Maybe Trump didn’t realize that all of his supporters actually expected him to deliver on all of his hard-edged statements. Or maybe he was Trojan Trump from the get go, just as I postulated many months ago to the outrage of many of my fellow anti-establishment readers who wanted to believe Trump was their champion. (I sympathize with them and understand their hopes, but have never seen such a self-aggrandizing narcissist as likely to fulfill that role.) The Trump election upset is turning out to be more upsetting to his supporters than to his critics. As Michael Savage says below, their world has turned upside down.
The biggest problem seems to be that Trump is getting no traction, to where his most ardent supporters are wondering if Trump is just a master of illusion. Travel bans I and II were stalled by courts (whether rightly or wrongly); Obamacare Repeal I and II have both stalled in the Republican caucus (so he can’t even get anywhere with his own party). World’s Biggest Tax Plan Lite was scoffed at by both Republicans and Democrats alike for appearing to have been written overnight on a single page and looking more like notes of objectives for a tax planning meeting than any kind of actual plan. The date by which a tax plan might finally be hammered out and actually get voted into being has been pushed, even by its architects, to December of this year, at best, or early next year. The border wall seems to be moving around in search of money as though it is just a bargaining chip. And over time, Trump’s Goldman-Sachs cabinet has shifted away from Steve Bannon and infilled with more Goldman.
Trump has in his first hundred days spent more time on golfing vacations than most presidents spend in a year. He travels down to Florida to enjoy cake every other week, and he complains in interviews that the job has turned out to be much harder than he ever thought it would be — much harder than his work as a CEO of Trump, Inc., which he enjoyed a lot more.
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” (Reuters)
Who would have thought that being president could be so difficult? It’s almost as hard as revising Obamacare.
The roll call of supporters who aren’t any more … or who are deep in doubt
The result of Trump’s noisy and erratic first hundred days is that many of Trump’s strongest and most vocal supporters are doubting him and becoming openly critical of his accomplishments. While a hundred days is a rather short yardstick, it is usually any president’s most effective period because it is his honeymoon period with congress. The Trumpet’s relationship with congress ended the day he took office.
It’s been the most contentious hundred days most of us have ever seen. Some would say that is because he is fighting the establishment, but many radio commentators who supported Trump and campaigners who worked hard for him say they are upset because he has caved in to the establishment and appears to be owned by the establishment. Their concern is not that he didn’t accomplish anything enduring in his first hundred days, but that what little he did accomplish moved in the wrong direction:
Michelle Dallacroce, an anti-immigration activist, is more pointed. Immigration is “why we voted for Donald Trump,” she said. “This could be the most elaborate reality show. I’m wondering, was this all an illusion for us, using our movement so he could get in there?”
It’s the big-talking flip-flopping that getting to them.
Paul Joseph Watson says,
I guess Trump wasn’t “Putin’s puppet” after all, he was just another deep state/Neo-Con puppet. I’m officially OFF the Trump train.
Mike Cernovich says,
Today over 500,000 people have watched my videos and streams. 90% are @realDonaldTrump supporters, none want war with Syria.
Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.
Florida Radio show host and Trump supporter John Cardillo is now disillusioned:
As a former New York City police officer, Cardillo identified with the candidate’s blue-collar style. He fell hard and got aboard the Trump train early, backing the insurgent candidate over home-state favorite Marco Rubio. Trump voters “felt like they were voting for an anti-establishment candidate — and they’re terrified, they’re losing faith,” Cardillo said.
