the circles of Trump’s supporters (they most certainly are in abundance among his inner circle). There are, however, many more disgruntled citizens out there that concerns over national security issues, government overspending and inefficiencies created from bigger government. While I don’t necessarily agree with these positions from a political and ideological stand point, I can understand that these are valid concerns worth discussing.
In one of my very first post, I mentioned that I tried to avoid becoming too negative by comforting myself with the hope that perhaps all of Trump’s rhetoric was meaningless bluster or that his inner circle of advisers would steer him towards moderation (obviously this delicate house of cards I had constructed around myself has since collapsed into a heap at my feet). I think for some Trump voters, they used this same logic to convince themselves that his more hateful proposals would never come to fruition, and in lieu of a border wall and immigrant ban would seek ways to streamline the government and strengthen our economy. Yet with every tweet, every “alternative fact,” every dictatorial executive order and every embarrassing, public temper tantrum another moderate conservative “defects” from Trump’s war camp.
Our political system is designed to encourage open dialogue and debate so that liberals and conservatives…Democrats and Republicans can move ever closer to compromises, while still honoring our civil liberties and continue to celebrate diversity and plurality. Well…at least that’s what the system should do. In the coming years we cannot risk alienating moderates on the other side of the political spectrum (I know I’ve said this before). We are already seeing the subtle tell-tale signs that the Republican Party is starting to fracture over the irrational and uncontrollable nature of an impulsive and immature President who relishes in the thought that, as President, he is owed special favors and special treatment; A President who fails to recognize he embodies the Office of the President and as such is no longer a private citizen like the rest of us.
Trump has been managing his brand for close to fifty years. Yet, he has shown an inability to re-brand himself as a President and it’s proving to be toxic to the Republican party. One can only hope that continued resistance on the part of the American people will lead to a bi-partisan effort to form a coalition within the senate and congress to actively oppose Trump’s radical and inherently dangerous efforts.
Does the @Trump_Regrets tweets re-enforce the current climate of winners vs. losers? I can see how it does. I do, however, find it encouraging that not everyone who voted for trump are monsters and have the moral and ethical capacity to recognize what a danger Trump poses to the nation. I’ve been tempted to do some political shaming in the past:
“Look what you did!”
“I told you so.”
“What are you? Ignorant? Racist? Or Just plain stupid?
It really is hard not to politically shame these disillusioned Trump supporters. The majority of the @Trump_Regrets tweets decry Trump’s use of twitter and childish outbursts. Social media has characterized Trump as many things; Presidential is not one of them. As I write this I realize that I can’t help myself…I’m going to violate my own rule that I just established so that I can say just this: “What the hell did you expect?!!! This should come as no surprise to anyone if the election campaign is to be any kind of metric.”
Sorry…back on track.
I would only encourage those progressives and liberals, with whom I now associate myself, to find ways to welcome Trump defectors and resist the natural desire to use inflammatory language that could otherwise drive them back to Trump. To that end. I will try not demonize those that voted for Trump…most especially those that are making efforts to flee from his particular brand of nationalism and hatred.
Note: Do not think for a moment though, that I will EVER try to make a saint into a sinner. I hold no regard for those like Steve Bannon and Richard Spencer and their ilk. Thess particular breeds of Trump Supporters are deplorable. They are a disgrace to the nation and an embarrassment to all Americans!
Are you a former Trump Supporter? A Current one? What is your perspective? What drove you from being a Trump supporter. We’d like to hear. Comment or email below and, maybe, subscribe.