Types of Trump Supporters, Part 1

As I’m trying to make heads or tails of what has happened to my country in the past month, I’ve started to piece together a few archetypes of people who (despite all the mind-blowing craziness that has happened) are still supporting this man. This post will be the first of many as I continue to try and figure out WHY!? and HOW!? this is happening.

Trump Supporter #1 – The Hopeless Nostalgic (AKA my father-in-law)

leaveittobeaverThere are many people in my life that long for the good old days. When men were the breadwinners, families were close knit, divorce was unheard of (and families always consisted of a dad, mom, and two kids), terrorism and violence weren’t a thing, and everyone lived in a land of unicorns and rainbows. You know, like the Cleavers from Leave it to Beaver.

Ah, yes. The wondrous 60s, where it was the best time to be alive! (Unless you were black, gay, a single mom, not Christian, in the military, a socialist, poor, worried about lead or asbestos poisoning, a woman in the workplace, anywhere accessible to a nuclear weapon, I can go on…) I get it – coming out of two world wars, the great depression, finally there’s a sense of optimism and hope and growth for the common man, and the 24 hour news cycle hadn’t started yet to open people’s eyes to what was happening outside of their bubble – it does sound rather nice if you’re a straight, white, middle-class, Christian male.

These are the people who are justifying Trump’s actions (even the ones that are exactly the same as what they ridiculed Hilary for) as “all part of his bigger strategy to get the edge in negotiations for when the big issues are on the line.” Those big issues? Family values, religious liberties, economic growth for me and my family only because I work hard and if others are screwed in the process, it’s likely because they’re lazy anyways.

I see two sides to this:

1. These people are too proud to admit they’ve been duped.

For those Baby Boomers who are nostalgic for the stability and hierarchical part of this era, Trump represents a last ditch effort to go back to policies that bring their family values and religious liberties back on the table. They recognize they won’t be around forever and the Progressive Movement nearly always wins out eventually (look what happened to our precious segregation…). Trump is their last hope and they’re willing to overlook the obvious in the hope that he gets a few things on this agenda done before it all falls apart forever. No one else in the past several elections has cared (or given the impression to care) about white, working-class families. If only Trump could force some of these policies through, we’ll all see how great these times really were, we’ll see what they saw as kids, and this could turn the tide away from the ever-charging tide of Progressives.

polandFor those who are nostalgic for the more free-spirited and radical change part of this era, the issue is that they’re not willing to admit that we haven’t made as much progress as we would have hoped in the last 50 years. We’re still fighting for the rights of minorities, women, the LGBT community, still fighting for economic equality. Sure, we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long, long way to go. My best guess for how these ones are still Trump supporters even though he is against the very rights they are still trying to protest for: he represents the best hope for diverging away from the status quo and finally making some real progress.

2. These people are too afraid of the future.

It’s true that technology has drastically changed people’s lives over the past 50 years and Baby Boomers have struggled a bit to keep up with computers and smart phones and social media. (Well, not my grandma – she uses text slang like a champ, such that even I can’t decipher her messages – “10Q 4 no 2BZ 2C me 2day” translation: Thank you for not being too busy to see me today.) The future can be scary and I get that. If we start allowing gay people to marry each other, what next? Will people marry dogs? Robots? Aliens from outer space? WHAT ABOUT THE FAMILY VALUES THEN?!?!? It’s the typical scary slippery slope.

But I rationalize it like this: in the 60s, you had typewriters and they were pretty great. You could type stuff, it made your work faster, they made cool noises, awesome. But then we invented computers, which at first were less intuitive, but eventually we warmed up to them and now we can’t live without them. Looking back, the typewriter way of life wasn’t actually all that great as it seemed at the time. The newer ways of doing things are going to turn out OK in the end, because we’re only human and we move step-wise. And allowing the Progressive Movement to continue doesn’t force you into leaving your little nostalgic bubble until you’re ready to do so. We didn’t all go out and start marrying our Roombas the minute they were a thing and we already have Japanese men marrying life-sized dolls, which doesn’t affect you, your family, or your family values in the slightest.

Tune in next week for the second installment – The Jobs Guy/Gal

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2 thoughts on “Types of Trump Supporters, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Types of Trump Supporters, Part 2 | A Blue Ship in a Red Sea

  2. Pingback: Types of Trump Supporters, Part 3 | A Blue Ship in a Red Sea

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