In defense of Donald Trump’s voters

I have made no secret of the fact that I opposed Donald Trump, and did not vote for the man. That said, there are many people of good conscience who did vote for Trump and are unfairly being smeared and maligned by Leftists bitter abut his victory. I understand the frustration but these smears need to stop.

Let’s be real here. Trump’s victory was not a victory for bigotry, xenophobia, racism and whatever other sins you want to pin on Trump’s voters. Trump’s victory was a rejection of Hillary Clinton, who got about five million fewer votes than Barack Obama did in 2012. Meanwhile, Trump got about the same number of votes that Mitt Romney did when he was the Republican nominee four years ago.

  • 2008 — Barack Obama got 69,297,997 votes and John McCain got 59,597,520 votes.
  • 2012 — Barack Obama got 65,446,032 votes and Mitt Romney got 60,589,084 votes.
  • 2016 — Hillary Clinton got 60,467,601 votes and Donald Trump got 60,072,551 votes.

Obviously, Trump was a deeply flawed candidate and is a deeply flawed person. But this was not about bigotry. It was a status quo election. Republicans who voted for Romney and McCain also voted for Trump. Meanwhile, millions of Democrats who voted for Obama did not vote for Clinton. The 2016 election followed normal political patterns: It is rare for a party to win three Presidential elections in a row.

Crying wolf will not help matters. What the Democrats said in 2016 about Trump is virtually identical to what they said about Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Eventually people start to tune it out. If Democrats believe that Trump is uniquely dangerous, they should regret damaging their ability to make that case by using such absurd hyperbole against Republican candidates for President (and Congress and all the way down to local government) for generations.

Because this was basically a status quo election, smearing Republicans who voted for Trump as people who “reached into their soul and found there, after all its conceits were stripped away, a grinning white supremacist” will not work. Instead, it will harden opposition to Democrats and motivate those people (who are not white supremacists) to continue to vote for Republicans. After all, why would sixty million people ever want to vote for a political party that thinks they are all a bunch of hate-mongers?

If you are going to be angry about the 2016 election, you should direct your anger to the appropriate place. Instead of being angry at Republicans, be angry that Democrats nominated a deeply flawed, thoroughly corrupt, uncharismatic liar who could not hold the Obama coalition together.

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