An excellent article in Salon yesterday takes a deep dive into the Trump phenomenon and makes a strong case that Trump’s base can’t be described by “a single story”. His base is not a monolith, but rather an array of different clusters of concerns that all overlap with Trump. Fighting Trump and Trumpism won’t be successful if we assume that those who voted Republican all care about the same issues and have the same fears.
Some of them care about jobs, but don’t care about guns. Some of them feel their privilege disintegrating but don’t feel economically insecure. Some of them want the ACA but also want less government. And so on.
For this reason, if Democrats focus on several issues that appeal to marginal Republican voters, they may be able to convert enough of the disaffected. In our district, for example, healthcare is a huge issue. Not only do many in NY-19 use the ACA, but many also benefit from Medicare, and hospitals are one of the largest employers in our region. So getting rid of the ACA with no viable, reasoned alternative is profoundly irresponsible. Yet that’s exactly what Rep John Faso has tried to do, and we need to hammer this fact repeatedly.
Trump will always have a core of tribal believers that wouldn’t abandon him even if he murdered a child on the White House lawn. But they are far less than the forty-ish percent of Americans who currently approve of the job he is doing. Meanwhile, he has done a good job of alienating many groups that used to be solidly conservative, like the military, the intelligence community, and justice. Rep Faso will have a tough time stepping from out of the shadow that Trump has cast, and we shouldn’t let him. Not just because Faso supports an incompetent, vengeful, irrational, impulsive toddler, but because so many of the Trump/Faso policies hurt our friends and neighbors.
A recent tweet from an apparently Republican voter illustrates the kind of ire that Trump is causing. It went viral, and attracted a lot of other like-minded conservative affirmation. Things like this are a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise historically grim moment…