Trump voter remorse

I always remind myself, when considering comments posted on political stories on theday.com, that the number of people who make the effort to register and regularly comment represents a very small portion of the overall readership.

I also consider that, for some reason, regular commenters tend to lean toward the very conservative.

I am not sure of the reason for this. But I suspect it could be due to some of the same dynamics that make talk radio more animated by the right end of the political spectrum.

Yet even within this limited context, it seems, based on the totality of comments, that even the more conservative readers around here may be drifting away from support for President Donald Trump.

I like to think of this as voter remorse, a trend I have been following through comments on some recent Trump stories.

After all, it wouldn't be surprising, given national poll numbers that show Trump approval ratings so low that some of his base clearly must be eroding.

Even Trump apologist Kellyanne Conway admitted on national television this week that approval ratings among Republicans for the president are tanking.

A story posted Monday about Trump's vicious Twitter attacks on Sen. Richard Blumenthal, saying the senator "cried like a baby" and "begged for forgiveness," quickly shot up to the most commented on story on theday.com.

To be sure, some of the usual Trump cheerleaders were among the many commenting, issuing loyalty pledges: "I agree with OUR president. Yes folks he is OUR president."

You can't throw any redder meat to Connecticut conservatives than calling Blumenthal a coward who lied about having served in Vietnam.

And yet here was one response to Trump's latest attack on Connecticut's senator: "I have never voted for Richard Blumenthal for either state or federal office," admitted one commenter. "This over the top and typically grossly exaggerated attack has me rethinking my stance."

You could categorize that comment under the heading Eroding Base.

Or this one: "We all know what Senator Blumenthal said about his war experience, but for Trump to sound off like a little boy ratting on his brother or sister shows how childish he is."

I have never felt so proud of so many commenters on theday.com.

Some comments came from readers whose commenting names don't seem familiar, people apparently roused enough by this lying, unseemly president to come online and do a little Trump bashing.

I think of this as the same dynamics which brought out the first sizable protest in New London for a presidential visit for a Coast Guard Academy graduation, when Trump came to town.

My favorite comments on the Blumenthal/Trump story were the ones that express Trump voter regret.

"I voted for Trump because I can't stand Hillary and I am beyond embarrassed," wrote one reader. "If you really think people are flocking to Trump because of his childish bully antics on Twitter, you are brainwashed!"

"There is standing up to the establishment and then there is acting like a five-year-old. Add to the fact, the rotating door of people in his White House and the lack of things that have gotten done, so far his presidenecy has been a disaster. This independent voter will write in someone's name next time around."

And then there was this one, in the same vein: "If the Democrats are smart enough to put up a moderate or a conservative Democrat (either of which are not likely) I would seriously consider that candidate ... For the record, Trump's tweets made me cringe too. He could temper them a lot and still retain his supporters."

And, best of all, this succinct one: "I voted for him. What a fool I was."

At this rate it will be fatigue with this fatuous incompetent egoist in the White House that will unravel things, long before Robert Mueller produces the first indictments.

But don't take my adjectives.

Look at what our emboldened commenters had to say about their president this week: "draft dodger," "can't believe a word that comes out of his mouth," "delusional moron that talks a good game and a demagogue," "schoolyard bully," "a 5x draft dodger. Bone spurs indeed!" "He lies about everything. He lies every day. He lies about his lies," "draft-dodging coward-in-chief," "Doofus Donald," "phony con artist," "twit in chief," "disgrace to the republic and a national embarrassment," "part of the swamp in DC," "childish," "baby," "spoiled brat and colossal idiot," "scared brat and bully."

Yikes. I don't ever remember our generally conservative commenters ever whipping up a nasty commenting storm like that against President Barack Obama.

It almost makes we want to tune in to talk radio.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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