Even one of Trump’s loudest and brashest supporters — Michael Savage, a man who talks a lot like Trump — is now expressing deep concerns to Alex Jones, another Trump-talking supporter — about how entirely different President Trump looks from Candidate Trump.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
“I don’t know whether we can reach Trump…. Someone has now turned him…. The president’s now launched wars…. What in the hell is going on here…? Who is leading here…? The world is upside down. Who is making these decisions…? We are being tested like we have never been tested before. I don’t know how we come out of this…. I don’t know if Donald Trump is listening to anyone other than this inner cadre around him…. What kind of presidency is this?“
While Politico has always been an enemy of Trump, the following quotes from Trump’s supporters match what I am seeing everywhere:
As Trump struggles to keep his campaign promises and flirts with political moderation, his most steadfast supporters — from veteran advisers to anti-immigration activists to the volunteers who dropped their jobs to help elect him — are increasingly dismayed by the direction of his presidency…. The crux of their disillusionment, interviews with nearly two dozen Trump loyalists reveal, is a belief that Trump the candidate bears little resemblance to Trump the president. He’s failing, in their view, to deliver on his promise of a transformative “America First” agenda driven by hard-edged populism…. Said Tania Vojvodic, a fervent Trump supporter who founded one of his first campaign volunteer networks. “We expect him to keep his word, and right now he’s not keeping his word…. I’m not so infatuated with Trump that I can’t see the facts…. People’s belief, their trust in him, it’s declining….” Said Lee Stranahan, who, as a former writer at Breitbart News, once worked with Bannon. “There was always the question of, ‘Did he really believe this stuff?’ Apparently, the answer is, ‘Not as much as you’d like.’”(Politico)
As it turns out that, when you try to drain the swamp, the swamp drains you. The most extraordinary thing about the changes Trump has made in his first hundred days are his own personal transformation into Establishment Man.
Even the border wall, the rock upon which Trump built his national campaign, has moved all over the map for a wall that is supposed to be stationary on a border. And it has moved in time from one of the things Trump was going to get right on to “maybe in September.” On this subject cracks are even showing in support from Trump’s longtime golfing fiend Rush Limbaugh:
Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday on his show that he’s “very, very troubled” to see President Donald Trump appearing to back down from initial demands for funding the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border…. “The Democrats seem to have successfully used this stupid, silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way,” Limbaugh said Tuesday, in one of his first major rebukes of the president. “What Trump is saying is if we need to get this done, then I’ll delay the spending on the wall until September. And it’s just a measly billion dollars…. Trump, I’m sure, does not ever think he caves on anything. But outward appearances are what they are. And the bottom line is that if he is willing to withdraw a demand of his for a measly billion dollars for the wall because the Democrats are threatening a shutdown, then the Democrats will have just learned that this threat works on Trump, too…. (Business Insider)
“Deport all illegal aliens” shrank to “deport only the illegal illegals;” i.e. only the ones that were breaking other laws than immigration laws. “Drain the swamp” has become “learn to swim in the swamp.” Imposition of import taxes on nations like China seems to have shifted to “We’ll give you a much better deal if you help us with North Korea.” It seems like Trump changes his mind in both directions at the same time.
Another anti-establishment writer/blogger, Michael Snyder, publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, has been supportive of Trump for many months. Even he now sounds like he is throwing in the towel on Trump (as well he should):
We have just witnessed one of the greatest routs in modern American political history…. Even though the Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, during these budget negotiations the Republicans have backed down on major issue after major issue. The Democrats are acting like they own Washington D.C., and the Republicans are letting them get away with it. For years Republican politicians have had a reputation for being gutless and spineless, but in 2017 they are taking their lack of courage to a whole new level. Since a border wall was the number one issue that Donald Trump campaigned on, many had been anticipating that he would battle hard to get funding for it. But instead he folded like a 20 dollar suit…. The truth is that the Republicans did not even put up a fight. (The Most Important News)
In other words, Republicans are not trying to back Trump one iota on his agenda, and Trump is not succeeding in the slightest in getting Republicans to back him. You cannot blame just the party or just the champion. You must squarely blame both. You may have thought you were getting an establishment fighter, but he folds like an empty suit, even against his own party!
The first place you would have likely read pre-election warnings about Trump being nothing more than Trojan Horse for the establishment was right here. You certainly didn’t read them on many other anti-establishment blogs because that was an unpopular position to take if your audience was angry at the establishment. (See the lead article in this series: “You Got Trumped! Winning horse in presidential race was Trojan“.)
I call things as I see them, no matter who the viewpoint is unpopular with. My readership dropped quickly by about 70% once I started becoming critical of Trump. Now that viewpoint is increasingly the right position to take, even by far-right commentators like Savage, Limbaugh, et. al. But I don’t call things based on whether they are politically left or right. The only right I care about is the one that means they are accurate and true to the best of my abilities to perceive.