Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Despite the President's Harsh Criticisms During the Campaign . . .

On May 17th the New York Times reported:
"The Trump administration signaled on Wednesday that it would not, for now, jettison the Iran nuclear deal, despite the president's harsh criticisms of the agreement during the campaign."
This phrase, "despite the president's harsh criticisms during the campaign," has become a major theme of Life in the Trumpocene. Trump spent the campaign loudly and repeatedly proclaiming his ability to fix all the failures he said his predecessors had left behind. He had a secret plan to put an end to ISIS, Hillary was to be locked up, the North American Free Trade Agreement was to be renegotiated or junked, NATO was obsolete, China was a self-serving currency manipulator, climate change was a hoax, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was going to be easy, and the Nuclear agreement with Iran was the "worst deal ever." On these and so many other issues Trump has reversed course in a very short period of time.

None of this is surprising to the more analytical observer. It was painfully obvious that Trump's campaign rhetoric was "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" (to quote Shakespeare's MacBeth).

More mysterious is the unwavering support of so many Trump voters. In endless arguments on social media, Trump supporters often cited one or more of the issues above as evidence that Trump was as superior as he claimed to be and therefore ought to be elected. With so many hopes dashed, what do continuing Trump supporters have left? Perhaps they still dream of a wall to keep out Mexicans, a travel ban to keep out Muslims, and a conservative Supreme Court to keep out abortion. Are simple Racism and Misogyny enough to sustain a failing administration?

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