Trump supporters’ attitude still the same | Elfers

  • Friday, December 8, 2017 8:30am
  • Opinion

“Support Trump? Sure,” she said. “I like him.”

These words by Pam Shilling from Trump Country western Pennsylvania reflect what many Trump supporters are thinking a year after the 2016 election victory, according to an article excerpted from “Politico.com” by “The Week” (Dec. 1, 2017).

Trump supporters, who make up 30-plus percent of the nation’s electorate, still strongly support him, even though their expectations have changed enormously.

Shilling grew up in western Pennsylvania – coal country. She’s 60 and retired, still grieving for her 32-year-old son who died of a heroin overdose last April.

Candidate Trump promised the building of a wall along the Mexican border, repealing and replacing Obamacare and bringing back steel and coal jobs. The voters in this part of the country were ecstatic when Trump won the election. At first, they were impatient for him to deliver on his campaign promises – or else.

Since that time, the unemployment rate has dropped a percentage point in their region, and some jobs have returned in the mines, according to the article. Other than that, not much has changed. The drug problem has not improved, but Shilling’s attitude is, “I’m a supporter of him, 100 percent.”

She’s like most ofTrump’s 2016 supporters, and she reflects the people I know who supported him. They would vote for him again, even if he hasn’t kept his promises. Nothing is going to change their minds. Their expectation goalposts haven’t moved – they’ve disappeared, according to Politico.

What do they like about President Trump? His anger and bombastic approach. “For them, it’s evidently not what he’s doing so much as it is the people he’s fighting.” His enemies and theirs are the same, and they love him for it: Democrats, establishment Republicans and the media. They are particularly ticked at “Black Lives Matter” protesters and kneeling NFL players.

Their perception is that Trump is hard-working: “probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes.” They see former president Barack Obama as a person who slept until noon and went golfing every weekend.

When told that Trump also likes golf – and actually plays more than Obama did – surprise was their reaction, and then the changing of subjects.

They know candidate Trump promised to bring back the steel mills, but they also realize that it’s unlikely. They know that his promise to build the wall probably won’t happen, but they don’t care. When asked about Obamacare, the blame fell on Congress, not the president. Yet, one Trump supporter, after acknowledging all of the above comments, stated, “But I like him, because he does what he says.”

Although de funding Planned Parenthood has not materialized, one respondent replied, “Not his fault.” The thing that angered many of the Trump supporters interviewed was the NFL players who kneeled. One’s resident’s response was, “N—— for life.”

Do these western Pennsylvania comments reflect all Trump supporters’ attitudes?

My experience from the Trump supporters I have talked with is yes and no. The ones I know generally agree with their unwavering support for President Trump, for many of the same reasons. He’s doing what they wanted him to do – stir up the country and bring about change by returning to America’s core values.

They like it that he says what he thinks and doesn’t pull any punches. His tweets are a form of direct democracy. Tweets are able to bypass the mainline media, which only represents elitist thinking. Real news can only be found on Fox. The rest is fake news or should be muzzled.

The western Pennsylvania supporters differ from the Trump advocates I know in that racism is not the locals’ major motivation. For them, the Trump presidency represents “draining the swamp” that is Washington, and a reaction to rapid change – too rapid for many of Trump’s followers: a black president followed by a strongly-disliked white woman presidential candidate, coupled with the legalization of gay marriage and treating immigrants better than white Americans.

Attitudes of Trump’s supporters have not changed since November 2016. They are behind him because he speaks for them. For them, Trump is working to keep his promises, even if he hasn’t been successful. In their minds, if only the Democrats, establishment Republicans and the media would quit criticizing him and blocking his initiatives, America could become the nation President Trump has described in his rallies and his tweets. He’s working to make America great again, as he promised.

Richard Elfers is an adjunct professor at Green River College and a columnist for the Enumclaw Courier-Herald.

More in Opinion

From early indications, Gov. Jay Inslee may be making a run at the presidency in 2020. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Is Inslee about to prep for presidential run?

Can a little known Thoroughbred from the Pacific Northwest capture the 2020… Continue reading

Cost, availability of health care poses a primary concern | Brunell

When Congress convenes next year, lawmakers must focus on the cost and… Continue reading

Vote ‘yes’ for small business and #ShopSmall on Saturday

Your spending dollars count for local merchants

‘Logical fallacies’ help each of us defend our arguments

What are logical fallacies? Ross Weisman’s article, “Is Your Reasoning Sound? A… Continue reading

Plenty at stake in the Palouse

Huskies, Cougars play for Pac-12 title game spot, major bowl and state bragging rights

Tribes release habitat recovery strategy

“As the salmon disappear, so do our cultures and treaty rights. We… Continue reading

Costs matter in hiring | Brunell

While both sides argue the merits of Seattle’s escalating minimum wage, there… Continue reading

Trump helped erase voter complacency

Young voters turned out in massive numbers

Veterans bring safety to our country and the Auburn community

By Hannah Scholes/For the Auburn Reporter In honor of Veterans Day, we… Continue reading

Military also adjusting to worker shortages | Brunell

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same… Continue reading

From guns to climate, declaring election’s winners and losers

A surge in voter interest, a swelling in the ranks of Democratic… Continue reading

Cam-pains: Enough is enough

Don’t forget to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 6