TrumpRegrets is a new Twitter account that’s almost as hilarious as it is disheartening. A catalog of voter remorse, the account retweets messages from former Trump supporters who somehow–miraculously–didn’t anticipate the turn things have taken. Some of the tweets are poignant. Others are just abusive.
I save the latter, because they cheer me up whenever I’m forced to contemplate the thin-skinned, bloviating flesh bag we’ve just inaugurated president.
Those of us who didn’t vote for Trump may wonder how the other half got duped into supporting a man who looks like a three-week-old Jack o’lantern and talks like a smackhead with a closed-head injury, but it’s really not so mysterious. Generally speaking, people respond well to being told what they want to hear.
I’m not exempting myself from that assessment, by the way. When I stumbled across alleged evidence of Trump photoshopping his hands to look bigger, my first instinct wasn’t to fact check. It was to wallow in feelings of validation.
You vain, pathetic little man, I thought. Aren’t I clever for not having voted for you.
In reality, I has nothing to do with cleverness and everything to do with having been burned in the past (well, okay, and a sizable differential in conscious racism–but that’s beside the point). Trump, at his core, is a con artist, and I’ve been targeted by con artists before. Any vulnerable member of society has. Me as a poor kid. You as a member of the LGBTQIA community. Her as a woman of color. Many people learn to recognize the signs of a scam, chief among them that “a-person-with-power-is-being-suspiciously-nice-to-me” feeling.
Some people, though. Someone people are just a little too desperate–or clueless, or isolated, or bigoted, or whatever–to run things by their internal fact-checker. And that’s when people like Donald Trump can convince them to act against their own best interests.