Why it matters that Caitlyn Jenner just admitted she regrets voting for Donald Trump

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During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump famously said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” He may have been right; he ran the most incompetent, embarrassing, and scandal-plagued major party candidacy in the history of U.S. Presidential elections, yet he managed to get 62 million votes anyway. But hanging onto those supporters after the election has turned out to be a different matter.

Conventional wisdom is that “Trump’s base won’t abandon him no matter what,” to the point that you even hear this sentiment from quite a few people in the Resistance. But it’s never been about his “base.” By any measure, they’re perhaps fifteen to twenty percent of the country. They will support him no matter what, because they like the horrible racist and xenophobic things he does. But when you look at his approval ratings, you see that his base only makes up about half his supporters.

The other half of Trump’s supporters are, frankly, suckers. Some suckers never figure out they’ve been conned, no matter how evidence emerges to that effect. But some suckers do pay attention, if only after the fact, and they realize – usually far too late – they’ve been had. If you paid attention to Trump’s hateful rhetoric toward various minority groups during the campaign, you knew he had no interest in LGBT rights, no matter how many times he claimed otherwise. If you’re a Republican rube like Caitlyn Jenner, you fell for it, because you wanted to.

Caitlyn Jenner has figured out that she’s been conned, and she’s finally admitting it. In fact she’s flatly declaring “I was wrong” about Donald Trump in the headline of a Washington Post op-ed she’s written. This really has nothing to do with what you think of her personally. Instead, it’s proof that at least some Trump supporters are capable of regretting having voted for him. So much for the idea that his supporters won’t abandon him no matter what.

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