Despite Trump's record low ratings as president, many of his fiercest supporters have overlooked various acts of racism, sexism, classism, and xenophobia as they continue to defend him. Indeed, although their political beliefs should not be generalized, a vast majority of steadfast Trump supporters have been saying some hypocritical things.
A little under six months into his presidency, Trump's performance rating hasn't been great. But that doesn't mean he's lost his voting block completely. According to the latest Gallup poll, which was conducted from June 29 to July 1, 57 percent of those polled said they disapproved of Trump's job performance as president, while 37 percent reported that they approved.
There are, of course, many former Trump supporters who now regret voting for him. Some of them, for instance, originally lauded his immigration policy, but have since had regrets because of how their own households or communities have been affected. Others meanwhile, previously rooted for the dismantling of Obamacare but are now concerned that their health care access hangs in balance.
Even so, a poll conducted back in March revealed that only three percent of Trump voters actually regret their decision to vote for him. This means that many of them still support him — and, in turn, his treatment of health care, immigration, and the media. Let's take a look at some of the more hypocritical things that Trump supporters have been saying or supporting.
1. Criticisms Of Political Violence
Earlier this month, The Public Theater staged a production of Julius Caesar in which Caesar was portrayed by a Trump lookalike. In response, a Trump supporter rushed the stage in an act of protest, claiming that the Public Theater had "blood on their hands because it contributes to the overall desensitization of violence." She also argued that the play was promoting "political violence against the right." Once she was arrested, his supporters tweeted that she had been right to protest.
However, their criticism of the production was highly hypocritical. Trump himself has incited violence against left-wing protesters on numerous occasions — he denies it, but there are many examples. At a campaign rally in Kansas City, he mouthed that he would "beat the crap out of" a protester who had stormed the stage. At a press conference in Florida, he said it was "appropriate" for people to use physical force at his rallies, saying it was an example of the audience hitting back. At a Fayetteville rally, he said that people "used to treat [protesters] very, very rough," and bemoaned the fact that this was no longer the case.
Furthermore, Trump most recently appeared to incite violence against journalists. Unlike the Public Theater's production, these actions by the president did not earn his supporters' ire.
Then there's the case of Kathy Griffin, who held up a decapitated effigy of Trump during an extremely controversial video. Griffin came under extreme backlash from conservatives for the video; they claimed that if anyone had done something similar to Obama, there would have been severe repercussions. However, conservatives did do something similar — they hung Obama effigies from nooses when he was elected, and while some Republicans condemned any and all such Obama effigies, those who participated did not face the same condemnation from conservatives who directed their ire toward Griffin.
2. Dismissing His Ties To Wall Street
During his campaign, Trump's supporters cheered him on as he promised to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. He ran on a populist, anti-establishment platform, and he and his supporters criticized Hillary Clinton for her close ties to Wall Street. But now that he is president, he is rubbing shoulders with Wall Street executives like Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn. According to The Daily Beast, the Trump administration has appointed Cohn and five other former Goldman Sachs employees to senior-level positions; for example, Cohn is Trump's chief economic adviser. Far from draining the swamp, Trump seems to be filling it up.
But Trump didn't stop there. He claimed at a rally in Cedar Rapids last month that it's "smart" to have someone like Cohn "represent us."
“And I love all people — rich or poor — but in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person," Trump added. "Does that make sense? Does that make sense?"
Despite the fact that it contradicted everything Trump claimed during the election cycle, the crowd in Cedar Rapids cheered. The Daily Show's Trevor Noah was quick to note its hypocrisy:
“You know what was really impressive to see last night?” asked Noah. “Was how Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they’ll come along for the ride.”
3. Telling Trump's Opponents To Accept His Presidency Because He Won
After Trump won the election, many of his voters criticized his political opponents — more specifically, people who insisted that Trump was "not my president." They told Trump's opponents to "get over it," and to give Trump a chance because, after all, he had won. However, this attitude is precisely the opposite of the one conservatives adopted when Obama was elected.
When Obama was elected, conservatives did not just "get over it." Many of them refused to acknowledge Obama as their president. They hung Obama effigies from nooses, actively protested his presidency, questioned his Americanness, and denounced him as a socialist.
But even more recently, conservatives have been refusing to take their own advice and "get over it" when it comes to Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote. Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin; it was only because of the Electoral College that Trump won the presidency. However, Trump and many of his supporters have since chosen to make broad claims about voter fraud and people voting illegally to discredit reports that Clinton had won the popular vote. Apparently, Trump becoming president wasn't enough for him to feel secure in that victory, so he had to undermine his political rivals still further.
After all of this resistance to Obama and Clinton, for these conservatives to now ask their fellow Americans to simply accept Trump's victory without protest is extremely hypocritical. It also goes against the calls for free speech they frequently make.
