"The hell with the bunch of them"
In an interview with Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie, author and columnist P.J. O'Rourke offers some words of advice for those on the left coming unglued over Donald Trump: the President is actually one of them...
He's one of them, but he's coming at it from a sort of populist [direction]. There's a segment of America that feels threatened by change, change of all kinds, and he's saying, "Well, I'm going to make things like they used to be." But the tools that he's going to use—huge infrastructure spending, Big Digs everywhere, the huge rise in military budget. We already spend more than, what is it, the other top 10 countries combined? We may have a foreign policy that doesn't make any sense, but you don't want to mess with our military. He's a big-government guy for small-minded people, and the liberals are so mad at him because they regard themselves as large-minded people, but of course they're equally big-government.
Something else somebody said to me on the campaign trail at a Trump rally was, "Damn it. I'm in the logging business. I am so regulated." And at the end of it he said, "I turn on the TV at night, and what's the lead news story? It's about transgender bathrooms. We don't have any bathrooms in the woods."
Agree or disagree with O'Rourke's assessment, that last bit is especially telling for why people who may have distrusted Trump's political philosophy, and even whether he was really, honestly, a Republican, still voted for him.
The values, beliefs, and choices of far too many average Americans have come under relentless assault in recent years. At the same time, the problems they do face everyday, like the logger O'Rourke mentioned, are sent to the back pages, if they are covered at all.
Consider this other example from O'Rourke:
I was talking to a guy [at a Trump rally] and he said, "I own a gas station and a towing operation. It's just me and my wife. I don't have a human [resources] department. I don't have a legal department." He said, "Every time some jerk in Washington passes some new idea, he never seems to think that it means another pile of paperwork on my desk." He said, "I've got old gas tanks at my gas station, and I can't get the local, state, and federal permits to get them removed. I can't get the local, state, and federal permits to install new ones. I'm regulated from every conceivable direction." He had a fair number of employees, and he said, "I can afford the Obamacare. But what I can't afford is the paperwork that comes with it. That's not what I do." I really liked the guy and finally I said to him, "So electing a maniac fixes this how?" He laughed. He said, "I don't know, but the hell with the bunch of them. I'm voting for Trump."
For the left, people who own gas stations are not real people (and the products they sell at those stations are unmitigated evils). They create no controversial art, advance no theories on gender or race, and certainly can't afford to make large political donations.
So, to the left, those people don't matter. Regulating and taxing them out of existence is not a problem, but a sign of progress.
It doesn't matter to many Trump supporters that he isn't a by-the-book conservative. They wanted someone to shake up a deeply corrupt system. "The hell with the bunch of them."