Now that we have reached the point where even the most ardent Trump supporter are no longer able to defend the President and now should face the facts and see that their beloved president is nothing more than a crook, many who voted for him in 2016 are choosing instead to merely tune out.
As a profile in Associated Press made clear, Trump’s biggest threat is not voters being turned off by him, but from voters who are choosing to check out completely from the conversation.
When asked to respond to the latest headline or comment on the next step in the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia, those who voted for him in rural communities have no real opinion – they’ve shut down.
“I tuned it out,” said 44-year-old Michele Velardi, a mother of three sons, during a break from her job at a Staten Island hair salon. “I didn’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to feel that he’s not doing what he said, so I just choose to not listen.”
That Trump supporters are choosing to check out of the conversation entirely is not surprising. After all, Facing ones’ own ideological failings isn’t an easy task, and it is one that many would simply rather skip. As the above quoted woman makes clear, many of Trump’s voters find it more convenient to focus on their busy lives, careers, and families when they discover the man they voted for isn’t the man they thought he was.
We already know, for instance, that when a person has a certain belief, confronting that person with factual information which disproves their belief will be met not with a change in beliefs, but a tendency to cling even harder to the now false belief.
As a result, many questioned said that they simply didn’t believe what they were hearing in the media about the President and continued to repeat the campaign promises of a president who has already repeatedly broken many of them.
For many, that also means continuing to demonize Hillary Clinton, despite Clinton being mostly far from the public eye. It’s exactly why Trump continues to bring his former opponent up and why “lock her up,” can still be heard from time to time.
Though some have expressed disappointment, by and large, those who voted for Trump continue to support him, at least in a vague sense. The big problem for Trump, if he survives to 2020, is reviving that support into voters willing to show up to the ballot for him a second time.
Without the target of Clinton to demonize, and with four years of Trump’s broken promises and scandals, even the most distracted voter will likely see that their populist demagogue is nothing like the man he campaigned to be. But four years is a long time, and denial is a strong drug.