4. Ignoring Trump's Frequent Golfing
While Obama was still in office, both Trump and conservative pundits frequently criticized him for golfing instead of doing his job. Indeed, Trump routinely tweeted about Obama playing golf:
But since his inauguration, Trump has averaged many more rounds of golf than his predecessor. In just the first 12 weeks of his presidency, Trump played 18 rounds of golf, whereas Obama waited until he was more than three months into his presidency to play a single round.
But while conservative commentators and lawmakers were vocal in their criticism of Obama's golfing, they have remained noticeably silent as Trump has golfed to his heart's content. Trump allies like Fox News' Sean Hannity and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for spending taxpayer dollars on golfing trips, but have ignored how much it has cost to ensure First Lady Melania's security — not to mention Trump's own golfing trips.
Shaun King of the New York Daily News pointed out the glaring double standards in their silence. Moreover, King wrote, that hypocrisy is rooted not just in ignorance, but also in racism. The conservatives who once criticized Obama don't seem to have a problem with a rich white president going golfing — but they tended to be much more critical when the president was black, because such an image does not align with their racist tropes of black men. As King wrote, the conservative pundits and white working-class voters who were particularly disdainful about Obama's golfing were playing into a racist caricature:
More than ever, it's clear that conservatives never really had a problem with a golfing President, what they hated seeing was a black golfing President. I also think this was the subconscious message that Trump was pulling on throughout the campaign trail to his almost exclusively white audiences. ...
And it's why those same conservatives are now silent. The problem wasn't that they hated seeing a President spend the money on golfing. The problem wasn't that they hated seeing a President spend precious time on the golf course. A golfing President never disgusted them. The problem was that few things irritate bigoted white men more than an uppity negro.
5. Criticizing Obamacare
Criticisms of Obamacare were abundant during Obama's presidency and through the beginning of Trump's time in office. Some of these pertained to the alleged secrecy with which Obamacare was implemented, while others claimed that Obamacare increased costs for families. During Trump's campaign, many of his supporters passionately supported his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
However, now that Trump and the GOP are striving to pass new health care legislation, some of his supporters and allies have failed to notice that many of their concerns about Obamacare also apply to Trumpcare. For example, Senate Republicans' proposed legislation would increase — not decrease — costs for working-class families and older individuals.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the average Trumpcare enrollee would have to pay $1,542 more in health care costs per year, while people who are between 55 and 64 years old could expect to pay roughly $5,269 more per year. Meanwhile, health insurance company CEOs would enjoy rapidly increasing incomes and Americans making more than $1 million year can expect steep tax cuts.
Additionally, the GOP is also trying to pass its health care bill without any hearings — something they criticized Obama for doing.
That's not to say that all Trump supporters have been unequivocally hypocritical when it comes to health care. Many conservatives — especially poor and working-class voters — have turned out to numerous town halls to protest the GOP's proposed health care legislation, because they recognize how difficult Trumpcare would make their lives. In this particular scenario, the GOP is the most hypocritical entity, for attempting to pass legislation that could be described by all the same criticisms that Republicans have long directed toward Obamacare.
6. Calling For States' Voter-Roll Data
Following Trump's renewed allegations about voter fraud during the election, his Election Integrity Commission asked all 50 states to submit detailed voter-roll data. When four states — California, Virginia, Kentucky, and Connecticut — promptly refused, they were criticized by the right. However, conservatives have failed to recognize that in refusing the commission's request, these states are defending a Supreme Court ruling that conservatives once fought for.
Conservatives famously denounced federal intervention in elections, according to The Washington Post. They argued that states should be able to defend their own voting rules and legislative processes, and when the Supreme Court upheld this view, they perceived it as a victory. If they now contest states' refusal to hand over voter-roll data, they will be going against what they have long claimed to believe when it comes to states' rights.
7. Disregarding Russian Interference In U.S. Politics
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and their supporters have made a number of claims about voter fraud during the presidential election. In fact, they established a Commission on Election Integrity to handle these concerns. What this commission will not contend with, however, is the Trump administration's concerns about Russian intervention in the election — because the administration does not seem to have any such concerns.
Even after Trump stopped actively denying that Russia had intervened in the election, he did not choose to do anything about it. Furthermore, his supporters — notably Kris Kobach, the Republican secretary of state in Kansas — did not push him to do so, even as they applauded his efforts to stop voter fraud.
These are just seven examples of how Trump's supporters and allies have demonstrated their hypocrisy. Although some of them may have started coming around after the health care and immigration debacles, the vast majority still remain loyal to their candidate of choice. In an era where the president can constantly decry "fake news" and incite violence, however, it is imperative that Americans examine all information with a critical eye.