Why One Trump Voter has become Disillusioned — and Why it’s Significant

President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in the Oval Office at the White House, Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

“I guess the thrill is gone,” J says to me. J owns a small landscaping business. He drives a pickup truck. He is in his fifties with long hair. He is prone to conspiracy theories. He used to recommend these suspect websites to me. I was surprised last winter when he admired my “Bernie for President” sign. He liked Bernie. But his candidate was Donald Trump, and he voted for him last November. Now he was telling me that the thrill was gone.

Why, I asked, and he explained that he figured out that under the Trump-Ryan health insurance plan, he would be paying $8000 to $10,000 more a year than he is now. That had soured him on Trump, although he still didn’t think much of the Democrats, who, he thought, would oppose Trump even if he proposed something good.

I know some regular Republicans who are now disillusioned with Trump, but they were never that excited about him in the first place. They voted for him because he wasn’t a Democrat. J is different. He has the sensibility of the white working class voter. I don’t think he would call himself a Republican or a Democrat.

Some liberals believe that all Trump voters were consumed by racism or sexism and voted accordingly, but that’s not been my experience with Trump voters. It’s also defective political psychology. Like J, many of them thought Trump would make their life better rather than other peoples’ lives worse. And maybe a lot of them, like J, have now realized that Trump is full of hot air.