If you voted for Donald Trump and remain with two feet firmly planted on the Trump train, as misguided as your loyalty may be, your stance makes sense. Trump’s performance as president shouldn’t be surprising to anyone: he’s been on a fixed trajectory since he waved and thumbed-up his way down the escalator in Trump Tower back in June of 2015.
And yet, in just 264 days, the level of Trumper’s remorse seems quite high. There are scrolls of regret (including one of note from prominent supporter Julius Krein) scattered across the digisphere, the Trump_Regrets Twitter page has amassed 270k followers and a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in July found that 12% of Trump voters would not vote for him again “if the election were held today.” If we take that 12% finding from Trump’s popular vote total: 62,979,879, that means over 7.5 million people regret their vote.
That’s a lot of people.
The Trump presidency, by any measure outside of his own, has been a colossal failure in all the ways we measure success of the office. But it hasn’t been unpredictable. Or, more accurately put, it has been unpredictable, but that shouldn’t be in any way surprising.
Which leads me to a series of questions I have for the regretful Trump voter:
Who did you think Donald Trump was?
What did you think this was going to look like?
What specifically happened in the last 264 days that turned you off?
Now, some compunctious centrists who held their nose and pulled the level for Trump may say that they thought he would, at the very least, be able to get rid of Obamacare and certain regulations and cut taxes. Well, he’s cut a lot of Obama-era regulations. Corporations can again dump sludge into rivers and streams so that should make you happy right? And he’s working on taxes now. While it’s true that thus far, Trump and the GOP-controlled congress have failed at passing a health care bill, that’s really more on congress than the president. Although, admittedly, a more competent executive would’ve helped.
As we move further to the right, there’s a contingency of voters who turned against Trump when he expressed a willingness to extend DACA into law. #AmnestyDon was trending on Twitter and numerous supporters, as is the trend these days, posted videos of them burning their MAGA hats.
Neither of the aforementioned categories are insignificant, but most of the Trump regret seems centered around his personality, and the things he says, and even more frequently, the things he Tweets.
This is the part that really confuses me. Did people think as soon as he secured victory, he’d molt, form a chrysalis, and subsequently reemerge as a measured, competent, thoughtful human being? Donald Trump is a 71-year-old man who has been well-known for acting like a petulant child for decades—he’s a cartoon. He’s acting the same way as president as did as a candidate, as he did a reality TV star, as he did as the figurehead of the racist birther movement, as he did as a steak salesman, as he did as a casino maven.
I hate to be the one to tell you this (no I don’t) but if you voted for Trump…
THIS, ALL OF THIS, IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR.
You voted for unpredictable.
You voted for brash.
You voted for petty.
You voted for childish.
You voted for inexperienced.
You voted for misogynistic.
You voted for racist.
You voted for Donald “grab em’ by the pussy” Trump.
Some would say, as a person who hopes the Trump presidency ends as soon as possible, I should be thankful people are coming to their senses, and I am. But I can’t help but feel like millions of Americans were living in an alternate dimension for a period of time and have only recently morphed back to terrestrial reality.
The only thing that could surprise me at this point would be competence.
Written by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.