We recently asked people who cast ballots for both Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump to describe how they felt about the president and the Democratic Party ahead of the midterms. In interviews with 38 voters in 14 states across four months, a clear pattern emerged. Voters said they did not like Mr. Trump as a person and did not consider themselves die-hard supporters. Some were even embarrassed by him.
But many were basically satisfied with his policies. The tax bill was mildly positive, they said. Several had a bit of extra money in their paycheck. They liked that he was trying to address illegal immigration. Only a few regretted their vote.
As someone who grew up in a relatively small town where money was a concern for many people and disenfranchisement with the government was high, I can sympathize with these voters. I do not believe the majority of them are lazy people who just want to be handed that brass ring. They are normal human beings simply trying to make it through life with the cards they have been dealt.
I will be forever grateful for my family and how they raised me. Nurturing my interest in computers and helping me get a degree from a respectable university. I worked really hard to make it through school and get that first job but I will never downplay the roles my family and friends had in that. The support network that I had access to was amazing.
I do not apologize for my success because I believe that it was not handed to me but I will wholeheartedly acknowledge that a large amount of luck played its part as well. I know dozens of people who have had very similar experiences to mine but are having a much tougher time getting through life. I am incredibly lucky that I am able to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world (San Francisco) and have so few things to truly worry about. I am well aware that I am in the vast minority.
That is why I am so disappointed at the number of liberal leaning people who cannot fathom how someone could vote for Donald Trump. They think his boorish behavior and hyperbolic statements should have been enough to make everyone vote for Hilary Clinton. They cannot wrap their heads around the idea that in a large majority of voters' minds they were choosing between continued stagnation or possible change, which was a very similar message that Barack Obama campaigned under. It should not come as a surprise that someone would prioritize their well-being over the well-being of others.
I know some rebuttals to this article will be "These people are the minority. The majority of Trump voters are white supremacists that fear immigrants and losing their social status." but if that is the case then what is the solution? Wait until Trump voters all die off and magically their children will be well adjusted? As a society, why do we choose to live on the political extremes? What happened to the middle ground / grey areas where discourse was welcomed and properly debated? Until we stop looking for confirmations of our own beliefs and demonize those who disagree I fear that fringe politics like Donald Trump's will not just continue but they will thrive.