Time to unite?   In that spirit of cooperation, I would like to share with you a portion of an exchange I had with a person on Facebook.  I'll call them AUTHOR and respond as DAVE so you can easily follow.  My premise is to respectfully respond, take time and try to explain who some of us are as Trump voters.  I'm neither the most rabid nor timid Trump voter but I think I can articulate a lot of what gave rise to President Trump and the support he engendered.  I'd be interested to hear what you think.

AUTHOR -  I don’t get why people are hitching their wagons to Donald Trump. His whole shtick was that he was a rich a@#^*&#e for over 40 years.

DAVE - that's a good question isn't it....either half the country is nuts or millions of people see things dramatically differently than do you.  Trump is a jerk or worse on so many levels so we do agree on that... so there has to be more to it, right?  What might it be?  I can give you my answers, but to really try to understand (most don't care to make the effort) you need to try to get inside the mindset of someone from the other side.

Quick example-Joe Biden, is he really the best the left has to offer?  I suspect not.   I'll spare us all the reasons I think that is the case...but here is what's been reported   https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article246929942.html

So basically the election wasn't so much "Biden Good" as it was "Trump Bad" and that is understandable...4 years earlier, for millions it was "Trump Bad" but "Hillary Worse". My point is this - Perhaps not you, but certainly millions of others felt Biden sure as hell is better than Trump...anything is better than Trump.    So, can I get into that mindset? Can you get into the opposite mindset?

Speaking for the "other side" I believe that the feelings involved in the anti-Trump frenzy are, on a visceral level, comparable to how conservatives felt about the left (and the feckless right) for the last 25 years.

As crazy as you might feel about Trump, that's how conservatives feel about the policies and leadership of the left. (and also of the never Trumpers in the Republican party too)  Those emotions spawned the Tea Party and ultimately lead to voting in Trump as the by-product of a pent-up need to shake up an entrenched and corrupt system we call the "swamp".

Conservatives reached their limit of watching Republicans willingly playing the "game of politics".  They had enough of presidential games and the fact that Trump wasn't a traditional politician only made it better.  He was to be the outrageous hired gun that was going to clean up the town and make it safe again (MAGA) for Christians, Veterans, Small Business, Traditional Families, Flag/Gun/Constitution Lovers and anybody of any race, creed or color that feels the same way about conservative’s version of American Values.  If he was an ego maniac, tweeter, exaggerator (liar) bully and jerk along the way, well, we would tolerate that for the "greater good" of positive results for America -promises kept, Jobs, employment rates, consumer confidence, stronger military, etc. etc. etc.

So why would people hitch up to Trump? Maybe now you tell me?

AUTHOR -  As a journalist aren’t you at all curious by the many investigations, documents, and testimony of people that actually know him?

DAVE - Sure, as far as they all affect his ability to do good work for the American people.  His past private life isn't a big concern if he does his job now. We voted for our future, not his past.   He has a lot of enemies, like Cohen and Avenati (both in prison) and plenty of others. What's their credibility, which of them do you trust? I don't believe anybody can reasonably separate out the liars and haters from the legitimate accusations at this point.  You may grant that all the accusations and charges have credibility, I don't.  In the end, if he has broken the law, he should be held accountable.  So far, his biggest crime would be to sell out the people who support him.

AUTHOR - He has always been an awful human and was proud of it. He has always been a liar and it was obvious.

DAVE-  I offer no defense. Your opinion is your own, but based on what? First-hand knowledge, hearing from people who don't like him? National media accounts, CNN, WA POST, NYTIMES, his ex-wives?  People who watch only Fox have one kind of exposure to Trump, people who only watch MSNBC have a much different exposure.  Which is true?  He is a mix of insult and insight, charm and childishness, pouting and political instinct, lies and personal connections, but when pushed far enough as we were in 2016, conservatives agreed to choose "substance over style."

Trump voters defended their choice saying, "I didn't vote for a pastor, I didn't vote for a boy scout, We don't need a "nice guy"- nice guys get chewed up and spit out by the democrats, We fight fair and they don't so why bother, Instead, we need somebody who will stand up for America, who will stand up for US, who will call out our enemies, crush the terrorists, who will see that our allies carry their own weight, who will make decisions that FINALLY put average Americans first."   And 63 million Americans voted for him four years ago and 72-million Americans voted for him now.  They voted FOR Trump, not against Biden.

Why the lies? Why the exaggerations?  I don't know...he's a New Yorker? "Nobody ever did it better than me" is part of his brand?  Some Trump voters love him poking liberals, others of us find it stupid and annoying but ultimately harmless.

From the beginning, Liberals didn't take Trump seriously but they did take him literally --every word was a big such a big deal!!  (why else all the concern over his words on Twitter?  Only around 20% of America even uses Twitter -Twitter users are mostly East and West Coast young educated liberals and most of the tweets come from 10% of that 20%...it hardly represents a cross section of American thought.) On the flip side, Conservatives don't take him literally but we did take him (his policies and love of Country) seriously.  Here's the link.

The analysis indicates that the 22% of American adults who use Twitter are representative of the broader population in certain ways, but not others. Twitter users are younger, more likely to identify as Democrats, more highly educated and have higher incomes than U.S. adults overall. Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues. For instance, Twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country and to see evidence of racial and gender-based inequalities in society. But on other subjects, the views of Twitter users are not dramatically different from those expressed by all U.S. adults...... As a result, much of the content posted by Americans on Twitter reflects a small number of authors. The 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.

AUTHOR -  Who has ever stood up for this guy that did business with him or has known him for years? Roger Stone? Giuliani?

DAVE -  I don't understand the question.  Does he have to have famous friends?  Who are his friends? Would you know them if we made a list?  You don't get elected to the presidency without help and friends.  Review history...most of members of congress were against him initially but worked with him and changed their minds.  Hollywood takes a pass on Trump. That's fine...I don't need the Rock to set my compass.  What names do you need to hear to make it OK to support his policies today?

AUTHOR-  Nobody ever speaks to his qualities except for employees, his children(also employees) or other republicans that happen to be relatively new acquaintances yet also employees though not technically.

DAVE -   Again, what are your standards for presidential qualifications?  Is it the number of cheerleaders he has in Washington?  He was elected not to unite but to CHANGE THE GAME....Not to unite but to make the comfortable uncomfortable, to drain the swamp including swampy Republicans.  More than half the federal machine should have strong feelings because he is moving their cheese if he's doing what he was elected to do.  He was elected to be the Disrupter-in-Chief  --because the Status Quo was no longer acceptable to conservatives.

AUTHOR -  Far be it from me to reference their flip flopping or ambition. At the end of the day, Why this guy? He doesn’t care about anyone.

DAVE -  I guess I disagree.  Bill Clinton used to say "I feel your pain" but that never made it true.  Trump does care for America.  His personal style isn't touchy feely but his decisions are made with a positive outcome for America in mind.  He cares about Americans first.

Almost all pundits say Trump would have won re-election easily if not for the coronavirus.  His policies and party still won significantly this year.  What does that mean?  The America he helped shape for three years was seen as not just good but as better than what came before by most Americans, even those who didn't like Trump's personal style.  The virus will eventually be brought under control, then what?  If Biden is officially declared the winner, we will have a chance to see how his policies deliver for America.  He says he's done with "America First"  (good start?)  Will Biden replay the Obama/Biden policy years that gave rise to Trump in the first place  -or-  will it be something new?  I guess we'll see.  Thanks for reading.