A “Coalition Of The Decent” Rises Up Against Trump
It would be unfair to paint all Trump voters with the same brush. In truth, some voted for him less for excitement about his candidacy or any real regard for Donald Trump as a person, but as Trump simply being different. The primary difference about Donald Trump was that he was not Hillary Clinton, a person who hails from a family that is not only laden with decades of political baggage, but a family that is seen is the very embodiment of the Washington elite political class Americans have tired of. So they held their nose and voted for Trump with the hope that his disruptive nature and promise to drain the swamp would make up for his serious character flaws. There was also a belief (or possibly more like a hope) that after being elected, Trump would pivot away from his harsh campaign style and rhetoric, surround himself with talented advisers, and take on a more presidential bearing.
Of course, none of that happened. Rather than drain the swamp, Trump doubled down on filling the swamp. His cabinet has been a revolving door of polarizing and controversial appointments, and rather than pivot to being presidential, he has perhaps done the antithesis. As president this past year, it seems that not a week has gone by without Trump attacking or picking personal fights, held blistering campaign style rallies, and has not backed off one iota on his tweeting in knee jerk fashion about…well, anything.
The rest of the Trump voters, the ilk that comprise his general base of support, are indeed the conservative crowd that embraces conservatism not as a a set of principles that support small government and fiscal responsibility, but sees it more as an angry, anti-immigrant, anti-globalist, white nationalist movement. This view of conservatism embraces Trumpism and condones his behavior however abysmal it may get as the rest of us wonder if he will ever cease to sink to new lows.
The aforementioned Trump voters that voted for him in the hopes of something different and as a referendum on Hillary Clinton and the political status quo, are waking up to the reality that Trump is both unable and unwilling to rise to the level of presidential. In what MSNBC political commentator Steve Schmidt termed a “coalition of the decent” rising up against Trump, the 2017 gubernatorial and local races saw a deluge of democratic victories. According to exit polls, this coalition includes a newly recharged democratic base that turned out in huge numbers to vote, as well as independents and centrist republicans as a referendum on Trump.
A great deal can certainly happen between now and mid term elections next year, but this past election cycle is serious cause for concern for republicans and optimism for democrats. As tumultuous as the first year of Trump’s presidency has been, it is anyone’s guess what the second year will be like. If history tells us anything, it is that when it comes to Trump, it will likely be more of the same (or perhaps worse), and that brand is clearly being summarily rejected by the majority of Americans.