At the beginning of Watergate, few were openly opposed to Nixon. Many more thought he was a sleazy crook but that nothing could be done. The original Nixon protesters were lonely, mostly hippie radicals like myself and other lefties. However, protest grew as Nixon’s lies and deceit became obvious to all. Then corrupt VP Spiro Agnew was forced to resign. Then Nixon fell. Early on, no one really ever thought this could happen, but it did.
I remember a political cartoon then. Hippies with signs saying “Impeach Nixon” were joined by businessmen in suits, one of whom says to the hippies, “Just don’t rub it in, ok?” We didn’t rub it in. Instead, we were happy public opinion had shifted. We welcomed them. The more the merrier.
Many Trump supporters have big hopes. Some will become disillusioned when he becomes unable to deliver on promises. We need to welcome them. And we can’t do that if we’ve already written Trump supporters off as knuckle-dragging troglodytes.
Friends of ours, a married couple, live in an area where there is only one Obamacare provider. They are mostly self-employed and say the amount of paperwork Obamacare demands to determine the subsidy is just insane, especially since it must be in by Feb. 15, before she has gotten all her W-2s and 1099s. So, they must send bank statements, which they consider an enormous hassle and an invasion of privacy. Worse, to them Obamacare means they go to a doctor, pay what they did before they had insurance because the deductible is so high, then pay a few hundred a month more or health insurance they consider to be mostly useless.
They are not wealthy and resent a healthcare plan they see as worse than useless. They don’t care if their state hasn’t opted in. Just fix it, please. They voted for Trump. They aren’t stupid or racist, just tired of the status quo and want change.
Trump probably won’t be the change they want. So when they, and millions others like them get disillusioned, we should welcome them. Because, in the final analysis, it was public opinion that caused Nixon to resign.