Return to Trump Country, Part 3

Bob Hollick and Larry Maggi are Democrats, one a local officeholder, the other, a current county commissioner, is the biggest vote getter in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Both enthusiastically voted for Donald Trump in November, and they’re frustrated the constant sniping and bickering that has become its aftermath. The election is over, they say. It’s time to move on.

The similarity ends there.

To Hollick, the refusal of Democrats and the media to accept the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency is both exasperating and self-destructive. The Democrats’ only position has been “I hate Trump.” They can’t get beyond that and they refuse to give him credit for anything he does. While Hollick doesn’t like Trump’s style, he insists you can’t take him literally (“We know he can’t build a wall. He’s talking about securing the border.”) But he believes that the style appeals to his base, which remains committed to him.

But Maggi’s admonition to move on is directed at Trump. “The election is over, and we still hear ‘crooked Hillary.’ He’s still blaming Obama. Who cares who had the most people at the inauguration?” He just can’t let go. Maggi, too, says Trump is still popular with his base, that people who have nothing in common with him or his family remain 100% for him. But he has also seen a surge in grassroots organizing by Democrats and the growth of Independents in reaction to disgust with both parties.

Trump’s appeal here rests far less on specific policies than on the persona he projects – of “taking no guff’ and attacking a rotten system. But even among people who voted for him, that persona may wear thin, and at some point they may demand more of him than angry tweets.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.