I had a long conversation (some 2 hours plus since we were in a line for getting some services and had nothing to do but talk) with a confirmed Donald Trump voter. This white male is 74 years old, born in Sacramento, California, served in the armed forces and played college football. He gets a healthy social security stipend (around $2,000 a month). He's not unintelligent, in fact he has a master's degree (from the University of Arkansas). Personally, he's a nice man.
He admits to some trepidation over Donald Trump (too confrontational, too much Twitter) but indicates little in the way of "voter remorse," quite the contrary, he sees Trump's "problems" as resulting from his fights with the establishment. He says:
1) the main reason that he voted for Trump was to bring about change. He sees the US system as largely having failed and believed that Hillary Clinton (like Obama) would bring no real change. I think he is pretty accurate there: I think the main reason the Democrats lost was because Obama made lots of promises and failed to deliver for average Americans (he delivered for himself, his family, and the Goldman Sachs Bank) and because the Democrats failed to deliver on "change" (recall that Obama had hefty majorities in the Senate and the House for his first two years).
2) He absolutely hates Hillary Clinton and sees her as corrupt. Trump and the GOP did a masterful job of demonizing Clinton, but she and the Democratic Party also hurt themselves significantly by "screwing" Bernie Sanders. My Trump supporter actually likes Sanders and thinks he tells it like it is and was victimized by the Democratic Party. Had Sanders been the Democratic Party nominee, he would have voted for him. He actually likes Bernie Sander's idea of expanding Medicaid to the entire country (but is now sure how that would be paid for). I agree on the point that Sanders would have been a better candidate and that he was worked over by the DNC.
Interestingly, this voter still thinks that both Hillary Clinton and Obama will be jailed! When I pointed out at length to him that this is most unlikely, he himself seemed to agree: if one party does it so will the party that replaces them. It ain't gonna happen.
3) He believes that Trump is still fighting for what he believes in but is getting terrific resistance from the establishment, from the Democrats, and from Republicans like Paul Ryan (who he sees as a snake in the grass).
4) Interestingly, the one thing that might change his mind about Trump, in his words, is if Trump and the GOP try to rewrite social security benefits by cutting benefits or raising age limits. That would tip him away from Trump. I specifically asked him if in his own experience he thinks people can still work at age 67? To which he said, "No". 65 was and is the right age for retirement. But as it is, he doesn't think that all the billionaires surrounding Trump or that Trump himself a billionaire many times over is acting in their own interests: for some curious reason (that I don't understand nor agree with) he believes these wealthy billionaires are acting for average Americans. He still believes that Trump is "draining the swamp." But I think I planted some seeds of doubt with him on this and on social security.
5) articles and opinions from the New York Times and Washington Post have no impact on him. To the contrary, he sees them as part of the failed establishment and notes that if they are against Trump that means he is doing what he promised. Plus, he gets his "news" from talk radio and is a big fan of Alex Jones.
Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.
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